The new Kadampa movement or NKT, comes from the ancient Kadampa Movement founded by Atisha (982-1054CE). The Kadampa movement is derived from Mahayana Buddhism. Atisha was mostly responsible for Buddhism being re-introduced to Tibet in the eleventh century. Although Buddhism had been introduced at least two hundred years before by Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, Buddhist practice had been mostly destroyed during the anti-Buddhist purges of the Tibetan king, Lang Darma (circa 836 AD). Lang Darma was a follower of the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, called Bön. Invited by a ruler of Ngari in the west of Tibet, Atisha was asked to present a Dharma that everybody could follow. In response, Atisha wrote the original Lamrim text that has served as the basis for all later Lamrim instructions. ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha’s Tantra and Sutra teachings, ‘dam’ refers to Atisha’s special instructions or Lamrim. After Atisha's first practises, three lineages of the Kadam tradition developed. The Kadam Shungpawas who study the most extensively, the Kadam Lamrimpas, who study less extensively and the Kadam Manngagpas who study the least extensively. However, they all have Lamrim as their main practice. The Kadam lineages were passed down through generations of famous Teachers, who gathered them together, and on the instruction of Buddha Manjushri, established the Kadam Dharma. The three Kadam lineages, Kadam Shungpawas, Kadam Lamrimpas and Kadam Manngagpas are called the Old Kadam lineages. From the time of Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) to the present day the lineages are called The New Kadam lineages.
The New Kadampa movement was founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Geshe-la, as he is called by his students, is responsible for the revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time. From the age of eight, Geshe-la studied in the great monastic universities in Tibet and through his spiritual teacher, Trijang Rinpoche, he gained the title ‘Geshe’ literally meaning... [continues]
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