Sakya Trizin post to be alternated three-yearly between two ruling scions

Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga.
Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga.

(, Jan30, 2015) – The Sakya School, one of the four officially recognized principal traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, will from 2017 be headed for three-yearly terms by its Dolma and Phuntsok phodrangs, said a circular issued Jan 28 by the Sakya member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Geshe Gatsi Tseringpo, based on an announcement issued by the current Sakya Trizin on Dec 10, 2014. This followed an agreement reached between the two scions of the ruling Sakya family that has traditionally headed the Sakya School.

The new arrangement replaces the traditional system of alternating the headship between the heads of the two scions for the lifetimes of each of them. The current Sakya Trizin belongs to the Dolma Phodrang which is based in Rajpur, India. The Phuntsok Phodrang is based in Seattle, USA. Within each family the headship will be determined by seniority of age and fulfillment of prescribed religious qualifications.

The new mode of determining the holder of the Sakya Trizin post has been made with the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.

The Sakya dynasty had once ruled Tibet under the patronage of the Mongol Kings who later conquered China and established the Yuan dynasty there while continuing the Patron-and-Priest ties with the Sakya lamas.


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