His Holiness lost both his mother and father when he was very young. His maternal aunt then dedicated herself to raising His Holiness. She appointed his first tutor with whom His Holiness learned to read, write, memorize and recite basic prayers. He also learned chanting, music, ritual dancing, mudras, and so forth from his junior tutor. Both tutors taught His Holiness how to perform all the rituals and prayers in the traditions of both the northern and southern Sakya monasteries. At the conclusion of these studies, a great celebration was held, in which His Holiness officially entered the Mahayana and Vajrayana Monasteries to perform the traditional Sakya ceremonies. In 1950, at the age of five, his main root Guru, the great Ngor abbot Vajradhara Ngawang Lödron Shenphen Nyingpo bestowed upon him the Lamdre and other profound teachings.
In 1951, His Holiness made a pilgrimage to Lhasa , where he was designated the throne Holder of the Sakya Order by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Accordingly, the following year, a preliminary enthronement ceremony was held in which he accepted the official Sakya seals. Even at this early age, he was exceptionally intelligent and skilled in fulfilling his responsibilities. At the tender age of seven, he passed an extensive oral examination on the Hevajra root tantra at the Great Sakya monastery. At the Ngor monastery, the Great Ngor abbot and his root guru bestowed upon him both the common and uncommon Lamdre teachings. In 1953, in response to his root guru’s expressed intention to enter into Mahaparinirvana, His Holiness performed his first long life initiation of Amitayus at Ngor monastery and also undertook his first Hevajra meditation retreat in Sakya. His Holiness was then only eight years old.
In 1962, at the age of seventeen, His Holiness gave his first Hevajra initiation in Kalimpong. After moving to Mussoorie, in 1963 he set about to re-establish the main seat of the Sakya Order in nearby Rajpur. The assembly of Sakya monks were relocated to the newly established Sakya Centre, where he gave many profound teachings and initiations. In the same year for the very first time, His Holiness gave the precious Lamdre teachings in Sarnath, Varanasi . A year later, he established the Sakya settlement, in Puruwala, Himachal Pradesh, for the lay members of the Sakya community.
In order to main the tradition of the Khön family lineage, His Holiness married Dagmo Tashi Lhakee in 1974. Within the year they celebrated the auspicious birth of their elder son Ratna Vajra. In the meantime His Holiness made his first teaching tour of Europe, America and various countries in Asia . In 1976 His Holiness gave his second Lamdre teachings at the Sakya Centre. The following year, at the request of H.E. Luding Khen Rinpoche, His Holiness taught the “Collection of Sadhanas” at the Matho monastery in Ladakh. In 1977, he again gave teachings throughout Asia, Europe and the United States . Two years later, in 1979, his younger son Gyana Vajra was born.
In 1980 His Holiness performed the opening ceremony of the main Sakya monastery. Thubten Namgyal Ling in Puruwala, and bestowed his first Lamdre Lobshed teachings. In 1982, His Holiness the Dalai Lama paid an official visit to the monastery and bestowed many teachings. From Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, His Holiness also received the uncommon Tsarpa tradition of Lamdre teachings and the Jonang tradition of “The Hundred Explanations.” A year later His Holiness performed a special long life ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
He once again taught widely in Asia and Europe in 1984. At Sakya Tsechen Ling in France he gave the Lamdre Lobshed teachings for the second time. The following year His Holiness consecrated the Maitreya temple in Kathmandu at the request of Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. At the end of that year he attended the Kalachakra initiation given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya.
In order to promote higher education and extensive philosophical training, as well as to maintain the living transmission of the Sakya teachings, His Holiness has established the Sakya College in Rajpur and the Sakya Institute in Puruwala. For the benefit of the Sakya nuns, His Holiness established the Sakya Nunnery in Dekyiling, Dehradun where over 170 nuns are receiving religious instructions. This way, through His Holiness’ wisdom and insight, His Holiness has revitalized both the Sutric and Tantric traditions of the Sakya Order in particular and that of Tibetan Buddhism in general and ensured the continuity of Buddha Dharma.
In March 2017, His Holiness acceded the throne of Sakya to his son His Holiness Ratna Vajra Sakya under the new system of succession of Sakya Trizin. However, he continues to give teachings and transmission tirelessly to the public.
This biography is just a fraction of the numerous activities of His Holiness that a common person has the capacity to perceive. Many of His Holiness’ inner and outer activities are beyond our grasping and understanding.