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The Jonang (Tibetan: ཇོ་ནང་, Wylie: Jo-nang) is one of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its origins in Tibet can be traced to early 12th century master Yumo Mikyo Dorje, but became much wider known with the help of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, a monk originally trained in the Sakya school. The Jonang school generated a number of renowned Buddhist scholars, but its most famous was Taranatha (1575–1634), who placed great emphasis on the Kalachakra Tantra.

The Jonang school was widely thought to have become extinct in the late 17th century at the hands of the 5th Dalai Lama, who forcibly annexed the Jonang monasteries to his Gelug school, declaring them heretical. After this, Jonang Kalachakra teachings were absorbed into the Gelug school. Taranatha's influence on Gelug thinking continues even to this day in the teaching of the present 14th Dalai Lama, who actively promotes initiation into Kalachakra.

The Jonangpa were until recently thought to be an extinct heretical sect. However, the Jonang re-established their religio-political center in Golok, Nakhi and Mongol areas in Kham and Amdo centered at Dzamthang Monastery and have continued practicing uninterrupted to this day. An estimated 5,000 monks and nuns of the Jonang tradition practice today in these areas and at the edges of historic Gelug influence. However, their teachings were limited to these regions until the Rimé movement of the 19th century encouraged the study of non-Gelug schools of thought and practice.


Shentong (Tibetan: གཞན་སྟོང་, Wylie: gzhan stong, also transliterated zhäntong or zhentong), literally "other-emptiness" is an essentialist sub-school found in Tibetan Buddhism, which was systematized and articulated under that name by Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen.

Shentong is closely related to the Great Madhyamaka and Yogācāra schools and the concept of Buddha-nature. It interprets śūnyatā (emptiness) in a specific way, stating that there is a substratum or essence underlying phenomenal reality, which does inherently exist, and is "empty" of all qualities other than its own inherent existent. This view has many points of contact with the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky in regards to the absolute.

Shentong was suppressed by the dominant Gelug school for several hundred years, both for political and doctrinal reasons. This view has being traditionally supported by Lamas of the Jonang tradition (notably Jamgon Kongtrul, a nineteenth-century ecumenical (rimé) scholar), although after the suppression of the Jonang school in the seventeenth century, various shentong views were propagated by Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lamas. Recently, the eminent Kagyu Lamas Kalu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche supported this view.

See also

Online resources