The group of Mindrolling monasteries is one of the six main groups of monasteries within the Nyingma sect. The first Mindrolling Monastery was founded by the great terton H.H. Rigzin Terdak Lingpa. The Mindrolling Monastery was the first monastery where Direct Transmission and Mind Transmission were combined, where old translations of sutras and treatises were collected, where uncovered dharma treasures from the south of Tibet were collected, and where historians of the Nyingma sect gathered. It is therefore the monastery that most completely embodies the totality of the Nyingma sect. It is responsible for reviewing and making final decisions on the dharma books and the history of the Nyingma sect. Someone once asked H.H. Dharma King Dudjom, “Who represents the Nyingma sect?” H.H. Dharma King Dudjom answered, “The Mindrolling and the Nyingma mean the same thing.” One can see from that answer the status the Mindrolling monasteries have within the Nyingma sect.
H.H. Master Rigzin Terdak Lingpa was the incarnation of the great translator Bairotsana and was called Unchanging Vajra. He was the sutra master for H.H. the fifth Dalai Lama and established the Mindrolling Monastery in 1670. He later organized and established rules relating to dharma practice; rules relating to the beating, blowing, and playing of dharma instruments; and pure, excellent rituals relating to dancing, painting mandalas, and chanting. Additionally, the Mindrolling Monastery was the place where Tibetan astrology, the Tibetan lunar calendar, Tibetan painting, Tibetan rhetoric, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan calligraphy, and other branches of Tibetan learning originated.
During the time of H.H. the seventh Dalai Lama, the Mindrolling Monastery was generally acclaimed as being foremost among all the monasteries in Tibet in the area of cultural attainments. That is why at that time the main professors of the Potala Monastic Institute, which was the first college in Tibet, came from the Mindrolling Monastery. The Mindrolling Monasterys predominance in cultural attainments has continued unbroken to this present day. Even today the Mindrolling monasteries still serve as models for all of the large and small monasteries of the Nyingma sect to emulate.
H.H. Dharma King Mindrolling Trichen is not only the holder of the dharma teachings of the Mindrolling monasteries, he is also the dharma king of the entire Nyingma sect. Every generation of Mindrolling Trichen has been extremely learned. Rinpoches from almost all of the other temples come to the Mindrolling monasteries to learn. The current Mindrolling Trichen is the eleventh Mindrolling Trichen. Because he is famous for practicing dream yoga, he has been respectfully called the sleeping dharma king. Under H.H. Mindrolling Trichen, there are H.E. Khenchen Rinpoche, Ven. Khochhen Rinpoche, H.E. Khandro Rinpoche, and other famous rinpoches.
Seated in the center is H.H. Dharma King Mindrolling Trichen, who is the supreme leader of the Nyingma sect. On the left is H.H. Dalai Lama, who is the dharma king of Geluk sect. On the right is H.E. the ninth Mindrolling Khenchen Rinpoche. Standing behind is Venerable D.G. Khochhen Rinpoche, who is the general secretary of H.H. Dharma King Mindrolling Trichen.