OUR LINEAGE

Mahamudra Centre is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) and follows the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, as taught by our founding teachers Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.

This tradition is followed in many of the great monastic universities re-established in southern India after thousands of monks were forced to leave Tibet. It is based on the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa (also known as Je Rinpoche), a revered Tibetan saint who received teachings on wisdom directly from Manjushri. His most famous text is the Lamrim Chenmo, which extensively outlines the whole graduated path to enlightenment.

The Mahayana tradition, or the bodhisattva path, emphasises the prime importance of the bodhicitta motivation: the intention to attain full enlightenment in order to benefit other beings by bringing them to enlightenment.

 

Mahayana practitioners listen, reflect, and meditate on equanimity, loving kindness and compassion to develop this highest intention, and also to develop the wisdom to realise the nature of reality. Through the practice of the six perfections and deity yoga, they then attain full enlightenment.

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His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,

Spiritual leader of Tibet

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for advocating peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people”.

His Holiness has travelled to and given Buddhist teachings in more than 67 countries. He has received over 150 awards, honorary doctorates and prizes in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books.

His Holiness has held dialogues with heads of different religions and participated in many events promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding. Since the mid-1980s, His Holiness has developed a dialogue with modern scientists in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, quantum physics and cosmology. This has led to a historic collaboration between Buddhist monks and world-renowned scientists to try to help individuals achieve peace of mind.

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Lama Thubten Yeshe, Founder of the FPMT.

Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera Monastic University, Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners.

In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching and meditation centres, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) began to develop.

Thousands of pages of Lama’s teachings have been made available as transcripts, books and audio recordings by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, and most are freely available through the Archive’s website.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of FPMT

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, born in Thami in the Mount Everest region of Nepal in 1946, was recognised as the reincarnation of the great yogi Kunsang Yeshe, the beloved Lawudo Lama. At the age of ten, Rinpoche went to Tibet to study until the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to leave to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, India where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his teacher. 

In 1967 the Lamas returned to Nepal where they began teaching Westerners. Over the next few years they built Kopan and reestablish the Lawudo Gompa.

The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) was established at the end of 1975. Lama Yeshe served as the organization’s spiritual director until he passed away in 1984, at which time Rinpoche took over.

Since then, under Rinpoche’s peerless guidance, the FPMT has continued to flourish. While almost constantly traveling and teaching, he has overseen the spiritual activities of the worldwide network of 160-plus centres, projects and social services that form the FPMT.