Today, Saturday December 8, is Je Tsongkapa’s Day on the Tibetan calendar. This is a day to honour and celebrate our teachers.
Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419) is Tibetan Buddhism’s greatest teacher. Known as The King of the Dharma, Je Tsongkapa is unparalleled in his acheivements as a spiritual practitioner, teacher, scholar, author, debater, and more. A man of a thousand different faces, who mastered many different paths. He was the teacher of His Holiness the First Dalai Lama, and founder of the Gelupka school of Buddhism, the lineage of all the Dalai Lamas to the present day.
A traditional offering to our teachers on this day is 1000 lamps, to signify the light that Je Tsongkapa and our lineage teachers shine on the path to freedom, banishing darkness, suffering and ignorance with each and every teaching. Don’t despair if this is beyond your means or ability. In our minds, we have within our power the ability to give anything and everything that we can conceive of. When we do so, we also plant powerful seeds towards actually becoming beings who have an unlimited capacity to give to others.
On this day, we can reflect with gratitude on all the teachers who have graced our lives – those who taught us to walk and talk, to read, those who taught us important life lessons along the way, and those who have shone their wisdom on how to live a meaningful life. How have they changed our lives? What would our lives be like without their presence? Today is an auspicious day to ask them to continue to teach us in all the ways that they do, and to stay in our lives always.