Sakya Pa is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The name Sakya derives from the unique grey landscape of Pon-pori Hills in southern Tibet some 180 kilometers southwest Shigatse, where Sakya Monastery, the first monastery of this tradition, and the seat of the Sakya School was built in here by Khon Konchog Gyalpo (1034–1102) in 1073. He was originally a Nyingma (pa) monk from the powerful noble Tsang family and became the first Sakya Trizin. It ruled Tibet during the 13th century after the downfall of the kings until they were eclipsed by the rise of the new Gelugpa of Tibetan Buddhism.
Sakya Pa tradition was developed during the second period of translation of Buddhist scripture from Sanskrit into Tibetan in the late 11th century. It was founded by Drogmi, a famous scholar and translator who had studied at the Vikramashila directly under Naropa, Ratnākaraśānti, Vagishvakirti and other great panditas from India. The tradition was established by the “Five Venerable Supreme Masters” starting with Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, who became known as Sachen, or “Great Sakyapa”.
Sachen, the first of the five supreme masters, inherited a wealth of tantric doctrines from numerous Tibetan translators who had visited India. The fourth Sakya patriarch, Sakya Pandita, was notable for his exceptional scholarship and composed many important and influential texts on sutra and tantra, including “Means of Valid Cognition: A Treasury of Reasoning” , “Clarifying the Sage’s Intent” and “Discriminating the Three Vows”. The main Dharma system of the Sakya school is the “Path with its Result” , which is split into two main lineages, “Explanation for the Assembly” and the “Explanation for Close Disciples” .