The Lineage of the Dagyab Kyabgoens

The lineage of the Kyabgoens, “Lords of Protection”, of Dagyab goes back to Dragpa Gyatso (1572 - 1638). He was born in the region of Dagyab into a family who were followers of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dragpa Gyatso went to study at Ganden Monastery near Lhasa in Central Tibet and became a well-known Gelugpa teacher and meditation master. After completion of his studies the 4th Dalai Lama, Yoenten Gyatso (1589-1616), asked him to return to Dagyab to help people there in their spiritual pursuits. Back in Dagyab he gave many teachings and spent several years meditating in a cave that had a protruding rock outcrop (Tib.dag, Engl. rock; Tib. yab, Engl. protruding outcrop). That is how he later became known by that name. His activities also took him to neighboring regions formerly called Chayuel, Kyongyuel, and Getshang. He accumulated a large following and his disciples became so devoted to him that, out of gratitude, they offered him all their land. Eventually, this led to the unification of these regions into one county which constitutes present day Dagyab County. He spent the rest of his life in Dagyab and because his vast activities brought much benefit and happiness to the area, he was later known as the Kyabgoen of Dagyab, the Protector Lord of Dagyab.


Since the 4th Kyabgoen of Dagyab all following reincarnations have additionally held the title Hothogthu Nomonhan (Engl. Noble; Tib. 'phags-pa, Skr. Arya). Hothogthus are among a small group of the highest ranking reincarnated lamas who were often reincarnations of Regents (Tib. Gyaltul) of Tibet. The present 9th Dagyab Kyabgoen is the only Hothogthu living in the west.


In a prayer dedicated to the lineage of the Dagyab Kyabgoens, several Indian and Tibetan masters are mentioned as previous reincarnations of the Dagyab Kyabgoens. The most well known among them is the great translator Loden Sherab (1059-1109) from Central Tibet. Therefore, the Dagyab Kyabgoens were also known as Lama Loden Sherab. This name remains until the present. Thus the current 9th Kyabgoen of Dagyab holds the name H.E. Loden Sherab Dagyab Kyabgoen Rinpoche.