Female Masters Within the Mindrolling Tradition

The Jetsünmas

Icon of a female masterThere has been another significant line within the Mindrolling tradition apart from the Trichen line of throne holders and the Khenchen line of vinaya holders. This is the Jetsünma line, one of the most remarkable features of Mindrolling. It is a line of many great female masters known as the Jetsünmas, daughters of various Mindrolling Trichens over the years. Beginning with Jetsün Mingyur Paldron (1699-1769), the daughter of Chögyal Terdag Lingpa, to Jetsün Tsering Paldron (1969 - ), the daughter of Mindrolling Trichen, Mindrolling has maintained a tradition of female teachers.

The activities of the Jetsünmas continue a tradition that can be traced back to such remarkable women as Yeshe Tsogyal, disciple of Padmasambhava, Machik Labdron, the great Chöd master, and the great dakini Khandro Urgyen Tsomo.

The Inspiration of Terdag Lingpa

Terdag Lingpa stressed the need for women to be educated as practitioners and teachers. He directed his descendants to maintain the precious tradition that he himself exemplified by empowering and teaching his own daughter, Jetsün Mingyur Paldron, along with his two sons. His inspiration has continued and many women have been inspired to practice and teach within this lineage.

Biographies of Female Masters

Many great female masters have lived, practiced and taught within the Mindrolling lineage. In Tibet their activities took place in Samten Tse, which was the name of Mindrolling's nunnery. In 1993, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche established Samten Tse in Musoorie, India to provide a new centre where the long tradition of activities could continue and expand.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of written records, many dates and important information are missing. Yet, we hope that through sharing this partial history, it continues to inspire and encourage all practitioners. We invite you to read the biographies of a few of the particularly luminous female teachers.