A Brief Biography of Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche

Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche was born in Seattle,Washington, in 1993 into the Phuntsok Phodrang, one of two branches of the Khon lineage, a Tibetan family whose ancestry can be traced back to the earliest origins of Buddhism in Tibet over a thousand years ago. The Khon family’s ancestral homeland is the town of Sakya in Tibet, and the town’s name gave rise to the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism – the Sakya tradition – whose history is inextricable with that of the Khon lineage. Every generation of Sakya’s Khon lineage has produced exemplary Buddhist scholars, practitioners and teachers who have been highly respected across Tibet and central Asia for their scholarship and spiritual accomplishment.

Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is a leading figure in the new generation of Sakya scholars, practitioners and teachers. He relocated from the USA to Dehradun in northern India at the tender age of four to undertake the traditional, comprehensive and rigorous Buddhist education required to follow in his forebears’ footsteps in becoming a teacher in his tradition, studying under the most revered masters of his lineage, including H.H. the 41st Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoche, his late grandfather H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang, H.E. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and other great lamas.

After mastering the intricate rituals of the Sakya lineage, completing extensive meditation retreats and presiding as Vajra Master of the annual grand Vajrakila ceremony in Darjeeling, Rinpoche enrolled at the Dzongsar Institute in India in 2010, where he successfully built on his extensive learning of Buddhism with a programme of study and dialectics to gain proficiency in the classic treatises of Sakya’s philosophical tradition, and, since 2016, has taught philosophy classes there.

He began teaching the profound Dharma teachings of the Buddha with inimitable warmth, clarity and insight in 2012 to both Tibetan and Westerners, and shortly after that to Chinese Buddhists in the Far East.

These days, Rinpoche spends much of the year at the Dzongsar Institute where he continues to study, teach, and undergo retreats. When not in Dzongsar, he travels extensively to the USA, UK, Europe, Nepal, Taiwan, Hong Kong and many other places to share the Dharma.

Rinpoche also encourages people to get up from their meditation cushions from time to time to put the Dharma into action in helping others through The Marici Fellowship, which he founded in 2018 to co-ordinate community welfare projects. He also established The Bhadracarya Foundation in Nepal to maintain annual Buddhist activities in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. He is Head Lama of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle as well as the Sakya Heritage Society in New Delhi.

Rinpoche is also author of the forthcoming book published by Shambhala, Wake Up to What Matters.

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