Sakya Pandita

  Male      Tibetan      Leader

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Chöjé Sakya Paṇḍita Künga Gyeltsen ( 1182-28 November 1251) was a Tibetan spiritual leader and Buddhist scholar and the fourth of the Five Sakya Forefathers (Wylie: sa skya gong ma lnga). Künga Gyeltsen is generally known simply as Sakya Paṇḍita, a title given to him in recognition of his scholarly achievements and knowledge of Sanskrit. He is held in the tradition to have been an emanation of Mañjuśrī, the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas.

He became known as a great scholar in Tibet, Mongolia, China and India and was proficient in the five great sciences of Buddhist philosophy, medicine, grammar, dialectics and sacred Sanskrit literature as well as the minor sciences of rhetoric, synonymies, poetry, dancing and astrology. He is considered to be the fourth Sakya Forefather and sixth Sakya Trizin and one of the most important figures in the Sakya lineage.

He was born as Palden Dondup at Sakya in the noble family of Jamyanggön (Khön). This lineage had held the abbotship of Sakya on a hereditary basis since 1073. His father was Palchen Öpoche (1150-1203) and his mother Machig Nyitri Cham. Sakya Paṇḍita was the nephew of Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216), and became the principal disciple of this prominent scholar. He was instructed in the sutras and tantras by Dragpa Gyaltsen and mastered Sanskrit and three Inner Asian languages. Eventually he was initiated as a śrāmaṇera by his master and given the religious name Künga Gyeltsen...

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