Khöndung Ratna Vajra Sakya, born on November 19th 1974, is the eldest son of His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin. Enthroned on 9th March 2017 as the 42nd Sakya Trizin, he is one of the most important lineage holders of the Khön family, whose successive generations have provided an unbroken lineage of outstanding masters.
From birth, Rinpoche was the recipient of blessings, empowerments, initiations and teachings mainly from Root Guru Vajradhara His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin. Also from many of the foremost masters and scholars of this age, including His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, the late H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, H.E. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and the late H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche.
Khöndung Ratna Vajra masters all the major rituals of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism, which he learned under the guidance of his father His Holiness the Sakya Trizin. Rinpoche is considered to be one of the most highly qualified lineage masters of both the esoteric and exoteric teachings of philosophy and meditation according to the Sakya School. He is renowned for his erudition and the clarity of his teaching.
In 1980 he began his formal education under the tutorship of Ven. Rinchen Sangpo.
Later in 1980/81 Ratna Vajra Rinpoche received for the first time the cycle of the precious uncommon Lam Dre teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.
On 8th October 1981 in the presence of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, his tutor, and prominent members of the Sakya Centre, he took his first oral examination on the Remembrance of the Triple Gem, The Three Heap Sutra, The Confession Sutra, the Extended Lineage Guru’s Prayers and several other texts.
He then embarked on the basic monastic curriculum of studies, consisting in Tibetan reading, writing, grammar, memorisation and recitation of basic prayers, and rituals. In 1986 he performed his first retreat on Vajrapani Butadramara together with his mother, Her Eminence Gyalyum Kushok.
15th of 7th Lunar Month, 7th September 1987, His Holiness 42nd Birthday, when Rinpoche was 12, he passed the challenging Vajrakilaya examination at the Sakya Centre, and spent the following years pursuing the study of rituals according to the Sakya Tradition.
Following this, Rinpoche joined the Sakya College, in 1990 where he spent years studying Buddhist Philosophy under notable teachers, including the late Khenpo Migmar Tsering. While at Sakya College, Rinpoche distinguished himself through his academic excellence and passed all his examinations with distinction. In 1998, he graduated with a Kachupa degree, the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy.
During his early adulthood, Rinpoche sought and received numerous teachings from great Sakya scholars, including H.E. Khenchen Appey Rinpoche (1927-2010), Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk Rinpoche (1921-2008) and Khenpo Lungrik Senge. He also performed many retreats on the principal deities of the Sakya tradition, and presided over numerous ritual ceremonies in India, Nepal and abroad.
Rinpoche bestowed his first Lam Dre teachings at the Sakya Centre, Rajpur in 2005 and again at Ngor Monastery in 2006/2007. And in 2013, he gave his first foreign Lam Dre teachings in Singapore. He has accompanied His Holiness the Sakya Trizin on many international teaching tours and has himself also given many teachings and empowerments worldwide. Rinpoche’s teaching activities span across the globe, from Asia to Europe and North America, tirelessly expounding the Buddha Dharma so as to benefit as many students of the Dharma as possible.
On September 12, 2002 His Eminence married Her Eminence Dagmo Kalden Dunkyi, who is from renowned family, graduated from USA, who is learned compassionate. Their first child, Her Eminence Jetsunma Kunga Trinley Palter Sakya was born on January 2, 2007, the Parinirvana Day of Sakya Pandita, which is considered very auspicious according to Tibetan custom. Their son, His Eminence Dungsay Akasha Vajra Rinpoche, was born on March 27, 2010, the 12th day of the 2nd month of the Tibetan calendar, anniversary of the Parinirvana of Jetsun Rinpoche Drakpa Gyaltsen, also considered very auspicious. His birth in New Delhi was accompanied by a slight earthquake, which is also considered an auspicious sign. It intimates that a great being has entered this world. On 24 January 2013, their second daughter, Her Eminence Jetsunma Kunga Chimey Wangmo Sakya, was born in Dehra Dun, India.
Khöndung Ratna Vajra Rinpoche lives with his family at the Sakya Dolma Phodrang in Rajpur, His Holiness the Sakya Trizin’s official residence in India.