Dagnyi Chenpo Sangpo Pal

Dagnyi Chenpo Sangpo Pal – The Eleventh Sakya Trizin (c. 1262 – c. 1324)

Sakya Throneholders

Dagnyi Chenpo Sangpo Pal, the eleventh Sakya throneholder, was born in 1262. His father was Yeshe Jungne, a half-brother of Drogön Chögyal Phagpa (the fifth Sakya patriarch).

Sangpo Pal was sent to Sakya Monastery in his youth. He received empowerments and transmissions from Drogön Chögyal Phagpa at the age of sixteen.

“I do not have any personal experience as such, but Tara is very, very important and there are very many beautiful stories. One is related to the continuation of the Khön lineage. It is a story about Sangpo Pal who was the eleventh Sakya throne holder counting from Khön Khönchok Gyalpo who first established the Sakya Monastery. Sangpo Pal’s grandfather had five sons, but the one who was Sangpo Pal’s father, Löpon Yeshe Jungne, was the son of a maid who was not of one of the official queens. One of the official sons, Chögyal Phagpa, was the throne holder and guru of the Chinese Emperor in his time. Another son, Drögon Chagma, had a son called Dharmapāla Rakshita who was the 9th throne holder. When he died in 1287, there was not an official Khön lineage heir after him. So Jamyang Chenpo from Sharpa took the thrown.

At this point, there was no officially recognized Khön lineage heir. Even though Sangpo Pal was alive, the people had doubts about Sangpo Pal’s father as his mother had not been an official queen. Sangpo Pal had been invited to China but as his father had not been the official heir, the Emperor did not recognize him. Instead he was sent to some far outlying area of China.

When Dharmapāla Rakshita (the ninth Sakya throne holder) passed away, the Emperor was distressed over his loss. Placing the bones of Dharmapala on his head, he cried. Because there was no issue in his guru’s hereditary lineage and how sad it was. There had been only one daughter of the lineage, a princess, and when she passed away there were rainbows and her body had many relics. This altered the mind of the Emperor who now said that any connection to his guru’s hereditary lineage, was holy.

At that time, Sangpo Pal was living in a distant part of China near the Avalokiteśhvara shrine. He was having a very difficult time, and so he prayed to Tara. Tara appeared and placed her hand over the crown of his head and said, “Those who wish to have a child, can have a child. Those who wish to have wealth, can have wealth. All your wishes will be granted and your obstacles will be cleared.”

After he received that blessing, some Tibetan lamas helped the Emperor find Sangpo Pal. Being a nephew of Chögyal Phagpa, he was then recognized by the Emperor and was brought back to the palace. There he was officially enthroned as the Sakya Khön lineage prince. The Emperor then said, “It is very important to continue the historical lineage.” At this point he gave his own sister to Sangpo Pal as his queen. This emperor reigned in the Yön dynasty of the Mongol empire of China. The princess is called Mudakhen. She traveled all the way to Sakya, married Sangpo Pal, and they had one son.”

Extracted from A Teaching on Tara, by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen; https://hhsakyatrizin.net/tara-teaching.