The five founding patriarchs of Sakya monastery
and the two founders of Ngor and Tsar subschools
(bottom left and right)


The Sakyapa school was very influential in Tibet. The holders of this lineage are recognized for the quality of their historical (classical) interpretation of the Tantras and the depth of their realization. They have always applied themselves to the study and the realization of the totality of the existing traditions, without contenting themselves with a single group of Sutras or Tantras and, among all the teachings, even the most profound, it is difficult to find one more complete than the Lamdre, or "The Path Including Its Fruit", of which the complete transmission stays uniquely within this lineage.

The Sakypa school contains three principal branches, each of which is directed by a large religious center or mother monastery.

The oldest, the Sakya monastery, founded in 1073, was directed by the Lamas who were descendants of the divine lineage of the Khon, presently separated in two palaces.

It is the Lama of the Palace of Dolma, His Holiness Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, living in India, who is the current head of the entire Sakyapa school

The five Lamas that have succeeded to the throne of Sakya in the early times of the monastery are revered throughout Tibet.

Specifically, they were Satchen Kunga Nyingpo, his two sons Sonam Tsemo and Trapa Djialtsen, their nephew Sakya Pandita and Sakya Pandita's nephew, Tcheu Djial Phagpa, respectively.


The second mother monastery, that of Ngor Ewam Tcheu Den, established in the Tibetan province of Tsang, was founded in 1429 by Ngor Tchen Kunga Zangpo, founder of the Ngorpa branch. The appearance of this great Lama was phrophesized by the Buddha.

From that time until the present, this center has been recognized as one of the most important monastic seats of the Sakyapa school of tibetan buddhism. It has become the mother monastery of the Ngorpa branch, with several hundred affiliated centers throughout Tibet and the neighbouring regions.

Countless have been the holy beings that have been able to receive and study the precious profound teachings of the Sakyapas, such as the systems of Lamdre (The Path Including Its Fruit) called Tshogs bShad (Teaching in Large Assembly) and sLob bShad (Teaching to the Disciples), the Four Profound Teachings called Unfindable outside of the Boundary of this Lineage, the Thirteen Teachings of Gold, the Seventy-two Transmissions of Anuttara Yoga Tantra, the teachings of the Collection of All the Tantras, and that of the Collection of All the Saddhanas, as well as numerous initations, oral transmissions, and commentaries concerning the totality of the Tantras, diverse essential instructions, the philosophical and doctrinal treatises of the Thirteen Great Treatises and the Eighteen Renowned Treatises, etc..

Thanks to this study, there have been numerous disciples that have been able to dissipate all their doubts, apply themselves to the practice and accomplish, with success, the meditation retreats necessary for the practice of the Tantras. There are numerous stories which tell of the miraculous powers of the realization of the great saints.

Thus, the holders of this spiritial lineage of Ngor Ewam Tcheu Den travelled to all the regions of Tibet, from Ladakh and the regions of Ngari to oriental Tibet such as the regions of Khams and Amdo, and founded numerous religious centers by the transmission and the practice of the teachings. This monastery was directed, in turn, by one of its four Houses of Lamas, such as Phende, of Thartse, of Khangsar and of Luding. His Eminence Phende Rinpoche who lives in France and Taiwan is one of the traditional leaders of this branch.

At the time of the invasion of Tibet by the communist Chinese in 1959, and since the religous centers were threatened by destruction, the large part of religous dignitaries and all who could, chose to flee towards India where they became refugees.

The third Sakyapa tradition is that of Tsar of which the mother monastery of Phenyul Nalanda was founded in 1435 by Kuntchen Rongten. It is currently placed under the direction of His Eminence Tchogye Thrichen Rinpoche who lives in Nepal.

There are currently a large number of centers affiliated with this tradition throughout the world, especially in Asiatic countries.


A few links to other Sakya sites in the world

Sakya Resource Guide : all you want to know about the Sakya tradition in the world

His Holiness Sakya Trizin's english web site to let you know about His Holiness's activities and schedule

Sakya World, His Holiness Sakya Trizin's own web site