His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin was born in Tibet on 7 September 1945 to Noble Father, Ngawang Kunga Rinchen and Sonam Drolkar. He is the supreme head of the Sakya school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
His Holiness received his major Annutara Yoga Tantra empowerment in 1948 at the age of three, along with many other empowerments. His first empowerment was an empowerment of the Khön tradition, which was bestowed upon him elaborately by his Noble Father, Vajradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen according to the Khön tradition.
Along with many other empowerments, Lama Ngaglo Rinpoche gave His Holiness the special empowerment of 22the orange Manjushri. He learned the first letters of the Tibetan alphabet from a specially blessed scroll written in golden ink by Sachen Kunga Lodroe which had previously been used by the successive Dungsays of the Khön Lineage. His first tutor was Kunga Gyaltsen who taught him the fundamentals of reading, writing and recitation of prayers.
In the autumn of 1950 His Holiness travelled to Ngor Ewarn Choeden in Tibet to receive the exoteric Lam Dre teaching from his root Guru, the great abbot Vajradhara Ngawang Lodroe Shenpen Nyingpo.
In 1951, he met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for the first time.
In early 1952, the officially sealed proclamation of the succession designating His Holiness as the future Sakya Trizin was read by the representative of the national government of Tibet and a brief preliminary ceremony of enthronement took place.
His Holiness undertook his first retreat in 1953. This was a long life retreat. He also bestowed his first initiation in that same year.
In 1954 His Holiness took examinations in the inner and outer spiritual dances, in order to preside over the extended rituals. He performed the ritual dances wearing the blessed mask worn by the preceding Khön Lineage masters. The task of Vajra master, leading rituals and ritual dances continues to be part of his role even today.
In early September 1955, His Holiness travelled by car to Lhasa to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and receive teachings. This was his first experience of traveling by car. While making offerings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he gave an extensive explanation of the mandala in the presence of the monks from Namgyal Monastery (His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s private monastery) and a lay assembly including many high- ranking government officials led by Cabinet Ministers.
In 1956, after the Great Monlam Festival in Lhasa, he and his entourage went on a pilgrimage to the south of Lhasa. There they visited many Sakya monasteries. That year, the Chinese leaders organized a major meeting of the Preparation Committee for the Tibetan Autonomous Region. His Holiness was obliged to attend this meeting and had to cut short his tour.
In 1956, His Holiness went on pilgrimage to India. The entourage visited Lumbini, Sarasvati, Kushinagar, Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Nalanda University.
In 1959, His Holiness was enthroned at the age of fourteen and later escaped to India on that year.
In 1963, His Holiness attended the First Tibetan Buddhist Conference, held in Dharamsala under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On 16 March 1964, re-establishment of Sakya Monastery was celebrated in Rajpur, after receiving the kind permission of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 1968 His Holiness recognized the son of Thrinley Norbu, now widely known as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, as the reincarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Choekyi Lodroe, a great non-sectarian master of the twentieth century.
On 19 December 1972, Sakya college was established. Later, established Sakya Institute in Puruwala, which was inaugurated on 12 December 1980.
In 1974, in order to maintain the unbroken lineage of the Khön family, His Holiness consented Tashi Lhakee as his Dagmo (Consort). She was the daughter of Dege Hochotsang, head of a high noble family in the kingdom of Dege, Kham, an Eastern Province of Tibet.
On 19th November 1974, Dagmo Kusho Tashi Lhakee gave birth to Dungsay Ratna Vajra. On 5th July, 1979 Dungsay Gyana Vajra Rinpoche (the younger son of His Holiness) was born.
Teachings Received by His Holiness Sakya Trizin
His Holiness has received many precious and profound teachings, such as empowerments, blessings, initiations, oral transmissions, explanations and pith instructions from many great Gurus. Some of the principal teachings he received from his kind Gurus are described below:
- From Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, he received major empowerments of the Khön tradition and other sacred and secret teachings.
- From Dhampa Rinpoche (Vajradhara Ngawang Lodrö Shenphen Nyingpo, his main Root Guru) he received both common and uncommon Lam Dre teachings.
- From His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, he received the Kalachakra teaching Avalokiteshvara empowerment and many other exoteric and esoteric teachings.
- From Khangsar Shabdrung Rinpoche, regent of Vajradhara Dhampa Rinpoche, he received the Collection of Sadhanas.
- From Khenchen Jampal Sangpo, he received the precious Lam Dre teachings.
- From Ngaglo Rinpoche, he received the sacred and secret teachings on major Tantras such as the profound Whispered Teachings belonging to the Sakya tradition.
- From Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, he received the precious Lam Dre teachings of the Tsarpa sub-sect of the Sakya tradition and most of the empowerments of the Collection of Tantras.
- From Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, he received some very important major empowerments of the Sakya tradition, as well as oral transmissions of the Nyingmapa cycles of teaching.
- From Deshung Rinpoche, he received the oral transmission of Sakya Kabum (collection of works of Five Founding Masters of the Sakyapa tradition).
- From Phende Khen Rinpoche, he received some major empowerments of the Sakyapa tradition.
- From Jadral Jangchub Dorje, he received the complete Treasure Dharma of Apam Terton.
From many great scholars of the Sakya school, including Most Venerable Khenpos such as Khenpo Thubten Rinpoche, Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk Rinpoche, and Khenpo Rinchen Rinpoche, His Holiness received teachings on the six major divisions of Buddhist philosophy according to the Sakya tradition. These are Vinaya, Abhidharma, Prajnaparamita, Pramana, Madhyamaka and the Trisamvaraprakarana, (the famous text by the Great Sakya Pandita known in English as the Differentiation of the Three Vows). He also received teachings on the three major Tantras and other subjects such as astrology, calligraphy, grammar, poetry, rhetoric, lexicography and vari- ous rituals and ritual dances. He developed great expertise in mudra and in playing all the ritual percussion instruments.
His Holiness is a great teacher, a supreme guide and a source of wisdom and empowerment for many thousands of followers. His Holiness has encouraged the propagation of the holy Dharma throughout the world.
He has established and supported Dharma centers, monasteries and other Dharma institutions in many parts of the world. In addition to having taught in Tibet and his extensive teaching schedules in India, he has given teachings in Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States of America.
Under the patronage of His Holiness there are several hundred Sakya monasteries and Dharma centers in Tibet, India and the rest of the world.
His Holiness resides at Sakya Dolma Phodrang in Rajpur, Dehradun, UA, India.