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Home Practice Lineage Common Lineage 8. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
8. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 February 2006 11:00
Sachen Kunga NyingpoSachen Kunga Nyingpo, one of the Five Founding Fathers of the Sakya tradition, lived from 1034 to 1102 C.E.

The Khon family is one of the great families of ancient Tibet. It is said that the family had divine origins. Konchog Gyalpo (‘khon dkon mchog rgyal po) was born into that family in 1034. A lay person, he founded a monastery in Sakya in 1073. He had two consorts Dorje Chukmo and Machig Shangmo. Apparently Machig Shangmo lived in another location and their relationship was not widely known. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo was born to Konchog Gyalpo and Machig Shangmo in 1092 Although a Nyingma practitioner Konchog Gyalpo developed great faith in the precepts of the new translation school and received Hevajra empowerment and commentaries from Drogmi Lotsawa. Sachen was born to Konchog Gyalpo and Machig Shangmo in 1092 and his father passed away when he was eleven years old. After Konchog Gyalpo's passing Lama Bari Lotsawa was invited to become abbot of Sakya; he in turn became Sachen Kunga Nyingpo's teacher. With periodic interruptions Sachen studied with Bari Lotsawa for many years. From Bari Lotsawa, as well as from other lamas, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo received a very broad education in sutra and tantras of the "new" tradition.

After some time Sachen was sent to study with a relative from the Khon family, Lama Jechuwa Dralhabar. It is said that among Lama Jechuwa's eighty students that Sachen stood out as the brightest, and although he lacked ordination he became the senior student. When in time Lama Jechuwa passed away his will stated that Sachen should lead Lama Jechuwa's students. Sachen learned that Mal Lotsawa was one of Lama Jechuwa's teachers, and he resolved to receive teachings from Mal Lotsawa himself. He gathered all of Lama Jechuwa's texts on Cakrasamvara and went to Mal Lotsawa. Mal Lotsawa gave Sachen the transmission of the Cakrasamvara root tantra and explanatory tantras as well as instructions on Naro Khecari and the six yogas of Naropa. In this way the tradition of Naropa's Khecari entered the Sakya, and in time he passed this teaching onto his son, Sonam Tsemo (cf. No. 9).

Sachen Kunga Nyingpo is most famous for his transmission of Virupa's Lam Dre precepts that he received from Zhangton Chobar and for his founding of the Sakya school focused on the transmission of these precepts. Sachen also wrote extensively on the Cakrasamvara tradition of Krishnacarya, particularly on the four-stages of the completion stage practice of Cakrasamvara as exposited by Krishnacarya. Reverence for this approach to the completion stage, known in the language of the dakinis as Ollapati, continued down through the Sakya lineage. A later Sakya lineage master, Jamyang Khyentse Wangchuk (cf. No. 22), spoke of the completion stage practice of Naro Khecari as the distillation of this Ollapati practice.

This brief account was written by Kurt Keutzer. Historical details are abstracted from the Blue Annals written by Zhon nu Pal (Gos Lotsawa) (b. 1110 - 1170) and translated by George Roerich and from the Biography of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo written by Ngawang Kunga Sonam (Jamgon Amyes Zhabs) (b. 1597 - d. 1659).

Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2007 18:27

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