The Nyingma School has the longest established history of transmission of all of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Nyingma School primarily relies on the Old Translations, particularly of Tantric texts, and its Tibetan origins are traced to Buddhist pioneers of the time during ‘trio of Abbot Shantarakshita, Acharya Padmasambhava, and Dharma King Trisong Deutsen (Khen-Lob-Choe-Sum). This early translations were prepared by realized masters whose own spiritual attainments guided their translations and are considered to be more close to the original Indian texts. According to the Nyingma lineage histories, the original teacher of the Dharma that came to be associated with the Nyingma was Samantabhadra (Kuntu-Sangpo), who is the ‘primordial Buddha’ and who embodies the truth body or Dharmakaya of all Buddhas. The Nyingma School also identifies Vajradhara (who is said to be an emanation of Samantabhadra), and the five Buddha families, as the original promulgators of many of its teachings and practices. These are said to be the ‘Complete Enjoyment Bodies’ or Samboghakaya Buddhas, whose teachings are primarily adapted to the cognitive capacities of very advanced practitioners. In addition to these exalted figures, this lineage also has a succession of distinguished human teachers, the most important of which is Padmasambhava, also known by Tibetans as ‘Guru Rinpoche’, the ‘Precious Master.’ Guru Rinpoche was from North India. This great tantric Yogi was instrumental in the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet. Because of the Nyingma lineages’ strong links to Guru Rinpoche, as well as to other great early teachers such as Vimalamitra, Vairocana, and Shantarakshita, etc. the lineage is often considered to represents the most authentic and complete teachings of the early masters who introduced Buddhism into Tibet.
Teaching and practice
Broadly, there are three great Transmissions consisting of (a) the Distant Lineage of Transmitted Precepts (Ring-Jud-Kama), (b) the Close Lineage of Treasure (Nye-Jud-Terma), and (c) the Profound Pure Vision Teachings (Zab-mo-dhag-nang). The first is the distant lineage of the teachings (Kama), which is concerned with the teachings of Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga. These are collectively transmitted as ‘the trio of Sutra, magical net, and mind class’ (Dho-Ju-Sem-Sum). The second is the ‘Close Lineage of Terma’, which in turn contains the teachings referred to as ‘the trio of Guru, great perfection, and the great compassionate one’ (La-Dzog-Thug-Sum), these teachings are attributed to the Guru Padmasambhava, the Great Perfection, and Thug can be Gyalwa Gyatso, or the Great Compassionate one, Avalokiteshvara. The third is the profound pure vision lineage, in this stream of transmission, Guru Padmasambhava appears in reality to the ‘Treasure-revealers’ (Tertons) and speaks in person.
Kyabje Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is currently the Supreme Head of the Ripa Lineage of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism and holder of the Tagsham lineage. At the age of thirteen he had a direct vision of Guru Rinpoche who gave him the empowerment of the ‘Display of Awareness’ ‘Rig-Tsal’ and the secret name Dorje Zijid Tsal. Thus empowered as the Guru’s regent, thereafter he revealed mind treasures of the awareness display. He repeatedly saw visions of the enlightened warrior-king Gesar of Ling and, being the reincarnation of Gesar’s elder brother Gyatsa Shalkar, clearly remembered his former life. Kyabje Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche’s Mind-treasure teachings are characterized by the cycle of ‘Rig-Sum-Nor-Bue-Gong-Dzod’ – the ‘Jeweled Treasure Thought of the Three Families’ including the practices of the ‘Three Roots.’ Guru Practices comprise the peaceful and wrathful aspects of Guru Rinpoche’s abridged, medium, and extensive Sadhanas and Droje Drolo’s Cycle of teachings. The ‘Meditation Deity’ or Yidam Practices consist of Vajrasattva and Vajrakilaya’s Cycle of teachings.
The Dakini or Khandro Practices contain Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal’s abridged and extensive Sadhanas. The vast cycle of mind-treasure teachings ‘Rigsum-Norbue-Gongdzod’, principally encompass the four aspects of Gesar: wrathful, pacifying, enrichment, and magnetizing; these are called the four enlightened activities, which are also connected with the hundred peaceful and wrathful deities (Zhi-Tro), and as a protector under the form of Gesar Drala. According to the Sadhana Practices of Gesar as Lama (La-Drub) and the Secret Practice (Sang-Drub), there is the section of mind-treasure called ‘Rigsum-Sangwe-Thigle’ – the ‘Secret Essence of the Three Families.’ The Cycle of Teachings called ‘Yang-Zab-Thug-Thig’ – the practice of the ‘Vast and Profound Heart Essence,’ consists of the Practices of Vajrakilaya, Vajrasattva, Dorje Drolo, and Yeshe Tsogyal. The Cycle of Teachings called ‘Rig-Dhue-Lamai-Thug-Drub’ – the ‘Compendium of the Three Families, Heart Practice of the Lama,’ consists of all the peaceful and wrathful Deities ‘Zhi-Tro’. To this day, the Mind-treasure teachings of His Eminence flow spontaneously and continuously from the vast expanse of his mind-stream. The main practices of the Ripa tradition are based on the Tagsham Terma Cycle of revealed teachings and the ‘New Cycle’.
Thanks to the visits of our teachers, the support of the international sanghas and the participation of our members in international training, Ripa Ukraine has the possibility to perform many practices of Ripa lineage.
- Medicine Buddha Sadhana
- Gesar Dralha
- Gesar Lhasang
- Guru Rinpoche Heart Essence
- Yeshe Tsogyal Sadhana
- Narak Kong Shak
- Puja for Protectors
- Samantabhadra prayer
We try to constantly practice it and help beginners who want to do Dharma. We hope to receive many other teachings and sadhanas from our teachers in the future in order to root the Dharma here and for the benefit of all sentient beings.