Constitutes the fabric of a Tibetan Buddhist's daily practice, but no practice of tantra can be successful without adherence to the trantric precepts, or vows. Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama's tradition is perhaps the greatest philosopher ever produced by Tibet's Buddhist culture.
Tsongkhapa Losang Dragpa (1357-1419) is arguably the finest scholar-practitioner produced by the Buddhism of Tibet. Renowned for both his written works and his meditative accomplishments, he founded the Gelug school, which produced the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. Gareth Sparham was a monk for more than twenty years and an oral interpreter for many learned lamas while living in India. He holds a PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia. The author and translator of numerous works, many focusing on the writings of Tsongkhapa, he has taught Tibetan language at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of California at Berkeley. He lives with his wife in Walnut Creek, California. Jeffrey Hopkins is Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, where he taught Tibetan Studies and Tibetan language for more than thirty years. He received a BA magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1963, trained for five years at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (now the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center) in New Jersey, and received a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973. From 1979 to 1989 he served as His Holiness the Dalai Lama's chief interpreter into English on lecture tours in the U.S., Canada, Southeast Asia, Great Britain, and Switzerland. He has published more than twenty-five books, including Meditation on Emptiness, a seminal work of English language scholarship on Tibetan Madhyamaka thought, as well as translations of works by Tsongkhapa, Dolpopa, and His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. At the University of Virginia he founded programs in Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies and served as Director of the Center for South Asian Studies for twelve years.