Brief History of Sakya Monastery
The Sakya Order was founded, established and flourished by the Khon lineage. The original Khons were believed to be the direct descendant of the celestial beings, who have landed on the high mountains of Tibet and then settled there.
There is not much writing about the lives and activities of the Khons. But then later, during the Khon Nagendarakshita’s time, Guru Padmasambhava and the great abbot Śāntarakṣita came. Śāntarakṣita gave the first Vinaya Buddhist monks vow, the fully ordained bhikṣu vow. As a trial, he chose seven persons - three young persons, three older persons and one middle age person, to see whether the Tibetans would be able to keep the Buddhist monks vows. One of the three younger ones is Khon Nagendarakshita.
They were very successful in keeping their vows. So it was very auspicious beginning of the great Tibetan Buddhist monastic tradition.
Since then, the Khons were very active in spreading the Buddhist teachings. And his younger brother, Dorje Rinchen, is a householder; both of them received the empowerments and teachings from Guru Padmasambhava together. Therefore the original Khons were direct disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. For many generations, they were all Nyingmapas. Their main deities were Vajrakilaya and Heruka.
The Connection Between the Nyingma and the Sakya Traditions
Later during Khon Konchog Gyalpo’s time, he felt that the time has come to start a separate school. So his elder brother, Khon Rob Sherab Tsultrim told him that, “Now you should start (a separate school). I am too old to learn. But you are young, you should study. And you should start a new tradition.”
So he went to study with Drogmi Lotsawa. Drogmi Lotsawa is the first Tibetan Lama, who received the Lam Dre teachings. Since then the Sakya school was founded - the Sakya school was actually founded by the Nyingmapa Lamas. Therefore we have a very strong connection.
Although the Sakya school belongs to the new tradition, not the old tradition anymore, we still carry on the two major deity practices (Heruka and Vajrakilaya) since it was founded. These two deities are still our main practices. Therefore the Sakya and Nyingma schools have a very close connection.
Guru Padmasambawa, of course, is actually an Indian master, and he is connected to all the schools, he is kind of the Nyingmapa’s teaching lineage holder. The Sakya Tradition was founded when the first Sakya monastery was also established.