Who is Je Tsongkhapa?

17 April 2010 - 2:03am Comments Off

Je Rinpoche is the emanation of Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani and also an emanation of Maitreya Buddha, altogether in one being. It is incredible and because of this, he can convert into a stream of wisdom. He is known to be an emanation of Manjushri, although he is also Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani. People saw him in the form of various Deities; some people saw him as Vajrapani, some people saw him as Manjushri, and some people saw him as Avalokiteshvara. Some other people saw him as Maitreya. Usually people saw him as these four deities. There is a book entitled The Life and Teaching of Je Tsongkhapa that has a wonderful biography of him. Another good read is the Life Story of Lama Tsongkhapa, a graphic novel which accurately depicts Je Rinpoche’s biography.

Je Tsongkhapa is definitely an emanation of Manjushri; Lord Shakyamuni Buddha himself validated it. During the Lord Buddha’s time, there was a young boy who was extremely virtuous and he had a crystal rosary. He went to Lord Buddha, prostrated and offered the rosary to him. Immediately Lord Buddha took his holy golden hands and put them on the young boy’s head. He predicted that in future, 1500 years after his passing away, in the land in the north of the red face barbarian, “You will revitalise the teachings of the Buddha when it has become declined, perverted and polluted. You will also bring about the entire correct lineage, the correct teachings, and you will study and contemplate. You will meditate and gain the result and transmit the teachings. You will reinforce the teaching to become extremely powerful in the Land of Snows.” Lord Buddha made that prediction (Tibetan: longden). Immediately Buddha called one of his disciples who had the power of speed (speed walking), gave him a conch shell and the disciple immediately walked to Tibet.

“You will revitalise the teachings of the Buddha when it has become declined, perverted and polluted. You will also bring about the entire correct lineage, the correct teachings, and you will study and contemplate. You will meditate and gain the result and transmit the teachings. You will reinforce the teaching to become extremely powerful in the Land of Snows.”

It was just a little distance from Lhasa where a conch shell was later found lying underneath a conch shell-shaped ground beneath the base of Gaden Monastery which was built later by Je Tsongkhapa. It was buried until the time Je Tsongkhapa took birth in Tibet. It happened exactly as the Buddha had predicted, the coming of the great Je Tsongkhapa, an emanation of Manjushri entering the Land of Snows in the north.

Therefore it is not simply conjured up by people or, out of respect to our guru, we claim that he is an emanation of Manjushri to gain faith in him. ‘Je’ means Jetsun (exalted). Exalted as he is out of samsara and is free of samsara. ‘Je Rinpoche’ is short for Jetsun meaning “One who is Exalted” or “Out of Samsara“. Je Rinpoche – ‘Rinpoche’ means ‘Precious One’, very valuable, very precious. Therefore ‘Je Rinpoche’ is a short name for Tsongkhapa, or you can refer to him as Je Tsongkhapa. Tsongka is the district he was from in Tibet. ‘Tsong’ means onion; therefore he is actually the Man from the Onion Land. In this district many onions grow; growing vegetables is quite rare in Tibet. His district had lots of onions so he is the Man from the Land of Onions.

You can also refer to him as Je Tsongkhapa or Je Losang Dragpa. Losang – ‘Lo’ is mind, ‘sang’ is good, so good mind, placid mind, excellent mind. ‘Dragpa’ means famous. In Sanskrit his name is Sumati Kirti. His mantra is actually OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI HUNG HUNG. Sumati Kirti is the name of Je Rinpoche in Sanskrit which means good mind, famous mind. His name is Losang Dragpa which means “Famous Good Mind”.

Losang Dragpa is the ordination name that he received from His Holiness the Great Karmapa. Some people refer to him as Losang Dragpa, or Je Losang Dragpa or Je Lama. When people say ‘Je Lama’, we know it is him. Or when people say ‘Je Rinpoche’ which means Precious Exalted One, or Je Losang Dragpa or Je Tsongkhapa, these names all refer to him.

 

Tsem Rinpoche

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