In the picture (from left to right): His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje,
His Eminence Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche, Venerable Sangter Rinpoche
There are four main schools, which developed within the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. One of them is called Kagyu. The differences between the schools stem mainly from historical circumstances and do not pertain to the essence of teachings. They come down to putting more emphasis on a certain aspect of the Buddhist practice or using slightly different liturgy texts.
Karma Kagyu, also commonly called Karma Kamtsang, is one of the largest sub-schools within Kagyu tradition. His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa is its highest authority.
A characteristic feature of Tibetan Buddhism is that each monastery is independent, has its own tradition and own spiritual leaders, who are usually addressed by the honorific title "Rinpoche".
His Eminence Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche is the head of Benchen Monastery, thus being also the head of our Association. Furthermore, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche and Benchen Chime Rinpoche (who has never left Tibet) are the most important lamas of this monastery. At present, also Sangter Rinpoche is directly associated with this monastery and actively supports our activities.
The Fourth Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche founded Benchen monastery in the 17th century in Tibet. In the 1980s, the Third Tenga Rinpoche established the main branch of the monastery in the capitol of Nepal - Kathmandu, near Swayambhunath stupa. Later, Benchen Centers were established in other Asian countries and several European countries, including in Poland.
Benchen Karma Kamtsang Buddhist Association was founded in 1994 and is listed in the Polish register of churches and other religious organizations, in section A, position 85. Its REGON number is 010767828 and NIP number is 1181294140.
The seat of the Association is located in Benchen Karma Kamtsang Buddhist Centre in Grabnik, near Jaktorów (40 km West from Warsaw). There are also local Benchen centres and groups of practitioners in several towns in Poland.
The Association is the founding member of the Polish Buddhist Union under the auspices of His Holiness Dalai Lama. It is also a member of the European Buddhist Union since 2011.