He is commonly recognized as one of the three main manifestations of Manjushri to have taught in Central Tibet. Longchenpa was a critical link in the exoteric and esoteric transmission of the Dzogchen teachings. He was abbot of Samye, one of Tibet‘s most important monasteries and the first Buddhist monastery established in the Himalaya, but spent most of his life traveling or in retreat.
He studied under contemporary masters of every tradition in Tibet, had significant visions that influenced his development, writings and teachings and spent most of his adult life in retreat. His major work is the Seven Treasuries, composed in retreat at Gangri-Tökar in central Tibet, encapsulating the previous 600 years of Buddhist thought in Tibet.
Because of his command of all major traditions, and despite 500 years of contemplation and discourse preceding him, “it was Longchenpa who systematically refined the terminology used by the tradition with a series of subtle yet clear distinctions; brilliantly revealed its relationships with mainstream exoteric Buddhist thought; clarified its internal structure; created from it masterpieces of poetic philosophy remarkable for their aesthetic beauty, philosophical rigor, and overall clarity; and overall pinpointed the inner quintessence of the tradition with writings that not only systematized every major topic, but also creatively explained each to render crystal clear the unprecedented revolution in the content, form, and structure of “philosophical” thought in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism known as the Great Perfection, Dzogchen.”
The land of natural perfection is free of buddhas and sentient beings;
the ground of natural perfection is free of good and bad;
the path of natural perfection has no length;
the fruition of natural perfection can neither be avoided nor attained;
the body of natural perfection is neither existent nor non-existent;
the speech of natural perfection is neither sacred nor profane;
the mind of natural perfection has no substance nor attribute.
The space of natural perfection cannot be consumed nor voided;
the status of natural perfection is neither high nor low;
the praxis of natural perfection is neither developed nor neglected;
the potency of natural perfection is neither fulfilled nor frustrated;
The hidden awareness of natural perfection is everywhere,
its parameters beyond indication, its actuality incommunicable;
the sovereign view of natural perfection is the here-and-now,
naturally present without speech or books, irrespective of
conceptual clarity or dullness, but as spontaneous joyful creativity.
Its reality is nothing at all.