Celebrating Longchenpa

Essays > Personalities

Tibetan Buddhists celebrate their major Nyingma teacher and writer every year, writes Deva Dosa.

Longchenpa

Longchenpa (Tib. ཀློང་ཆེན་པ་, Wyl. klong chen pa) (1308—1364) was born in the Tra Valley of Southern Tibet, to Master Tenpasung, an adept at both the sciences and the practice of mantra, and Dromza Sonamgyen, who was descended from the family of Dromtönpa Gyalwé Jungné.

Regarded as a manifestation of “gentle glory” Bodhisattva Manjushri, Longchenpa was an essential bridge in connecting the world to hundreds of years of Buddhist thought in Tibet, and in linking the exoteric and esoteric sides of the Dzogchen teachings. Living only for 56 years, the omniscient Longchenpa spent a great deal of his life sitting silently in the forest, as did Shivapuribaba.  As a writer, he had to first make his own paper to write on.

Considered the most important writer on Dzogchen teachings, Longchenpa was a prolific author and editor of more than 250 works, including the Seven Treasures, the Trilogy of Natural Freedom, the Trilogy of Natural Ease, Trilogy of Dispelling Darkness, Seventeen Tantras of the Great Perfection, and many more. In an uncanny mirroring of Osho, Longchenpa wrote exquisitely of freedom about seven hundred years ago:

Freedom attends reality:
free at the core,
any effort is wasted;
timelessly free,
no release is needed;
free in itself,
no corrective is possible;
directly free, released in seeing;
completely free, pure in nature;
constantly free, familiarization is redundant;
and naturally free, freedom cannot be contrived.

Yet ‘freedom’ is just a verbal convention,
and who is ‘realized’ and who is not?
How could anyone be ‘liberated’?
How could anyone be lost in samsara?
Reality is free of all delimitation!

Freedom is timeless, so constantly present;
freedom is natural, so unconditional;
freedom is direct, so pure vision obtains;
freedom is unbounded,
so no identity possible; freedom is unitary,
so multiplicity is consumed.

Conduct changes nothing – our lives are already free!
Meditation achieves nothing – our minds are already free!
The view realizes nothing – all dogma is freedom!
Fruition demands nothing – we are free as we are!
(Translator unknown)

 

The masterful, witnessing words of Longchenpa are grounded, direct, and relevant today.  All of Longchenpa’s titles are mesmermizing, especially, Thirty Pieces of Advice from the Heart.

I am eager to learn more.

Article by Deva Dosa

Read more about Lonchenpa on ripawiki.org

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