The Drukpa Lineage (the “Dragon Lineage”) is an integral part of the Himalayan and Central Asian legacy and culture. Dating back to the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, the Drukpa Lineage is woven throughout the history of Buddhism in India, the Himalayas and Central Asia.
The Drukpa Lineage follows the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of “enlightened for the benefit of others” and the methods are based on the Tantrayana teachings passed down from the great Indian saint Naropa, who was born a prince in 1016. It acquired the name “Drukpa” in the twelfth century when the reincarnation of Naropa, Tsangpa Gyare, saw nine dragons flew up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk. The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the twelfth incarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage.
The Drukpas are best known for taking its meditation practice off the mat and into the world – converting compassion into action to tackle the world’s challenges.
Because the Lineage makes its home along the most important historic trading routes, its core tenet of Ultimate Truth fostered and nurtured great civilizations throughout the region including modern day Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Today, the Drukpa Lineage sprawls across major parts of the Himalayas, especially in Ladakh, Kinnaur and ahaul-Spiti in India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Bhutan, also known as “Druk Yul” or “Land of Thunder Dragons”, honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion. The lineage is also widely practiced in many countries throughout the world, especially Vietnam, another nation that is deeply influenced by the legends of “Dragons”. For its contribution to India and its neighbours, the Department of Posts – Government of India celebrated Buddha Purnima with the release of a commemorative stamp on the Drukpa Buddhists on 14 May 2014, a rare and perhaps first recognition given by the Indian government to a particular Buddhist lineage.