Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Founding Teachers of the Buddhist Traditions

Founding Teachers | Religions Main Page

This is a list of the most famous founding teachers of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism. It is not definitive and not complete. For example, although Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal (1594-1651) is credited with the founding of the state of Bhutan, he did not necessarily introduce Drugpa Kagyu to the region of Bhutan. Pajo Drugom Zhigpo (1208-1276) introduced Drugpa Kagyu to the region of Bhutan in the 13th century. For Shalu Monastery, Buton Tamche Khyenpa Rinchen Drub (1290-1364) was certainly the most famous teacher but he did not found the monastery, that was done in 1040 by Chetsun Sherab Jungne. It is difficult to find images for a number of the early founders of the various traditions, lineages and monasteries.



Traditions by Founder:

- Shakyamuni Buddha - Buddhism
- Nagarjuna - Madhyamaka
- Asanga - Yogachara

- Atisha (982-1054) & Dromton (1004-1064) - Kadam
- Bodong Panchen Chogle Namgyal (1376-1451) - Bodong
- Buton Tamche Khyenpa (1290-1364) - Shalu/Bulug
- Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen (1292-1361) - Jonang
- Dzogchen Pema Rigdzin (1625-1697) - Dzogchen (Nyingma)
- Dusum Khyenpa Chokyi Dragpa (1110-1193) - Karma Kamtsang (Dagpo Kagyu)
- Gampopa Sonam Rinchen (1079-1153) - Dagpo Kagyu
- Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217) - Drigung (Dagpo Kagyu)
- Katog Dampa Desheg (1122-1192) - Katog (Nyingma)
- Kedrub Khyungpo Naljor (1050-1127) - Shangpa Kagyu
- Khon Konchog Gyalpo (1034-1102) & Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158) - Sakya
- Kunga Namgyal (1432-1496) - Dzongpa (Sakya)
- Machig Labdron (1055-1149) - Cho
- Marpa Chokyi Lodro (1012-1096) - Marpa Kagyu
- Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382-1456) - Ngor (Sakya)
- Orgyanpa (1230-1309?) - Orgyan Nyendrub
- Padampa Sanggye (d.1117) - Zhije
- Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita & Trisong Detsen - Nyingma
- Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab (1636-1698) - Payul (Nyingma)
- Rechungpa (1085-1161) - Rechung Nyengyu
- Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal (1594-1651) - Drugpa, Bhutan (Dagpo Kagyu)
- Shechen Rabjam Tenpe Gyaltsen (1650-1704) - Shechen (Nyingma)
- Taglung Tangpa Chenpo (1142-1210) - Taglung (Dagpo Kagyu)
- Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje (1646-1714) - Mindrolling (Nyingma)
- Tsangpa Gyare (1161-1211) - Drugpa (Dagpo Kagyu)
- Tsarchen Losal Gyatso (1494-1567) - Tsar (Sakya)
- Tsongkhapa Lobzang Dragpa (1357-1419) - Gelug
- Others....

Jeff Watt 12-2011