Ngagchang Chökyi Gyalpo Kunga Rinchen

Ngagchang Chökyi Gyalpo Kunga Rinchen – The Twenty-Third Sakya Trizin (c. 1517 – c. 1584)

Sakya Throneholders
Lamdré Tsogshed Lineage

Ngagchang Chökyi Gyalpo Kunga Rinchen was born in Tsedong in 1517. “Ngagchang” means the great mantra-holder. His father was Jamyang Namkha Dondrub Tseten Tashi Gyaltsen of the Ducho Labrang. His mother was Buden Kyi.

When he was nine, Kunga Rinchen received his lay and novice ordination vows from Salo Jhampai Dorje Kunga Sonam, the twenty-second Sakya throne holder. He studied with numerous accomplished masters, they are: Kunga Sonam, Konchok Lhundrub (the tenth Ngor abbot), Pakchen Palden Tashi, Tsarchen Losal Gyatso (founder of the Tsar sub-lineage of the Sakya Order, and the thirteenth abbot of Zhalu Monastery), Kadampa monk Changa Ngawang Chodrak, Paṇchen Lekpai Lodro, Dangag Rabjam Mawa Jamyang Sangye Senge (the eleventh Ngor abbot), Terton Nangtsewa Zhikpo Lingpa, and Trengpo Terton Sherab Ozer. Ngagchang Kunga Rinchen became an accomplished master and a scholar.

Encouraged by the prophecy of Salo Jhampai Dorje Kunga Sonam and the support of Dharma protectors, at a young age, he confidently held the responsibility of expanding the monastic schools, and preserved and spread the Sakya teachings despite the difficulties Sakya was facing during his tenure.

Many of his students were accomplished masters, practitioners, and scholars. His compositions were collected in three big volumes.



Further Readings:

A Letter to My Brother (2013) by H.E. Avikṛta Vajra Rinpoche

Alexander Gardner, “Ngawang Kunga Rinchen,” Treasury of Lives