This article is about the longchen nyingthig ngondro text pdf state and related practices in Tibetan Buddhism and Bön. For the monastery, see Dzogchen Monastery.
Tibetan Buddhism aimed at discovering and continuing in the natural primordial state of being. It is a central teaching of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism and of Bon.
In these traditions, Dzogchen is the highest and most definitive path of the nine vehicles to liberation. Padmasambhava in yab-yum, which represents the primordial union of wisdom and compassion. The male figure is usually linked to compassion and skillful means, while the female partner relates to insight. The term initially referred to the “highest perfection” of deity visualisation, after the visualisation has been dissolved and one rests in the natural state of the innately luminous and pure mind.
Anuyoga with yogic bliss, and Atiyoga with a realization of the nature of reality via that bliss. According to the 14th Dalai Lama, the term dzogchen may be a rendering of the Sanskrit term mahāsandhi.
According to Anyen Rinpoche, the true meaning is that the student must take the entire path as an interconnected entity of equal importance. Dzogchen is perfect because it is an all inclusive totality that leads to middle way realization, in avoiding the two extremes of nihilism and eternalism. It classifies outer, inner and secret teachings, which are only separated by the cognitive construct of words and completely encompasses Tibetan Buddhist wisdom. It can be as easy as taking Bodhicitta as the method, and failing this is missing an essential element to accomplishment.
According to tradition, the Dzogchen teachings were brought to Tibet by Padmasambhava in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. He was aided by two Indian masters, Vimalamitra and Vairocana. According to tradition, these teachings were concealed shortly afterward, during the 9th century, when the Tibetan empire disintegrated.
From the 10th century forward, innovations in the Nyingma tradition were largely introduced historically as revelations of these concealed scriptures, known as terma. In the fourteenth century, Loden Nyingpo revealed a terma containing the story of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche. According to this terma, Dzogchen originated with the founder of the Bon tradition, Tonpa Shenrab, who lived 18,000 years ago, ruling the kingdom of Tazik, which supposedly lay west of Tibet.
He transmitted these teachings to the region of Zhang-zhung, the far western part of the Tibetan cultural world. The earliest Bon literature only exists in Tibetan manuscripts, the earliest of which can be dated to the 11th century. The written history of Tibet begins in the early 7th century, when the Tibetan kingdoms were united, and Tibet expanded throughout large parts of Central Asia.
Zhangzhung in western Tibet, dominated Nepal, and threatened the Chinese dominance in strategically important areas of the Silk Road. He is also credited with the adoption of a writing system, the establishment of a legal code, and the introduction of Buddhism, though it probably only played a minor role. Buddhism, but also maintained the martial traditions of the Tibetan empire. The Tibetans controlled Dunhuang, a major Buddhist center, from the 780s until the mid-ninth century.
Halfway through the 9th century the Tibetan empire collapsed. Royal patronage of Buddhism was lost, leading to a decline of Buddhism in Tibet, only to recover with the renaissance of Tibetan culture occurring from the late 10th century to the early 12th century, known as the later dissemination of Buddhism. This division focuses on two aspects of practice: kadag trekchö, “the cutting through of primordial purity”, and lhündrub tögal, “the direct crossing of spontaneous presence”.
Sam van Schaik also notes that there is a discrepancy between the histories as presented by the traditions, and the picture that emerges from those manuscripts. There is no record of Dzogchen as a separate tradition or vehicle prior to the 10th century, although the terms atiyoga and dzogchen do appear in 8th and 9th century Indian tantric texts. There is also no independent attestation of the existence of any separate traditions or lineages under the name of Dzogchen outside of Tibet, and it may be a unique Tibetan teaching, drawing on multiple influences, including both native Tibetan non-Buddhist beliefs and Chinese and Indian Buddhist teachings.