The Masters Lineage of The Great Perfection
In the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) is considered the most profound and direct path to enlightenment. The instructions of this tradition present a spiritual shortcut—a radically direct approach that cuts through confusion and lays bare the mind’s true nature of luminous purity. Although the Nyingmapa school is the oldest tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, its Dzog Chen teachings are the clearest, most effective and relevant to the needs of beings today. The Dzogchen teachings have been passed down in an unbroken line from the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, teacher to student, to this day, in all their freshness, immediacy, and power.
Buddha Samantabhadra (Kuntu Zangpo)
Samantabhadra, the primordial Buddha is pure omniscience, the essence of the enlightened mind of all the Buddhas. He is depicted as a dark-blue nude figure embracing his white consort Samantabhadri, the female primordial Buddha, their union represents the fusion of wisdom and compassion, the ultimate indivisibility of samsara and nirvana and the potential for Buddhahood inherent in all sentient beings.Samanta means, “universally extending.” Bhadra means “great virtue.” Samantabhadra means to extend such great compassion that every sentient being is benefited and to practice so extensively and profoundly that all virtue is perfected. Samantabhadra is not subject to limits of time, place, or physical conditions. Samantabhadra does not represent a person, but the Buddha-nature itself, the unchanging purity of the mind which is the fundamental nature of all beings. Samantabhadra is not a colored being with two eyes, etc. Samantabhadra is the unity of awareness and emptiness, the unity of appearances and emptiness, the nature of mind, natural clarity with unceasing compassion – that is Samantabhadra from the very beginning.
Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
Guru Rinpoche counts as the founder of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. At the same time, he is one of the most prominent representatives of the tendency, already begun in Tibet in the seventh century, to merge the regional, nature-based religious cults with Buddhism. Already early on, Guru Rinpoche was portrayed as the Second Buddha. This was already indicated by the myth surrounding the birth . The biography of the Guru is – as one can see in the mural depicted below – analog to the life story of Buddha Shakyamuni shown through twelve deeds. From the central figure of Guru Rinpoche, the golden rays of wisdom go out in all directions. In the inside of his elbow, on the left-hand side, he holds a trident staff with three heads as a secret symbol for his tantric partner (yum). He is flanked by his tantric companions Yeshe Tshogyal, one of the mightiest Tibetan Dakinis , and Mandarava, the daughter of the King of Zahor in India. According to this, Guru Rinpoche is seen as the emanation of the body of the Buddha Shakyamuni , the speech of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara , and the mind of the Buddha Amithaba , and enjoys being worshipped in a similar manner to the Buddha himself.
Longchenpa (1308 – 1364 or possibly 1369) was a major teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Along with Sakya Pandita and Je Tsongkhapa, he is commonly recognized as one of the three main manifestations of Manjushri to have taught in Central Tibet. His major work is the Seven Treasures, which encapsulates the previous 600 years of Buddhist thought in Tibet. Longchenpa was a critical link in the transmission of the Dzogchen teachings. He was abbot of Samye, one of Tibet’s most important monasteries and the first Buddhist monastery established in theHimalaya, but spent most of his life travelling or in retreat. Longchenpa composed over two hundred works, some of which are still extant. Gyalwa Longchenpa’s Seven Treasures (Dzodun) was written in order to elucidate the extraordinarily profound meaning of the seventeen main tantras of Dzogpa Chenpo, as well as the teachings of all nine yanas (vehicles). For the purpose of the actual practice of Dzogchen according to these tantras, Longchenpa gathered his own termas as well as those of Chetsun Senge Wangchuk and Pema Ladrey Tsel (Longchenpa’s previous incarnation) in the form of the thirteen volume collection known as the Nyingthig Yabshi.
Known as an omniscient vidyadhara (Awareness Holder), Rigdzin Jigmed Lingpa (1729-1798) spent two years doing recitations and then received Dzogchen teachings from Lama Thugchog Tsel on Drolthig Gongpa Rangdrol. Then Jigme Lingpa went to a cave near Samye Chimpu for many years, where he prayed constantly to Gyalwa Longchenpa.During his second three-year retreat, Jigme Lingpa experienced three radiant visions of Longchenpa. In the first he was blessed by Longchenpa’s Wisdom Body, in the second by his Wisdom Speech, and in the third by his Wisdom Mind. His mind and Longchenpa’s mixed inseparably, and in one instant he understood all of the Sutras and Tantras completely and infallibly. His practice and teachings remain our principle inspiration in the Nyingthig tradition today. Jigmed Lingpa’s mystical mind-transmission from the Buddha Longchenpa, who had lived three centuries before, is an example of such waves of inspiration. After these experiences, Jigme Lingpa’s writings were on a par with Longchenpa’s, although Jigme Lingpa himself had hardly studied texts and commentaries.
Natsog Rangdol (1st Drugpa Rinpoche)
According to Guru Rinpoche prophecies as well as the Rainbow Mahasiddha Padma Dudul, that the 1st Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche Drodul Pawo Dorje was the reincarnation of Indian Mahasiddha Tsejung Biba, Padmasambhava, Pandita Vimala, Tibetan King Trisong Detsen, Yeshe Tshogyal, Mahasiddha Wangyu Wangchuk, Terton Ridzin Lingpa, Chokgyur Lingpa and Ridzin Chengpo. 1st Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche’s devotees and disciples were found all over Tibet, the nothern India, China, Bhutan and other neighbouhood countries, included Lingkar monastery holder, Gyala Wangyi Dorje and his daughter Norzin Wangmo and other high officials and noble lords. Also the common people around the region that request teachings from Rinpoche with irreversible faith. With Rinpoche tiredless effort, the profound teachings of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) was like the dazzling sun rays that radiated brightly on the snowy land of Tibet. Rinpoche always taught His disciples that:” Although, i have obtained numerous profound Terma teachings, yet i have put my life effort concentrated in practising the Dzogchen, and I strongly believe that that was more than enough, and need not ask for far or near teachings. I wish that you all will be like me, earnestly practise the Dzogchen.”
Gyaltse Gyurmed Dorje
Gyaltse Dorje Rinpoche was born in Adzom Monastery, in the eastern region of Tibet, in area known as Do Kham. Rinpoche was recognised by Chung Rinpoche, the throne holder of the great Nyingma Monastery of Mindroling and many other accomplished masters as the reincarnation of Urgyen Terdag Lingpa and Palyul Gyalsprul Padma Dogdag Tarzin Rinpoche. Gyaltse Rinpoche’s father was Drodul Pawo Dorje (1st Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche), the great Mahasiddha. After His father attained nirvana, Gyaltse Rinpoche was throned as the Adzom Monastery Lineage Holder and continuosly propagating the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) in grand scale. Not only Rinpoche was a brilliant accomplished master of wide Buddhist knowledge, Mindroling Chung Rinpoche, had many times openly complimented that:” Only Gyaltse Rinpoche of Adzom Monastery and no other person in this Do Kham region is highly qualified and as great as him to impart the Great Perfection (Dzogchen).” During Gyaltse Rinpoche enthronement, the Adzom lineage was flourish exceedingly that thousands of devotees from the entire Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal came to Adzom Monastery to receive teachings from him.
Thupten Padma Thrinley (2nd Drugpa Rinpoche)
Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche Thubten Pedma Trinley (1921-2001) was one of the greatest scholars in Tibetology, as well as an accomplished Dzogchen Master and Mahasiddha of the rainbow body. Rinpoche was born in the Fire Tiger year (1926) in Kham area, nearby a sacred terma place of Guru Rinpoche, Yulhong Lhari Mountain (today’s Dege District of Sichuan Province). Rinpoche was recognized by the 5th Dzogchen Rinpoche, Thubten Chokyi Dorje as the unmistaken reincarnation of the previous Adzom Drugpa Dordul Pawo Dorje (the manifestation of one of the 25 disciples of Guru Rinpoche, Matog Rigzin and Rigzin Chenpo and other masters – the guru of the Great Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro).In the Earth Dragon year of Tibetan Calendar, Drugpa Rinpoche was enthroned as a high ranked master of the Adzom Monastery. Rinpoche was renowned for his impartial loving kindness and compassion. Without caring much about his own interests and benefits, he always dedicates himself wholeheartedly and selflessly for the benefit of all. He upheld and maintained pure precepts and virtuous conducts, which made him a great and exalted example of living Bodhisattva, who was highly praised and admired by all.
Tulku Sonam Lodroe, bestowed the title of “Khenpo” by His Holiness Adzom Jamga Rinpoche and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, was born in Dira, the province of Sichuan, China. In Tibetan, Khenpo refers to a person with extensive knowledge of Buddhism, while Tulku is a reincarnated Buddha or Bodhisattva. He was recognized as the incarnation of Adzom Losel Rinpoche by H.H Jamga Rinpoche, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and His Holiness Dordrubchan Rinpoche. The previous Adzom Losel Rinpoche was the disciple of the great Nyingma Master Adzom Gyaltse Rinpoche from Adzom Monastery. Adzom Losel Rinpoche was considered a highly accomplished Vajra Master. Sonam Rinpoche started his dharma education from Dzogchen Innermost Essence Preliminary Text and systematically obtained all the Dzogchen Teachings and initiations from his guru, H.H Yidjin Drudpa Rinpoche for 10 years. At the same time, Rinpoche learned the Bindu teaching and practice from Adzom lineage holder, H.H Jamga Rinpoche; The Tantric and Nangwa Lhadub from Khenchen Choechab; Buddhism Views from Khenchen Jigmed Phuntsok Jongne as well as other cultural studies from other famous Khenpos.