Ngawang Kunga Rinchen

Ngawang Kunga Rinchen (c. 1902 – c. 1950)

Sakya Dolma Phodrang

Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, the father of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen (the forty-first Sakya throneholder) and Her Eminence Jetsun Luding Kushok, and the eldest son of the thirty-ninth Sakya throneholder, Dragshul Thinley Rinchen.

Below is a brief recount of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen about his father:

The real name of my father is Ngawang Kunga Rinchen. He is also a great master, not only a learned but a highly realized master. He made some prophecies and predictions in finding tulkus[1]. They were very accurate. I do not know these stories. I was too small when he passed away. I do remember my father very well, but I do not remember much of his activities. One of my great gurus, Dezhung Rinpoche told me that he asked my father where the tulkus were born. My father then accurately wrote down the father’s and the mother’s names, the place of birth, how and when the tulkus were born in great details. Dezhung Rinpoche also told me that we have one very important Mañjuśrī statue that is said to be from the time Sakya Paṇḍita was debating with highly attained Hindu practitioners. So at that time this statue was with him. It was a very historically important statue. One day when my father was doing meditation, this Mañjuśrī statue became real, and were making movements. My father stood up, did prostration and confession. The Mañjuśrī said, “Words confession do not mean much. However, the main thing is that your own father is not just your father but also your guru, and because you emphasize guru yoga where your own mind and your guru’s mind are merged together, this is the best way of confessing.”[2] All these stories I have heard from others, whilst I do remember receiving the Vajrakīlaya initiation from him. Otherwise, I do not remember his holy activities. My father was very good in making things with his hands. He used doughs to make animals and people for us as toys.

Extracted from A Brief Recount About My Root Gurus, by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen; The Sakya Tradition Publications.

[1] A tulku is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.

[2] Dragshul Thinley Rinchen was also the father of Ngawang Kunga Rinchen.