This anthology of some of the important works of the great Dharma Master Tsongkhapa Losang Drakpa (1357-1419) is presented for the general reader and practitioner of Buddhadharma to give him an introduction to the life and profound teachings of that great Lama. Most of the translations contained here were done same time ago, and published as pamphlets and Xerox- manuscripts. Mr. Gyatso Tsering requested to me gather these translations together, adding some explanatory notes and translating newly some special pieces that round out the collection. It was decided from the beginning not to attempt to impose any standard terminology is to grant access to the useful teachings themselves.
The Book is divided into five parts. The First begins with a short biography drawn by Geshe Ngawang Dhargye from a number of traditional sources, notably Khaydrub's Haven of Faith. This biography is supplemented by Tsongkhapa's own Song of Realization, a spiritual and educational autobiography, and Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden's Song of the Mystic Experiences, a record of his visionary experiences.
The second part presents Tsongkhapa's teachings on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Limrim), including the quintessential summary given in revelation by the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the briefest version written by the master himself, and lucid version of the over all path written in a personal letter to a close disciple. It concludes with a prayer for the accomplishment of the path.
The third part gives Tsongkhapa's enlightenment- poem, his Praise (to Shakyamuni for His Teaching) for Relativity, written on the morning of his attainment of realization; as well as his middle length version of the cultivation of wisdom through transcendent insight.
The fourth part shows his lyrical and mystical side, including praises of the two emblematic Bodhisattvas, Manjushri and Maitreya, a descriptive prayer for rebirth in the pure land of Amitabha, and a dialogue between the great Nying-ma Master Lhobrag Khenchen Namkha Gyaltsen and the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, in the presence of Tsongkhapa himself.
The final Part includes three praises of Tsongkhapa, written by his disciple Khaydrub, the Seventh Dalai Lama, and the Eighth Karmapa Lama, respectively. The entire collection concludes with the famous invocation of Tsongkhapa, Lord of Tushita's Hundred Gods.
Tanks are also due to the translators and teachers who contributed to the various works collected here, especially to Glenn Mullin who got me moving on it, and to Gyatso Tsering, the dedicated and able Director of the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, who saw it all through to completion. In spite of all this excellent help and inspiration, I am sure there are errors still undetected, at least in the works of my own, foe which I alone assume responsibility, inviting others to contribute criticism and improvements toward an eventual final edition of Tsongkhapa's works, the scholarly task I have set myself for this lifetime.
Back of the Book
Je Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) is revered as one of the most significant Tibetan Buddhist teacher whose eclectic and analytic studies and meditations in all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism resulted in the founding of the Gelugpa system of the Tibetan Buddhist heritage.
The life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa brings together for the first time a number of extremey important and useful works by and on Tsong Khapa touching transcendental aspects of Sutra, Tantra and Insight Meditation, including mystic conversations with a number of intensely moving songs in praise of Tsong Khapa and his immeasurable contribution to Tibetan Buddhist personalities like the Seventh Dalai Lama, Eighth Karmapa, Dulnagpa Palden and Khaydrub Je etc.
Ably translated by a number of Western Buddhist translators in association with Tibetan Buddhist scholars, The life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa edited by Professor Robert Thurman, fulfils a long standing need by the contemporary Dharma community of both the East and the West.
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