Mindrolling History Project


We are happy to present you with a short introduction to the family history of Mindrolling. The lineage of Mindrolling has been very vast and important historically and is connected to so many aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and the various lineages, that in recording its history, one would also have to record the history of many other familial and practice lineages and other great clans of Tibet. This would then make the work of compiling a detailed history of Mindrolling into a very long work which would require a much larger effort and a lot of time and research. Therefore, at this time, we have brought you just some concise information on the history and biographies of the main family members of Mindrolling who were pivotal in their role of preserving and propagating the precious Dharma in general and the Mindrolling lineage in particular.

The main family of Mindrolling has always maintained its tradition of remaining very low profile. Avoiding any exhibition of pomp and display, it has tried to remain very rooted to just connecting to the various ways in which it can serve the Dharma. The family history was mainly documented by an oral tradition wherein the family chamberlain was entrusted with keeping and recording the family history. On the first day of Losar (Tibetan New Year), the chamberlain would publicly recite the entire history in the presence of the monastic and lay assembly in the main shrine hall.

One of the reasons for there being very little written family history was because of this system of oral tradition which fell through when Tibet was invaded by the Chinese army and many of the senior monks and administrators were killed or died in imprisonment. Nevertheless, this family is known throughout the world of Tibetan Buddhism and regarded with great respect and love by everyone. The immeasurable contribution of Mindrolling to the history of Dharma is mentioned time and again by great masters of the past such as the Dalai Lamas, the Karmapas, Jamyang Khyenste Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, Sechen Kongtrul, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and many other great masters of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Despite their busy schedule and other responsibilities while traveling, Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche and Jetsün Dechen Paldrön, who are both the 12th generation direct descendents of this lineage since Chögyal Rigzin Terdag Lingpa, have been overseeing the compiling of this short version of their family history for the students of this lineage in the west and others who might be interested. We hope these short documentations collected from written family history and anecdotes received from their root teacher and father the 11th Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen and some other teachers will be helpful to people in knowing a little more about this very precious lineage.

Office of Practice and Study
Lotus Garden Retreat Center
June 2008

Last update: 6 November 2011