Interviewee Profile

Name: Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, His Holiness
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 85

Date of Birth: 1929

Birthplace: Sakya, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Rinpoche

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 27C

Date: 2014-11-15

Language: Tibetan

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Categories: Buddhist Traditions

Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, childhood memories, escape experiences, festivals, refugee in India -- life as, refugee in the United States -- life as, Utsang


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.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tony Sondag (Videographer)
  • Jamyang D. Sakya (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya on 11/15/2014

Length: 01:25:23

© 2009-2018 Tibet Oral History Project. These translations and transcripts are provided for individual research purposes only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Tibet Oral History Project, P.O. Box 6464, Moraga, CA 94570-6464. Privacy Policy