There 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, up to Jetsün Tsering Paldron (1969 – ), the daughterof 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.
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.
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 SamtenTse 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 pieces of 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.
Jetsün Thrinley Chödron
Jetsün Thrinley Chödron was born as the daughter of Tri Thrinley Namgyal. As an ordained nun, she received all the profound instructions
from the lineage holders of Mindrolling and many great masters of the period. She taught widely, contributing greatly to the preservation of the Dzogchen lineage, particularly the Semde and Longde transmissions. Jetsün Thrinley Chödron was one of the main teachers of the great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
Jetsün Tsering Paldrön —Her Eminence Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche
(PHOTO) As the daughter of His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen, once the revered head of the Nyingma School, Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, as she is widely known, was born in the lineage of Mindrolling, which throughout its history has had many accomplished and renowned female masters. At the age of two, Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa as the re-incarnation of the Great Dakini of Tsurphu, Khandro Ugyen Tsomo who was a one of the most well known female masters of her time. Thus, the present Khandro Rinpoche came to hold the lineages of both the Nyingma and Kagyu schools.