Statue of Lama Tsongkhapa at Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, Washington State, US, June 2015. Photo by Chris Majors.

Lama Tsongkhapa Day, or Ganden Ngamchoe, is a celebration of the anniversary of Lama Tsongkhapa’s parinirvana. It is celebrated on the 25th day of the 10th month in the Tibetan calendar. This year, Lama Tsongkhapa Day falls on Tuesday, December 12.

Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) was a Tibetan Buddhist master whose studies and meditations in all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism resulted in the founding of the Gelugpa lineage. 

A young monk offers light on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2016. Photo by Laura Miller.

A young monk offers light on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2016. Photo by Laura Miller.

“Lama Tsongkhapa Day is for us to remember what Lama Tsongkhapa did and then follow his example,” said Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, the abbot of Kopan Monastery and Nunnery. “This verse from a text called An Autobiography of Realization: Fulfilled Wishes (rtogs brjod mdun legs ma) illustrates what Lama Tsongkhapa did:

In the beginning I strove extensively in the vast ocean of learning.
In the middle all the scriptural traditions dawned on me as advice.
In the end I practiced all day and night.

Light offering around the Chenrezig statue at Kopan Monastery on Lama Tsongkhapa Day. Photo courtesy of Kopan Monastery.

Light offering around the Chenrezig statue at Kopan Monastery on Lama Tsongkhapa Day. Photo courtesy of Kopan Monastery.

There are many practices you can do to create merit on this special day! The main practice, recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, is Lama Chöpa. The FPMT Foundation Store makes this practice available in hardcopy and as a downloadable PDF. If you are unable to do Lama Chöpa, Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga is also recommended.

Additionally, there are other practices students are encouraged to do, as you are able. Consider some of the following:

English

French

Tibetan

The main gompa at Kopan Monastery decorated with offering lights on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2016. Photo by Laura Miller.

The main gompa at Kopan Monastery decorated with offering lights on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2016. Photo by Laura Miller.


You can read more about this advice, plus a teaching from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about Lama Tsongkhapa Day:
https://fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/lamatsongkhapa/

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