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Lama Tsongkapa (1357-1419) was the founder of the Gelug tradition 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. The most prominent individuals represented in art are Tsongkapa, the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The most common meditational deity represented is Vajrabhairava. The principal protectors are Shadbhuja Mahakala and Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo.

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Jeff Watt [updated 2-2020]


"Manjushri Tsongkapa (founder of the Gelug Tradition), sometimes called the new Kadampa) firmly established himself in the old Kadampa and propagated the teachings of the Vinaya, Sutra, Madhyamika, Prajnaparamita, Secret Tantra, etc. His vast Tradition came to cover the entire earth. He explained his view of the meanings of the Sutras and Tantras with the aid of his special Deity and his own analytical wisdom, which came from the treasure chest of very deep wisdom. Many of the unique qualities of his teachings can be clearly seen in his excellent explanations."

(Excerpt from the Opening of the Dharma, A Brief Explanation of the Essence of the Limitless Vehicles of the Buddha. Written by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. Translated by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Gyatso, Malaysia, October 1984).

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).