Padma Karpo Translation Committee
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book cover Longchen Nyingthig Preliminaries, “The Excellent Path to Omniscience”

Texts by Jigmey Lingpa and other Tibetan Longchen Nyingthig masters, explanations by Tony Duff

TitleLongchen Nyingthig Preliminaries, “The Excellent Path to Omniscience”
Sub-titleA Rich Collection of Texts, Commentaries, and Prayers for the Practice
AuthorTony Duff.  Tibetan authors included are Padmasambhava, Jigmey Lingpa, Jigmey Trinley Ozer, Khyentse Wangpo, Yukhog Chadralwa, and Dodrupchen
Details242 pages, 1 colour plate, 6" X 9" (large format), US$25, available on paper and in PDF e-book format
ISBNpaper book 978-9937-824-49-1, e-book 978-9937-572-41-5
TextsTibetan texts in Tibetan script included
New, improved third edition, March 2017

This book centres on the liturgy for doing the preliminary practices of Longchen Nyingthig.  It was written by the first Dodrupchen, one of the heart disciples of Jigmey Lingpa.  The book features a fresh translation of the liturgy that corrects the many mistakes, omissions, and un-necessary additions found in the several translations available at the moment.  At the same time, it words the liturgy in a way that is convenient for recitation in English.

The Tibetan liturgy assumes a high level of understanding of the system and its terminology.  Therefore, several Tibetan commentaries have been written to explain it.  Four of them are included in the book.  The commentary of the first Khyentse Rinpoche, Khyentse Wangpo is presented in order to explain the procedures involved.  It is regarded as one of the root texts of the Longchen Nyingthig scriptures.  It focusses on the procedures and does not delve into the theory or terminology involved.

To explain the terminology and the theory where needed, the author was encouraged by his lineage gurus to write a major commentary in English.  His commentary, the first written by an English lama, has been included.  This commentary clarifies the unique terminology of the system and also the meaning of the liturgy in a straightforward but precise way.  It also clarifies several very difficult points of the liturgy, such as the refuge section, showing how they should be understood according to the lineage.  To write the commentary, the author relied on the extensive oral instructions he has received from a variety of lineage gurus and his extensive reading of Tibetan commentaries.  These sources are quoted throughout the commentary.

To make the book even more complete, two commentaries by a great Nyingthig master who lived in East Tibet in the 20th century, Yukhog Chadralwa, have been included.  Yukhog Chadralwa was known for having heard an enormous amount of teaching from various masters and having practised it to completion.  His writings are filled with oral instructions obtained from various Longchen Nyingthig lineage holders, giving the reader access to the tradition in ways not normally possible.  Excerpts from one of his commentaries give very clear presentations of important but little-known aspects of the theory behind the refuge verse, the Vajrasatva practice, and the mandala practice.  The other commentary is particularly interesting because it highlights the meditational aspect of the preliminaries, showing how the practice of the preliminaries is really a practice of the innate wisdom mind and how to connect with that key point when doing the practices.  This text alone will make the book of interest to practitioners at all levels and not only those who are working on the preliminary practices.  His written works are very hard to obtain; these are the first translations of his works to appear in English.

There are a number of prayers and supplications that are usually done with the preliminary practices.  Therefore, several prayers and support practices are included.  There is the waking practice by Jigmey Lingpa, the speech blessing, and the Prayer that Spontaneously Fulfills Wishes by Padmasambhava.  The translation of the Padmasambhava’s prayer includes historical material of interest that is part of the original prayer but which is mostly excluded from English translations; this contextual material is important because it helps to arouse faith and devotion so it has been included.

The book contains an extensive introduction that explains the meaning of Longchen Nyingthig Great Completion and all other matters relevant to the book.  It also includes a summary of Jigmey Lingpa’s encounters with Longchenpa taken from his autobiographies.  All parts of the book are copiously footnoted and there is an extensive glossary, too.

If you are doing the Longchen Nyingthig preliminary practices, you will find that this is the clearest and most complete presentation of the practice available.  For others, this compilation of materials will give considerable insight into the theory and practice of the Longchen Nyingthig system and clarification of the Dzogchen dharma in general.  In addition, there are many comments, definitions, and explanations which will be of great use to translators.

The book contains translations of the following texts:
The waking practice by Jigmey Lingpa
The speech blessing
The preliminaries’ liturgy by Jigmey Thrinley Ozer called “The Excellent Path to Omniscience” An Ordered Recitation for the Longchen Nyingthig Great Completion Preliminaries
The commentary by Tony Duff called An explanation of the words of “The Excellent Path to Omniscience”
The commentary by Khyentse Wangpo called “The Nectar of Profound Meaning” the Visualization Procedures of the Preliminaries of Longchen Nyingthig Great Completion Wrapped Up
The commentary by Yukhog Chadralwa called “A Summary Arranged in Note Form of Streams of Oral Teaching on the Preliminaries”
Excerpts from the commentary to the practice by Yukhog Chadralwa called “A Compendium of the Preliminaries”
The prayer by Padmasambhava called “The Prayer That Spontaneously Fulfils Wishes”
Download Tibetan texts in TibetD format: not available as a set though some are available in • the Root Volumes of Longchen Nyingthig.


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