Longchenpa

Tib., klong chen pa
1308-1363 (perhaps 1369)

Longchenpa is the shortened name of a most eminent fourteenth century Nyingmapa master of special importance in the transmission and development of Dzogchen. It was he who combined the teachings of the Vima Nyingtig lineage with those of the Khandro Nyingtig, thus preparing the ground for the fully unified system of teachings that became known as the Longchen Nyingtig (by Jigme Lingpa).

Longchenpa, clearly the most important writer ever on the Dzogchen teachings, is credited with more than 250 works, both as author and compiler, among which the famous Seven Treasures, the Trilogy of Natural Freedom (rang grol skor gsum; ngal gso skor gsum), and his compilation - plus commentaries - of the Nyingtig Yabshi. He is also author of the Kunje Gyalpo Tantra (Tib., kun-byed rGyal-po 'i rgyud; "The King Who Creates Everything"), a text belonging to the Mind Class (Tib., sems-de) of the Ati Yoga Inner Tantras.

During a stay in Bhutan (Tib., Mon), Longchenpa fathered a daughter and a son, of which the latter, Trugpa Odzer (b. 1356), also became a holder of the Nyingtig lineage. A detailed account of the life and teachings of Longchenpa is found in Buddha Mind by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche.

Various forms and spellings of Longchenpa's full name(s), in which Longchen means 'Great Expanse', 'Vast Space', or 'Immense Knowledge':

Apart from the above names, Longchenpa is sometimes referred to by the honorary title "Second Buddha" (Tib. rgyal ba gnyis), a term usually preserved for Padmasambhava and showing the high regard he and his work has received. Being a reincarnation of Pema Ledrel Tsal, Longchenpa is also regarded as an indirect incarnation of the princess Pema Sal.