(Sa.skya, ‘Grey Earth’). One of the four principal schools of Tibetan Buddhism
, taking its name from the Grey Earth monastery founded by Konchok Gyalpo in 1073 CE. Konchok Gyalpo had been a Nyingma
follower until meeting the traveller, translator, and yogin
Drokmi, from whom he learnt the Hevajra cycle of tantras
and the system known as Lam Drey (lam.'bras, ‘The Way and its Fruit’), which is attributed to the Indian Siddha
Virupa. Konchok Gyalpo's son Kunga Nyingpo formally systematized the Sakya teachings from the writings of Drokmi, with Lam Drey at the centre relating tantra to sūtra
and offering enlightenment in a single lifetime. The Sakya school has always hosted a wide variety of views, producing two subsects, the Ngor (15th cent.) and the Tshar (16th cent.). The Ngor and the Tshar appoint their own heads on a merit basis. A tulku
system is recognized in the Sakya, but it is not always connected with the transmission of major posts.