Author Topic: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa  (Read 12724 times)

WisdomBeing

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Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:36:02 AM »
I surfed onto this website (http://www.labsum.org/stupa.html) and read that:

"Also within the Stupa is a clay statue of the elephant-headed deity Ganesh that Venerable Tsong-kha-pa made with his own hands. Geshe-la had obtained this while he was residing in Tibet."

I'm curious what is the link between Ganesh and Tsongkhapa? I thought that Ganesh is a Hindu deity, so why did Tsongkhapa make a statue himself of Ganesh?

I'd appreciate any insight to this. Thanks,
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Positive Change

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 09:52:11 AM »
Well... Buddhism did originate from India. I am not surprised if certain traditions and "beliefs" were carried into Buddhism. After all, the Tibetan language was created from Sanskrit hence I am not surprised Lord Ganesha "appears" even in Tibetan Buddhism.

There are various Hindu deities that are known in Tibetan names and vice versa. I reckon it is really a cross cultural belief and even from  supposed different pantheons, perhaps they are more connected than we know... perhaps these deities are emanations of Buddhas etc... I for one love the story you shared as it reaffirms that we cant discount others' beliefs especially if it is from a different culture. We should co-exist harmoniously!

dsiluvu

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 05:59:14 PM »
From what I searched and found Lord Ganapati/Ganesha was also practised in all 4 schools including Gelugpa. He is mainly propitiated to assist in resources or wealth. But I haven't found a source that Lama Tsongkhapa did his practise. But definitely it is not uncommon in Tibetan Buddhism. Some info I have found regarding Lord Ganapati below...

Hope someone could give more info on whether Lama Tsongkhapa did any of his practise.
 

The Buddhist Ganapati is also known in classical Indo-Chinese-Japanese tantra of the Shingon school. This means Buddhist Ganapati travelled to Japan SEPARATELY from the central Asian Nepalese Tibetan connection. Thus it is guaranteed to have been practiced by Buddhists in ancient India before the development of "Tibetan Buddhism", and independently of "Tibetan Buddhism".

Tantric Buddhist Ganapati in the Sakya School is, according to the rite of initiation, a sub-manifestation of Amitabha Buddha as Avalokitesvara ( "Chenresig" ). He is Twelve Armed and crowned by Amitabha Buddha. This may not be true of the Japanese Shingon school of tantra.

Source: http://tibetanbuddhism.tribe.net/thread/50e889bd-6853-4bc8-8904-6d090201fafa

Ganesha and Tibet

Ganesha Scriptures were translated into Tibetan and introduced in Tibet by the monks by 10 and 11 c.  Though based on Indian Scriptures Ganesha acquires a very different form outside India. For Tibetan and Tantric Buddhists,  Ganapati is the Sanskrit name commonly used and the word found in Tibetan literature too. The two words Ganesha and Ganapati have the same basic meaning in English: lord of Ganas.

In one Tibetan form he is shown being trodden under foot by Mah?kala, who is a Dharmapala (“protector of dharma”) in Vajrayana Buddhism (Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Shingon Buddhism).  Mahakala (Shadbhuja) in the six-armed form is also an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. In this form he stands atop an elephant headed supine figure. The name of the figure varies from ritual text to ritual text but is commonly referred to as Vinayaka.  As the Buddhist god Vin?yaka, he is often shown dancing, a form called Nritya Ganapati

Source: http://theemerald.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/buddhist-deity-ganapati/

dorjedakini

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 11:32:37 AM »
I for one love the story you shared as it reaffirms that we cant discount others' beliefs especially if it is from a different culture. We should co-exist harmoniously!

This is what i felt too when I read this post. We should practice harmoniously regardless of which traditions we are from. Each tradition shared many similarity, but we choose to focus on the differences, that makes us suffer a lot as we hold on to it.

It is also said that whatever Buddha or Deity images created or consecrated by our Lama contains the blessing of our Lama and it suppose to be the most holy images, i believe it strongly, how about everyone? Did your Lama say so too?


Barzin

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:57:04 AM »
this is so nice to read.  I love reading how actually most enlightened beings cross path however their motivation, and the core of the message is the same, just different methods, hence the different religion and practice.

Like what Dorjedakini just said, human loves to look at the differences... how sad.

A wonderful insight.  Thankyou for the post.

lightning

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 10:04:13 AM »
Ganesh is one of the 13 Golden Dharma from Sakya and Je Tsong Kha Pa had incoparated Sakya into Gelugpa.
http://sakyaresourceguide.blogspot.com/2008/12/thirteen-golden-dharmas-of-sakya.html

hope rainbow

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 06:13:05 AM »
Well, I would never have thought that Tsongkhapa through his extensive studies of Buddhism in all schools available at the time and place would not have know of Ganesh and its practice.
I heard that Tsongkhapa himself had the desire to go to East India* and find further knowledge from teachers there, this surprised me too as I thought that by the 14th century the Vajrayana Teachers had vanisehd from India
- here I take note that Ganesh had then and still has devotees in India...
I know very little about Ganesh, but I know that he is represented on a lotus and disk, signs of an enlightened being.

* I heard this from Alexander Berzin on one of his podcast teaching.

lightning

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Re: Ganesh and Tsongkhapa
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 12:50:13 PM »
Well, I would never have thought that Tsongkhapa through his extensive studies of Buddhism in all schools available at the time and place would not have know of Ganesh and its practice.
I heard that Tsongkhapa himself had the desire to go to East India* and find further knowledge from teachers there, this surprised me too as I thought that by the 14th century the Vajrayana Teachers had vanisehd from India
- here I take note that Ganesh had then and still has devotees in India...
I know very little about Ganesh, but I know that he is represented on a lotus and disk, signs of an enlightened being.

* I heard this from Alexander Berzin on one of his podcast teaching.
Ganesh in Hindism is not enlightened being, while in Vajrayana, Buddha may give appearance and manifested as Ganesh in 13 Sakya Golden Dharma lineage.

Heard of supernatural encounters that Worldly Ganesh will disturb Dharma practise and Torma "throwing" was done to punish Him for creating Dharma hidrances!