Dharma College was founded by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, a traditionally trained teacher and author in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and Head Lama of the Tibetan Nyingmapa Meditation Center. Rinpoche was born in 1935 in eastern Tibet, where he studied with many of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. After leaving Tibet, Tarthang Tulku taught from 1962 to 1968 at Sanskrit University in Varanasi, India, where he also established one of the first printing presses to print sacred Tibetan texts. The first lama of the Nyingma lineage to establish residence in the United States, Rinpoche established a mandala of organizations to actualize his long-range vision of preserving the ancient teachings of the Buddha and transmitting them to the modern world.