The Treasury of Lives

The Samding Dorje Pakmo is a long, powerful and influential female incarnation line. The line dates from the fifteenth century and has its seat at Samding monastery in Yardrok, established by the Second Dorje Pakmo. The first Dorje Pakmo was Chokyi Dronma, the daughter of a royal family from Gungtang, and one of the few women historically to receive full ordination and start an incarnation line. Chokyi Dronma's companion Delek Chodren located her rebirth in the person of Kunga Zangmo, born in eastern Kongpo, thus initiating the incarnation line.



Chokyi Dronma, the First Samding Dorje Pakmo, was one of the few Tibetan women historically to receive full monastic ordination and to spawn an incarnation line. The daughter of a royal family in Gungtang, she married and had a child before becoming a nun and disciple of the great masters Bodong Chokle Namgyel and Tangtong Gyelpo, who identified her during her life as an incarnation of the deity Vajravārahī.

Kunga Zangmo was recognized as the reincarnation of Chokyi Dronma, and given the title Second Samding Dorje Pakmo. With the support of the local rulers of Yardrok she established Samding Monastery by restoring a preexisting site, which henceforth became the seat for the incarnation line.