Lama Tsongkhapa Day, which this year falls on December 5, is the celebration of the parinirvana and enlightenment of Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the renowned saint, scholar, yogi, teacher, and author from Tibet, the Land of Snows.
Among his many contributions to the Dharma, Lama Tsongkhapa wrote 18 volumes of teachings, including his Lam Rim Chenmo – The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. He also revitalized the monastic code in Tibet, established the annual Great Prayer Festival, and established Ganden Monastery, the first of the great monasteries of the Gelugpa tradition.
A Great Practice Day
All merit (positive potential) accumulated on this day is multiplied 100,000 times. Below are some ways to celebrate and create merit on Lama Tsongkhapa Day:
- Take and keep the Eight Mahayana Precepts for 24 hours.
- Study, meditate, and listen to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings. Two of his short texts are offered online: The Three Principal Aspects of the Path (translation by Lama Zopa Rinpoche) and The Foundation of All Good Qualities (via Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive).
- Make offerings to support the continuation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings. You may also donate to FPMT’s International Merit Box Project, which gives direct grants to more than 200 Dharma projects and initiatives.
- Engage in further practices advised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
- Make many light offerings on your altar.
- Reflect on how the Dharma has influenced your life, rejoice in your fortune, and dedicate the merit for your awakening and for all sentient beings.
Yesterday, December 4, Shantideva Meditation Center joined our friends at Jewel Heart to celebrate Lama Tsongkhapa Day with a special Guru Puja (Lama Chöpa) and Tsog, to honor our lineage gurus. Guru Puja lays the whole path to enlightenment on our mindstream, connects us more strongly to our teachers, and allows us to quickly and effectively accumulate merit and purify negative karma. The practice also restores spiritual vows and commitments that might have degenerated.
To join us for our next Guru Puja (soon to be announced), please visit our website.