His Eminence Khöndung Asanga Vajra Sakya Rinpoche
His Eminence Asanga Rinpoche hails from the Phuntsok Phodrang family, which is one of the two branches of the renowned Khön family. He is a direct descendant of the unbroken Khön lineage that dates back to 1073. As the son of His Eminence Khöndung Ani Vajra Sakya Rinpoche, the second son of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang Rinpoche, and Dagmo Chimey la, he is part of an esteemed lineage of spiritual leaders. On his mother's side, he is the grandson of His Eminence Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, a highly realized and accomplished Nyingmapa master. As a designated future leader of the Sakya lineage, Asanga Rinpoche is set to become a Sakya Trizin, the throne holder of the Sakya tradition.
Asanga Rinpoche was born on 1st May 1999 in Seattle, USA, and showed all the characteristics of a special lineage holder even as a young child. In 2003, while on a pilgrimage to all the eight Buddhist holy sites in India and Nepal, Rinpoche expressed his wish to live and study at the Tharlam Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. In April 2005, at the age of five, he began to live, study and train there as a future master and spiritual leader.
In October 2007, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche received the Lamdre Tsokshe teachings from his paternal grandfather, H. H. Dagchen Rinpoche, at the Tharlam Monastery. The following year, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche received the Lamdre Lobshe teachings from his paternal granduncle, H. H. Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, at the Dzongsar Shedra in Bir, India. He has also received many other important empowerments, teachings, and religious instructions from other great and highly realized masters such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, H. E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, H. E. Khenchen Appey Rinpoche, H. E. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, as well as many important Nyingma teachings and empowerments from his maternal grandfather, H. E. Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche.
In September 2011, at the age of twelve, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche took the Vajrakilaya Puja exam and led the congregation of lamas and monks at the Sakya Center in Rajpur, India, making him the youngest ever to successfully pass this complex, rigorous, and extensive religious ritual.
Having completed his formal ritual studies, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche began his philosophy studies under the tutelage of Venerable Khenpo Gyaltso, the principal abbot of the prestigious Sakya College in Dehradun, in 2013.