Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
A lifetime devoted to flourishing Modern Buddhism throughout the world
Venerable Geshe-la has devoted his entire life to the learning and then flourishing Buddhist teachings throughout the world. After coming to the West in 1977, he worked very hard to establish a modern presentation of the Kadampa lineage of teachings. His presentation retains all the meanings and insights of Buddha’s original teachings, in a format that is accessible and suitable for modern-day practitioners. Through his great kindness everyone – regardless of nationality, culture, age or gender – now has the opportunity to practice scientifically proven methods for solving the problems of daily life that ultimately lead to true and lasting happiness.
Bringing Pure Buddhadharma to the West
Born in Tibet in 1931 and ordained a Buddhist monk at the age of eight, Geshe Kelsang then studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title “Geshe”, which literally means “spiritual friend”, under the guidance of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, his Spiritual Guide. After leaving Tibet in 1959, he spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayan region and northern India.
In 1977, encouraged by his own Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso accepted an invitation to come to Manjushri Centre in England to teach pure Dharma to the people in the West.
“I can truly say that meeting Trijang Dorjechang made my life meaningful. Through him I came to understand the real meaning of Dharma. My entire ability to teach and all the help I give comes from this Lama.”
Creating a Global Network of Temples and Centers
“For Buddhadharma to flourish throughout the world and the wishes of all living beings to be fulfilled depends totally on the development of qualified Dharma centers. Only Dharma centers provide Dharma teachings, study programs, Dharma books and other necessary conditions. Without qualified Dharma centers there is no possibility of pure Buddhadharma developing.”
In 1991, Geshe-la founded the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union, which now has over 1300 centers and branches around the world, in cities as far afield as Perth, Australia, Queretaro, Mexico and Durban, South Africa. There are also a number of retreat centers that have been established throughout the world, including in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and USA.
Sharing Ancient Buddhist Wisdom with the Modern World
'My books are commentaries to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and his teachings are commentaries to Buddha's teachings. So these books are Buddha’s teachings. People may say that I am the author of “Joyful Path of Good Fortune” but in reality it is Je Tsongkhapa’s teaching. Dharmapala Dorje Shugden gave encouragement and energy to produce such a book, and helped to gather the necessary conditions and dispel obstacles, but the teachings themselves came from Je Tsongkhapa’s wisdom.”
Geshe-la has written 24 authoritative books and composed over 50 sadhanas, which have been translated into many different languages.
Creating the Foundations for Dharma to Flourish into the Future
Geshe Kelsang has established Kadampa study programs in more than 40 countries.
He has trained thousands of qualified lay and ordained teachers who are teaching throughout the world.
He has created a schedule of festivals that enable the international Kadampa community to come together every year.
He has built art studios for producing qualified statues that are featured in all Kadampa centers and temples.