Overview for The Principal Teachings of Buddhism. Tr. by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin with Michael Roach with a Comment
Tsongkapa (1357-1419), also known as Je Rinpoche Lobsang Drakpa, was perhaps the single greatest commentator in the 2,500 year history of Buddhism. He was born in the district of Tsongka in eastern Tibet and took his first vows at a tender age. As a teenager he had already mastered much of the teachings of Buddhism and was sent by his tutors to the great teachings of Buddhism and was sent by his tutors to the great monastic universities of central Tibet. Here he studied under the leading Buddhist scholars of his day; it is said as well that he enjoued mystic visions in which he met and learned from different forms of the Buddha himself. The 18 volumes of Tsongkapa's collected works contain eloquent and incisive commentaries on virtually every major classic of ancient Buddhism, as well as his famed treatises on the "steps of the Path to Buddahod." His students, who included the first Dalai Lama of Tibet, contributed hundereds of their own exposition of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Tsongkapa founded the Great Three monasteries of Tibet. where by custom nearly 25,000 monks have studied the scripturer of Buddhism over the centuries. He also instituted the great Monlam festival, a period of religiuos study and celebration for the entire Tibetan nation. Tsongkapa passed away in his 62nd year, at his home monastery of Ganden in Lhama, the capital of Tibet.