|His Holiness Sakya Trizin,
Supreme Head of the Sakya Tradition
H.H. Sakya Trizin, Ngawang Kunga Thegchen Palbar Samphel Wang-gi Gyalpo, the forty-first in the line of throne-holders (Trizin) of Sakya and emanation of Manjushri, was born in Tsedong in southern Tibet in 1945. His Holiness hails from the Khön family, the dynastic heads of the Sakya school from its beginnings.
In his early years, His Holiness received various initiations from his father, Dagchen Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, head of the Drölma palace of Sakya. However, by the age of five, he had lost both his parents. Following this, his religious training began in earnest when he received the Esoteric Transmission of the Path and its Fruit (lam-drey lob-shey) from Dampa Rinpoche, Ngawang Lodro Shenphen Nyingpo.
In 1952, His Holiness was confirmed as the forty-first Sakya Trizin, although it would not be until early 1959 that his full enthronement could take place. During the 1950s, His Holiness accomplished a number of retreats such as Hevajra and Vajrakilaya and received an extensive array of Sakya and Nyingma teachings from various masters, including Shabdrung Ngawang Tenzin Nyingpo, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, Zimok Rinpoche and Khenchen Jampal Zangpo.
In 1959, following his enthronement, His Holiness departed for India due to the political difficulties of the time. Having remained initially near Darjeeling, and then Mussoorie, he settled finally in Rajpur, close to Dehra Dun. In the early 1960s, His Holiness' education concluded under Khenpo Appey Rinpoche and Chogye Trichen Rinpoche.
In 1967, His Holiness bestowed the Path and its Fruit for the first time at Sarnath. A little later, Shri Sakya Centre was inaugurated in Rajpur, followed a few years later by Sakya College. His Holiness himself married Lady Tashi Lhakyi in 1974, since when they have had two sons, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche (b. 1974) and Gyana Vajra Rinpoche (b. 1979). His Holiness not only leads numerous Sakya monasteries in India and Nepal but has made teaching tours around the world.
To date, His Holiness has, at the invitation of his disciples Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Lama Jampa, visited and given teachings at Dechen Sakya centres such as Thinley Rinchen Ling and Sakya Dechen Ling in England on nine occasions since 1978. For more details of these visits, please see the Dechen blog.
"Wondrous with the riches of the Seven Royal Ornaments,
Dwelling in the blazing splendour of the dharma realm of the glorious Sakyas,
You appear as an adornment that beautifies the supreme places of the world.
I pray the appearance of your body, speech and mind remain as firm as a vajra."
Extracted from the Long Life Prayer for H.H. Sakya Trizin