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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya on 11/15/2014

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Published on Feb 23, 2018

The interpreter's English translation provided during this interview is potentially incomplete and/or inaccurate. If you are not fluent in Tibetan, please refer to the interview transcript for the complete and correct English translation. Read the interview transcript in English at http://tibetoralhistory.org/Interview...

** This interview about life in Tibet was conducted by the Tibet Oral History Project. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the history and culture of the Tibetan people by interviewing elderly Tibetan refugees about life in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion. Learn more at http://www.TibetOralHistory.org.

** Interview Summary: His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya was born in the town of Sakya in Utsang Province. He is a descendant of the Khon lineage called the Phuntsok Phodrang. He was also recognized as the reincarnation of the former abbot of the Yulung Lhagyab Gon monastery in Kham. He grew up studying the Buddhist scriptures with his father and teachers, including cham 'religious dance performance by monks.' He explains the origin of the Sakya tradition and his lineage. His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya recalls his journey to Dzongsar Monastery in Kham to study under the renowned master Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro from whom he received various spiritual instructions and transmissions. He explains the importance of three different kinds of faith one must have in his teacher. He also recounts his father's spiritual accomplishments as a duthop 'one with special powers' and the miracles he had demonstrated. His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya made a hasty decision to leave Kham after Chinese intrusion in eastern Tibet. He and his family escaped to India but never expected to remain there for very long. When the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored Tibetan scholars in several countries, he accepted the invitation of the University of Washington in the United States. He taught classes there and established a monastery in Seattle because he believed that Tibetan religion, culture and spiritual activities, especially in the Sakya tradition, should be preserved.

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