Sakya Trizin

Sakya Trizin
Ngawang Kunga,
the 41st Sakya Trizin
Full name Ngawang Kunga,
the 41st Sakya Trizin
Born September 7, 1945
Shigatse, Tibet
Region Tibetan Buddhism
School Sakya

Sakya Trizin (Tibetan: ས་སྐྱ་ཁྲི་འཛིན།, ZYPY: Sa'gya Chizin, literally "Sakya Throne Holder"; Chinese: 萨迦法王 or 萨迦崔津) or Sa'gya Gongma Rinboqê (གོང་མ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།) is the traditional title of the head of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism.[1]

The Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism was founded in 1073, when Khon Konchog Gyalpo (a.k.a Kön Gönqog Gyäbo), a member of Tibet’s noble Khön (Koin) family, established a monastery in the region of Sakya, Tibet, which became the headquarters of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism.[2] Since that time, the leadership of the Sakya Order has descended within the Khön family.


Current Sakya Trizin

The current Sakya Trizin is the 41st Sakya Trizin. His legal name is "Sakya Trizin" and he is referred to as His Holiness Sakya Trizin. His religious name is Ngawang Kunga Tegchen Palbar Trinley Samphel Wangyi Gyalpo. H.H. Sakya Trizin is considered second only to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the spiritual hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism [3]

Sakya Trizin was born on September 7, 1945 in Tsedong, near Shigatse, Tibet. From his father, Vajradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, he received important initiations and teachings in the Sakya lineage. He began intensive religious study at the age of five. In 1952, he was officially designated as the next Sakya Trizin by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.[4] He continued intensive training from his main teacher Ngawang Lodroe Shenpen Nyingpo and many other famous Tibetan scholars, studying extensively in both the esoteric and exoteric Buddhist traditions. In 1959, at the age of fourteen, he was formally enthroned as head of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism. In the same year, due to the political situation in Tibet, the Sakya Trizin, his family, and many lamas and monks from the Sakya Monastery relocated to India.[4]

To maintain the unbroken lineage of the Khon family, in 1974 Sakya Trizin consented to requests that he accept Tashi Lhakee, daughter of a noble family from Dege in Kham as his consort. In the same year his first son, H.E.Khondung Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, was born. In 1979, a second son, H.E.Khondung Gyana Vajra Rinpoche was born.

After leaving Tibet, in 1963, the Sakya Trizin re-established the seat of the Sakya Order in Rajpur, India, building a monastery known as Sakya Centre. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to preserve the thousand-year-old religious heritage of the Sakya Order and to transmit its teachings to succeeding generations. He founded and directly guides a number of institutions, including Sakya Monastery in Rajpur, Sakya Institute, Sakya College, Sakya Nunnery, Sakya College for Nuns, Sakya Tibetan Settlement, Sakya Hospital, dozens of other monasteries in Tibet, Nepal, and India, and numerous Dharma Centers in many countries.[5]

Sakya Trizin is a highly accomplished Buddhist master respected by all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and teaches widely throughout the world. He has bestowed the extensive Lam Dre teaching cycle, which is the most important teaching of the Sakya Order over 18 times on various continents, and also transmitted major initiation cycles such as Collection of All the Tantras, and the Collection of all the Sadhanas, which contain almost all of the empowerments for the esoteric practices of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism to hundreds of lineage holders in the next generation of Buddhist teachers. He has trained both of his sons, Khonrig Ratna Vajra Sakya and Khonrig Gyana Vajra Sakya as highly accomplished Buddhist masters, and they both travel widely, teaching Buddhism throughout the world.

The year 2009 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Sakya Trizin’s headship of the Sakya Order. The occasion was celebrated as a Golden Jubilee with extensive celebrations and tributes to his success in preserving and maintaining the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Sakya Trizin lineage

Lharig, the divine generation

According to legend Ciring descended from the Rupadhatu (Realm of Clear Light) to earth.[6]
  • Ciring
  • Yuse
  • Yuring
  • Masang Cije
  • Togsa Pawo Tag
  • Tagpo Ochen
  • Yapang Kye

Khön family, the royal generation

Because the previous generations subjugated the rakshas (demons), the family became the Family of Conquerors (Khon gyi dung shortened to Khön)[7] and therefore a royal family.
  • Khön Bar Kye
  • Khön Jekundag, minister of Trisong Detsen, student of Padmasambhava
  • Khön Lu'i Wangpo Srungwa
  • Khön Dorje Rinchen
  • Khön Sherab Yontan
  • Khön Yontan Jungne
  • Khön Tsugtor Sherab
  • Khön Gekyab
  • Khön Getong
  • Khön Balpo
  • Khön Shakya Lodro
  • Sherab Tsultrim

Sakya lineage, generations as Buddhist teachers.[8]

Khon Konchog Gyalpo founded the monastery in Sakya in 1073, and therefore the lineage was renamed Sakya.[6]
Name Biographical data Tenure Tibetan name
1. Khon Konchog Gyalpo 1034–1102 1073–1102 Tibetan: འཁོན་དཀོན་མཆོག་རྒྱལ་པོ།Wylie: khon dkon mchog rgyal po, ZYPY: Kön Gönqog Gyäbo
2. Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag 1040–1111 1103–1110 Wylie: ba ri lo tsa ba rin chen grags
3. Tsewa Chenpo Sachen Kunga Nyingpo 1092–1158 1111–1158 Wylie: sa chen kun dga’ snying po
4. Loppon Rinpoche Sonam Tsemo 1142–1182 1159–1171 Wylie: bsod nams rtse mo
5. Jetsun Rinpoche Dragpa Gyaltsen 1147–1216 1172–1215 Tibetan: རྗེ་བཙུན་རིན་པོ་ཆེWylie: grags pa rgyal mtshan, ZYPY: Jêzün Rinboqê Chagba Gyäcän
6. Choeje Sakya Pandita 1182–1251 1216–1243 Tibetan: ས་སྐྱ་པཎྜི་ཏ་ཀུན་དགའ་རྒྱལ་མཚན།Wylie: sa skya pandi ta kun dga’ rgyal mtshan, ZYPY: Qöjê Sa'gya Paṇḍita Günga Gyaicain
6a. regent of Sakya Pandita 1243–1264 Tibetan: ས་སྐྱ་པཎྜི་ཏ་ཀུན་དགའ་རྒྱལ་མཚན།Wylie: sa skya pandi ta kun dga’ rgyal mtshan, ZYPY: Qöjê Sa'gya Paṇḍita
7. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa 1235–1280 1265–1266
Tibetan: ཆོས་རྒྱལ་འཕགས་པ་བློ་གྲོས་རྒྱལ་མཚན།Wylie: chos rgyal 'phags pa blo gros rgyal mtshan, ZYPY: Qögyä Pagba Lochö Gyäcän
8. Rinchen Gyaltsen 1238–1279 1267–1275 Wylie: rin chen rgyal mtshan
7a. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa 2nd reign 1276–1280 Tibetan: ཆོས་རྒྱལ་འཕགས་པ་བློ་གྲོས་རྒྱལ་མཚན།, ZYPY: Qögyä Pagba Lochö Gyäcän
9. Dharmapala Rakshita[9] 1268–1287 1281–1287 དྷརྨ་པཱ་ལ་རཀཥི་ཏ།
10. Sharpa Jamyang Rinchen Gyaltsen 1258–1306 1288–1297 Wylie: shar pa 'jam dbyangs rin chen rgyal mtshan
11. Sangpo Pal 1262–1324 1298–1324 Wylie: bzang po dpal
12. Namkha Legpa Gyaltsen 1305–1343 ca. 1324–1342 Wylie: nam mkha' legs pa'i rgyal mtshan
13. Jamyang Donyö Gyaltsen 1310-1344 ca. 1342-1344 Wylie: 'jam dbyangs don yod rgyal mtshan
14. Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen 1312–1375 1344–1347 Wylie: bla ma dam pa bsod nams rgyal mtshan
15. Tawen Lodrö Gyaltsen 1332–1364 1347–1364 Wylie: ta dben blo gros rgyal mtshan
16. Tawen Kunga Rinchen 1339–1399 ca. 1364-1399 Wylie: ta dben kun dga' rin chen
17. Lopön Chenpo Gushri Lodrö Gyaltsen 1366–1420 1399–1420 Wylie: slob dpon chen po gu shri blo gros rgyal mtshan
18. Jamyang Namkha Gyaltsen 1398–1472 1421–1441 Wylie: 'jam dbyangs nam mkha' rgyal mtshan
19. Kunga Wangchuk 1418–1462 1442–1462 Wylie: kun dga' dbang phyug
20. Gyagar Sherab Gyaltsen 1436–1494 1463–1472 Wylie: rgya gar ba shes rab rgyal mtshan
21. Dagchen Lodrö Gyaltsen 1444–1495 1473–1495 Wylie: bdag chen blo gros rgyal mtshan
22. Kunga Sönam 1485–1533 1496–1533 Wylie: sa skya lo tsa ba kun dga' bsod nams
23. Ngagchang Kunga Rinchen 1517–1584 1534–1584 Wylie: sngags 'chang kun 'dga rin chen
24. Jamyang Sönam Sangpo 1519–1621 1584–1589 Wylie: 'jam dbyangs bsod nams bzang po
25. Dragpa Lodrö 1563–1617 1589–1617 Wylie: grags pa blo gros
26. Ngawang Kunga Wangyal 1592–1620 1618–1620 Wylie: ngag dbang kun dga' dbang rgyal
27. Ngawang Kunga Sönam 1597–1659 1620–1659 Wylie: ngag dbang kun dga' bsod nams
28. Ngawang Sönam Wangchuk 1638–1685 1659–1685 Wylie: ngag dbang bsod nams dbang phyug
29. Ngawang Kunga Tashi 1656–1711 1685–1711 Wylie: ngag dbang kun dga' bkra shis
30. Sönam Rinchen 1705–1741 1711–1741 Wylie: bsod nams rin chen
31. Kunga Lodrö 1729–1783 1741–1783 Wylie: kun dga' blo gros
32. Wangdu Nyingpo 1763–1809 1783–1806 Wylie: dbang sdud snying po
33. Pema Dudul Wangchuk 1792–1853 1806–1843 Wylie: pad ma bdud 'dul dbang phyug
34. Dorje Rinchen 1819–1867 1843–1845 Wylie: rdo rje rin chen
35. Tashi Rinchen 1824–1865 1846–1865 Wylie: bkra shis rin chen
36. Kunga Sönam 1842–1882 1866–1882 Wylie: kun dga' bsod nams
37. Kunga Nyingpo 1850–1899 1883–1899 Wylie: kun dga' snying po
38. Dzamling Chegu Wangdu 1855–1919 1901–1915 Wylie: 'dzam gling che rgu dbang 'dud
39. Dragshul Trinle Rinchen 1871–1936 1915–1936 Tibetan: དྲག་ཤུལ་འཕྲིན་ལས་རིན་ཆེན།Wylie: drag shul 'phrin las rin chen, ZYPY: Chagxü Chinlä Rinqên
40. Ngawang Thutob Wangdrag 1900–1950 1937–1950 Tibetan: ངག་དབང་མཐུ་སྟོབས་དབང་དྲག།Wylie: ngag dbang mthu stobs dbang drag, ZYPY: Ngagwang Tudob Wangchag
41. Ngawang Kunga Tegchen Palbar * 1945 1951– Tibetan: ངག་དབང་ཀུན་དགའ་ཐེག་ཆེན་དཔལ་འབར་འཕྲིན་ལས་བསམ་འཕེལ་དབང་གྱི་རྒྱལ་པོ།Wylie: ngag dbang kun dga' theg chen dpal 'bar'', ZYPY: Ngagwang Gün'ga Têgqên Bäbar Chinlä Sampê Wangkyi Gyäbo


  1. ^ Holy Biographies of the Great Founders of the Glorious Sakya Order, translated by Venerable Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen, Ani Kunga Chodron and Victoria Huckenpahler. Published by Sakya Phuntsok Ling Publications, Silver Spring MD. June 2000.
  2. ^ The History of the Sakya Tradition, by Chogay Trichen. Manchester Free Press, U.K. 1983.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Biographies of The Great Sachen Kunga Nyingpo and His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin. Compiled by Ratna Vajra Sakya, Dolma Lhamo, and Lama Jampa Losel. Published by Sakya Academy, Dehradun, U.A. India. 2003.
  5. ^ His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s official website:
  6. ^ a b Official site of Sakyapa Biography Sakya Lineage. (Retrieved: September 16, 2006)
  7. ^ Sakya Tsechen Thubten Ling Biography Sakya Trizin. (Retrieved: September 16, 2006)
  8. ^ Drogmi Buddhist Institute, Throneholders of Sakya
  9. ^ A བ༹ཕྱོང་རྒྱས་པ།/琼结巴 or from ས་ཧོར།/萨护罗国/萨霍尔国. Son of 达玛惹扎, grandson of 夏扎布达,(ISBN 7800575462) or son of ཕྱག་ན་རྡོ་རྗེ།/恰那多吉? [1]


  • Penny-Dimri, Sandra. (1995). "The Lineage of His Holiness Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga." The Tibet Journal. Vol. XX, No. 4 Winter 1995, pp. 64–92. ISBN 0970-5368.
  • Trizin, Sakya. Parting from the Four Attachments. Shang Shung Publications, 1999.

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