OF THE COLLEGE
For a very long period of time in the history of Tibet,
particularly during the times of the five founding masters of the Sakya Order
and of Lama Dhampa, Ngorchen, Tsharchen, Yagton, Rendhawa, Rongton and Gorampa,
the Sakya Tradition spread far and wide throughout Tibet and flourished in its
splendor. Tibet had many great scholars, saints and monastic institutions of
learning and meditation belonging to the Sakya Tradition.
Even in later times, there were the great monastic seats of Sakya,
Ngor and Tsar in central Tibet and many institutes of learning and meditation in
East Tibet, such as the Dzongsar University in Dege. These monastic institutes
had continued to produce many learned scholars and meditators until the
Communist China forcibly occupied Tibet in 1959. This resulted in the escape of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Sakya Trizin along with other high
lamas, Tibetan officials and thousands of Tibetans as refugees into India and
For the first few years in exile in India the Tibetans remained
busy trying to survive and to settle down in a new lifestyle and environment.
Once in exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama initiated many schemes and projects
to preserve the rich heritage of Tibetan religion and culture and encourage the
great religious traditions of Tibet to establish and run their own monasteries
and institutes. Emphasis was laid on teaching and studying their uncommon
traditions of rituals, philosophy and other fields of knowledge.
Therefore, with the blessing and guidance of His Holiness Sakya
Trizin, the most Venerable Khenpo Appey Rinpoche founded the Sakya College in
Barlow Ganj, Mussoorie, on 19th December 1972, on the Mahaparinirvana Day of the
Great Sakya Pandita. Ven. Khenpo
Appey Rinpoche and the late Jared Rhoton (Sonam Tenzin) had searched for an
ideal place in Shimla and some other hill towns to establish the college, but
the final choice had been Mussoorie. So an Indian house was rented to serve as a
hostel for the students and classrooms.
At the opening ceremony H. H. Sakya Trizin presided over the
function which was also attended by Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, Chewang Tulku (then
General Secretary of Sakya Center), Jared Rhoton, Jay Goldberg, Joan Ellis, Anne
Marshall and, of course, the first batch of seven students.
The College was the first of its kind in India among all the
Tibetan Buddhist traditions. While in Barlow Ganj, Mussoorie, the College had to
change its residence two times. In 1978 the College was registered under the
Indian Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. Since then, like all registered
institutes, the accounts of the College were scrutinized and approved by
recognized chartered accountants. And all the major decisions were to be taken
by the Governing Body of the College.
From 1972 till 1985, Khenpo Appey Rinpoche had taken the entire
responsibility of holding classes, supervising administration and raising funds
for the College. Subsequently, Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin took over charge, and
taught in the classes and looked after the administration of the College until
1989. His role in steering the College was also very significant and
praiseworthy for the reason that he remained stable and guided the College
skillfully at a time when it was going through the most difficult phase.
In May 1989, the late Ven. Khenpo Migmar Tsering took over the
principal-ship of the College and served as the chief instructor and
administrator of the College till February 1999 when, due a tragic illness, he
The late Khenpo contributed greatly to making Sakya College the
dynamic institute that it is now. He will always be remembered for his hard
work, dedication, straight forwardness and amicable disposition.
The college is now in the twenty seventh year of its existence.
Having contributed greatly to the cause of Dharma, most especially in the
furthering and dissemination of the knowledge and religious experience of the
great Sakyapa masters and text, the college looks forward to the next Millennium
with further resolve under the guidance of Khenpo Gyatso La to whom His Holiness
has entrusted its charge.