The Lives of Tibetan Monks Part I

The Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) order is the largest Tibetan Buddhist order. It is lead by the Dalai Lama and was founded by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), a lama who established a monastery at Ganden. The name Yellow Hat refers to the distinctive yellow headdress adopted by the Dge-lugs-pa to distinguish themselves from the Karma-pa sect, whose monks wear red hats.

Gelug(pa), “Way of Virtue”. Originally a reformist movement, this tradition is particularly known for its emphasis on logic and debate. Its spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and its temporal one the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion

Skepticism is an important aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, an attitude of critical skepticism is encouraged to promote abilities in analytic meditation. In favour of skepticism towards Buddhist doctrines in general, Tibetans are fond of quoting sutra to the effect that one should test the Buddha’s words as one would the quality of gold.

There is a long history of oral transmission of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. Oral transmissions by lineage holders traditionally can take place in small groups or mass gatherings of listeners

The Dalai Lama is a Buddhist leader of religious officials of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word Далай “Dalai” meaning “Ocean” and the Tibetan word བླ་མ ་”Blama” (with a silent b) meaning “chief” or “high priest.” “Lama” is a general term referring to Tibetan Buddhist teachers.

The person from whom one hears the teaching should have heard it as one link in a succession of listeners going back to the original speaker: the Buddha in the case of a sutra or the author in the case of a book.


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