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Life of a Saint

The Great Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (vegetarian): Venerated Master of the Sakya School, Part 2 of 2



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The distinguished translator Mel Lotsāwa who taught Sachen Kunga Nyingpo many Mahākāla practices also gave Him some spiritually powerful gifts. Another prominent teacher was Lama Zhangton Chobar, who spent eight years orally transmitting the holy Lamdré (the Path with the Result) teachings to Him. When Master Sachen was in His forties, during a retreat, He received a vision and Virupa directly transmitted the Lamdré to Him. Mahasiddha Virupa, is the Lord of Yoga and respected as the source of the Lamdré system in Sakya.

Around the same period, Lama Jangchub Sempa Aseng, a lama from Kham, sought the teachings of the Lamdré from Sachen Kunga Nyingpo. Taking this as an auspicious sign that it was the right time, He assented to teaching Lama Aseng. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo also began to write down the “Lamdré Donduma,” or “Condensation of the Lamdré Teaching.” The teachings were done specifically for each disciple, with around 11 commentaries, including “Nyagma” or “Explication of the Treatise for Nyag,” written for Geshe Nyak. Of Master Sachen’s prominent students, some attained the highest Siddhis, or perfections in Sadhana.

From the age of 20 to 67, the venerated Sachen Kunga Nyingpo was the head of the Sakya Order. He brought the Lamdré and Mahākāla together into the Sakya Order. He also taught His two sons, Sonam Tsemo and Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen, the teachings of the Lamdré, and they became the second and third founders of the Sakya Order, respectively. Master Sachen had the power to be in multiple places at one time. Master Sachen also possessed clairvoyance.

In 1158, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo passed on to higher spiritual realms. People who bid Him farewell heard celestial music, smelled Heavenly fragrances, and saw the sky fill with Light and rainbows. When His holy ashes were deposited into a lake, the mandala of Chakrasamvara, a deity in Tantric Buddhism, appeared, forming the most beautiful work of art. “All of these events were merely a display by which He (the venerated Sachen Kunga Nyingpo) inspired the faithful and set an example to be followed by practitioners of the future.”

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