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Yeshe Lama

Jigme Lingpa's Dzogchen Atiyoga Manual

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First Edition, 268 pages, November 2014
Dzogchen Now! Books
Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10 1502716224
ISBN-13 978-1502716224

The Yeshe Lama

Jigme Lingpa's Dzogchen Atiyoga Manual

A Radical Dzogchen Translation by Keith Dowman.

Here is the great Yeshe Lama, the most renowned, comprehensive and the most efficacious of the Dzogchen manuals. It is a sourcebook for Dzogchen Breakthrough/Leapover precepts. Certainly, the Yeshe Lama lives up to its reputation. It is still the crown jewel of the latter-day Dzogchen lineages. It is at the apex of the Longchen Nyingtik corpus of literature, presenting the essential Dzogchen yogas in pith instruction. The Longchen Nyingtik is based firmly in Longchen Rabjampa’s vision, a massive, vast and profound Dzogchen vision written down as the Seven Treasuries, which in turn were based intimately upon the tantras of the Nyingma Gyubum, the treasure house of Dzogchen.

The translation was made for the benefit of students who have received transmission and oral instructions from a teacher and need clarification and elucidation from an authoritative literary source.


It is meant for yogins and yoginis, adepts and practitioners. It may not be finally authoritative, but grounded in the wisdom of the old Dzogchen lamas who were wise before they came out of Tibet, as the fruit of a lifetime’s listening, studying and contemplation it may be of some use to people who are committed to the Dzogchen yogi ethos. The urban yogis who have no connection with the traditional teaching may also appreciate access to its precepts.

Most significantly, in my mind, this translation stresses the nondual aspect of Dzogchen, the radical aspect that is overlooked by conventional Buddhist Vajrayanists.

The translation attempts, wherever possible, to clarify instruction, resolve ambiguities, and turn abstruse Tibetan nuance and allusion into comprehensible English prose. Sometimes that is not possible because of an absence of English equivalents of Tibetan terms or metaphors, sometimes because of the density or obscurity of the Tibetan meaning, sometimes because an arbitrary meaning has been lost in the recent attenuation of the tradition. Certainly, this translation does not purport to reproduce the high literary quality and form of Jigme Lingpa’s Tibetan prose – which is inimitable. Nor is it a literal translation where every word is accounted for and every instance of a particular word translated by the same English equivalent.

Contents of Yeshe Lama

  • Introduction i-lv
  • The Yeshe Lama
    • Prologue 1
    • Part One
    • Chapter One: Basic Training 9
    • Chapter Two: Fruition in Breakthrough Nonmeditation 27
    • Chapter Three: Fruition in Leapover Methods 41
    • Part Two
    • Chapter Four: The Four Bardos 101
    • Part Three
    • Chapter Five: The Fields of Natural Emanation 147
  • Appendices
    • 1. Structure of the Tibetan Text 153
    • 2. Texts Cited 157
    • 3. The Twelve Vajra Laughs 162
    • 4. The Vase-Body 164
    • 5. The Ground, Path and Fruit 167
    • 6. List of Similes 169
  • Glossary 177
  • English – Tibetan Concordance 188
  • Sanskrit-English Concordance 191
  • Bibliography 194
  • Index 197

Sarva Mangalam!
May all beings be happy!