The Longchen Nyingthik: origins and scope of the translation project

A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE LONGCHEN NYINGTHIK, THE HEART OF ALL BUDDHIST TEACHINGS

The Longchen Nyinthik is a section of the Dzogpa Chenpo pith instructions within the secret mantrayana.

The heart-essence flourished in Tibet in two ways: the Vima Nyingthik lineage from the great master Vimalamitra and the Khandro Nyingthik lineage from the great master Padmasambhava, which both remain uninterrupted until today. Most of the pure profound Dharma lineage holders obtained the rainbow body which is the dissolution of the aggregates into a body of light.

Concerning the Vima Nyinthik, the glorious Vajrapani bestowed the great empowerment of the royal vase to the great master Garab Dorje (Prahevajra) who became empowered as the owner of all pith instructions. Having compiled all the 6,400,000 Dzogchen tantras, Garab Dorje taught Jampel Shenyen (Manjushrimitra) using symbolic means. The master Jampel Shenyen divided the tantra section of Dzogchen into three – the outer mind section, the inner space section and the secret pith instructions section – and taught them to the Vidyadhara Shri Singha. Having divided them into four classes – outer, inner, secret and unexcelled innermost secret, the vidyadhara Shri Singha offered them to Jnanasutra. Since Vimalamitra spread them in Tibet, they became known as Vima Nyingthik.

In general, the Vima Nyingthik is the ka'ma (the oral teachings) and the Khandro Nyingthik is the terma (the treasure teachings).

Concerning the Khandro Nyingthik, the vidyadhara Shri Singha offered these (teachings) to the great master Padmasambhava. In the 8th century, the great master Padmasambhava’s mind united with both the ka’ma and the terma, and through that obtained the life-mastery vidyadhara body and departed to the vidyadhara level of spontaneous presence. Having attained the body of the great transference primordial awareness, he reflected on
  • not letting the sacred dharma vanish,
  • not mixing up oral instructions,
  • not diminishing the blessings, and
  • shortening long lineages.
Along with his own pith instructions, he offered these (teachings) to Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal. Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal concealed the terma in undisclosed places. Later, treasure-revealer Pema Ledrel Tsal revealed these profound essential teachings. The profound mind treasure oral instructions gradually flowed down to the great omniscient Longchen Rabjam. These then flourished, and are referred to as the Khandro Nyinthik.

Enjoying life from 1308 to 1363, the omniscient Longchen Rabjam condensed the union of the ka’ma and the terma into one ultimate meaning of the Nyingthik. These two Nyingthik are the mother. The Khandro Yangthik and the Vima Yangthik, which are commentaries composed by the omniscient Longchenpa, are known as the two sons of the Nyingthik. Furthermore, the summary of the profound pith instructions of the Vima Nyingthik and the Khandro Nyingthik is called the profound Yangthik. These are the four profound mothers and sons of Nyingthik, the three cycles of the Yangthik, the three cycles that clear away the darkness, the three cycles on natural ease, the three cycles on self-liberation, the vast explanations consisting of the seven treasures and selected works – in total there are more than 250 teaching sections.

Later, in the same family lineage as the omniscient Longchen Rabjam, Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa enjoyed life from 1729 to 1798. He was a great being that perfectly mastered the inexhaustible mind treasures. During his whole life, he dedicated himself one-pointedly to taking the accomplishment into experience. In particular, while absorbed in the practice of the essential meaning for three years in the great secret flower cave of Chimpu at Samye, he actualised the unequalled realisation of the practice. He had infinite pure visions day and night. Having thoroughly completed the approach and accomplishment of the profound terma, he actualised the confidence of the completely ripened vidyadhara. In particular, having been introduced three times to the vision of the wisdom body of the omniscient Dharma king Longchen Rabjam, he truly received the blessings of the body, speech and mind, and obtained the great consent to enlightened speech. Having completed the self-liberation of the throat channel-knot chakra of enjoyment through hitting the vital point while practising the channels, energies and essences, and mastering the specific teachings of the inexhaustible mind treasures, the dharma of the profound termas welled forth from within. In particular, urged through master Padmasambhava’s compassion, and the primordial wisdom dharamakaya dakinis who having handed over the symbolic signs of the primordial wisdom – the signs of the expanse of realisation, the specific teachings of the inexhaustible mind treasures, known as the Longchen Nyinthik, welled forth from within him. There are 14 volumes of scripture that we have obtained today; in addition to that, we have to search for more that may exist which we have not yet obtained. We have seen that only a few volumes from the teachings of the omniscient Longchen Rabjam and the vidyadhara Jigme Lingpa – the Dharma-cycle of the Longchen Nyinthik listed above – have been translated. Out of these, most remain (untranslated).

Now, following the advice of his eminence Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche, for the benefit of the great learned ones who have studied numerous disciplines and in particular, for the benefit of all sentient beings – young, old, men, women – that have a great interest in the Buddhist view, meditation, action and result, the Sambhota Translation Group has decided to translate these volumes and has the sincere and strong hope that while looking at these books, their wishes will be fulfilled. Furthermore, we welcome and accept any expert wishing to work on these translations. If the scripture volumes mentioned above have already been translated into English or are being translated, please contact us promptly via the following address info@sambhota-translation.org. We, the Sambhota Translation Group, rejoice in this work, and we will help with it as much as we can, directly and indirectly.