The Gelug, Gelug-pa, dGe Lugs Pa, dge-lugs-pa or Dgelugspa is the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader. The first monastery he established was named Ganden, and to this day the Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. Allying themselves with the Mongols as a powerful patron, the Gelug emerged as the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet since the end of the 16th century.
" Ganden" is the Tibetan rendition of the Sanskrit name " Tushita", the Pure land associated with Maitreya Buddha. At first, Tsongkhapa's school was called "Ganden Choluk" meaning "the Spiritual Lineage of Ganden". By taking the first syllable of 'Ganden' and the second of 'Choluk' this was abbreviated to "Galuk" and then modified to the more easily pronounced "Gelug".