Sakyong Enthronement

The following article is from the Summer, 1995 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

In May of this year Sawang Osel Rangdrol Mukpo was enthroned as the holder of the Shambhala lineage of teachings and leader of the international Shambhala community.

This rare ceremony, performed only once previously in the West, is an ancient rite which enthrones the Sawang as a Sakyong. A Sakyong, or Earth Protector, is one who inspires a sense of sacredness, caring for others, and basic goodness in both individuals and society as a whole.

The Sakyong Entluonement and Kalachakra Empowerment were conferred by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche on Sunday, May 14. The event was attended by some 1800 members of the worldwide Shambhala community, as well as a number of important spiritual teachers from around the world.

This event is particularly significant because it is the first time this ceremony, known traditionally as The Blazing Jewel of Sovereignty, has been performed on such a large scale in the West. Traditionally, this ancient rite would be conducted at a large monastery in one of the Buddhist centers of Asia

H. H. Penor Rinpoche

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, who conducted the major ceremonies during the celebration, is the supreme head of the Nyingma lineage, the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Nyingma school was founded by the revered saint Padmasambhava, who first established Buddhism in Tibet in the sixth century.

The Nyingma lineage includes more than 3,000 monasteries and numerous other centers throughout the world. Traditionally, the lineage had six central monasteries in Tibet. One of the largest was Palyul, which together with its branch monasteries held over 100,000 monks. Penor Rinpoche is the eleventh in a line of teachers who have overseen the Palyul lineage.

Born in Eastern Tibet in 1932, Penor Rinpoche entered Palyul Monastery as a child and after a period of rigorous training, assumed his role as leader. In 1959 he was forced by the Chinese invasion of Tibet to flee to India, where he established Namdroling Monastery in Mysore. Namdroling is home to a monastic community of more than 1200 arid houses the largest Nyingma scholastic college.

Penor Rinpoche became supreme head of the Nyingma lineage in 1991 upon the death of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, previous head of the lineage and a close teacher and advisor to both Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Sawang Osel Rangdrol Mukpo.

Penor Rinpoche is the holder of many important and ancient teachings and rites which have been passed on to him, and is one of the most highly regarded Tibetan Buddhist teachers alive today. He is one of only a few people in the world qualified to perform the Sakyong Enthronement ceremony.

The lives of the Palyul masters and their tradition of teachings are presented in /I Garland of Immortal Wish-fulfilling Trees by Ven. Tsering Lama Jampal Zangpo, trans, by Sangye Khandro, Snow Lion Publications, $15.95.

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