Longchen Rabjam Series
Photo by David Christensen
Just like the Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones who beautify our world,
You were their equal in your mastery of compassion, learning and realization,
Yet you practised hidden in the forest in sacred solitude.
Longchenpa, who perfected saṃsāra and nirvāṇa in the state of dharmakāya,
Drimé Özer—Stainless Light—at your feet I pray!
Texts by and about Longchen Rabjam (klong chen rab 'byams, 1308-1364), also known as Drimé Özer (dri med 'od zer), who is widely acknowledged as the greatest exponent of Dzogpachenpo, or the Great Perfection, in Tibetan history:
Essential advice on every stage of the path from beginning to end. As Longchenpa puts it in the text itself: "Even if we were to meet in person, I would have no greater instruction to give you than this. So take it to heart, all the time, and in any situation."
In this profound instruction on the process of dying and the intermediate state, or bardo, the great Longchen Rabjam explains how to see death from a Dzogchen perspective and how to attain liberation either at the moment of death or thereafter in the bardos of dharmatā or becoming.
Longchenpa describes this text as a letter sent from his mind to itself, and, as befits such a personal message, it is heartfelt and candid. The core of the message is simple enough: to leave behind the busyness of saṃsāra and set out instead for the peace and tranquility of the forest, where "meditation naturally grows" and "one can find the bliss of inner peace." Yet while Longchenpa makes this point uncompromisingly, his language, particularly in describing the kind of wild woodland sanctuary he recommends, is often beautifully evocative and poetic.
Longchen Rabjam tells us that he composed these thirty verses of heartfelt advice for himself and others like him, out of a sense of renunciation. In what has become one of his most famous and popular teachings, he advocates simplicity, ethical discipline, humility, and, above all, diligent practice.
- From 'Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation': A Guide to Locations for Cultivating Samadhi | Meditation
The first chapter of Longchenpa's Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing ideal environments and dwelling places for cultivating meditative concentration and insight throughout the year.
Guru Rinpoche Prayers
- Sampa Nyur Drupma— 'The Prayer that Swiftly Fulfils All Wishes' 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.
- Guru Yoga of the Great Omniscient One, Longchenpa by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal | Guru Yoga
- Rain of Wisdom, Love and Spiritual Power: A Guru Yoga of the Three Mañjughoṣas of the Land of Snow by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Guru Yoga
A guru yoga focusing on the so-called Three Mañjuśrīs of Tibet, i.e., Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364), Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) and Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419). Here, Jamyang Khyentse further identifies Longchen Rabjam with the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi and Tsongkhapa with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
- Prayer to Longchenpa (Adapted from the Words of Mipham Rinpoche) by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche | Prayers
Taken from his miscellaneous writings, Khenpo Shenpen Nangwa's text compares the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam to the most celebrated Buddhist saints of India and praises him as the unique embodiment of all the qualities exhibited by Tibet's own learned and accomplished figures.
This famous food offering prayer is recited by practitioners in the Nyingma tradition before they consume the distributed offerings in a gaṇacakra feast, or even before each meal. The prayer reminds the practitioner that all foods are to be offered to the deities that reside within the body. In return for this offering, the deities bestow accomplishments (siddhi; dngos grub), and induce the experience of great bliss.
- Prayer and Call from Afar to the Great Omniscient One by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Calling the Guru from Afar
- The Pure Three Kāyas Ablaze in Perfect Splendour: A Prayer Based on the Meaning of the Great Perfection | Prayers
This prayer invokes the blessings of all the three-kāya gurus, yidam deities, ḍākinīs and dharmapālas to inspire recognition of the ultimate nature of the Great Perfection (Dzogpachenpo), which Longchenpa describes in evocative detail.
This famous vajra song (rdo rje’i glu), named after its initial syllables "ema kiri", appears in the Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon (nyi zla kha sbyor). It consists of a series of arranged syllables which a practitioner should intone melodiously. The individual syllables and their arrangement as a mantra are considered particularly sacred since they are said to have been revealed by the primordial buddha Samantabhadra.