Sangye Palzang was born to the Be family, near Taksang in the mountainous region west of Lhasa. His father was Pon Rinpoche Zang and his mother was Tsebum Pal. Prior to his birth, his parents had been experiencing a great deal of suffering, having just lost their first child. At this time, they were approached by the hermit Ridro Rinchen and the scholar-translator Changchub Tsemo. They assured Pon Rinpoche Zang and Tsebum Pal that they would soon have a wonderful child, and they beseeched them to protect him well. Upon his birth, his parents named him Sangye Palzang. As a small child Sangye Palzang showed great kindness and compassion to all of the animals.
At the age of ten he began to help the villagers by writing letters and reading documents, already being the most skilled letter-writer in the province. At the age of fifteen, Sangye Palzang took novice monk’s vows before the abbot Khenchen Gyalwé Shangpa. He studied with Shangkarwa and by the age of eighteen was able to give new explanations on the texts. A year later, he took the full ordination with Shangkarwa as his abbot. Sangye Palzang trained in both relative and ultimate Bodhicitta, with a mind settled within the realisation of their inseparability. He received instruction on the Six Yogas of Niguma. After one year of practicing Tummo, the blazing heat of bliss and the realisation of the Illusory Body arose within him. He gained a clear understanding of the Dream Yoga practices of transformation as well as a continuous experience of the Clear Light nature of mind. When Sangye Palzang passed away, sweet smells and a clear radiance filled the room, and when his body was cremated, rainbows illuminated the sky.