According to the Gelug lineages that practice VY and Ganden Chod, they believe that these were passed down by Tsongkhapa.
Perhaps but this is a thorny issue. With Vajrayogini it is a little bit easier, since LTK did compose commentaries to the Chakrasamvara systems of Luipa and Ghantapa and touches on her practice in those commentaries. But to prove Ganden Chod comes from Tsongkhapa would be a touchy thing. And it is no coincidence that there was a great controversy when students of lamas enthusiastic about the practice tried to introduce it at the monasteries.
Due to lineage developments there are those who insist that Vajrayogini was the most important, heart practice of Tsongkhapa. But the majority of Lamas I've asked, including former abbots of the tantric college, have stated that it is very clear it was Guyasamaja.
It is a bit of a paradox, because in many ways it is the conservative lineage lamas who worry about "purity" and "khungs/sources"- things that can be traced back to the Sanskrit, who are the strongest practitioners of the Ganden Ear Whispered teachings. These teachings are comparable to mind termas. They came in visions and meditative experiences, and there are no precursor texts in the sanskrit available for them. So I always find it funny when practitioners whose lamas hold up this lineage as profound can an instant later then state that Dzogchen for example is faulty because there is no Sanskrit root text. I should state myself that I have faith in several of the Ganden Ear Whispered teachings, and have one as a daily practice. But I cannot vouch for their authenticity and then call out Dzogchen because of lack of tantric sources. It would be a strange line of argument.
However, I agree with you in principle that a Gelug practice need not be defined by its being in Tsongkhapa's Sumbum. I just wanted to add that just because a Gelug lama practices and teaches something, that does not make it a Gelug practice.
I'm in complete agreement.
True, but not sure of the point your making. There are practitioners from all the Tibetan traditions have Samaya with the Dalai Lama.
This statement was a response to Caz's comment about the Ganden Tripa "having to okay such practices". My point was in fact that especially the tantric lineages have been transmitted to the vast majority of Gelug lamas by HH Dalai Lama, and in this way practically His Holiness' influence supersedes that of the Ganden Tripa. So when His Holiness gave the Guru Rinpoche empowerment and teachings on Words of My Perfect Teacher in Dharamsala in 2004 for example (I was there), the audience was mainly Gelug (though HH Karmapa and Dilgo Kyentse Yangsi also attended). In this way, these lineage were transmitted to a number of very important lamas and Geshes of the Ganden tradition.
While the Ganden Tripa's role is very important in terms of maintaining the discipline and academic rigour of the Gelugpa monasteries, the role of any of the Ganden Tripas of the modern period as Tantric master would not be as far-reaching as that of His Holiness.
I guess talking about "schools" although necessary is always problematic. The Indian philosophical textual traditions a perfect demonstration of this.
I agree it is not always a fun topic. Why I tend to put a lot of effort into challenging certain assertions is because I feel many students of Gelug centres in the West don't have direct experience of the diversity of views and practices within the tradition, because they largely remain connected with one teacher who emphasizes the practice of his/her teachers, monastery etc. But those of us who have been in India and traveled to different monasteries and seen different teaching styles, emphasis in terms of rituals, etc, understand that there is no one, pure Gelug tradition. (Despite however much people might want there to be). There are a variety of teachers practicing in a variety of ways who connect themselves to Lama Tzongkhapa due him being their main inspiration.
HH Dalai Lama has been trying to challenge the (yes, I'm going to say it) historical status quo of the Gelug tradition through opening it up to various different viewpoints and practices. At the same time, it is His Holiness himself who insists on the academic rigour based on the 5 Treatises in the great monasteries (as Tsongkhapa would have wanted), and who transmits the important texts of the lineage to hundreds of thousands of people. (This year and next during the Jangchub Lam Rim transmissions on the 18 Stages of the path texts.)