Famous Buddhist Teachers

Gampopa | The founder of Kagyu

Prior to endless aeons when Lord Gampopa was a Bodhisattva, he accumulated the immeasurable merits (accumulation of virtues and accumulation of insight) in the presence of many Buddhas. He received all the definitive teachings from Tathāgata Śākyamuni Buddha. Later then, by the name of the Jīvaka (Bhikṣu Physician) he was known to the people of Tibet. He lived with 500 perfect and imperfect disciples, receiving...

Buddha-Carita | Aśvaghoṣa

The Buddha-carita (Buddha’s Life) is a complete biography of Buddha Śākyamuni, from his birth until after his death, when his relics were distributed. The text was composed by Aśvaghoṣa (early second century C.E.), the main author of Kāvya literature (poetic prose or ornate poetry) before Kālidāsa (late fourth–early fifth century C.E.). The author, Aśvaghoṣa, was a Brāhman from Sāketa in Central India who converted to...

Life of Buddha Shakyamuni

On the eve of Vesakha in 588 BC, while meditating with mind tranquillized and purified, in the first watch of night (6pm-10pm)Siddhartha Śākyamuni developed that supernormal knowledge which enabled him to remember his past lives. In the second watch (10pm-2am), Buddha developed the clairvoyant supernormal vision, which enabled him to see the death and rebirth of beings. In the last watch (2am-6am), he developed the...

Rennyo, his life and work

Rennyo (1415-1499) was a descendant of Shinran and the eighth chief abbot (monshu) of the Hongwanji in Kyoto. In 1457, when he was 43, he became the chief abbot and continued his missionary activity in the Omi region. He started a unique way of transmitting the Dharma through the use of letters, which were widely read among the followers and contributed enormously to the dissemination...

Shinran Shonin | The Pure Land Patriarch

Shinran Shonin , the Buddhist Teacher from Japan of 13th century were probably the most significant propounder of the teachings on Buddha Amida and Nembutsu or tradition of chanting Namu Amida Butsu ("Adoration to Buddha Amitāyus"), the founder of Jōdo Shinshū or "True Pure Land School” tradition in Japanese Buddhism. We think of Master Shinran when we think about Buddha Amida (Amitabha) and his Pure...

Marpa Lotsawa or Marpa Translator - is famous as one of the fathers of Tibetan Buddhism in General and Kagyu tradition in particular. Marpa also known as a teacher of the famous yogi Milarepa. During his lifetime in 11th century he traveled 3 times to India, Nalanda Buddhist University and brought the best Vajrayana teachings and initiations to Tibet, carefully translated many tantric texts and...

Sixteenth Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was born in 1924 in the cave of Guru Rinpoche. He was learning from the best teachers of his time, visited many holy places in Nepal and Tibet associated with the names of Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche. 16th Karmapa was taking an active part in part in Tibet's resistance when Chinese communist army was invading Tibet, but whe he...

Fifteenth Karmapa Khakyab Dorje was born in 1871. During his lifetime he was studying with the best teachers of his time, revealing hidden teachings, building and refurbishing monasteries. Khakyab Dorje paid his first visit to Kingdom of Bhutan and gave many Dharma teachings there. On his return from Bhutan he marries to several wives, gives teachings to many new incarnations of Rinpoches, including young Situpa,...

Fourteenth Karmapa Thegchog Dorje was born in Kham in Salmo Gang – a village owned by Danang family. This auspicious event took place in year of Fire Snake (1798). While his mother was pregnant, she was seeing extraordinary dreams, predicting the birth of Teachers incarnation. In the day of his birth rainbows appeared in the sky and flowers blossomed, even it was in mid-winter. The...

Thirteenth Karmapa Dudul Dorje was born in Chawa Drong – a village located in four days journey from Lhasa, - on eighth month in year of Water Bull (1733). Shortly before this auspicious event Lama Katog Tsewang Norbu had a vision in which this village clearly was seen as a birthplace of new Karmapa. Once in a dream Dharma Protector Mahakala appeared to him, the...