His Holiness Kyabgon Gongma Trichen Rinpoche (Sakya Trichen) served as the 41st head of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism until March 2017, when the throne holder duties were handed over to His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, the 42nd Sakya Trizin. His Holiness Sakya Trichen is one of the most accomplished Buddhist masters of his generation. He is regarded as an emanation of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the manifestation of wisdom.
His Holiness was born in Tsedong in southern Tibet in 1945 and 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. At the age of five he lost both his parents and 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 leads numerous Sakya monasteries in India and Nepal and has made teaching tours around the world.
“Wondrous with the riches of the Seven Royal Ornaments,
Dwelling in the blazing splendor 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 His Holiness Sakya Trichen
For more information about the activities of His Holiness please visit www.hhthesakyatrizin.org