In contrast to many lineage founders, the Vajradhara Tsarchen did not found a monastery or establish a
physical locale for his teachings. As a wandering ordained monk receiving tantric transmission, roaming as an eclectic vagabond, Tsarchen’s Sakya lineage was maintained by his two close monastic students Khyentse
Wangchuk and Ludru Gyamtsho of the Nalandra Phenpho monastery.Tsarchen Losal Gyatso’s introduction
to his teacher Doringpa arose
through a visionary encounter with an embodiment of the enlightened feminine. While living as a monk at a Gelugpa monastery, Tsarchen was said
to have met a lady a with ‘shimmering eyebrow and facial hair’ who handed him the Tantric cycle of Khechari and told him that the Lord Doringpa summons him to Ka’u. The description red by Tsarchen identifies this
woman as an emanation or appearance of the wrathful dakini Khechari, Vajrayogini, the personal yidam, or meditational deity of Doringpa. This appearance of Vajrayogini led Tsarchen to Lord Doringpa in the forest surrounding the Ka’u Fortress (Drakdzong) near the region of Sakya. The Vajrayogini, or Khechari cycle is
described as the ‘heart’ of the Tsarpa lineage, with the Hevajra practice as its pillar. Bestowing and receiving empowerments with masters of the new (Sarma) and old (Nyingma) traditions, Tsarchen is said to have studied with sixty-three master without sectarian bias. As a declaration of his intimate association and practice of all the lineages of Tantra within Tibet, Tsarchen declared that there are “no mantras of the new and old traditions of secret mantra that I have not recited according to the specifics of propitiation”. As a master with experience in all the lineages of Tantric Buddhism, Tsarchen acknowledged the long mantra of Mahakala as the most powerful mantra he knew. When
Tsarchen passed away at the age ofsixty-“ve, it is said that he dissolved into the nature of space itself (skt. Dharmadhatu), an indication of his high realization.
Tsarchen Losal Gyatso was the great founder of the Tsharpa sub-sect of the Sakya tradition. Tsharchen Losal Gyatso resided at the Dar Drangmochen Monastery in Tsang province, Tibet. He possessed all the qualities and virtues of saint and scholar. He studied with sixty-three masters from the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism without any bias and received all profound teachings that were available in Tibet the time. Tsharchen Losal Gyatso was able to reach high level of realizations with Vajra Yogini as his guardian.
Given the omniscient qualities of Tsharchen Losal Gyatso, he attracted a vast number of students from all traditions. Tsharchen Losal Gyatso came to be the second “Vajradhara of our age of discord”. Tsharchen Losal Gyatso was a disciple of Doringpa Kunpang Chenpo and his two primary disciples were Khyentse Wangchuk and Ludrup Gyamtsho who continued to maintain the Tsharpa lineage as exemplified by the extraordinary attainments of the late Zimwocks and Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. The home monastery for the Tsarpa tradition in Tibet is Nalendra founded by the Mahasiddha Rongton Sheja Kunrig (1367–1449).