The Geden tradition of Tibetan Buddhism also known as the Gelugpa School was founded in the 14th century by the highly revered Buddhist master, scholar and yogi Je Tsongkhapa. Tsongkhapa's legacy is tremendous and he is credited with having revitalised many teaching lineages which would otherwise have become extinct. Lelung Rinpoche is now spearheading an important project to preserve Tsongkhapa's lineage for future generations.


In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, pure lineage transmission is of paramount importance, since it ensures a stream of undiluted blessing from the Buddha himself to contemporary students. The purity of lineage teaching is considered essential for the attainment and realisation of Buddhahood. Sadly, in the years since 1959, when Tibetans began to leave Tibet and settle in around the world, many precious teachings have been lost due to lack of pure transmission. This process continues as older Tibetan lamas pass away, without having properly transmitted the teachings they hold to the younger generation.


Je Tsongkhapa's legacy consists of two parts: the Father or (Phacho) teachings, and the Son (Bhucho) teachings. The Father teachings are the root texts and contain the writings of Je Tsongkhapa and his two main disciples. The Son teachings include works by direct disciples of the three 'Fathers' along with the commentaries by Indian Buddhist scholars. Although different schools of Tibetan Buddhism each follow their own set of unique traditions laid out by their own founders, the root of all these traditions can be traced to the teacher of all teachers Buddha Shakyamuni himself. Je Tsongkhapa, like all other accomplished masters studied the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni extensively.




The goal of the Geden Phacho Bhucho project is to preserve the sanctity and purity of the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni for present and future generations. The project has the following objectives:

  • To compile a definitive reference catalogue of all the lineages belonging to the Geden Tradition
  • To create a programme of oral transmissions of the Geden lineages based on advice of highly qualified masters
  • To facilitate the oral transmission of all known Geden Lineages to the most appropriate students


Each objective contains a variety of activities, the broad framework of which is outlined in three phases:

  • Phase One. Compilation of the reference catalogue by experienced researchers and fieldwork
  • Phase Two. Identification of the lineage holder/master and the disciple and the transmission of lineages. Rare teachings held by authentic lineage holders will be prioritised
  • Phase Three. Completion and follow-up. Once the existing lineages are successfully transmitted from their holders to qualified students, the project will be said to be complete, but ongoing maintenance will be required to keep the reference catalogue up to date.



The project was conceived by H.E. Lelung Rinpoche and is endorsed by many great masters of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. H.H. Dalai Lama is the Supreme Patron of the project and Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche is the Honorary Patron. Please see the full project description for a full list of patrons and advisors. Without the blessings and guidance of these spiritual masters it would be impossible to embark on this journey.

Download detailed project description in PDF format (Updated April 2008)