Himalayan Art Resources

Teacher: Tsongkapa Main Page

Tsongkapa Main Page | Gelug Main Page

Database Search: All Images | Painting | Sculpture

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Tsongkapa Description (below)
- Tsongkapa Outline
- Biography of Tsongkapa (short)
- Iconographic Forms
- Early Paintings
- Life-story Paintings
- Metal Mold & Sculpture
- Textiles
- Masterworks (Painting & Sculpture)
- Confusions: Sakya Pandita, Buton, Ngorchen, Bodong Panchen
- Others...

Lama Tsongkapa (1357-1419) was the founder of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. He established the Ganden Monastery which became the principal seat of the school. Beginning with Tsongkapa, the successive Throne Holders of Ganden Monastery are the heads of the Gelug Tradition.

Attributes:
- Yellow Pandita Hat
- Monastic Attire
- Dharma Teaching Gesture
- Sword & Book on flower blossoms
- Seated in Vajra Posture

Jeff Watt 5-2002 [updated 4-2019]



Biography:

"Tsongkhapa Lobzang Dragpa (tsong kha pa blo bzang grags pa), 1357-1419, was born in the Tsongkha (tsong kha) region of Amdo in 1357. His mother was Shingza Acho (shing bza' a chos, d.u.) and his father was Lubum Ge (klu 'bum dge, d.u.). Among the numerous miraculous incidents and omens believed to have taken place surrounding his birth, perhaps the most famous is that of a drop of blood from Tsongkhapa's umbilical cord that is said to have fallen on to the ground, giving rise to a sandalwood tree whose leaves bore symbols related to the Lion's Roar manifestation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, a deity with whom Tsongkhapa would later be identified. His mother later built a stupa on this spot and over time further structures and temples were added. Today the location of Tsongkhapa's birth is marked by Kumbum Monastery (sku 'bum dgon pa), founded in 1583 by the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 03 bsod nams rgya mtsho, 1543-1588) on the spot of the original stupa." (Read the Full Biography).

Read more at TBRC