The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society (Sakya Tenphel Ling)

the Singapore Buddha Sasana Society

Our Founders

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The Sakya tradition is one of the four major religious traditions that existed in Tibet. It rose to play a significant role in the development and spread of the new Tantras that came to Tibet in the 11th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the holders of the Sakya tradition were also the principal political powers that ruled over Tibet .

During that time, the Sakya lamas were able to persuade the Mongol Emperor away for cruel actions against the populations.

Buddhism also became widespread over all of China.

When the emperor suggested amalgamating all other schools of Buddhism into the Sakya order, our founders had refused that suggestion so as to benefit beings who have different mental propensities.

The Five Patriarchs of the Sakya Tradition
Five of the foremost luminaries of the Sakya tradition were the renowned Sachen Künga Nyingpo (1092-1158), Loppön Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182), Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216), Sakya Pandita (1182-1251), and Drogön Chogyal Phagpa (1235-1280). Together, they are regarded as The Five Patriarchs of the Sakya Tradition.

Similar to other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, a number of sub traditions gradually emerged within the main Sakya tradition.
They are the Ngor lineage, the Whispered Lineage of Tsar and the Dzongpa tradition
To use a simple illustration, the Sakya School of the divine Khön lineage might represent the main trunk of a tree, from which the Ngorpa and Tsarpa schools branch out in different directions, but essentially remain connected at the source.

The teaching and practice that is the essence of the Sakya tradition is called “Lamdre (
Lam/bras),” or “The Path and its Fruit.” Fundamentally, the philosophical viewpoint expressed in “The Path and its Fruit,” is the “Non differentiation of Samsara and Nirvana.” According to this view, an individual cannot attain Nirvana or cyclic existence; because the mind is the root of both Samara and Nirvana. When the mind is obscured, it takes the form of Samsara and when the mind is freed of obstructions, it takes the form of Nirvana. The ultimate reality is that a person must strive to realize this fundamental inseparability through mediation.

This practice ultimately leads a practitioner to the state of the Hevajra deity, one of the principal deities of the Sakya tradition. The profound teaching itself originated from the India teachers Virupa, Avadhuti, Gayadhara and Shakyamitra, and was first brought to Tibet by Drogmi Lotsawa, who also rendered it into Tibetan. Although, during the time of Müchen Sempa Chenpo Konchok Gyaltsen, a disciple of Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382-1457), the transmission of “The Path and its Fruit” developed into two sub traditions: “The Explanation for Private Disciples (
sLobbshad)” and that of “The Explanation for Assemblies (Tshogbshad),” ever since the Lamdre teaching was first brought into Tibet, it has been passed down to this day through an unbroken lineage of masters up to His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, the present throne holder of the Sakya tradition.