This Saturday, February 3rd is the parinirvana date of the great scholar, master and vidhyadhara Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364). Longchenpa was a major teacher within the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Longchen Rabjampa was born in Central Tibet. He passed on the 18th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar in the year 1364.
Longchenpa wrote many works. But he is probably best known for compiling the essence of Buddhism within the anthology known as the Seven Treasures. This Collection of Seven Treasures is a synthesis of the entire path to liberation within Tibetan Buddhism. The Seven Treasures are as follows:
- yid bzhin mdzod: The Precious Wish-fulfilling Treasury.
- chos dbyings mdzod: The Precious Treasury of the Dharmadhatu.
- theg mchog mdzod: The Precious Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle.
- gnas lugs mdzod: The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding.
- tshig don mdzod: The Precious Treasury of the Meaning of Words.
- man ngag mdzod: The Precious Treasury of Oral Instructions.
- grub mtha’ mdzod: The Precious Treasury of Philosophical Systems.
I’m proud to say that our late Holiness Penor Rinpoche was considered be a very powerful emanation of Longchenpa.
Taken in part from Longchenpa’s Song of the Enchanted Wildwoods:
Wherever I look,
Apart from people putting their energy into the material world,
Those practicing the Dharma path are as rare as a supernova.
Having seen this to be true,
If I’m going to accomplish the true Dharma,
I can’t stay any longer — I’m going to the wildwoods.
Compared to those who seek distraction with every thought,
People who care for themselves according to the Dharma are altogether rare.
Those who actually practice it are bullied and disregarded.
Thus, I can’t stay — I’m going to the wildwoods.
Even if you spend this life in introspection,
It passes so quickly, without pausing day or night.
Having seen that laziness always gets the better of my virtue
And that this mind won’t settle even a little,
I’m off to the wildwoods right now.
While he was on retreat, Longchenpa had many pure visions where he was given direct instructions from Guru Padmasambhava himself. Longchenpa lamanted that he wasn’t famous in his own time and therefore his writings weren’t of much benefit to others in a vast way. Yet, as the centuries passed and all of his works translated and handed down; he is now considered one of Tibet’s most renown and precious teachers.
Here are a few links to research and enjoy some of the greatest works that beginner, intermediate and advanced Yogis and Scholars alike have cherished and benefited from. We are fortunate, in these degenerate times, that the most important texts are now translated into English.
Shambhala – Several nice books including the short and helpful You are the Eyes of the World
Lotsawa House – which includes free links or downloads to read
Life of Longchenpa – Biography of the Omniscient Dharma King
Seven Treasures – Where the two, must have, treasures can be found which are: The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding & The Basic Space of Phenomena
From Rigpa Wiki:
The main benefit of tsok practice (ganapuja feast) mentioned in the tantras is the accumulation of merit with conceptual focus as well as the accumulation of wisdom beyond focus. There could be no greater benefit than this.
In the termas, we also find mention of unimaginable benefits. For example, it is said that Guru Rinpoche himself will come and bless the tsok practitioners, or that the place where tsok is performed will become exactly the same as the Zangdokpalri heaven of Guru Rinpoche.
And Yeshé Tsogyal said that to practice tsok just once closes the door to lower rebirths. It is also said that disease, famine and warfare will be pacified, and all the practitioners’ wishes will be fulfilled without the slightest obstacle.
The Kalachakra Tantra of Holding the Qualities of the Lama teaches:
“The merit accumulated by making offerings on the anniversary of one’s lama will dispel negative karma and obscurations accrued for countless eons, like the rays of the sun dispelling darkness.”
Making offerings such as lighting candles or preparing butter-lamps on that day would be a simple way to generate much merit. However, preparing a more elaborate tsok-feast would definitely be the superior way to generate merit as well as wisdom simultaneously gathering all the right blessings to assist us on our spiritual journey.
Past dates have landed on:
- 2015 February 6th
- 2016 January 26th
- 2017 February 13th
The next ceremony will be held on: February 3rd, 2018
Next year I will post Longchenpa’s Tsok date according to the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.