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Sakya (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.

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