Dharmavajra Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Kadampa Buddhism

Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). His followers are known as 'Kadampas'. 'Ka' refers to Buddha's teachings, and 'dam' to Atisha's special Lamrim instructions known as 'the stages of the path to enlightenment'. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha's teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim. The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the 'New Kadampas'.


Transforming daily activities into the path

By integrating their knowledge of all Buddha's teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating this into their everyday lives, Kadampa Buddhists are encouraged to use Buddha's teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment. The great Kadampa Teachers are famous not only for being great scholars but also for being spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity.



The lineage of these teachings, both their oral transmission and blessings, was then passed from Teacher to disciple, spreading throughout much of Asia, and now to many countries throughout the western world. Buddha's teachings, which are known as 'Dharma', are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people's karmic inclinations. The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realised practitioners.

Buddha Shakyamuni Atisha Je Tsongkhapa

Buddha Shakyamuni (Sixth Century BC)

The founder of Buddhism. He performed the twelve principal deeds of an Enlightened being and presented comprehensive teachings on Sutra and Tantra that are the basis of all Buddhist Traditions. Buddha taught how to examine our mind and see which states produce misery and confusion and which states produce health and happiness; sincerely engaging in this process can lead us to the bliss of full enlightenment.

Atisha (982 - 1054 AD)

A great Indian teacher, who re-introduced Buddhism to Tibet during degenerate times. The followers of Atisha are known as 'Kadampas'. Atisha compiled a special presentation of all Buddha's teachings called the 'Lamrim' which is still the main practice of Kadampa Buddhists today. Practitioners of Lamrim take all Buddha's teachings as personal advice and try to apply them to their everyday lives by practising meditation.

Je Tsongkhapa (1357 - 1419 AD)

A Tibetan Master who completely revitalised Buddhist teachings in Tibet. Je Tsongkhapa showed a perfect example of how to build the foundation of the spiritual path, how to progress on that path, and how to complete it. Since then thousands of practitioners have achieved full enlightenment in one life by following the example of Je Tsongkhapa and sincerely practising his teachings.

Je Phabongkhapa Trijang Rinpoche Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Je Phabongkhapa (1878 - 1941 AD)

A Tibetan Master, holder of the lineage of all Buddha's teachings as passed down by generations of great teachers. Je Phabongkhapa was the most highly regarded Gelugpa Teacher of his day and was the Root Guru, or teacher, of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Like previous practitioners of this lineage, he showed a perfect example of how to teach and practice all Buddha's teachings.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (1901 - 1981 AD)

A Tibetan Master, the Heart Disciple of Je Phabongkhapa, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was also the most highly regarded Gelugpa Teacher of his generation and showed a perfect example of how to practice the Buddhist path. He is the Root Guru of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and was the lineage holder of all Buddha's teachings during his life.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche (Born 1931 AD)

A highly respected Tibetan Meditation Master and scholar, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition and the holder of the lineage of all Buddha's teachings as passed down by Atisha, Je Tsongkhapa, Je Phabongkhapa and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. He is now a naturalised British Citizen and lives at Manjushri Buddhist Centre in Cumbria. His tireless and pure example is a source of great inspiration to all of his students world-wide.


Modern Kadampa Buddhism


Through the activities and dedication of the renowned Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism has spread to many countries in recent years. Geshe Kelsang has worked tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by giving extensive teachings, writing many profound texts on Kadampa Buddhism, and founding the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union.