Who we are

Auspicious Beginnings

Three brothers stood before the Great Stupa of Jarung Kashor in Nepal, and each in turn made their aspirations. One brother wished to be a king who could uphold Dharma in land beyond the Himalaya; another wished to be a leader of the Sangha there; yet another wished to be born as a powerful tantric master who could quell the uprisings of spirits and other obstacles. Each vowed to play their part in spreading the Dharma far to the north of India’s plains, and still farther, even beyond Nepal’s endless mountains. These powerful seeds of aspiration were to sprout, then to fully ripen, in the eighth century.

As a result of their aspirations the three brothers reincarnated as the tantric master Guru Padmasambhava, the Dharma king Trisong Detsen, and the great abbot Shantarakshita. Once their karmic connections had reunited them in Tibet, it was their combined efforts that led to the establishment of Samye Monastery, Tibet’s first monastery—a beacon of wisdom, compassion, and dignity in our world. The establishment of Buddhism was thus accomplished on a grand scale and its importance cannot be overstated, since it were these auspicious beginnings that secured a thousand year long tradition of Buddhist masters and practitioners that upheld the Dharma to the present day.

The Samye Mandala

The Samye Mandala’s overarching mission is to preserve and propagate this incredible lineage of practice and accomplishment, inspired always by the example set by the great masters who founded Samye, first and foremost, the Mahaguru Padmsambhava. With their blessings, these priceless realms of knowledge will bring benefit to today’s world, for the sake of generations to come.

Samye Translations

Once Samye monastery had been built, one of Guru Padmasambhava’s main projects was to translate the Dharma into the Tibetan language. Taking this vast and profound translation project as our inspiration, Samye Translations aspired to follow in the footsteps of the Mahaguru, and like the translators at Samye monastery once did, translate and spread the Dharma in all languages throughout the world.

Samye Translations in particular looks to Prince Murup Tsenpo, a heart-disciple of Guru Padmasambhava who was praised for his translation efforts as Lhasé Lotsawa, is thus as our chief role model, for he embodies our aspiration to benefit the world through providing authentic sources for practice and realization. This sublime being was reborn thirteen generations later as the Great Treasure Revealer Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa.

The core mission of Samye Translations is to help preserve and disseminate the Dharma by translating Buddhist practices and teachings and making them available in print as well as online. While our main focus is to support followers of the Profound Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa (Chokling Tersar) by providing essential materials for their study and practice, we also translate texts from all Buddhist traditions, both ancient and modern, hailing from the time of Shakyamuni Buddha right up to our present age.

Phakchok Rinpoche

Deeply inspired by the life and legacy of Guru Padmasambhava and the Great Treasure Revealer Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa, Phakchok Rinpoche has made his life’s work the spreading of the teachings of Mahaguru Padmasambhava and, in particular, the Profound Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa (Chokling Tersar). The Mahaguru is renowned for guiding the establishment of Samye Monastery, which created the auspicious causes and conditions (tendrel) for over a thousand years of authentic practice in the land of Tibet, an incredible lineage of accomplishment that continues to this present day. Reflecting upon these auspicious beginnings, Phakchok Rinpoche has given his organization the name Samye, which means inconceivable. Just as this ancient Tibetan institution became, as the name suggests, a truly inconceivable source of the Buddhadharma, Rinpoche’s aim is for today’s Samye Mandala to become an inconceivable beacon of wisdom, compassion, and dignity for our present world, long into the future.

In honor of Mahaguru Padmasambhava, Rinpoche chose a seal to represent Samye that traces back to the Mahaguru himself. This esteemed emblem was initially drawn and subsequently concealed by the Mahaguru for the benefit of future generations. It was later discovered as a treasure by Terchen Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa in the 19th century in Tibet. Currently, it serves as the emblem for the Profound Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa and all Dharma activities led by Phakchok Rinpoche and his Sangha.