Longchen Rabjam Series
Tibetan Masters › Longchen Rabjam
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Courtesy of David Christensen
- Dorje Ziji
- Drimé Özer
- Ngakgi Wangpo
- Tsultrim Lodrö
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."
- A Wish-Fulfilling Gem: Guidance on the Meaning of Being at Ease with Illusion, A Dzogchen Teaching | Dzogchen
From the famed Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease (ngal gso skor sgsum), this brief guide to Finding Comfort and Ease in Illusion or Being at Ease with Illusion (sgyu ma ngal gso) explains how to meditate on the illusory or dream-like nature of all phenomena.
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.
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.
This brief prayer, extracted from Longchen Rabjam's Treasury of Pith Instructions (man ngag mdzod), was added to the Longchen Nyingtik preliminaries.
- The Jewelled Garland: An Aspiration for the Spread of the Teachings of the Omniscient Father and Son, Masters of the Teachings of the Ancient Translations by Amdo Geshe Jampal Rolwé Lodrö | Aspiration Prayers
This prayer for the spread of the teachings of the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) is also an extensive panegyric on the qualities of those teachings. It is unusual in that the author was himself a Gelugpa — albeit one who studied with Nyingma teachers and wrote on Dzogchen.
Calling the Guru from Afar
Khenpo Ngawang Palzang adapted this devotional prayer to Longchen Rabjam from a famous song addressed to the Karmapa written by the Fifth Shamarpa, Könchok Yenlak (1525–1583).
- Prayer and Call from Afar to the Great Omniscient One by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Calling the Guru from Afar
A prayer invoking the omniscient Longchen Rabjam and calling upon his assistance to realize the nature of reality and master the practice of the Great Perfection.
Guru Rinpoche Prayers
- 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.
- Giver of the Light of Wisdom: A Guru Yoga of the Omniscient Longchenpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Guru Yoga
This short guru yoga, which features Longchenpa and Mañjuśrī, was composed at the request of a monk named Kunga Rabgye.
- Guru Yoga of the Great Omniscient One, Longchenpa by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal | Guru Yoga
A very simple practice of guru devotion focused on Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364), referred to here as Kunkhyen Chenpo, the Great Omniscient One.
- 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 the Lineage of the Great Heart-Essence, the Pith Instruction Section of the Great Perfection | Lineage Prayers
This prayer to the lineage of the pith-instruction section, or Mengak Dé (man ngag sde), of Dzogchen teachings appears in the Vima Nyingtik and has been supplemented over the centuries by masters including Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.
- From 'Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation': A Guide to Locations for Cultivating Samādhi | 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.
The second chapter of Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing the qualities and character of an ideal practitioner of meditation in the Great Perfection, or Dzogpachenpo.
Longchenpa composed this famous abecedarian poem to express his disgust at the conduct of his classmates from Kham, Eastern Tibet, which had prompted his decision to leave the college of Sangpu Neuthog.
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.
An eight-verse poem in praise of Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) written in January 1954.
This poetic tribute to Sarasvatī, the goddess of eloquence, is taken from Longchenpa's miscellaneous writings.
- Vast Clouds of Blessings: In Praise of the Omniscient Lord of Dharma by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Praise
Jamyang Khyentse composed these verses in praise of Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) during a visit to the master's cave on the slopes of Gangri Tökar.
This famous four-line prayer of dedication (bsngo ba) appears in the author's magnum opus, The Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle (theg mchog mdzod).
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.
This popular prayer is extracted from Ocean of Siddhis: The Stages of Guru Practice (bla ma'i rim pa dngos grub rgya mtsho), which is part of the Lama Yangtik.
This popular supplication, said to derive from the Vima Nyingtik, appears in a number of liturgies, including Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's Direct Path to the Primordial (gdod ma'i gseng lam).
- Prayer to Longchenpa (Adapted from the Words of Mipham Rinpoche) by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche | Prayers
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche composed this 16-line prayer to the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam (1308–1363) based on the writings of Ju Mipham.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche added a line to this popular invocation of Longchen Rabjam, transforming it into a prayer to realize the natural state, which is the true nature of the mind.
- 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.
- The Sealed Quintessence: The Innermost Secret Guru Practice of the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse by Jigme Lingpa | 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.
In this oft-cited vajra song, Longchen Rabjam employs a series of metaphors to encourage practitioners to renounce ordinary concerns and cultivate the practice of Dzogchen meditation.
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.
- The Cloud Messenger: A Song of Prayer to the Omniscient Guru by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Songs and Poems
This song of devotion, composed on the master's anniversary in 1950, emphasizes the ultimate nature of Longchen Rabjam, according to which he does not exist externally but in the nature of one's own mind.
This vajra song employs a series of metaphors—the rising sun, brilliant moon, a total eclipse, and the wish-fulfilling jewel atop a banner of victory—to explain the benefits of advanced realization.
Taken from the collection of Longchen Rabjam's vajra songs, this is a joyful declaration of realization and accomplishment.
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.
- The Sweet Call of the Kalaviṅka: A Song Evoking the Omniscient King of Dharma by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Songs and Poems
Jamyang Khyentse composed this poetic, devotional invocation of the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) in 1934.
- Waves of Devotion: A Song Recalling the Omniscient King of Dharma by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Songs and Poems
Composed in 1932, this song of devotion invokes the Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) and appeals for his inspiration and blessings as a means to progress along the path.