About Kadampa Buddhism
The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist study and meditation centres founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in 1991 to offer the practical wisdom of Kadampa Buddhism to the people of our modern world.
Through Geshe Kelsang’s tireless activities and kindness there are now over 1200 centres and groups offering accessible courses in buddhism and meditation to people in 40 countries across the world.
The NKT-IKBU follows the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism handed down in an unbroken lineage from Buddha Shakyamuni through the ancient Kadampa teachers Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa and introduced into the West by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
The purpose of the NKT-IKBU is to increase the Buddhist faith throughout the world, to introduce the Buddhist faith and practice of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly, and to exemplify contemporary Buddhist practices through public service. It is an entirely independent Buddhist tradition that has no political affiliations.
The NKT-IKBU is an international non-profit organization registered in England as a charitable company.
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). His followers are known as ‘Kadampas’. Ka refers to Buddha’s teachings, and dam to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as ‘the stages of the path to enlightenment’. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim. The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.
The lineage of these teachings, both their oral transmission and blessings, was then passed from Teacher to disciple, spreading throughout much of Asia, and now to many countries throughout the western world. Buddha’s teachings, which are known as ‘Dharma’, are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people’s karmic inclinations. The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism
Through the activities and dedication of the renowned Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism has spread to many countries in recent years. Geshe-la has worked tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by giving extensive teachings, writing many books on Kadampa Buddhism, establishing the International Temples Project and founding the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union.