What kind of Buddhism will I learn here?
How do I know these teachings are legitimate?
“The sun of real happiness shines in your life when you start to cherish others” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Preserving the Mahayana Tradition
Vajrapani Institute belongs to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service. The FPMT provides integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. It is committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion. Working to help human beings fulfill this potential are the FPMT meditation, retreat and study centers, monasteries, publishing houses, businesses and students.
The FPMT organization is based on the Gelug Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsong Khapa of Tibet as taught by its founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and its spiritual director, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. The organization strives to follow the example and inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his compassionate service to humanity.
Of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said:
“Rinpoche is someone who follows my guidance sincerely, very expansively and with one hundred percent trust. He possesses unwavering faith and pure samaya; not only has he pure samaya and faith, but whatever I instruct, Zopa Rinpoche has the capability to accomplish it. So whatever dedications Lama Zopa Rinpoche makes, I also pray to accomplish this and you should do the same thing….
…I would like to thank all the people working in Rinpoche’s organization… I would like to request you to continue. Rinpoche works with such determination and great sincerity in the service of Buddha’s teachings and sentient beings, it’s important that we all combine our efforts…”
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The Gelug Buddhist tradition traces its linage, teacher to student, back to the ancient university of Nalanda in India. One of the first residential universities in the world, Nalanda was the preeminent site of learning for its time. The Buddhist traditions that sprang from it are characterized by their intricate scholarship and sophisticated practice.
Every one of our teachers must be approved by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the International Office of the FPMT. This ensures that every teaching given at Vajrapani, as well as the other FPMT centers worldwide, is pure and correct within the Gelug tradition.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the current head of the Gelug tradition and the FPMT takes its lead from him. Lama Zopa Rinpoche, our spiritual director is a devoted student of His Holiness.
“The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.” – His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
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