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Kadam (bka'.gdams, ‘advice’). A school of Tibetan Buddhism which gave rise to the Geluk school under Tsong Khapa in the 15th cent. CE. The Kadam school was founded by Dromdon (ʾbrom.ston), a pupil of Atiśa, with the establishment of the Radreng monastery in 1056, in answer to a need felt by Atiśa and Dromdon for monastic reform and discipline. At this time the saṅgha was not well ordered, and the interpretation of both ‘new’ tantras flowing in from India, and of ‘old’ tantras already in Tibet, was not always well disciplined. The value of tantric practice was not denied by the Kadampas, but its students were given greater guidance as to the symbolic nature of the tantras and most importantly were taught to see them as founded upon the sūtra tradition. The Kadam school became renowned not only for its discipline (which involved four major abstentions—from marriage, intoxication, money, and travel) but also for the magical power of its ritual.

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