From Academic Kids

Sakya is one of four major schools (Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug) in Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana).



The name Sakya (literally, Pale Earth) derives from the unique grey landscape of Ponpori Hills in southern Tibet near Shigatse, where the first monastery of this tradition was built by Khon Konchog Gyalpo (1034-1102) in 1073. The Sakya-Tradition developed during the second periode of translation of buddhist scripture from sanscrit into tibetan in the late tenth century. Therefore Sakya belongs to the later schools tibetan buddhism. The Tradition was founded by the "Five Venerable Supreme Masters":

  • Sachen Kunga Nyingpo(1092-1158)
  • Sonam Tsemo
  • Dragpa Gyaltsen
  • Kunga Gyaltsen (1182-1251), the first Sakya-pandit
  • Dromton Chogyal Phagpa (1239-1279).


The tantric doctrin of the Sakya-School was translated into tibetan by Bari Lotsawa (1040-1112). Born in east-Kham, he travelled to India where he met the mahasiddha Virupa. Bari Lotsawa brought different tantric teachings to Tibet. The five supreme Masters, following Bari Lotsawa, based their teaching on the doctrins of the master and scholar Virupa. They took over his mahamudra-lineage and also many tantric teachings of different masters and realised beings of India. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo is seen as an emanation of the bodhisattva of compassion Avalokitesvara as well as of the buddha of wisdom Manjushri. He is well known for his works on the Hevajra-tantra in relation to the tantric system of Lamdre (path and fruit). The greatest scholar of his time Sakya-Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, the sixth thrownholder of Sakya, was wide known for his knowledge of sutra and tantra. His works on logic became standartliterature on this field. Sakya incorporated teachings of the early Kadampa-school also. Within the Sakya-tradition the tantric system of Lamdre and the tantras of Hevajra, Vajrayogini and Kalachakra are of major importance today.


Three traditions spread the teachings of Sakya Pandita:

  • the Sakya-tradition, founded by the "five venerable supreme masters"
  • the Ngor-tradition, founded by Ngorpa Kunga Zangpo and
  • the Tsar-tradition, fonded by Tsarchen Odsal Gyamtso.

The Sakya-tradition developed three subschools with minor differences,

Feudal lordship over Tibet

In 1264 the feudal lordship over Tibet was given to Phagpa by the mongolian emperor Kublai Khan. But the Sakyas lost their political influence in 1354 during the reformation of Tsongkhapa to the Gelug-order.

Sakya today

The actual head of the Sakya-tradition is Sakya Trizin (born 1945). Eventually he gives teachings in Europe and America. An important Mistress of this tradition is his sister Jetsun Kushog Chimey Luding.

The Rime-movement

During the 19, century the great Sakya-master and terton Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, the famous Kagyu-master Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye and the important Nyingma-terton Orgyen Chokyur Lingpa founded the Rime-movement. An ecomenic tradition who tried to incorporate all teachings of all schools, to overcome the separation of buddhist transmission in different traditions. These Teachings today found in major collections, the most important are the "five great treasures" of Jamgon Kongtrul and the treasure of rediscovered teachings (Rinchen Terdzs).

See also

pl:Sakja zh:萨迦派


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