Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (tsong kha pa blo bzang grags pa) was born in the Tsongkha (tsong kha) region of Amdo in 1357. His mother was Shingza Acho (shing bza' a chos, d.u.) and his father was Lubum Ge (klu 'bum dge, d.u.). Among the numerous miraculous incidents and omens believed to have taken place surrounding his birth, perhaps the most famous is that of a drop of blood from Tsongkhapa's umbilical cord that is said to have fallen on to the ground, giving rise to a sandalwood tree whose leaves bore symbols related to the Simhanāda manifestation of the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, a deity with whom Tsongkhapa would later be identified. His mother later built a stupa on this spot and over time further structures and temples were added. Today the location of Tsongkhapa's birth is marked by Kumbum Monastery (sku 'bum dgon pa), founded in 1583 by the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 03 bsod nams rgya mtsho, 1543-1588) on the spot of the original stupa.
At the age of three, Tsongkhapa took lay upāsaka vows from the Fourth Karmapa Rolpai Dorje (karma pa 04 rol pa'i rdo rje, 1340-1383) and received the name Kunga Nyingpo (kun dga' snying po). Then at the age of eight he received the novice ordination of a srāmanera, together with the name Lobzang Drakpa (blo bzang grags pa), from the Kadam master Choje Dondrub Rinchen (chos rje don grub rin chen, b. 1309). Dondrub Rinchen, a great practitioner of Vajrabhairava, had been in contact with Tsongkhapa and his family since the boy's birth, and is said to have received prophecies of the child's importance from his own teacher and deity.