Loma Bonita’s Enlightenment Stupa belongs to the Drikung Kagyu Buddhist lineage.
Literally, “Kagyu” means “transmission of oral instructions.” Vajradhara is the primordial Buddha, central for the Kagyu lineage and originator of the teacher-to-student transmission practice. The continuation of the oral instructions was followed by “The Five Founding Masters”, and it was passed on in the next manner:
From Vajradhara (the Primordial Buddha) to the Indian Yogi Tilopa (968-1069), who, during meditation, received the vision and teachings of Mahamudra; thereafter, he transmitted the teachings to Naropa (1016-1100) who perfected the methods for enlightenment, and outlined them in “The Six Yogas of Naropa.” Following, the teachings were transmitted to Marpa (1012-1097), the first Tibetan in the lineage, who then translated the Vajrayana and Mahamudra texts to ancient Tibetan. Milarepa (1052-1135), poet and teacher who overcame Marpa’s resistance to bestow the teachings on to him and who, nonetheless, achieved enlightenment in a single life. Gampopa was Milarepa’s best student; he incorporated all the teachings he received and established the Kagyu school.
Each teacher in the lineage was influenced and trained by many other teachers, and each of them, similarly, taught and trained many other disciples.
From diverse points of view, the founding of the Kagyu school marked the beginning of what nowadays is known as Tibetan Buddhism —whose Indian tantric model served as inspiration.
The Drikung Kagyu lineage, a branch of the Kagyu family, was founded 800 years ago by the Great Spiritual Master Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217), who received the teachings from Gampopa, directly by his teacher Pakmo Drupa (1110-1170).
It is said that the emergence of Kyoba Jigten Sumgon in Tibet was predicted in multiple Sutras and Tantras. Some stories consider him the emanation of Vajrapani or Nagarjuna; and, some others, say that he was the Bodhisattva Manjushri.
The lineage’s name emanates from the Drikung region, in central Tibet, where Jigten Sumgon established its primary location in 1179. The selection of the Drikung valley, although at first seemed accidental, turned out to be the consequence of an auspicious connection.
It is considered that an unusual woman, fiercely dedicated to Dharma, prophesized the birth of Jigten Sumgon and swore to protect those who were part of his lineage. This accomplished Yogini, named Chokyi Drolma, was Sumgon’s paternal great-grandmother. Her presence is a unique characteristic of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. It is unusual because she is both a female protector and an enlightened bodhisattva. The meditative practice of Achi Chokyi Drolma became so popular that it has been included in other lineages, such as Karma Kagyu.
Nowadays, like other Tibetan Buddhism lineages, Drikung Kagyu has become an international Tibetan lineage with centers, temples, Stupas, shrines, monasteries, and convents all around the world.