His Holiness the Sakya Trizin

His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the spiritual head of the Sakya-pa school, is one of the best known and most venerated in the Vajrayana Buddhism and is considered, together with  the Dalai Lama of the Gelug-pa and the Karmapa of the Kagyu-pa, to the highest expression of the Tibetan spirituality. Since many years Sakya Trizin is busy teaching the Buddhist philosophy around the world and in conserving the culture and wisdom of Tibet.

The role of Sakya Trizin

Birth and formation of the actual Sakya Trizin

The flight from Tibet

The continuity of the lineage and the teachings

The role of Sakya Trizin

The Sakya Trizin is believed  by the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to be an emanation of the divine Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri.  The present Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga is descendent from an ancient and illustrious family commonly known as the Khon family or family of conquerers, because they are said to have subdued a class of demons.  The family is believed to have come down from the heavenly realm of clear light to take up residence in the land of snows, Tibet, ten generations before the coming of Padmasambhava to Tibet in the eighth century.  For this reason, the family is also sometimes referred to as Lharig or the heavenly family.  In addition, the family is also called the Sakyapa family, because they established the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Birth and formation of the actual Sakya Trizin

The present Sakya Trizin was born, September 7, 1945.  Many auspicious signs occurred on the day of His birth. From a very young age, the Sakya Trizin received many profound teachings and empowerments principally from His father, Vajradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen. 

H.H. the present Sakya Trizin lost both His father and His mother at a very early age, His mother when He was only three and His father two years later.  His maternal aunt assumed responsibility for the care and education of the young heir to the Sakya throne.  She appointed learned masters to be His tutors. 

In 1951,  His Holiness visited Lhasa where at the age of six He was designated the Sakya Trizin  (throne holder)  of the Sakya Order by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  His preliminary enthronement took place the following year at Sakya, the principal seat of the Sakyapa Order.  In 1953, at the age of eight, His Holiness  undertook His first Hevajra retreat in Sakya At the age of ten, He again visited Lhasa where He received teachings from the Dalai Lama in the Potala Palace. There before a large audience, His Holiness gave an extensive explanation of the mandala offering ritual which caused His wisdom to be proclaimed throughout Tibet.

From Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodoe Rinpoche,  he received many more important tantric empowerments and  teachings of the Sakyapa tradition as well as the teachings   and empowerments of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen/ Ati Yoga) tradition. 

The flight from Tibet

1959, due to the precarious political situation in Tibet His Holiness had to leave His home land to seek asylum in India. The next year, He established the Sakya monastery at Ghoom near Darjeeling in India and commenced the herculean task of reassembling the Sakya Sangha in India.  In Tibet as well as in India, His Holiness received extensive philosophical teachings in logic, abhidharma, prajnaparamita and madhyamaka as well as extensive instruction in the profound tantric tradition.

In 1963, His Holiness moved to Mussoorie in the foothills of the Himalayas above Dehradun.  The next year He established the principal seat of the Sakya Order at Rajpur in Dehradun.  The vast majority of the monks of the Sakya Order moved to the newly established monastery in Rajpur the next year.  There, His Holiness began to bestow many important empowerments and teachings to the assembly of monks. 

.  In 1972, His Holiness established the Sakya college of Tibetan Philosophy in Rajpur, Dehradun, and appointed Venerable Khenpo Appy Rinpoche as its first principal. There, gifted young Sakya monks from all over the sub continent have received the highest level of Buddhist education in order to prepare them to carry on the Sakya tradition.

The continuity of the lineage and the teachings      

In 1974, His Holiness married Dagmo Tashi Lhakee, and later that year, their first son, Ratnavajra Rinpoche was born.  In 1979, His second son, Gyanavajra Rinpoche was born.

1980, the Sakya monastery in Puruwala near Dehra Dun was established.

From the age of eight until the present, His Holiness has done many major and minor retreats including extensive Hevajra retreats, Vajrakilaya and Maha Vairocana retreats.  For the benefit of all those who wish to study the teachings of the lord Buddha, His Holiness has turned the wheel of the Dharma in both the east and the west.  To all of His innumerable disciples, whether monastics or lay people, He has blessed them with His great wisdom and profound compassion.                          

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