Longde (Dzogchen)

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Longdé (Wylie: klong sde, Sanskrit: abhyantaravarga) is the name of one of three scriptural divisions within Dzogchen, which is itself the pinnacle of the ninefold division of practice according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

The name "longdé" is translated as "Space Division" or "Space Series" of Dzogchen and emphasises the emptiness (Wylie: strong pa) or spaciousness (Wylie: klong) aspect of the Natural State.

Penor Rinpoche[1] states that due to the different approaches of various Dzogchen lineages, three sub-schools have developed, of which longdé is one. The other two divisions or schools are semde and menngagde. Penor Rinpoche refers to longdé as the Centredness School and is attributed to Dorje Zampa, Sri Singha and Vairotsana's lineage.


These three divisions were introduced by the Buddhist scholar Mañjuśrīmitra. As Dzogchen texts, the texts of all three divisions are concerned with the basic primordial state; the nature of mind-itself (which is contrasted with normal conscious mind). They are related to the "Three Statements" (Wylie: tshig gsum gnad brdeg) of Garab Dorje.

It is important to note that the three series do not represent different schools of Dzogchen practice as much as different approaches to the same goal, that being the basic, natural, and primordial state. As is common throughout much Buddhist literature, Tibetan Buddhism in particular, gradations in the faculties of practitioners are also ascribed to the three divisions, they being seen as appropriate for practitioners of low, middling, and high faculties, respectively.

Distinguishing Features of the Space Division[edit]

The Space Division is related to Garab Dorje's second statement, removing doubts. It teaches methods of meditation that enable the practitioner to get beyond any doubts he or she may have concerning the natural state.

Texts of the Space Division[edit]

"Samantabhadra’s Royal Tantra of All-Inclusive Vastness" (Sanskrit: Mahāvarntaprasaranirajatantranāma; Wylie: klong chen rab byams rgyal po’i rgyud ces bya ba bzhugs so) is renowned as the “king” of tantras belonging to the Space Section.[2][3] list the tantric texts belonging to the Space Division thus:

  • 'King of Infinite Vast Space' or 'Longchen Rabjam Gyalpo' (Tibetan: ཀློང་ཆེན་རབ་འབྱམས་རྒྱལ་པོWylie: klong chen rab 'byams rgyal po)
  • 'Total Space of Samantabhadra' or 'Kunto Zangpo Namkhache' (Tibetan: ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ནམ་མཁའ་ཆེWylie: kun tu bzang po nam mkha' che)
  • 'Manifestation of the Creative Energy of Pure Presence' or 'Rigpa Rangtsal Sharwa' (Tibetan: རིག་པ་རང་རྩལ་ཤར་བWylie: rig pa rang rtsal shar ba)
  • 'Wheel of Key Instructions' or 'Dam-ngag Natshog Khorlo' (Tibetan: གདམས་ངག་སྣ་ཚོགས་འཁོར་ལོWylie: gdams ngag sna tshogs 'khor lo)
  • 'Array of the Exalted Path' or 'Phaglam Kodpa' (Tibetan: འཕགས་ལམ་བཀོད་པWylie: 'phags lam bkod pa)
  • 'Vajrasattva Equal to the Limits of Space' or 'Dorje Sempa Namkha'i Thatang Nyampa' (Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས་དཔའ་ནམ་མཁའི་མཐའ་དང་མཉམ་པWylie: rdo rje sems dpa' nam mkha'i mtha' dang mnyam pa)
  • 'Secret Pristine Awareness' or 'Lamp of Secret Pristine Awareness' or 'Yeshe Sangwa Dronma' (Tibetan: ཡེ་ཤེས་གསང་བ་སྒྲོན་མWylie: ye shes gsang ba sgron ma)
  • 'Wheel of Precious Gems' or 'Rinpoche Khorlo' (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་འཁོར་ལོWylie: rin po che 'khor lo)
  • 'Secret Pristine Awareness' or 'Yeshe Sangwa' (Tibetan: ཡེ་ཤེས་གསང་བWylie: ye shes gsang ba)
  • 'Perfect Pristine Awareness' or 'Yeshe Dzogpa' (Tibetan: ཡེ་ཤེས་རྫོགས་པWylie: ye shes rdzogs pa)
  • 'Total Revelation of the All-Pervasive State of Pure and Total Presence' or 'Changchub Kyi Sems Kunla Jugpa Namtag Tonpa' (Tibetan: བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་སེམས་ཀུན་ལ་འཇུག་པ་རྣམ་དག་སྟོན་པWylie: byang chub kyi sems kun la 'jug pa rnam dag ston pa)
  • 'Radiant Vajra of the State of Pure and Total Presence' or 'Changchug Kyi Sem Dorje Odthro' (Tibetan: བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་སེམས་རྡོ་རྗེ་འོད་འཕྲོWylie: byang chub kyi sems rdo rje 'od 'phro)

According to Thondup & Talbott (1997: p. 48) there are only seven extant texts of the Space Class and they are collected in the Nyingma Gyubum.[4]

See also[edit]

  • Menngagde (Secret or Oral Instructions Division)
  • Semde (Mind Division)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  2. ^ Wellsprings of the Great Perfection by Erik Pema Kunsang. Rangjung Yeshe Publication Pg. 76
  3. ^ Guarisco, Elio (trans.); McLeod, Ingrid (trans., editor); Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, Kon-Sprul Blo-Gros-Mtha-Yas (compiler) (2005). The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Six, Part Four: Systems of Buddhist Tantra. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-210-X, p.520
  4. ^ Tulku Thondup, Harold Talbott (1997). Hidden teachings of Tibet: an explanation of the Terma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Second Edition. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-122-X, 9780861711222. Source: [1] (accessed: Thursday April 15, 2010), p.48


  • "The Practice of Dzogchen", Tulku Thondup, Harold Talbott editors, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca NY, 1989. ISBN 1-55939-054-9
  • Anspal, Sten (2005). The Space Section of the Great Perfection (rDzogs-chen klong-sde): a category of philosophical and meditative teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. Thesis. The University of Oslo. Source: [2] (accessed: Thursday April 15, 2010)

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