Buddhist Lineage

The Lineage Traditions Of Nalandabodhi
by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Buddhadharma or Buddhism, as it is widely known today, was founded more than 2,500 years ago in ancient India by the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Over the following centuries, the teachings spread to the other countries of Asia, including Tibet. Nalandabodhi is connected with the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, two of the great schools of Buddhism, which were established in Tibet during the first millennium.

The Nyingma Lineage in particular is known for preserving and continuing the teaching lineage of Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who came from India to Tibet  in the 8th century, C.E.

The Kagyu Lineage puts special emphasis on the oral teaching transmission, and traces the lineage back specifically to the teachings of Tilopa who lived in India in the 11th century, C.E.

The director of Nalandabodhi, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, was trained as an abbot of the Dzogchen lineage of the Nyingma school as well as in the Karma Kagyu school. Rinpoche is a lineage holder of both the Nyingma school and the Karma Kagyu school. He was a heart son of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa.

Transmission from India to Tibet
Fulfilling an ancient vow and aspiration to bring the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha to Tibet, three great masters established the Buddhadharma in Tibet:

•    Padmasambhava, the Guru of Uddiyana
•    Shantarakshita, the Abbot of Nalanda University
•    Trisong Detsen, the second Dharma King

These masters are the renowned forefathers of Tibetan Buddhism. Indeed, without their kind hearts, compassion, and wisdom, Buddhism may never haven taken root in Tibet.

Tibetan Buddhist teachings were established in four major lineage streams, known as the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Geluk. For more information about the major transmission from India to Tibet, see History Of Buddhism In Tibet.

To Learn More . . .

You’ll find more information on the Nyingma lineage at the Dzogchen Monastery website.

Kagyu lineage holders are famous for composing spontaneous songs expressing spiritual understanding, some of which are collected in The Rain Of Wisdom by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and The Nalanda Translation Committee.

You’ll find detailed general information about the Nyingma lineage, including various references to the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoches in Masters of Meditation and Miracles by Tulku Thondup.

You can learn more about the history of the Nyingma school in The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism by Dudjom Rinpoche.

Lineage is a conduit carrying the primordial wisdom of Buddha, discovered more than 2,600 years ago, all the way to his present heirs — the lineage masters who hold the realization of the heart of enlightenment and transmit it to their students in dharma centers across the globe.