Palyul and Our Lineage

What is Lineage in Vajrayana Buddhism?

Lineage refers to the transmission of the Buddha’s teachings from a teacher who has realized and accomplished the spiritual path to a devoted student who similarly attains realization and accomplishment and transmits this blessing to their student, and so on. Vajrayana Buddhism emphasizes the purity and blessing of the lineage. Whenever an initiation ceremony (empowerment) is conducted, the lama first relates the history of its lineage. Also, before listening to a teaching or engaging in a practice, Vajrayana Buddhists recite lineage prayers in order to gather together the merit and blessing of the supreme, faultless, and flawless practitioners who have accomplished this very same spiritual path.


The Palyul lineage was founded in either 1632 or 1665 by Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab, a disciple of Terton Migyur Dorje, and Karma Chagmed. The monastery specializes in kama practices, the termas of Ratna Lingpa and Tulku Migyur Dorje (1645-67). The current head of Palyul Monastery is the Fifth Karma Kuchen.