The Dzongpa Tradition is a branch of the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery of Gongkar Dorje Dhen was founded in 1464 by saint and scholar, Thumi Kunga Namgyal (1432-1496) also know as Gongkar Dorjedenpa.
Dorjedenpa Thumi Kunga Namgyal was so named because he was the 13th descendant of Thumi Sambhota. He was the foremost student of Draktopa Sonam Zangpo, who was the principle student of Thekchen Chokyi Gyalpo.
Following the tradition of his forefathers, Kunga Namgyal became the Dzongpon (governor) of Gongkar Dzong when he was fifteen years old. At that time he received the vows of a lay devotee from his main Lama, Draktopa Sonam Zangpo. During that time he received many teachings, including the Sakya Lamdre. His learning was incredibly vast and he was an unparalleled scholar and saint. At age thirty-three, he established Gongkar Dorje Dhen Monastery, in the province of U in central Tibet, completing the entire monastery in 1 year.
His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche (Tenzin Jampel Lungtok Namgyal) is the current throne-holder of the Dzongpa tradition of Sakya. He was born in 1978 high in the mountainous region of Arunchal Predesh in northern India, close to the Tibetan border. At the age of eleven, he was recognized as the reincarnation of Dorje Dhenpa Kunga Namgyal by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.
Rinpoche graduated from Sakya College in 1999. He holds the Shastri degree (equivalent of B.A.) and Acharya degree (equivalent of M.A.).
In 2003, near Dehra Dun in India, Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche establish Gongkar Choede Monastery. The monastery was completed when he was just 26 years old.
A Brief History of Dzongpa
Lhokha Gongkar Choede Monastery, Tibet Cham Dancers, pre-1959
Cham Dancers, Losar, 2008 Gongkar Choede Monastery, India. Losar, 2008
H.E. Gongkar Dorje Dhempa Rinpoche