Due to the efforts and teachings of the great Mahaguru Padmasambhava, Buddhism flourished in Tibet beginning in the 8th century. Of the four main schools that developed, the oldest is the Nyingma or the Old Translation School. The Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug lineages comprise the Sarma or New Translation School.
The essence of the Nyingma lineage is the precious Dzogchen teachings, the most ancient, powerful and direct teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. For today’s troubled world, these teachings are the clearest and most effective way to realize one’s full potential as a human being.
The Nyingmapa or Nyingma School has six main monasteries of learning and practice. Of the six, Mindrolling was one of the largest and most important practice and study centers in Central Tibet.
Established in 1676 in the Drachi Valley by the great Dharma king Chögyal Terdag Lingpa, Mindrolling attracted monks from the length and breadth of Tibet. Mindrolling was, and is today, considered by all the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, and especially by all the teachers of the Nyingma lineage, as an inspiring example of the practice of the pure and profound Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism. An unbroken lineage of great masters continues up to this day. With the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, many Tibetan masters were urged to flee in an attempt to protect their lives and thus the precious teachings.
Mindrolling began to re-establish its monastic seat in exile in Dehra Dun, India in 1965, through the untiring efforts of His Eminence Khochhen Rinpoche and small group of monks. Embarrassed by the wilderness and rough conditions on the land they had selected, they first worked to build monk's quarters and the main shrine room before inviting His Holiness the XIth Mindrolling Trichen to assume leadership. His Holiness then moved from Kalimpong to Dehra Dun in 1976.
Mindrolling in India is known today throughout the Dharma world, both as the lineage and monastery dedicated completely to Dharma activities and as a main center for maintaining the precious secret Vajrayana Doctrine.