Setting An Institution Of Gaden Tripa to Preserve Gelug Tradition

In an interview to one of the most eminent Tibetan scholars, Professor Samdong Rinpoche for Mandala Magazine, he has spoken about the concerns from His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the future of Tibetan Gelug tradition and the plans to preserve it. He has explained that His Holiness has suggested to set up an institution of the Gaden Tripa for a smooth future administration.

Gelug sect of the Tibetan buddhism founded by Lama Tsongkhapa is majorly headed by the Gaden Tripa. He is the head of the three largest monasteries of Tibet i.e., Sera, Drepung and Gaden, democratically elected to the position every seven years. Besides these three monasteries, there is Tashi Lhunpo headed by Panchen Lamas and other large monasteries like Tashi Khyil, Tashi Gomang etc. that constitutes the Gelug tradition.

The interview explains that threats to the survival of the traditions of Tibetan buddhism comes our very existence in the diaspora. In Tibet such a threat of survival to these traditions were not heard of. Currently, professor explains that the monasteries are being filled with Himalayan-region buddhists who are in the end very limited in numbers and that is what is creating the worries of survival.

Therefore, the officials are working on implementing the setting up of an institution of the Gaden Tripa. Since the position is held by a person for just a period of seven years, it faces a problem of maintaining continuity of administration. However, if an institution is set up, the administrative functioning of the institution should be carried out smoothly and continuously despite periodic change of the hold of the position of the Gaden Tripa.

Yeshi Paljor

Editor at Tibetan Journal, Yeshi Paljor is a computer engineer by profession.

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