SOFIA— Geshe Dakpa Jampa, a senior lama from Drepung Loseling Monastic University—one of the institutes of the Gelug School—, is visiting Moscow from 31 March–30 June to give teachings on mind training.
Geshe Dakpa Jampa was born in 1970 in Hunsur, a town located in Mysore district in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. In 1992, he took full monastic vows and became a gelong (monk) at Drepung Loseling Monastic University, in India. Drepung Loseling is one of the seven colleges of Drepung Monastery. The others are along with Gomang, Deyang, Ngagpa, Shagkor, Gyelwa, and Dulwa.
In 2002, after many years of intense study of Buddhist philosophy, Geshe Dakpa Jampa attained the highest level of education in the Gelug tradition, known as geshe lharampa, which is equivalent to a doctorate degree and is regarded as the most prestigious honor in the Tibetan Buddhist world. Drepung is one of only three monasteries, along with Ganden and Sera, with the authority to award this degree.
Geshe Dakpa Jampa is a resident teacher at Ganden Tendar Ling, a Buddhist Center in Moscow, which is a branch of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), whose spiritual leader is Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
On 31 March, Geshe Dakpa Jampa performed a ritual of the Medicine Buddha and started a series of teachings on the commentary on the classical Mahayana mind training text (Tib. lojong) called The Wheel of Sharp Weapons (Tib. Lojong Tshoncha Khorlo). Lojong Tshoncha Khorlo was composed by the 9th century Indian Buddhist master Dharmarakshita, who taught the great Indian teacher Atisha (982-1054) —an important figure in establishing the second wave of Buddhism in Tibet. The mind training teachings are part of the new module of basic Buddhist programs organized by Ganden Tendar Ling at the Open World Center, which will continue every Wednesday and Saturday until the end of June.
The basic Buddhist program is one of the most fundamental and advanced educational courses available at the various international FPMT centers. It is a five-year educational program, similar to the Tibetan monastic education and is based on the study of the root texts and their commentaries. It aims to provide an in-depth understanding of all stages and realizations on the path to enlightenment.
At the end of the module the participants can pass the exam and obtain a certificate. Students who have passed the entire basic program, and who pass the exams and fulfilled the practice requirements, will have an opportunity to become certified teachers with the right to teach in the FPMT centers, worldwide.
During his previous visits to Moscow, Geshe Dakpa Jampa gave other important Mahayana teachings. In 2016, he taught a commentary on the Bodhicharyavatara—a classical guide to the path of Bodhisattva, written by the great Indian master Shantideva (685-763). And in 2017, the Gelug teacher explained The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path or Lamrim Chenmo, one of the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist classics, written by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), the founder of the Gelug School.