Posts Tagged "lama tsongkhapa teachers fund"

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For over ten years the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund has sponsored a special annual oral examination of Sera Je Monastery’s top scholars who have shown incredible aptitude for memorization. In 2013, 225 students were awarded new robes and khatas (cost of US$4,307.50) for their accomplishments of memorization.

Memorizing any of these texts is considered an incredible feat, two of the scriptures were memorized by just a few scholars. The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is very happy to be able to recognize and support these monks in this way.

  • 93 students memorized The Essence of Eloquence on the Art of Interpretation (Dang-Nge)
    LTK + 2 Disciples 5

    Thangka image of Lama Tsongkhapa with two disciples.

  • 95 students memorized The Clear Meaning of the Paramita (Drelpa-Don-Sel)
  • 11 students memorized Skab Dangpoi Spyi Don by Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen
  • 1 student memorized Collection of the Six Treaties on the Middle Way
  • 25 students memorized Shantidava’s The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

You can catch a glimpse of the effort needed to memorize texts like these listed above, as well as the incredible dedication needed for scholars at this level, by reading an account published in Mandala  from Ven. Tenzin Gache (Brian Roiter) who became one of the very few Westerners to participate in the rik chung debate held at Sera Je Monastery.

If you would like to contribute to the offerings to these top scholars:

DONATE

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Monks debating, 2012.

In December 2013, The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund was very pleased to offer US$6,398 toward the 2013 Gelugpa Examination which was held at Gaden Lachi Monastery, Mundgod, India, September 2013.

Over 500 of the top scholars from the main monasteries attended the exam.

The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund offered food expenses and all travel expenses for the top scholars to be present at Gaden Lachi for this annual exam. In addition, two full days of food was offered to all the participants.

US$1,4578.88 was also offered toward the monthly stipends given to the current abbots, past abbots and main teachers of the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition including the Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Gaden Trisur Rinpoche, Shartse and Jangtse Choegyal, Khen Rinpoche, Khensur Rinpoche and Lama Umtse. This small monthly stipend ranges from 1,500 rs – 500 rs (about US$8.20 – US$24) a month and supports these incredibly preceious teachers’ basic needs. This allows them to be able to focus more of their time on transmitting Dharma to their students at the monasteries and strengthening their own practices.

The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund was extremely happy to offer a total of US$20,976.88 in December toward the preservation of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism and toward supporting this annual exam and cultivating future teachers.

 Please rejoice in this offering. You are welcome to offer any amount to the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund in support of its mission:

 DONATE

 

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Monks of Sera Je Monastery engaged in debate.


For over ten years the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund has sponsored a special annual oral examination of Sera Je Monastery’s top scholars who have shown incredible aptitude for memorization. 223 students were awarded new robes and khatas (cost of US$3,268) for their accomplishments of memorization.

Memorizing any of these texts is considered an incredible feat, two of the scriptures were memorized by just a few scholars. The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is very happy to be able to recognize and support these monks in this way.

  • 83 students memorized The Essence of Eloquence on the Art of Interpretation (Dang-Nge)
  • 98 students memorized The Clear Meaning of the Paramita (Drelpa-Don-Sel)
  • 7 students memorized Skab Dangpoi Spyi Don by Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen
  • 1 student memorized Collection of the Six Treaties on the Middle Way
  • 25 students memorized Shantidava’s The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

You can catch a glimpse of the effort needed to memorize texts like these listed above, as well as the incredible dedication needed for scholars at this level, by reading an account published in Mandala  from Ven. Tenzin Gache (Brian Roiter) who became one of the very few Westerners to participate in the rik chung debate held at Sera Je Monastery.

If you would like to contribute to the offerings to these top scholars:

DONATE

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DSC 7542Monks debating during last year’s Winter Debate. April 2013: The Lama Tsong Khapa Teachers Fund offered US$22,396.26 for the 2012 Winter Debate (Jang Gun-choe). 635 of the top debaters from Sera Je traveled to Drepung Monastery to participate with 8,000 monks from 11 different monasteries. The main participating Institutes were Sera, Drepung, Gaden, Tashi Lhunpo, Gyuto, Gyudme, Rato and Dhakpo Shedrup Dhargeyling monasteries and they met to debate two sessions a day for a minimum of seven hours. Many monks debated until the wee hours of the night.

The Lama Tsong Khapa Teachers Fund covered the cost of travel and food for the 635 monks from Sera Je Monastery to attend the month-long debate.

DVC 8446Monks debating during last year’s Winter Debate. The Great Winter Debate has been an integral part Tibet Buddhism and dates back to the time of Lama TsongKhapa. The debate mainly consists of the most earnest and competent scholars from the great monasteries. The primary course of study during the Winter Debate is Pramanavartika (Tsema Namdrel) by Acharya Dharmakirti on subjects such as epistemology, valid cognition, dialectics, and the Art of Liberation.

Learn more about the Winter Debate.

The Lama Tsong Khapa Teachers Fund also offered a full set of monk’s robes to 27 top scholars who memorized Shantidava’s The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and an additional full set of robes to another 196 monks: 94 who successfully memorized The Essence of Eloquence (Dang-Nge), 91 who memorized The Clear Meaning of Paramita (Drelpa-Don-Sel), 10 who memorized Skab Dangpoi Spyi Don by Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen, and one who successfully memorized The Collection of Six Treaties on the Middle Way.

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P1070091 2010 Meeting of Geluk Committee in Nepal.April 2013: The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is very happy to be able to offer US$11,500 towards 2013 Special debate held in Nepal in August 2013.

This year the special debate will be held at Kopan Monastery for fifteen days. There will be 450 monks attending from ten different Gelug P1070093 2010 Meeting of Geluk Committee in Nepal.monasteries in Nepal. These are the top debating students from each monastery. In addition this is the first time ever that nuns are participating in the special debate and there will be 90 nuns participating from two Gelug nunneries in Nepal, one of  them being Kopan’s own Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery.

This is the fifth year the special debate has been held in Nepal for the Gelug monasteries. Each year a different monastery hosts the actual debate.

For more information on the annual winter debate, its history, the texts debated and the overall incredible importance of the debate please read more here.

Please rejoice that we can make this offering and thank you to all the kind donors of the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund. The support given by FPMT’s Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund ensures that the Mahayana teachings are preserved for the benefit of all sentient beings and is critical to FPMT’s mission of transmitting and preserving the Mahayana Buddhist teachings worldwide. 

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The continuity and spread of Buddhadharma throughout the world depends upon highly qualified teachers. The three great monasteries are the only place in the world where the entire, complete teachings of the Buddha are studied and practiced with deep logic.
–Lama Zopa Rinpoche
 

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The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund was established by FPMT in 1997 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The purpose of the fund is to preserve the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism, and cultivate the teachers of tomorrow.

Since its inception, the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund has supported up to 150 senior teachers each year, such as the current Abbots, past Abbots, the Ganden Tripa (Spiritual head of Gelugpa school) as well as the most senior teachers of the monasteries, together with hundreds of monks attending the traditional winter debate and annual exam.

The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund has 3 main activities:

  • Supporting the most senior teachers of the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition
  • Supporting the annual Gelugpa exam
  • Supporting the annual winter debate in India and Nepal
  • The annual support offered by the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is currently estimated at $USD65,000

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Supporting the Teachers

The great lamas of the Tsongkhapa tradition preserve the teachings and practices that have been passed from teacher to disciple in an unbroken line beginning with Lama Tsongkhapa himself.

This fund is able to offer a small monthly stipend (ranging from $10 – $30 a month) to 150 of the main teachers of the 8 great monasteries of the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition.

  • Sera Je and Sera Mey Monastery
  • Drepung Loseling Monastery
  • Ganden Monastery
  • Gyume Tantric College
  • Gyuto Tantric College
  • Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
  • Rato Monaster

This small offering supports the basic needs of the current Abbots, past Abbots and main teachers of the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, including the Ganden Tripa. These incredibly precious teachers do not receive any money from the monasteries and this small offering allows them to be able focus more of their time on transmitting the lineage of teachings and practice to their students in the monastery.


 

DSC 8725These great Gelugpa centers of learning are places of practice and growth founded by Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples. The traditional teaching lineage has carried right through to today, as shared by Geshe Thubten Sherab’s in his reflections of Life at Sera Je.

 

Supporting the Annual Gelugpa Exam

Each year the foremost scholars from Sera, Ganden, Drepung, Gyume, Gyuto, Tashi Lhunpo and Rato monasteries come together for the annual Gelugpa exam and the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is able to cover their basic expenses, such as food and travel, for the 600 plus monks who take the annual Gelug exam.

Supporting the Traditional Winter Debate

The annual winter debate dates back to the time of Lama Tsongkhapa and was continued each year until 1959. In 1981 the present and former Abbots of the 3 great monasteries met to revive the annual winter debate, however due to costs the monasteries were only able to sponsor about 200 monks to attend the annual winter debate.

Seeing the incredible importance of the winter debate, where the best scholars gather to hone their understanding of the Buddha’s highest teachings, FPMT undertook the responsibility to cover all the costs for the monks of Sera Je monastery to attend the debate each year.

FPMT has now also started to sponsor the annual winter debate that is also held in Nepal by the Nepal Buddhist Gelug Association. 2013 was the first time in history that nuns also participated in the debate.

Spotlight on Sera Monastery

The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund continues to support the great teachers and scholars at Sera Je and Mey Monastery. This monastery is recognized as one of the largest monastic institutes and learning centers of traditional Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism in the world. There are 6080 ordained monks studying at Sera, and another 550 novice monks also studying. Teachers at Sera Monastery offer the entire course of studies associated to the Gelugpa school. The distinctive Geshe degree, and Lharam level (which is the highest monastic academic degree) is conferred at Sera. The support given by FPMT’s Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund to scholars and great masters at Sera ensures that the Mahayana teachings are preserved for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The annual support offered by the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is currently estimated at $USD65,000

To keep up on how your donation is being used and to rejoice in the activities of this beneficial project, please follow the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund News blog.


Latest News

History in the Making: Supporting the Nepal Buddhist Federation

In 2006, for the first time in the history of the Nalanda Tradition, Nyingma, Kagyü, Sakya and Gelug traditions have formed an umbrella organization called Nepal Buddhist Federation (NBF). Since then, NBF has been engaging in many activities, including organizing … Read full article

 

Read all the news »


How Can I Make a Donation?

To make a tax-deductible donation:

DONATE

Or simply send your check in US dollars payable to FPMT Inc. and write “Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund” on the memo line.

FPMT Inc.
1632 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214-4702
USA

The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is a project of FPMT Inc. and is administered by FPMT International Office located in Portland, Oregon, United States. All donations made to this fund are tax-deductible within the United States in accordance with IRS Code article 501(c)(3) to the extent allowed by law.

For more information please contact: Holly Ansett, Charitable Projects Coordinator.