The History of the Vast and Profound Dzogchen Lineage
The Original Dzogchen Lineage
The original Dzogchen lineage was transmitted from Dharmakaya Buddha Samantabhadra to Sambhogakaya Buddha Vajrasattva to Nirmanakaya Buddha Shakyamuni.
In 626 B.C.E. our supreme Dharma teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni, was born southern Nepal, which in ancient times was northern India. At the age of thirty-five, Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood in Bodhgaya, India and began to teach the dharma in this world. For the next forty-seven years the Buddha’s teachings flourished throughout the universe and as a result many sentient being attained enlightenment. At the age of eighty-two, Buddha Shakyamuni passed into nirvana. Thereafter, the Buddha Shakyamuni manifested in two wisdom emanations.
Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthig Lineage
In 90 A.B.B. (After Buddha’s Birth), eight years after Buddha’s Parirnirvana, the first emanation of the Buddha, Padmasambhava, came into this world and received the complete teaching from many enlightened masters. Padmasambhava taught the Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthig to numerous beings in India’s eight great sacred places and China, and introduced and spread Buddhism throughout Tibet. His main disciple, the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, also taught the Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthig to many practitioners who achieved the enlightenment of Buddha. This tradition was handed down through the ages and later passed from Longchen Rabjam through to Dzogchen Padma Rigdzin. Today, the Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthig lineage lives in the heart of the Vajra master at Dzogchen monastery. Our master, the Great Natural Perfection Yogi Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche, is the twenty-fourth holder of the Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthig lineage.
Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig Lineage
In 110 A.B.B., twenty-eight years after Buddha’s Parinirvana, the second emanation of the Buddha, Prahevajra (Garab Dorje), came into this world and received teachings directly from Sambhogakaya Buddha Vajrasattva. Pahevajra taught the Dzogchen Nyingthig to various beings for many years in India and in seventy-five sacred places of the dakinis. His main disciple was Manjushrimitra. Manjushrimitra’s main disciple was the Great Dzogchen master Shri Singha, who still lives in an enlightened state in the Holy Dzogchen Valley.
Shri Singha was born in Shokyam, northwest Asia, approximately 2,300 years ago (299 B.C.E.). Starting at the age of fifteen, he practiced and prayed for three years. Later, while traveling by camel toward the City of Golden Island, he had a pure vision of a compassionate deity who gave him guidance and made a prophecy. Inspired, he then traveled to the sacred Five-Peaked Mountain (Wu Tai Shan, Shanxi Province in China) and meditated for many years in order to attain ultimate wisdom. He prayed and prostrated there day after day, until a vision of an awe-inspiring deity appeared before him. Feeling tremendous devotion and respect, he recognized that this deity would guide him along the Path.
The deity was actually the compassionate Avalokiteshvara. He told the young sage, “If you really wish to become enlightened, go to Sosadvipa, Uddiyana, in northwest India, to meet Manjushrimitra, for you have a strong karmic connection with him from previous lives.” Then Avalokiteshvara disappeared.
The young sage was filled with the aspiration to meet the Dzogchen master Manjushrimitra. After struggling over the difficulty of leaving his family, friends, and country, he departed for Uddiyana. On the long journey, through the miraculous power of the Dakinis, he overcame obstacles created by humans and non-humans alike. Finally, he reached the holy place of Uddiyana. There he met face-to-face with his mother-like master, Manjushrimitra, who gave him the Sanskrit dharma name Shri Singha; shri means glorious and singha means lion.
For twenty-five years, Shri Singha studied and practiced the dharma in India with Manjushrimitra and eventually became a great Siddha. From his guru he received the transmission of the six million Dzogchen Tantras, the essence of the buddhadharma that enables one to accomplish buddhahood in one lifetime. Shri Singha became the sixth holder of the Dzogchen Nyingthig Lineage.
Before passing into nirvana, Manjushrimitra told Shri Singha to go to the Siltrom Snow Mountain of Rudam Canyon (now called the Holy Dzogchen Area located in Kham, eastern Tibet), as well as to the Five-Peaked Mountain to practice and propagate the Dzogchen Nyingthig teachings for the benefit of countless beings. Upon attaining nirvana, Manjushrimitra vanished from the top of the Sosadvipa Stupa in India. Shri Singha uttered a deep, heartfelt prayer calling on his master, and suddenly Manjushrimitra reappeared in front of him. He gave Shri Singha a small treasure box containing the essential points of the Tantras, Gomnyam Drugpa (The Six Experiences of Dzogchen Meditation).
Following his master’s instructions, Shri Singha then went to the Rudam Canyon. There, Shri Singha transmitted the Dzogchen teachings to numerous beings from many worlds and purelands. His main disciples were Jnanasutra and Vimalamitra. After many years of benefiting beings, Shri Singha transformed into a Rainbow Body and disappeared into the radiant Dharmata. His secret transmission, Dzir Bu Dunpa (The Seven Dzogchen Nails), was passed into the hands of Jnanasutra.
Jnanasutra in turn gave the Dzogchen teachings to Vimalamitra, who then taught them in Tibet for many years. Hundreds of practitioners attained enlightenment of Rainbow Body. His main disciple was Tendzin Zangpo also taught the Dzogchen teachings to many practitioners. Later, this Dzogchen lineage passed from Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa through to the Vajra masters of the Dzogchen Shri Singha University.
Today, our master, the Great Natural Space Yogi Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche, is the thirty-third holder of the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig lineage.
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The mission of Dzogchen Shri Singha Europe Association is to create a Dzogchen Retreat Center Europe which will support the preservation, practice, and transmission of the ancient and unbroken Dzogchen tradition in the modern world. The Dzogchen Wisdom Lineage – Buddha’s entire authentic teaching – is a time-tested tradition of practice with specific techniques to achieve both the immediate goal of individual happiness and the ultimate goal of Vast Awakening.
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Generosity is the root of wealth and prosperity
Compassion is the root of peace and happiness
Non-violence is the root of morality and discipline
Observing one’s mind is the root of Dharma practice
– His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche