H.H. Sakya Trizin Visits America

The following article is from the Spring, 1989 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.


H.H. Sakya Trizin

A small way further down the treelined avenue of the Fajpur Road, one will often see red-robed monks waiting for a bus or busy with activities at the Sakya Center, the first Sakya monastery established in Indir,. In the foothills overlooking Rajpur, one will find the advanced teacher-training facility, the Sakya College, which has won renown among all four Tibetan traditions as a citadel of learning and excellence. A two-hour bus trip from nearby Dehra Dun will bring one to the Sakya settlement of Puruwalla, where refugee lay people farm and make handicrafts, preserving their unique Tibetan cultural life.

In 1959, when His Holiness fled Tibet at the age of 14 with His family and a few close retainers, who could have imagined that the Sakya Onder would be reborn in India and within 30 years have more than 2000 monks living in 28 monasteries, with seven colleges of higher studies, six retreat centers and several lay settlements? His Holiness Sakya Trizin working in close association with other Sakya masters who escaped the Chinese invasion, such as H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, H.E. Chogye Rinpoche, and H.E. Ludhing Rinpoche, and many other teachers, monks, and lay people succeeded in renewing the Sakya Order outside of Tibet and even establishing the Sakyapa world-wide.

His Holiness is a descendant of the holy Khon family lineage and is recognized as an emanation of Manjushri Bodhisattva in the form of an Upasaka layman, being a direct descendant of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the founder of the Sakya a member of the Khon family has held the throne of Sakya, providing the main thread of continuity within the Order; from His birth in 1945 His Holiness Ngawang Kunga was groomed for the position of Sakya Trizin, or Throne Holder. Receiving from His father, Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, the long life empowerment of Amitayus almost as soon as He was born, His Holiness began His training under His father's tutelage. Unfortunately Kunga Rinchen passed away when His Holiness was five years old, having transmitted primarily the teachings of Vajrakila to His son. His Holiness' aunt, Dagmo Kushola Tinley Wangmo, a great yogini, assumed the direction of His training.

His Holiness' training in meditation began at the age of five when He performed the retreat of Amitayus, in the next year accomplishing a month long retreat of Vajrapani.

In 1959, His Holiness sat upon the spiritual throne of Sakya Pandita in the courtyard of the tantric monastery at Sakya and was enthroned as the 41st Sakya Trizin. Shortly after His enthronement His Holiness left for the Sikkimese border, and eventually exile in India.

His Holiness continued to study and practice amidst His responsibilities of rebuilding the Sakya Older. Since 1967, His Holiness has bestowed the heart of the Sakya teachings, the Lam Die, four times in India and twice abroad. He also has given the collection of All the Practices in Ladakh, and is in the process of transmitting the collection of All the Tantras at the newly-refounded Ngor monastery in Manduwalla, near Dehra Dun.

His Holiness' efforts to preserve the dharma heritage of the Sakya Order for future generations has also born fruit in another way; in 1974 His Holiness married, and He and His wife now have two sons to carry on the special Khon lineage. His Holiness' elder son, Ratna Vajralike His father an upasaka laymanwas vajramaster at the Vajrakila Ritual last year and led the lama dances this year after Losar at the Sakya Center in Rajpur. His Holiness' second son, Jnana Vajra, is adorned with monk's robes and is being prepared to continue the renunciate lineage of Sakya Pandita.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin will be coming to America in April 1989, visiting the following cities.

April 17-30, New York (212) 459-4122; May 1-31, Cambridge (617) 492-5370; June 1-12, Washington, D.C. (301) 589-3111; June 17-18, Minneapolis (612) 738-2738; June 22-29, Los Angeles (213) 876-9245; June 30-July 12, Berkeley (415) 527-7363; July 13-18, Los Angeles; July 19-26, Seattle (206) 789-2573; July 27August 16, Vancouver (604) 271-2651 and Victoria (604) 358-4828; and August 17-27, Honolulu and The Big Island, Hawaii, (808) 966-8843.

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