Our Team

Khöndung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche

Founder | Teacher | Research Historian | Translator | Digital Artist |

His Eminence Khöndung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche was born as the son of H.E. Khöndung Ananda Vajra Rinpoche, the second son of the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang family and Dagmo Chimey Drolkar. He is also the youngest grandson of H.H.Sakya Dagchen Jigdal Rinpoche and, therefore, a direct descendent of the unbroken Khön lineage, which dates back to the pre 8th century. Asanga Rinpoche is also the grandson of H.E.Garje Khamtul Rinpoche, a highly realized and accomplished Nyingmapa master on his mother’s side.

In addition to most notably being a Khön family lineage holder, Rinpoche was also recognized as the reincarnation of Phuntsok Phodrang Kyabgön Trinley Tashi by H.H. Sakya Dagchen Jigdal Rinpoche, as well as the reincarnation of Gatön Dorjechang Ngawang Lekpa Rinpoche, by H.E.the 25th Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, and the reincarnation of Jamyang Konchok Wangpo (who was the reincarnation of Jamyang Loter Wangpo) by H.E.Garje Khamtul Rinpoche.

On May 1st, 1999, Asanga Rinpoche was born in Seattle, Washington. In April of 2005, at the age of five and in accordance with his wish, Asanga Rinpoche left the comforts of home and family in Seattle, Washington, to begin his new life by studying and training at Tharlam Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. In 2007, he received the Lamdre Tsogshe teaching from his late paternal grandfather, H.H.Sakya Dagchen Jigdal Rinpoche. The following year, Asanga Rinpoche received the Lamdre Lobshe teachings from his paternal grand-uncle, H.H.the 41st Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoche. He has also received many other very important empowerments, teachings and religious instructions from other great masters such as H.H.the Dalai Lama, H.H.the 42nd Sakya Gongma Trizin Rinpoche, H.H.the 43rd Sakya Gongma Trizin Rinpoche, H.E.the 25th Chögye Trichen Rinpoche, H.E.the 75th Ngor Trirab Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, H.E.the 76th Ngor Tripa Luding Khen Rinpoche, H.E.the 77th Ngor Tripa Thartse Khen Rinpoche, H.E.Jetsun Kushok Chime Luding Rinpoche, H.E.Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the Venerable Khenchen Appey Rinpoche as well as from his maternal grandfather H.E. Garje Khamtul Rinpoche.

In 2011, Asanga Rinpoche successfully passed his examination on the Vajrakilaya puja and rituals with a perfect score and thus earned praise from H.H.the 41st Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoche.

Since 2013, Asanga Rinpoche has been studying under the private tutelage of the most Venerable Khenchen Sonam Gyatso Rinpoche, the former principal of Sakya Magön Shedra and Sakya College, as well as from other carefully selected learned and accomplished teachers and scholars such as the Ven. Khentul Khorchak Rinpoche at Sapan’s College of Five Sciences in Manduwala, Dehradun, India.

In 2016, Rinpoche began his translation career and, since then, has translated several important Indian and Tibetan Buddhist works from the Tibetan to English language and continues to do so in the present day. In that same year, while continuing his studies in India, he was appointed as the Head Lama of Sakya Vietnam (Sakya Tsechen Shiday Choling) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, by H.H.Sakya Dagchen Jigdal Rinpoche. In 2018, he was appointed as the Head Lama of Guru Sakya Monastery in Ghoom, Darjeeling, India, by H.H.the 41st Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoche and H.H.the 42nd Sakya Gongma Trizin Ratna Vajra Rinpoche.

In 2020, Rinpoche began giving regular explanatory teachings on major Buddhist works to westerners and easterners in the English language, which he has gradually become fluent in.

At present, Rinpoche has become the most active and youngest Sakya master to bestow explanatory teachings, with thousands of people joining in online to listen and apply the teachings to their daily lives diligently.

In 2021, Rinpoche launched the ‘Sakya History Resources’ project, an educational initiative to shed light on the golden spiritual and political history of the Palden Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for the modern audience in Tibetan, English, and other languages in an accessible way such as on social media platforms.

In 2022, Rinpoche founded ‘The Chabi Foundation’, the base for many of Rinpoche’s important spiritual projects to help preserve a unique culture and traditions, as well as many charitable projects to put the Buddhist principles of loving-kindness and compassion into action.

Apart from being an American born Buddhist teacher, Tibetan Translator, and Historian, Rinpoche is also a Photographer, Graphic Artist, Designer, Patron of the Arts, Writer, and Poet.