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China tightens security in Lhasa as Tibetans gather for religious anniversary

December 30, 2014

December 27, 2013 - The Chinese government has stepped up security across Tibet’s capital Lhasa as local residents and pilgrims gather to commemorate the death anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, a 14th century Buddhist scholar and founder of Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, on Thursday and Friday. Tibetans commemorate Je Tsogkhapa’s death anniversary on 24th and 25th day of the 10th lunar month.

Surveillance of telecommunications and restrictions on movement of pilgrims and local Tibetans have been increased. Policemen and army in plain clothes have been deployed on the rooftops of Ramoche Tsuglagkhang and Jokhang, two most sacred Buddhist temples in Tibet, Tibet Times reported.

Tibetans visiting Tsuglagkhang for prayers on the eve of the anniversary faced severe restriction due to heavy deployment of security forces in and around the temple.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama pays homage to Je Tsonkhapa

The Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, today homage to Je Tsongkhapa on the third day of his teaching on the latter’s 18 Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) Commentaries at Sera Monastery in southern India.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the best tribute we can pay to him is to learn about his spiritual accomplishments and put into practise his teachings in our daily lives. 

Expressing concern over the sectarian violence taking place in different parts of the world, His Holiness underscored the importance of maintaining respect and harmony among different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. 

The Gelug tradition, founded by Je Tsongkhapa (357-1419), has its root in the Kadampa tradition, founded by Bengali scholar Atisha Dipankar. This school stressed the importance of strictly following the monastic discipline and scholarship as a basis for religious practice.

In 1409 Tsongkhapa founded the monastic University of Gaden in Lhasa. Subsequently Drepung and Sera monastic universities were founded by two of his principal disciples, making them the three biggest monasteries in Tibet. The head of the Gelug school, known as the Gaden Tripa (Gaden Throne Holder), is appointed on the basis of scholarship and seniority. The current Gaden Tripa is His Eminence Rizong Rinpoche.

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