New Kadampa Tradition

The New Kadampa Tradition ( NKT) is a recognized non-profit organization and a global Buddhist organization that was founded in 1991 by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in England. In 2003, the words " International Kadampa Buddhist Union " were added to the name. Since then, she is under the name of New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union known (NKT -IKBU ).

The organization of the New Kadampa Tradition follows the Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition International Kadampa Buddhist Union -. This regulation contains a number of guidelines and checks on behavior, election and dismissal of management, teachers and the Spiritual Director and is legally binding.

The NKT - IKBU Signet illustrates this spiritual path:

The purity of the white snow mountain symbolizes the pure spirit of renunciation. The clouds symbolize the loving kindness and Bodhicitta bodhichitta that come from the heart of Maitreya. The sun represents the wisdom that realizes the ultimate truth. These are the three principal aspects of the path resulting from the study and practice of Lamrim and lojong. The two lines that include the words " Kadampa Buddhism ", symbolize the generation and completion stage of Secret Mantra, which are included in Vajrayana Mahamudra.

Founder and history

The founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. He is a Tibetan teacher, a Buddhist monk and scholar who studied at Gelugpa Monastery Sera. Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, two Gelug Tulku, visited him in 1976 Mussourie, India, where he carried out a 16 -year meditation retreat and invited Geshe Kelsang to England. After asking him his spiritual master Trijang Rinpoche, Geshe Kelsang accepted the invitation.

Geshe Kelsang taught the General Program at Manjushri bodies of 1977 until 1987. Subsequently he led from 1987 to 1990 a three - year retreat in Dumfries, Scotland by and wrote several books during this time. Together with other texts that emerged from his years, usually several times held daily briefings at Manjushri Institute, these texts form the basis for the three study programs of the New Kadampa Tradition.

Following his retreat, Geshe Kelsang announced in the spring of 1991, the founding of the New Kadampa Tradition. Legally, it is a registered charity since 1992. Later, the NKT was to add " International Kadampa Buddhist Union " extended (NKT -IKBU ) and was an independent Buddhist tradition. From the Buddhist point of view one can consider the New Kadampa Tradition as a line of spiritual teachings and blessings from teacher to student.

According to the New Kadampa Tradition, Geshe Kelsang has relied in all his actions and teachings completely on his spiritual master Trijang Rinpoche, who was one of the most important teachers of the Gelugpa tradition. So it is in their view, a valid finding that the teachings, study programs and new presentation of the teachings of Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, as transmitted by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the blessings of the lineage possess.

The new presentation of the Buddhist teachings of Je Tsongkhapa and Atisha in the New Kadampa Tradition was created especially for the needs and desires of the modern Western world to meet.

The fact that the NKT considers himself a continuation of the ancient Kadampa tradition of Master Atisha, it thereby makes it clear that she calls her presentation Kadampa Buddhism and the Kadampa Buddhism equates with the ancient Kadampa Tradition ( 10th century in Tibet):

Centres and groups

According to the NKT -IKBU worldwide there are currently more than 200 centers and around 900 local groups, which usually is meet weekly - "Branches " (English branches ) called. Focus of activities in 40 countries worldwide England and the USA; in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are currently 22 centers, all of which are registered as an independent non-profit associations, and about 55 local groups (alternatively called " branch centers " ) as " branches " function of these centers. The activities of the centers and groups is "to publicly introduce the Buddhist faith of the new Kadampa Tradition and in particular to exemplify Buddhist practice through public service. "

There are various types of centers:

  • Dharma centers (English Kadampa Buddhist Centers - KBCs ) offer introductory lectures, study programs and meditation retreats.
  • Kadampa Meditation Centers ( KMC ) g also offer events such as Dharma Celebrations, National Festivals and International festivals next o.
  • Kadampa Buddhism is partly based on a traditional form, others have a modern design.
  • International Retreat Centers ( IRCs) provide facilities for those who want to run short or long retreats.
  • Hotel Kadampa are operated by the NKT -IKBU hotels. They offer a Non smoking and alcohol- free environment.

The centers are open to everyone.

Kadampa Buddhism

Other activities include the installation of the NKT NKT temples. This " Temples for World Peace " or " Kadampa Buddhism " originated in the UK and also in Canada, the U.S. and Spain. Currently arise temple in Brazil, Australia and Italy. Also in Germany is planned an NKT temple. The International Temples Project was founded by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso mid-nineties. His vision is to build in every major city in the world a Kadampa Temple of world peace, devoted to the good of all.

" A Kadampa Buddhism is a special, sacred place where we blessings and powerful impressions can receive in our minds that lead in the future to deep inner peace. Some of them are based on a traditional form and others have a modern design. These temples are dedicated to all the world peace. Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains that a temple essentially represents a Pure Land, as the Tushita Heaven, where Je Tsongkhapa lingers, or the Pure Land of Buddha Heruka and Vajrayogini. Finally the temple. Due to the force of all the pure practice and sincere prayers that were performed on it and the blessings of the holy beings an actual Pure Land "


According to the NKT are the most important teachers of their lineage:

Teaching fundamentals and teaching program

The teaching of the NKT is based on a selection of Gelug teachings that has been handed down Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in accordance with the instructions of his spiritual master Trijang Rinpoche and which are published in the books of the New Kadampa Tradition.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has created three study programs:

  • The General Programme,
  • The basic program and
  • The teacher education program.

To celebrate the launch of the study programs said Geshe Kelsang 1990:

The General Programme introduces the basic Buddhist view, meditation and action. It is offered to all NKT centers.

The basic program includes the following five topics that are based on the Sutra teachings of Buddha and the pertinent commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

The teacher training program consists of twelve subjects, based on the Sutra and Tantra teachings from Buddha and accompanying commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. There are the five themes of the basic program, as well as:

One or more of these programs, you can study at all centers of the New Kadampa Tradition. These programs are offered in the local language.

NKT considers its form of presentation than the modern western culture adapted and practiced a union of Sutra and Tantra.

As a teacher in the NKT exclusively students of the New Kadampa Tradition are admitted who have studied the texts taught and they are required to participate in the teacher education program.


The ordination tradition in the NKT is different from those of other Buddhist groups in so far as it is based on the Mahayana sutras the perfection of wisdom, instead of the Vinaya Sutra Hinayana. According to Geshe Kelsang: " The Sutras of the Perfection of Wisdom are our Vinaya and Lamrim is the commentary. " This tradition is based on the advice from Buddha to his disciple Ananda: "When there is a desire to Ananda, the Sangha, when I'm gone abolish the subordinate and low rules. "

Buddha has pratimoksha given for both lay and ordained and declared several levels of ordination vows. According to the Hinayana schools, such as the Vaibashika, ordination vows are a subtle physical form while they have according to the Mahayana, the nature of a resolve, which is part of the mind. Traditionally, the different levels of ordination were distinguished on the basis of specific, stored vows and the appropriate ceremony. In the NKT, Geshe Kelsang has introduced a simplified tradition of ordination, with 10 vows and a single ordination ceremony for all levels of ordained practitioners. If a person is ordained first, it receives a Rabjung ( preliminary ) ordination; if they improved their renunciation and their ordination deepens, it turns into a Getsul ( sramanera ) ordination; and if their renunciation is spontaneous, it turns into a Gelong ( Bikkhu ) ordination.

The ten vows of NKT ordination as a monk or nun are:

In the ordination Manual Geshe Kelsang says:

The aim of the Vinaya (Tib. Dulwa ) is to " mind control " by higher moral discipline to, as this is the basis for the development of pure concentration ( calm abiding ) and profound wisdom (higher vision). While you will find the first five vows in all Vinaya lines come the second five vows of the Mahayana Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom and his comments, as Atisha's Lamrim text A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. This text in turn refers to Arya Asanga's Bodhisattva levels ( Sanskrit Bodhisattvabhumi ) and lists six "branches" or necessary conditions to attain calm abiding, including 1 Little desire, satisfaction 2, 3 No distracting activities, 4. Reine moral discipline, 5th No distracting ideas.

The purpose of a monastic ordination in the Buddhist tradition is a moral discipline to practice, which allows to achieve calm abiding. Atisha says in his text:

The second group of five vows of NKT ordination is a handy summary of the 253 vows of a fully ordained monk Vinaya. According to Atisha, the founder of the Kadam tradition:

As Nagarjuna says these vows but can be summarized as:

Geshe Kelsang encourages his students to focus their efforts on improving their renunciation and their way of life of the ordained; then it is not necessary Getsul, or to receive Bikkhu vows in another ceremony. He explains that these vows are in today's society simpler to implement.

To support the practice of the ordained in the NKT, keeping twice a month from a Sojong ceremony to purify and renew vows. An ordained person who breaks his vows, the Center for at least one year must leave, can then return with some restrictions, but do not teach or participate in the teacher education program.

The ordained in the NKT give the outward signs of a layman, by cutting off their hair and wear the red and yellow robes of the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa. You will receive an ordination name, which, according to Buddhist tradition is a part of the name of ordination master. In the NKT in 2008 there were over 700 monks and nuns.

Do practitioners in the NKT and the desire they feel ready to do so may contact their teacher. With the approval of the teacher, they can then ask for formal ordination. You can live in a Buddhist center, but this is not a condition for ordination. In general, they are not financially supported by the NKT, some monastics work part - or full-time, some have a sponsored work in a Dharma center.

Religious Holidays in the New Kadampa Tradition

In the NKT both traditional Buddhist holidays are celebrated, as well as some specific to the NKT. The annual holidays are:

  • Day of the Buddha's enlightenment (April 15 )
  • Day of the first turn the Wheel of Dharma ( Sanskrit: Dharmachakra ) ( June 4, 49 days after the Buddha's enlightenment )
  • Buddha's return from heaven (22 September )
  • Je Tsongkhapa Day (October 25 )

Monthly Holidays:

  • Day for Tara Puja (8th of each month )
  • Tsog days ( 10th and 25th of each month )
  • Day for Mahayana precepts ( 15th of each month )
  • Day for protector puja ( 29th of each month )

Special annual holidays in the NKT:

  • NKT Day (the first Saturday in April )
  • International Tempeltag (the first Saturday in November )

In 2004, the holidays were transferred from the Tibetan lunar calendar to the Western solar calendar in the NKT. (eg is committed enlightenment according to the lunar calendar on the 15th day of the fourth month of the day of the Buddha, now April 15 )

The NKT - day commemorates the founding of the NKT and the International Tempeltag serves to remind us of the importance of the construction of Buddhist temples.