Nyingtik Yabshi

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Nyingthig Yabshi (snying thig ya bzhi) (སྙིང་ཐིག་ཡ་བཞི) - the Four-fold Heart Essence

The Nyingthig Yabshi, one of the most famous set of Dzogchen scriptures, was compiled by Longchenpa to condense the two primary lineages of Dzogchen practice in Tibet, those of Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra. Together, this collection of texts is considered the core teaching on the practice of Dzogchen, and in particular the Heart Essence teachings of the Instruction Class.

The teachings of Padmasambhava on the Innermost Unexcelled Cycle are contained in two volumes and are referred to as the Khandro Nyingthig (mkha' 'gro snying thig. Longchenpa's commentaries on this cycle of teachings comprise three further volumes, which are known as the Khandro Yangthig (mkha' 'gro yang thig).

The teachings of the Vimalamitra's lineage, which unite the two aspects of Innermost Unexcelled Cycle — the explanatory lineage with scriptures and the hearing lineage without scriptures, are contained in four volumes, known as the Vima Nyingthig (bi ma snying thig. Longchenpa's 51 commentaries on this cycle of teachings comprise two volumes, which are referred to as the Lama Yangthig (bla ma yang thig).

Longchenpa also wrote two volumes of commentary that relate to both lineages, entitled Zabmo Yangthig (zab mo yang thig).

Explaining the content of this collection of teachings, the 3rd Dzogchen Rinpoche writes:

"The import of the three classes, the nine-fold expanse, and all the other key instructions of the Great Perfection were condensed by the Kashmiri scholar Vimalamitra and codified in the Secret Heart Essence, the Sangwa Nyingtik. These teachings came to be known as The Vast Heart Essence of Vimalamitra, or Vima Nyingtik. The Heart Essence of the Ḍākinīs, or Khandro Nyingtik, was codified by Padmakara, the master from Oḍḍiyāṇa. His teachings came to be known as The Profound Heart Essence of Padma, or Pema Nyingtik. The omniscient Longchenpa then wrote short commentaries on the first of these and more extensive commentaries on the second. The former is referred to as The Quintessential Wish-fulfilling Jewel, which is also known as The Guru’s Quintessence, or Lama Yangtik, and the latter as The Ḍākinī’s Quintessence, or Khandro Yangtik. All of these teachings were then gathered into one compilation, thus condensing both the transmitted teachings and treasures. This collection is referred to as the Four-fold Heart Essence, the Nyingtik Yabshi." (from shing rta bzang po, p. 257) CJD


Publication Data

  • klong chen rab ‘byams (compiler). snying thig ya bzhi. Reprint of the ‘dzom ‘brug pa chos sgar edition. Darjeeling: Talung Tsetrul Pema Wangyal, 1976.
  • These teachings have been input and are being prepared for publication by the Nitartha Input Center, under the direction of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, along with the collected works of Longchenpa.

In Translation

Internal Links

Alternate Translations

  • Four Branches of Heart Essence
  • Four Heart-Essences
  • Nyingtig Ya Shi

External Links