Collage of Ven Geshe kelsand Gyatso, buddhist monk and founder of the New Kadampa Tradition of modern Buddhism

Founder & Tradition

Founder – Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

The Founder and Spiritual Guide of Vajrapani KMC is Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche (1931-2022), affectionately known as ‘Venerable Geshe-la’. Born in Tibet, from the age of eight Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas.

Buddhist meditation master Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso teaching in the Kadampa Temple at Manjushri Center

In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England, where he lived , giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples, establishing the New Kadampa Tradition and dedicating his life to spreading Buddha’s message of universal compassion and wisdom to everyone throughout the world, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist.

I pray that everyone who reads my books may experience deep inner peace, or peace of mind and accomplish the real meaning of human life.

Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

A world-renowned meditation master and Teacher, he is a truly international Teacher who presents Buddha’s teachings in ways that anyone, regardless of nationality, culture, or age, can easily understand and apply to their modern daily lives. Through helping people to integrate the pure and life-transforming teachings of Buddha into their daily experience, Venerable Geshe-la has enabled them to solve their personal problems and to discover a deep and lasting inner peace and happiness. Inspired by his extraordinary vision, a global infrastructure of Temples, centres, books, teaching, meditation and Teacher Training programmes, for this and future generations has arisen, creating a truly international Buddhist tradition that benefits all living beings equally and without discrimination. Venerable Geshe-la is the Spiritual Guide of many thousands of people, whose hearts have been touched by his extraordinary wisdom and pure example.

Statue of buddhist meditation master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

All the teachings and activities of Vajrapani Centre are inspired by and can be seen as a manifestation of the compassionate heart of this remarkable holy being. The legacy of his life’s work enriches and will continue to enrich the lives of people of all nationalities and cultures throughout the world.

New Kadampa Tradition

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 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 1100 centres and groups offering Buddha’s wisdom and advice 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 Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
The purpose of the NKT-IKBU is to increase the Buddhist faith throughout the world. 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.

Spiritual Director – Gen-la Dekyong

Gen-la Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union. She studied and practiced for many years with her Spiritual Guide Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, from whom she received many transmissions.
As the most senior teacher in the tradition Gen-la teaches throughout the world at major events. She is a fully qualified teacher of both Sutra and Tantra and is greatly admired and deeply loved by thousands of people worldwide.
Her teachings are profound and inspiring, and yet always extremely practical.

International Festivals

Every year the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) organises three International Festivals of modern Kadampa Buddhism taught by senior Teachers. These Festivals provide a precious opportunity to study and practice the special presentation of modern Buddhism taught by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the Founder of the NKT-IKBU. The Festivals consist of teachings, empowerments and meditations, with short retreats to finish with. Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of experience. Besides the teaching and meditation program, the Festivals also provide a precious opportunity to meet and practice with like-minded people from all over the world.

Lots of people enjoying buddhist teachings and meditating in the beautiful kadampa buddhist temple.

The international programme of teachings is the doorway through which people of the modern world can enter the great treasury of compassion and wisdom that is Kadampa Buddhism.

Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

International Temples Project

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s compassionate intention is embodied in the International Temples Project (ITP), a unique international fund dedicated to public benefit. The ITP enables a range of facilities and services that enable people from all walks of life to gain special practical experience of the peace that comes when Buddhism is integrated with modern daily life. The scope and activities of the International Temples Project are constantly evolving in response to the ever-changing demands of busy lives.
The first Kadampa Temple for World Peace was opened by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in 1997 at Manjushri KMC in the UK. This modern Temple based on traditional designs was designed by Venerable Geshe-la, who oversaw every stage of its construction and adornment.

Kadampa Buddhist temple at Manjushri centre at dusk with spectacular skyline

Since then five more Kadampa Temples for World Peace have been completed at:
KMC New York, KMC Brazil, KMC Portugal, IKRC Grand Canyon and KMC Spain.
These Temples are designed to accommodate large numbers of people for Festivals and Dharma Celebrations and also to be the hub for residential communities both in and around the host center.

Kadampa Buddhist Temples take many forms. Some are custom built according to a special design developed by Geshe Kelsang based on traditional Buddhist architecture, such as the Mother Temple at Manjushri KMC in the Lake District, and others are adapted from existing buildings.
Whatever form they take, Kadampa Temples are holy places open to everyone to enjoy. They are Pure Lands in our troubled world – offering doorways to inner peace for all who visit them.

Just seeing these precious temples places on our mindstream powerful potentialities to meet holy dharma and complete the path to liberation

Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso