The Drikung Kagyu Lineage is one of the Kagyu lineages which was founded 852 years ago, by the great spiritual master, Kyoba Jigten Sumgon. This lineage directly came from Buddha Shakyamuni and the primordial Buddha, VajraDhara. All their precious Dharma teachings came to Gampopa from three lineages, through fully enlightened masters.
The first lineage was called the Magnificent Blessing Realization lineage. From VajraDhara, it was passed on to Tilopa, from Tilopa to Naropa, from Naropa to Marpa, from Marpa to Milarepa, and then from Milarepa to Gampopa.
The second lineage was called the lineage of Profound View. It came from Buddha Shakyamuni, and it was passed to Nagajuna, then to Chanta Kirti and so forth, on to Atisha, and then from Atisha to Gampopa.
The third lineage was called the lineage of the Most Excellent Practice. It came from Buddha Shakyamuni to Manjushri, from Manjushri to Maitreya, from Maitreya to Ashanga and so forth, on to Atisha, and then from Atisha to Gampopa. Gampopa received profound teachings, secret oral transmissions, blessings, and so forth of all these three lineages.
Then all these teachings were given to PhagmoDrupa by Gampopa. Although Kagyu came from the same root, at that time the Kagyu lineage was divided into several different branches, each carrying the complete teachings and enlightened blessings. Like the wish-fulfilling tree, which comes from the same root, but is divided into different branches, each giving many wonderful blossoms and fruits.
Although PhagmoDrupa had hundreds of thousands of disciples, Lord Jigten Sumgon was one of his closest and chief disciples. PhagmoDrupa prophesied that the teachings and blessings would be carried on by a Bodhisattva, (Jigten Sumgon), who already attained the ten Bhumis. Jigten Sumgon received the complete teachings, secret oral transmissions, explanations and initiations, and enlightened realization blessings, and so forth from PhagmoDrupa. Jigten Sumgon gave all the complete teachings, including the six Yogas of Naropa, to his chief disciple, Gurawa Tsultrim Dorje. All these enlightened energies, blessings and teachings have been handed down through the great spiritual masters to the present 37th and 36th lineage holders, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang. These are among the most precious spiritual masters in the Drikung Kagyu lineage and the direct lineage holder of Jigten Sumgon. Among his disciples, Lord Jigten Sumgon prophesied again and again, "In the future my teachings will flourish by the two Bodhisattvas, who are like the sun and the moon, through their compassion and wisdom." His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is like the sun. He is the emanation of Chenrezig, the compassionate deity. His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche is like the moon. He is the emanation of Manjushri, the wisdom deity.
The Drikung is known for the Great Phowa Practice and great meditators. There are many stories about those who have attained enlightenment in one lifetime. In the 1980's the great Drikung yogis who taught in Tibet and India were Pachung Rinpoche and Kungha Rinpoche, and other great teachers. Kungha Rinpoche has attained the realization of the Yidam. He saw Chakrasamvara face to face in one life time. He taught many three year retreats, including the six Yogas of Naropa. During that time there were many wonderful inspirations given by these great retreat masters. Even in these days, there are great Drikung Meditation Masters such as GarChen Rinpoche, Tenzin Nima Rinpoche, and Druwang Rinpoche. Druwang Rinpoche has highly realized Mahamudra and is known for going to town and singing spiritual songs like Milarepa. Sometimes he offers a song of inner spiritual realization to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and their Holinesses the Drikung Kyabgons, and other high lamas. There are many great teachers who are in retreat in Tibet and India attaining their goals. His Holiness Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche has established the Drikung Kagyu Institute, JangChubling, in Dehra Dun, Northern India. There are many monks attending school there and many engaged in the three year retreat. His Holiness travels to the many Drikung monasteries in Ladakh, India and Nepal, giving extensive teachings to monks, nuns, and lay people from the east and from the west.