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The Longchen Nyingtik Cycle - Khenpo Choga

The Longchen Nyingtik Cycle - Khenpo Choga

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Dzogchen Khenpo Choga's brief teaching on the history of Longchen Nyingtik
Dzogchen Khenpo Choga's brief teaching on the history of Longchen Nyingtik

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Published by: BLhundrup on Jan 18, 2014
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By Khenpo Choga Rinpoche
Transl. Andreas K.
30th 1994
The teachings "Ne are recei\lin_g righr now from Tulku 1Jrg;,Ten Rinpoche are
called the Longchen Nyingtik. These teachings go back to a large collection
called the J\f_yingma CJ1o Bum, or '100,000 tantras of the ()ld School,! vVithin
the 1\f}Tingma Cho Bum, vve find all the tantras of the Nyingmapa School, all its
scriptures and all its oral instructions. These teachings. gathered together in
the collection of 100,000 tantras of the 1'{vingn1a Cho Bum, vvere originaJJ:-y·
taught by Buddha Shak:yamunL himself, while manifesting in the form of
Vajrasatt·va. VTajrasatt'.'a gav2 these teachings to the first human (Dzogchen}
teacher. Garab Dorje1 vvho in turn taught them to his student, jampal
Shenyen, -vvho in turn taught them to his student, ,Shri Singha. who in turn
taught them to his student, jaanasutra, vvho in turn -caught them to hL'-:
students. Vlmalamitra and Guru Rinpoche. Thus, all the original Dzogchen
teachings. vvhich are six million four-hundred thousand Dzogchen tantras.
were transmitted down t.o the great masters. \limalamitra and
Padmasambhava, and these rvvo great masters condensed all those teachings
into a single massive collection known as the '100,000 tantras of the Old
SchooL f or the 1\f_vingma Cho Bum.
The 1'i}lingma Cho Bum contains all the Nyingmapa teachings which 'Ne
have novvadays: fortunately everything from the Old School is included
therein. The Longchen Nyingtik teachings vve are receiving from Rinpoche are
the quintessence of all those 100,000 tantras. For example, if you could put
all the fruits, vegetables and various foods of the \Vorld together, chop it all
up and put it through a juicer, the quintessential juice you -vvould end up with
\vould be the essence of all the fruits, and vegetables and food of the \vorl d.
In the same -vvay, all the essence and meaning of the Cllo Bum is contained in
LongchE:n Nyingtik teachings.
The 'lery name 'Longchen Nyingtik' immediately' reveals all the meaning of
the Dzogchen teachings. Those beings of highest capacity are again
subdivided into higher1 medium and those vvho are the highest of the
high merely through hearing this name completely realize the meaning of the
·words Long chen Nyingtik. 'Long' means expanse. 'chen r means great, 'nyingi
means heart. and 'tig
stands for ,, tigle' vvhich means 'bindu: or essence.
Longchen, the or vast refers to the ultimate state of
VVe distinguish bet\veen the ultimate truth and the relative truth. This
teaching belongs to the ultimate truth. vVithin the ultimate truth. it is
phrased as the state of , primordial purity' and -spontaneous presence.' Both
states are an inseparable unity. That state of primordial purity and
spontaneous presence is the 'great expanse,' the quintessential heart essence.
That is the meaning of the name Long chen Nyingtik.
Those teachings, which we received so easily today, were not so easily
available in the old days. Consider the kind of great hardships masters like
:tvlilarepa and lY1arpa had to undergo in order to receive initiation from their
masters; reading their biographies, you can see that they had to struggle for
10 or 20 years even to receive the initiations and then get the teachings to
put them into practice. They devoted their whole lives to receiving those
empo\verments. When we get them so easily right now, vve should keep in
mind hovv this tradition was in the past-- what kind of hardships the great
masters had to go through in order to receive those empowerments.
There is a reason for those hardships; once you go through the hardship of
getting the teachings, you dedicate yourself to the teachings and you make
the commitment to put those teachings into practice. So vvhen vve receive the
teachings nowadays, we should take the old masters as an example and also
make a personal commitment when we want to receive those empowerments.
We commit ourselves to practice. Offering such a commitment to the teacher,
who is giving the empowerment, is not for the sake of pleasing him because
he does not receive any benefit if we do practice, nor is he harmed if we don
do practice. Who should vve be kind to then? To ourselves. We should take
care of and be kind to ourselves by taking up the commitment to do practice.
\,Vhen \Ve do practice, we are really kind to ourselves because we help
ourselves through the practice. That is the reason why vve make a
commitment to do practice.
vVhen Buddhism first came to Tibet, it vvas spread at the very outset by
the great masters, Vimalamitra and Guru Rinpoche. Yet, when they first
entered Tibet, they were not at all because the tradition in
Tibet was then Bonpo, a shamanistic religion. \Vhen these two great masters
arrived. the Tibetan people very carefully scrutinized them to see what kind
of quality they might have. Some intelligent and   beings,
through their careful scrutiny of these great masters, generated heartfelt
devotion to those teachers. Based on this devotion, the teachers felt inclined
to teach them. Then, the intelligent students put those teachings into practice
and behaved according to teachings and practiced according to the teachings.
They reached realization. So, this is how Buddhism first came to Tibet --
through some intelligent beings giving rise to devotion.
vVhen Vimalamitra and Guru Rinpoche saw that there was indeed a base
for the spread of Buddhism in Tibet in those days and also for the future
generations, they condensed the essence of all the teachings in to so-called
'treasure teachings,' or terma teachings. At that time, they hid these termas
in rocks, in the earth, and e·ven in the sk)r for the benefit of future
generations. Those teachings include the Longchen Nyingtik, which is also a
Guru Rinpoche had a motive for hiding those termas, since there is a
specific reason and significance regarding vvould uncover these termas
and they vvould be revealed. Guru Rinpoche hid these termas because
he knew exactly when, in the future, the lineage would become stale and
need renewing. He knew precisely that there would be times of great
difficulty for the spread of the teachings, therefore he hid appropriate
teachings meant especially to benefit beings during those times; they would
be revealed by his emanations, so-called tertons or 'treasure-revealers,' who
would appear at certain time-periods in order to spread particular teachings
appropriate to a number of beings of that day.
Guru Rinpoche hid his terma teachings in various places. Teachings that he
hid in the ground are called 'earth   terma teachings were also
hidden in water, in rocks and even within space. They were hidden within the
mind or heart of beings who had not yet been born; in their future
incarnations, these teachings manifested in the mind or heart of the destined
treasure-revealers. Those terma teachings are called ' mind treasures.'
Guru Rinpoche gave the Longchen Nyingtik teachings to a wisdom dakini
(female being) \vho had a special connection vvith the Boudhanath stupa. lie
gave her a scroll of yello\v parchment; she later passed this same scroll on to
one of Guru Rinpoche's emanations named jigme Lingpa. Jigme Lingpa
received this teaching in Boudhanath from that wisdom dakini, in person.
That is the actual origin of the Longchen Nyingtik treasure, but it is also very
closely connected to the great expounder of the teachings, named Longchen
Rabjam. He is the great master whom the Tigle Gyachen sadhana is about.
Longchen Rabjam goes back to the days when Guru Rinpoche \vas the
(teacher) of the king, Trisong Deutsen. Trisong Deutsen has a young daughter
who died when she was 16 years old. Her name was Lajam Perna Tsal. Her
corpse was brought before Guru Rinpoche and he conferred many initiations
on the corpse of this 16-year-old girl. Prophesy was made thaJ, in the future,
she would be reborn as the treasure-revealer, Perna Ledral Tsal. Perna Ledral
Tsal's next rebirth was predicted to be Longchen Rabjam. So, Longchen
Rabjam was already blessed and consecrated by Guru Rinpoche in person
during his former life as the king's daughter.
vVhen Longchen Rabjam finally took birth in Tibet, he was a very, very
diligent practitioner from the very beginning. From a very young age, he
studied with many great masters, such subjects as Sanskrit, poetry, the
different sciences, philosophy, rituals, and meditation. He w-as a very poor
man, being born into an impoverished family. He did not come from a Lama's
family, but from common stock so he had to work his way up in Tibetan social
structure from the very bottom.
Finally, he met his man Dzogchen teacher, called the great master and
knowledge-holder Kumaraja. From Kumaraja, he received all the instructions
of the Dzogchen lineage called the Nyingtik lineage, or 'heart-essence' lineage.
When he received those teachings and put them into practice he fully
actualized the meaning of those teachings. He actualized them in such a way
that he realized the meaning of the inseparability of samsara and nirvana.
Realizing the inseparability of samsara and nirvana, is the real meaning of
tantra. 'Tantra' means to realize the inseparability of samsara and nirvana.
You realize these Dzogchen teachings on this inseparability not by looking in
books or by studying, but through your own awareness-wisdom. You must
actualize the recognition of this awareness-wisdom. Once the recognition of
the awareness-wisdom is actualized, the meaning of tantra is actualized -- the
inseparability of samsara and nirvana is thus, actualized.
In this way, Longchen Rabjam traversed the entire path, trained in the
awareness of the path and actualized the awareness of fruition. He trained in
the tantra of the path and actualized the tantra of fruition. He became the
very embodiment of all the Dzogchen tantras. So, we should perceive
Longchenpa not just as a great Lama, but as the very embodiment, the
actualization of all the Dzogchen tantras. From him, all the Longchen Nyingtik
teachings are derived.
In the Longchen Nyingtik teachings, there is the ground, path and fruition.
Within these teachings, there is also the view, meditation, action and fruition.
Everything is included in these teachings; in fact, all the Dzogchen tantras and
teachings are embodied in Longchen Rabjam, in person.
Understand Longchenpa not as just a Tibetan master; rather, he is the
actual manifestation of the enlightened mind of Buddha Shakyamuni. He is
Buddha Shakyamuni because he has realized, actualized, the meaning of
tantra. He is the embodiment of all the meanings of tantra. We have the
tantra of words and the tantra of meaning; there is a tantra of ground, path
and fruition. The tantra of words is just what we see in books; this is only
the exemplified tantra. But what tantra is really about is the realization of
the inseparability of samsara and nirvana. Longchenpa had actualized that
Under Kumaraja, he undenvent the progressive trainings of Trekcho and
Togal. He progressed through the four visions of Togal which are: actualized
dharinata, increased visionary experience, awareness reaching fullness and
the exhaustion of concepts and phenomena. He completed those four Togal
visions and actualized the exhaustion of phenomena and concepts, the very
highest level. In this \vay, he became the embodiment of all the Dzogchen
Longchenpa, himself, had a famous had a famous terma collection called
the N)lingtik Yabshi, or "Four Sections of Nyingtik.' From when Longchen
Rabjam died until the present day is about 633 years. About 300 years after
his death, a great Lama was born in Tibet. His name was Jigme Lingpa, and he
was one of the destined treasure-revealers predicted by Guru Rinpoche.
There are different kinds of treasure-revealers; some are direct
incarnations of Guru Rinpoche, while some are pure-minded beings who have
received the blessings of Guru Rinpoche and then manifest as a treasure-
revealer. For Jigme Lingpa, both were the case. He was a direct emanation of
Guru Rinpoche, and he was also a very pure being who constantly received
the blessing of Guru Rinpoche.
Jigme Lingpa vvas just an ordinary monk who, from the very beginning of
his life, was intensely interested in practice. Longchen Rabjam had composed
numerous incredibly fantastic commentaries on Dzogchen teachings, such as
the "Three Cycles of Realization' and the "Seven Treasures' or DzodDun. When
Jigme Lingpa met these writings of Longchenpa, he developed strong devotion
and realized that if he wanted to reach enlightenment in that very lifetime,
he would have to gain the same level of realization as Longchen Rabjam
through the practice of Dzogchen. He thought, "If I want to gain the same
realization as Longchenpa, I should pray intensely to him and put all my trust
in him."
So, what did he do? He went into a three-year retreat at the cave area,
known as Samye Chimpu, located above Samye Monastery. For three years, he
just did nothing else but develop heartfelt to Longchenpa; that was his
practice, praying day and night to longchenpa. Through having this intense
devotion, he finally actually met Longchenpa, in person, three times. On the
first occasion, he realized the first level of Togal; on the second occasion, he
realized the second and third level of Togal and on the last occasion, he
realized the fourth level of Togal. On the first occasion, all of his physical
obscurations were purified; on the second occasion, all his vocal obscurations
were purified and during the third meeting, all his mental obscurations were
purified.   h e n ~ all the meaning of the Dzogchen teachings became utterly
vivid and apparent in his mind.
At the same time, he was, in actuality, visited by a white lion. He n1ounted
that lion and rode into all ten directions of the universe. Finally, in actuality,
he arrived at the Boudhanath stupa and met that wisdom dakini to whon1
Guru Rinpoche had given the Longchen Nyingtik treasures. From that wisdom
dakini, he physically received the above-mentioned yellow parchments. He
got the direct command to eat them, so he quickly chewed them up and
swallowed them down. _At the very moment he had svvallowed them down.
all the symbolic writings of the Longchen Nyingtik teachings, as wen as their
meaning, appeared vividly clear in his field of vision and utterly clear within
his mind. Until he wrote them do-vvn, they \vould never depart from hin1.
When he returned to his cave in Tibet, he practiced those teachings for a
couple of years and slowiy wrote them down. But until he had written them
dovvn, the writings remained (before him) within space. Finally, he wrote
down the cycle of teachings that we are receiving right now from Tulku
Urgyen ..
They are called the 'Long chen Nyingtik Teachings,' and within these
teachings there are practices of Lama, Yidam and Dakini which are structured
on an outer, inner, secret and most secret level. The outer level for the Lama
practice, meaning how to accomplish the Lama, how to merge your mind with
the Lama, is the Guru Yoga. The inner practice of how to accomplish the Guru
is called the internal practice of the Rigdzin Duspa. The secret practice is
generally phrased as the 'Secret Practice of Dugngal Rangdrol', which is a
standing Chenrezig form. Some say that the Yidam practice is a mind
accomplishment, accomplishing the mind of P3.lchen Du pa. Both are in the
secret way of accomplishing the Guru. The innermost secret way of
accomplishing the mind of the Guru is known as the 'Tigle Gyachen Sadhana,'
the sadhana based on Longchenpa.
When you do the Tigle Gyachen practice, understand why you should have
strong devotion to Longchenpa. Understand him as the very embodiment of
all the Dzogchen tantras. When you accomplish this sadhana, if you meet
Longchenpa, face to face, you will have the same experience that Jigme
Lingpa had -- your physical, vocal and mental obscurations will be utterly
purified. All the words and meaning of Dzogchen will clearly manifest in your
mind. That is the reason for doing this practice; it is the quintessence or
embodiment of all the Dzogchen teachings.
Do your practice with devotion, not with blind devotion, but with devotion
that comes from knowing the reason why you are carrying out this practice.
The only way to ever accomplish the Dzogchen teachings is through devotion.
Jigme Lingpa, himself, said that after he attained realization he taught
Dzogchen to many teachers, and he could clearly see that all the intellectuals
went astray into concepts and were unable to get the real meaning of
Dzogchen. All the diligent students, who \'\rere purely diligent in their
practice, also did not get it. They went astray by being carried away by
different kinds of worldly meditation states. Those who really got the
meaning of Dzogchen were those who followed unwaveringly the path of
devotion. When one is intelligent and devoted, one makes it; when you are
diligent and devoted you make it. It's best when you are intelligent, diligent
and devoted -- putting all three qualities together -- then you will swiftly
progress. But being only smart, you won't make it; being only diligent, you
also won't make it. Yet, by just being devoted, you will always make it. So,
devotion is the purest and quickest path to travel on in the Dzogchen
Furthermore, don't chase after many different practices. Atisha said, nin
India, we practice just one yidam, one main meditation practice our entire
life. That way, one swiftly attains realization." If you do one yidam practice,
like for example the Tigle Gyachen, in conjunction with the Dzogchen practices
and teachings we receive from Tulku Urgyen on Trekcho and Togal, then you
have a complete set. You need not chase after many yidam practices as,
Atisha said, the Tibetans do. Atisha said, "The Tibetans have hundreds of
yidams, but don't ... " [end of tape].
Even ordinary jerks like us, will make Longchenpa, face to face, as Jigme
Lingpa said. He said, nif you don't meet Longchenpa in person (through this
practice,) I will, for sure, go to helL"
What we are receiving thesedays are called 'empowerments' or abhisheka.
'Empowerment' means we are empowered to read the texts, such as the
sadhana we have right now; we are empowered to do the practice and
meditation; we are empowered with the blessing to receive the fruition of
those practices. It is as though we have been granted a certain power,
permission, a certain status quo. If you do not have the empowerment, yet
you try to practice this, it is like trying to be a policeman by just dressing up
as one without being appointed by the government to do this job-- you are
just faking the position. But when the government has invested you with the
power of this position, then you really are the policeman and you can push
people around. You have been 'empowered' to do so. That's actually what
empowerment is about -- it gives you the permission to read certain practices
and materials, to do certain practices and it gives you the blessing of the
lineage to receive the fruition through doing those practices.
So, of course, it is wonderful to be completely simplistic and uncontrived
when doing one's practice, to do just absolute practice, but one must have the
capacity to do so. When you are not sick, you don't need to eat medicine --
you just sit there and enjoy continued good health. But when you are sick,
you need to rely on different substances, such as medicine; you must rely on
complexity. If a sick person tries to act like a healthy person, and not take
his medicine, that person will die. But a healthy person has absolutely no
need for medication, and naturally will not consume any.
In the same way, when you are naturally, all the time, undistracted from
the recognition of awareness, you need not do any contrived practices -- not
at all, because you have already actualized the essence. But when you have a
mere glimpse, and then become distracted again, and- then have another
glimpse, then you need a certain amount of contrivedness. Dzogchen practice,
in itself, is uncontrived; it doesn't need any elaborations. It is a state beyond
hope and fear, but in order to reach this ongoing continuity beyond hope and
fear, we need to contrive a little bit -- we need devotion, we need
renunciation, we need revulsion. vVithout those things, vve will never reach
there. If we vvant to cross the ocean, we need to rely on the ocean water to
row our wa;,/ to the other shore. Once vve are on the other shore, we can
forget about the ocean. Once we have non-stop stabilit:yr in the recognition (of
mind-essence), we no longer need to rely on devotion or revulsion-- it has all
naturally manifested already. Therefore, realize you don't get an)I'A
here in
Dzogchen without possessing a qualified teacher. You need a qualified teacher
"{vvho has gone the whole route, and knows how to guide his or her students
through giving them the teaching. You need to have trust in that teacher, and
the desire to reach the state of enlightenment. If you have that direction in
your mind, that direction, in itself, is called 'devotion. i vVhen you -vvant to go
in that direction, and you discover so1neone who shows you the path, that is
called 'having trust and devotion in a teacher.' For instance. have Tulku
Urgyen; we trust his words, we trust his teachings, and vve follow his
instructions. We need this devotion in order to go in the right direction.
Devotion is utterly indispensable. It is also indispensable to feel revulsion
toward samsara, and renunciation. When you walk, you need to press your
foot down and push a\vay; in the same way, you need to have the desire or
idea to move a-vvay from samsara. When you walk and press   foot away,
you take a step in a certain direction with your other foot that step is
, devotion' that takes us in the direction of enlightenment.
At our stage, vve need the contrivedness and a certain degree of complexity
of having devotion and renunciation. vVithout these two, we w·on't get
anywhere with Dzogchen practice. tvloreover, every practitioner ofDzogchen
needs the practices of Guru Yoga, Yidam practice, Dakini practice and
Dharmapala practice. Still, in Dzogchen you can combine these aspects all into
a single sadhana, such as the Tigle Gyachen. Longchenpa is the lama, the
yidam, the dakini and the dharmapala. Conceive the practice of Tigle
Gyachen, ofLongchenpa, to be the embodiment of all four aspects of practice:
lama, yidam, dakini and dharmapala. They are all four included within
Longchenpa. In this way1 you need not get into a lot of different practices:
you just do that single sadhana in conjunction vvith mind-nature practice,
with strong devotion. strong renunciation and you 'Nill be on the clear vvay to
That is the teaching for today. Thank

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