About Buddhism

The founder of Buddhism in this world was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. Since then, millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed.

Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind.

He taught methods for gradually overcoming minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience lasting peace and happiness.

These methods work for anyone, in any country, of any age. Once we have gained experience of them for ourselves, we can pass them on to others so they, too, can enjoy the same benefits.

Peace, loving kindness and wisdom is the Buddhist way of life and is just as relevant today as it was when Buddha appeared in ancient India.

More about Buddha

Kadampa Buddhism

The great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (982-1054 AD) was responsible for reintroducing pure Buddhism into Tibet.

Invited by Jangchub Ö, a ruler of Ngari in western Tibet, Atisha was asked to present a Dharma that everybody could follow and that would show how all the paths of Sutra and Tantra could be practiced together.

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.

Although Buddhism had been introduced into Tibet some two hundred years earlier by Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, Buddhist practice in the country had largely been destroyed during the anti-Buddhist purges of the Tibetan king, Lang Darma (circa 836 AD), a follower of Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

New Kadampas

The Kadampa tradition was later promoted in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa (AD 1357-1419) and his followers, who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.

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.

Who is Je Tsongkhapa?

Listen to Gen-la Kelsang Thubten explain who is Je Tsongkhapa.

Unbroken Lineage

One of the outstanding qualities of the Kadampa tradition is that this lineage of instructions has been passed down from realised master to realised master until the present day, meaning that the lineage of these teachings and the blessings they carry are powerful and pure.

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.

Dorjechang Trijang Rinpoche

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s Spiritual Guide

Je Phabongkhapa (Rinpoche)

Trijang Rinpoche’s Spiritual Guide

The Eight Auspicious Symbols

Inside all of the Kadampa World Peace Temples, as well as decorating many Kadampa centres throughout the world, are the Eight Auspicious Symbols.The eight auspicious symbols, together symbolise the spiritual path that leads to freedom from suffering and the permanent inner peace of enlightenment.

The Precious Umbrella symbolises the umbrella of the Buddhist community and teaches us that to make progress on the Buddhist path to enlightenment we should first come under the great umbrella of Buddhism by going for refuge to the Three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

The Precious Fish symbolise peace and harmony, indicating that having come under the umbrella of Buddhism we should always maintain harmony and joy.

The Precious Vase symbolises wealth and encourages us to take the precious jewels of wisdom and compassion from the treasure vase of Kadam Dharma.

The Precious Lotus symbolises purity, encouraging us to enjoy the purity of our mind and actions.

The Precious Conch shell symbolises the Dharma Jewel, encouraging us to listen to precious Dharma teachings and contemplate and meditate on their meaning.

The Precious Indestructible Knot symbolises Buddha’s realisation of omniscient wisdom and encourages us to apply great effort to attain enlightenment.

The Precious Victory Banner symbolises Buddha’s abandonment of delusions and mistaken appearance and encourages us to be victorious over the enemy of our delusions.

The Precious Dharma Wheel encourages us to benefit others by turning the Wheel of Dharma, that is, by giving Dharma teachings. This is our final goal.