Jigme Lingpa Series
Courtesy of Tertön Sogyal Trust
The source of love and compassion for all beings, who knows all that is knowable,
You are the emanation of Longchenpa, and heir to a treasury of mind termas;
Sky-like yogin, of the vast expanse of luminosity,
Jikmé Lingpa, at your feet I pray!
A series of texts by and about the great Dzogchen master Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa, 1730–1798), who revealed the Longchen Nyingtik (klong chen snying thig) collection.
This prayer to be reborn in Sukhāvatī draws upon the Array of Amitābha Sūtra (amitābhavyūhasūtra, Toh 49) for its elaborate descriptions of the blissful realm. As with many of Jigme Lingpa's writings, the text is beautiful yet opaque in places, and the translation thus relies upon Rigdzin Gargyi Wangchuk's (1858–1930) commentary entitled Gateway to the Realm of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing gi 'jug ngogs).
- Entering the City of Omniscience: An Aspiration Prayer for Actualizing Words of Truth | Aspiration Prayers
This popular prayer by the vidyādhara Jigme Lingpa includes aspirations related to every stage of the path, from gaining a precious human rebirth and following a qualified teacher through to accomplishing the most advanced practices of Dzogpachenpo and, thereafter, working for others' benefit.
- The Prayer of the Ground, Path & Fruition – From the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse | Aspiration Prayers
An aspiration prayer to recognize the various phases of the four intermediate states, or bardos—the natural bardo of this life, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmatā, and the bardo of becoming—and apply the techniques and practices that will bring about realization.
Calling the Guru from Afar
- Calling the Guru from Afar: A Prayer to Jigme Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Calling the Guru from Afar
Composed in Darjeeling (most likely in 1958), this short invocation of Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (1730–1798) calls upon the famed Dzogchen master and treasure-revealer by his various names and invokes his blessings and inspiration.
- Precise Discernment of Dharmas: A Catalogue of the Complete Collected Works of the Omniscient King of Dharma, Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa by Getse Mahāpaṇḍita | Karchak
Getse Mahāpaṇḍita wrote this catalogue to the collected writings of Jigme Lingpa on the occasion of their publication in Derge in or after 1802. He begins with a biography of Jigme Lingpa, then identifies the patrons of the printing, the King and Queen of Derge, and the one who requested the publication, Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer. This is followed by the actual catalogue, which lists all Jigme Lingpa’s writings except those of the Longchen Nyingtik revelation, for which there is a separate catalogue by Jigme Losal Özer.
- Elucidating the Body Maṇḍala: Clarifications on the Recitation Manual of the Female Practice of the Queen of Great Bliss | Longchen Nyingtik
Further clarifications on the bodily maṇḍala (lus dkyil) of Yumka Dechen Gyalmo including the correspondence between external and internal sacred places, composed at the request of the female disciple Palding Jetsünma (alias Lhading Jetsün) of Gyangru.
- The Casket of Siddhis: A Recitation Manual for “Vidyādhara Assembly” (Rigdzin Düpa) | Longchen Nyingtik
- The Loud Drum of Spring: A Commentary on the Difficult Points of the Ritual of the Great Compassionate One, Natural Liberation of Suffering | Longchen Nyingtik
This is one of two commentaries by Jigme Lingpa on the Dukngal Rangdrol practice of Avalokiteśvara that he himself revealed. Here, Jigme Lingpa offers a word-by-word explanation of the sādhana, both its preliminaries and its main part, in a simple yet precise manner. He does not comment on the feast offering section, which was added only later by the First Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinle Özer (1745–1821).
- The Words of the Awesome Ones: A General Overview of the Three Yogas from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse | Longchen Nyingtik
This fundamental text from the Longchen Nyingtik cycle summarizes the view of the three inner tantras— Mahāyoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga—and explains the approach, close approach, accomplishment and great accomplishment phases. It also elucidates major categories, such as the three objects, three enemies, and three ravines, and shows how each of the inner tantras overcomes the four māras.
A practice of confession and offering as a means to purify vows and restore commitments related to every level of the path, from the śrāvaka vehicle through to Atiyoga or the Great Perfection. The text was first revealed by Jigme Lingpa in 1760 while he was staying at Samye Chimphu.
This revelation, part of the Longchen Nyingtik, describes the pure awareness, or rigpa, that is the "natural state" (gnas lugs) of the mind, and how all the qualities of the path and fruition are complete within it. The text is considered a definitive statement on the topic, eliminating all doubts and need for further clarification.
- A Ritual of Blessing and Empowerment for the Female Practice, from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse | Longchen Nyingtik
This source text of the Yumka Dechen Gyalmo empowerment, part of the original treasure revelation of Longchen Nyingtik, served as the basis for later, more elaborate manuals composed by Jamgön Kongtrul and the Third Dodrupchen, Jigme Tenpe Nyima.
- Clarifying the Self-Initiation: An Empowerment of the Great Compassionate One, the Natural Liberation of Suffering | Longchen Nyingtik
Jigme Lingpa himself composed this self-initiation (bdag 'jug) for the Natural Liberation of Suffering (Dukngal Rangdrol, sdug bsngal rang grol) practice of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle at the request of a lama called Rinchen Dorje.
- Illuminating the Meaning of Empowerment: A Self-Initiation for the Female Practice of the Ḍākinī | Longchen Nyingtik
This self-initiation (bdag 'jug) for the practice of Yumka Dechen Gyalmo was composed by Jigme Lingpa himself. Receiving empowerments in this way, he explains, is a means of purifying impairments and breakages of samaya and receiving inspiration and blessings, and should therefore be practised regularly and repeatedly.
- The Root Empowerment of the Vase Conferring Majesty from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse | Longchen Nyingtik
Guru Rinpoche Prayers
Jigme Lingpa explains why the tenth day of each month is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava and the benefits of recalling his twelve most significant deeds, which are commemorated on these days throughout the year.
A heartfelt prayer for invoking Guru Padmasambhava—"the great guru of Oḍḍiyāna"—as the embodiment of all sources of refuge and pledging to entrust oneself to him completely in all situations and circumstances, but especially in times of difficulty, during this current degenerate age.
- Secret Path to the Mountain of Glory—A Prayer of Aspiration for the Copper-Coloured Mountain of Glory | Copper-Coloured Mountain
This prayer of aspiration to be reborn in Guru Padmasambhava's heaven of Zangdok Palri (zangs mdog dpal ri), the Copper-coloured Mountain of Glory, includes detailed descriptions of its wonderful features and extraordinary qualities. The text is a terma (gter ma) revelation and part of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle.
- The Prayer that Swiftly Fulfils All Wishes (Sampa Nyur Drupma) by Longchen Rabjam and Jigme Lingpa | Guru Rinpoche Prayers
This prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the swift fulfilment of all wishes begins with a verse from ‘The Infinite Cloud Banks of Profound Meaning’ (zab don rgya mtsho'i sprin phung), which is part of Longchen Rabjam’s Khandro Yangtik (mkha' 'gro yang tig), and concludes with several verses written by Jigme Lingpa. It is said to be particularly beneficial for Tibet, as it has the power to pacify illness, prevent famine and border invasions, and contribute to the welfare of the teachings and beings.
Jigme Lingpa himself describes this text as "a prayer invoking and imploring Guru Rinpoche, coupled with an aspiration prayer suitable for daily recitation based on the root words of the way to attain liberation through the experiences of the bardo states." It was inspired by a sense of sorrow and renunciation when, one morning during a retreat near Samye, Jigme Lingpa glimpsed Mount Hepori in the distance and thought about the great events that had taken place there during Padmasambhava's lifetime, little or no trace of which remained.
- The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel: The Outer Practice of Guru Yoga from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse revealed by Jigme Lingpa | Guru Yoga
- The Continuous Shower of Blessings: A Prayer to the Lineage of the Great Perfection’s Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse (Dzogpachenpo Longchen Nyingtik) revealed by Jigme Lingpa | Longchen Nyingtik
One of the fundamental works in the core Longchen Nyingtik collection, the root tantra provides a terse overview of the inner tantras and a brief account of the treasure's revelation. As Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche remarked, it is usually taught only to a few select disciples.
- The Excellent Path to Omniscience: The Dzogchen Preliminary Practice of Longchen Nyingtik arranged by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer | Ngöndro
The root text of the outer and inner preliminary (ngöndro) practices from the Longchen Nyingtik, compiled by the First Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinle Özer, based on the original revelation of Jigme Lingpa and other sources.
- The Lute of the Gandharvas: A Garland of Offerings of the Sixteen Vajra Goddesses | Longchen Nyingtik
This offering prayer, a mind-treasure presented to Jigme Lingpa by the goddess Sarasvatī, abounds with Indian cultural references and features sixteen goddesses who offer symbolic gifts, including the sounds of various musical instruments.
A short historical guide to the sacred place of Samye Chimphu, where Guru Padmasambhava taught and granted empowerments to his twenty-five disciples, who then meditated in the surrounding caves and attained signs of accomplishment. Later, as Jigme Lingpa explains, the place became a pilgrimage site that was visited by many of Tibet's most illustrious masters.
Part of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle, this Vajrasattva guru yoga is entitled 'Cultivating the Pure Realm of Abhirati (or Manifest Joy)' but is often known simply as 'Dorsem Ngön-ga' (Abhirati Vajrasattva). It includes all the standard elements of visualization, offering, mantra recitation and receiving empowerment.
This brief liturgy for invoking the inspiration power, or blessings, of the eight vidyādharas (rig 'dzin brgyad) of India was extracted from ‘A Precious Casket: A Framework for Accomplishment, from the Ocean-like Assembly of Awesome Ones’ (dpal chen bka' 'dus rgya mtsho las/ sgrub pa'i khog 'bubs rin po che'i za ma tog).
- Rain of Accomplishments: A Concise Fulfilment Practice for the Female Awareness-Holder (Yumka) | Longchen Nyingtik
This fulfilment (bskang ba) practice is so rare that it was not included in previous editions of Jigme Lingpa's collected writings but appears only in modern liturgies of Shechen and Namdroling monasteries.
- The Blissful Path of Action Tantra: A Ritual for Taking the One-Day Vows of a Lay Practitioner | Sojong
A short ritual for taking the eight vows of a lay practitioner (upāsaka/upāsikā) for a single day. As Jigme Lingpa mentions, it is traditionally recommended to take these precepts on the eighth, fifteenth (full moon) and thirtieth (new moon) days of each lunar month.
This practice of eight branches (prostration, taking refuge, offering real and imagined gifts, confession, rejoicing, generating bodhicitta, offering the body, and dedication of merit) derive from the Tantra System Vajrakīla (rgyud lugs phur pa), which is part of the Nyingma Kama collection, but appear in other texts, especially empowerment rites.
- The Vase of Immortal Life: The Long-Life Practice of the Vidyādharas, from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse | Longchen Nyingtik
This longevity practice related to Rigdzin Düpa (The Vidyādhara Assembly) includes a means of attaining immortality through Amitāyus and a summoning of longevity (tshe 'gugs) that invokes the eight vidyādharas.
In a series of poetic verses Jigme Lingpa pays homage to the Buddha Śākyamuni by recalling his most significant deeds, from his initial descent from the heaven of Tuṣita to his final attainment of parinirvāṇa.
- A Prayer Recalling the Life and Liberation of the Great Perfection Adept Rangjung Dorje (‘Naturally Arisen Vajra’), Jigme Lingpa | Prayers
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer recalling his own life and liberation at the request of the First Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinlé Özer (1745–1821). The prayer includes a summary of his previous lives, as well as his most important accomplishments and qualities, when—as he puts it—he emphasized the positive.
- A Prayer to Jowo Rinpoche Combined with Aspirations and a Means to Receive the Four Empowerments | Prayers
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer for a student who was accumulating prayers before the famous Jowo Rinpoche statue in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. It is not only a prayer to Śākyamuni Buddha, but also a means to receive the four empowerments: vase, secret, wisdom-knowledge, and the supreme empowerment of great rays of light.
- Devotion that Pierces the Heart: A Prayer to the Omniscient Jigme Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Prayers
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer to the great revealer of the Longchen Nyingtik when he passed through the master's place of residence, the Yarlung Valley, during his first trip to central Tibet in 1925.
In 1758, one year after the first, principal revelation of Dukngal Rangdrol, Jigme Lingpa had a vision of Avalokiteśvara, the Great Compassionate One, in standing posture and extending to the far reaches of the eastern sky. Following this, he tells us in his autobiography, "tears of devotion welled up" and he composed this prayer.
- A Glimpse of the Crucial Points: The Vidyādhara's Manual of Concealed Instructions | Longchen Nyingtik
Four sets of concealed instructions (gab byang) related to the practice of Rigdzin Düpa (Vidyādhara Assembly), on 1) the wisdom deity, 2) the mantra, 3) the palanquin (do li) samādhi, and 4) the results of the practice.
- A Glorious Garland of Great Bliss, the Root Sādhana of the Queen of Great Bliss, Yumka Tsogyal, from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse revealed by Jigme Lingpa | Longchen Nyingtik
- Adornment of Lord Nāgārjuna’s Wisdom Mind: The Fourfold Maṇḍala Offering to Tārā | Longchen Nyingtik
Jigme Lingpa tells us that he arranged this ritual of the Twenty-One Tārās based on the authoritative tradition that derives from Nāgārjuna and The Manifest Source Tantra of Tārā. In order to create the full liturgy, which he did at the request of the First Dodrupchen Jigme Trinlé Özer (1745–1821), he also added other elements from various pith instructions.
- Awesome Ones’ Assembly (Palchen Düpa), the Heart Practice of the Awareness-Holders | Longchen Nyingtik
Palchen Düpa (dpal chen 'dus pa), the 'Awesome Ones' Assembly', is the wrathful yidam practice of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle. It features the Kagyé (bka' brgyad), or eight herukas, with Chemchok Vajra Tötrengtsal as the central deity.
- The Sealed Quintessence: The Innermost Secret Guru Practice of the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse | Guru Sādhana
The innermost secret guru practice of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle focuses on Longchen Rabjam and is considered an indispensable preliminary to Dzogchen practice. Jigme Lingpa revealed the practice some time around 1761, during his second three-year retreat, then kept it secret for five years.
- The Secret Practice of the Great Compassionate One, Natural Liberation of Suffering | Longchen Nyingtik
The sādhana of Dukngal Rangdrol (sdug bsngal rang grol), 'Natural Liberation of Suffering', is the Avalokiteśvara practice from the Longchen Nyingtik that is classed either as a peaceful yidam or as the secret-level guru practice from the peaceful, male-vidyādhara section of the cycle.
- The Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa), the Inner Practice from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse | Longchen Nyingtik
The inner guru practice Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa) features Guru Padmasambhava and Mandāravā at the centre of the maṇḍala, surrounded by the eight vidyādharas, twenty-five disciples and other deities.
This famous offering prayer composed by Jigme Lingpa includes lines related to every aspect of the gaṇacakra feast yet is short enough to be recited multiple times, such as when accumulating large numbers of feast offerings. In fact, some claim that the tradition of accumulating multiple feast offerings originated with this very prayer.
- Confession and Fulfilment Insert for Accumulating the Practice of Turning Back the Summons of the Ḍākinīs | Tsok
An addition to the standard practice of confession and fulfilment in Yumka Dechen Gyalmo, specifically for the purpose of accumulating gaṇacakra offerings as a means to turn back of the summons of the ḍākinīs (mkha' 'gro'i bsun zlog).
Sacred song and dance are important elements of the gaṇacakra, and this song by Jigme Lingpa, which is now widely-known and recited, was composed specifically for the gaṇacakra feast. The song concludes with the aspiration that all those gathered together may attain the rainbow body as a result of the feast offering.