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Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => Gelug => Topic started by: AspiringMonk on August 12, 2016, 12:48:58 pm

Title: Shrine Setup
Post by: AspiringMonk on August 12, 2016, 12:48:58 pm
Greetings,

I am in the process of setting up my shrine and I would like to know where to place my Manjushri statue and whether hanging a Tsongkhapa thangka behind the shrine is acceptable. I know that the Buddha is to be the main focus of the shrine and was wondering if having the Tsongkhapa thangka behind it would remove the focus on the Buddha.

Title: Re: Shrine Setup
Post by: Matibhadra on August 12, 2016, 05:02:49 pm
Greetings,

I am in the process of setting up my shrine and I would like to know where to place my Manjushri statue and whether hanging a Tsongkhapa thangka behind the shrine is acceptable. I know that the Buddha is to be the main focus of the shrine and was wondering if having the Tsongkhapa thangka behind it would remove the focus on the Buddha.

The greatness of Tsongkhapa is in it that he clearly and faithfully explained all of the Buddha's teachings without ever contradicting them. Tsongkhapa carefully and stringently authenticated every available teaching in order to make sure that it originated from the Buddha. Therefore, all of the lineages transmitted by him are guaranteed to have come from the Buddha.  For such reasons he is even called the “Second Buddha”, although, as opposed to Padmasambhava, no one ever felt the need to claim him to be “higher than the Buddha”.

Therefore, focusing on Tsongkhapa is by no means different from focusing on the Buddha, and there is no way that the image of Tsongkhapa could ever remove the focus on the Buddha; rather, it can only strengthen and reinforce such focus.

As to the placement of Manjushri, I would say that it should be the noblest possible, but without taking the centrality of the Buddha, since as a bodhisattva he performed the role of a disciple of the Buddha.
Title: Re: Shrine Setup
Post by: AspiringMonk on August 14, 2016, 08:17:55 am
Greetings,

I am in the process of setting up my shrine and I would like to know where to place my Manjushri statue and whether hanging a Tsongkhapa thangka behind the shrine is acceptable. I know that the Buddha is to be the main focus of the shrine and was wondering if having the Tsongkhapa thangka behind it would remove the focus on the Buddha.


The greatness of Tsongkhapa is in it that he clearly and faithfully explained all of the Buddha's teachings without ever contradicting them. Tsongkhapa carefully and stringently authenticated every available teaching in order to make sure that it originated from the Buddha. Therefore, all of the lineages transmitted by him are guaranteed to have come from the Buddha.  For such reasons he is even called the “Second Buddha”, although, as opposed to Padmasambhava, no one ever felt the need to claim him to be “higher than the Buddha”.

Therefore, focusing on Tsongkhapa is by no means different from focusing on the Buddha, and there is no way that the image of Tsongkhapa could ever remove the focus on the Buddha; rather, it can only strengthen and reinforce such focus.

As to the placement of Manjushri, I would say that it should be the noblest possible, but without taking the centrality of the Buddha, since as a bodhisattva he performed the role of a disciple of the Buddha.


Thank you for the advise. Here is a link to an image of my shrine. Any comments are welcome.

http://imgur.com/HRIuKVL (http://imgur.com/HRIuKVL)
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