Dzogchen, the purity of the lineage of transmission

Blog | Culture and tradition | General Introduction to Dzogchen

In this article, Lama Kunsang Olivier emphasizes the remarkable purity of the lineage of transmission of Dzogchen.

Everything is primordially perfect, everything is Great Perfection.

What does Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, actually refer to?

Are we talking about an ancient spiritual tradition of more than 2000 years coming from India which spread in Tibet? Is it a way of living that helps us to free ourselves from suffering? Is it a presentation of how the mind is functioning “inside us”? Or maybe an explanation of how the world is spinning “around us”? Or are we simply referring to the pointing out of the true nature of the mind?

We could say Dzogchen is all about that, but it depends from which angle we look at it.

The teachings have always emphasized a particular point which is considered the “trademark” of Dzogchen: Everything is primordially perfect, everything is Great Perfection. As Mila Khyentse Rinpoche declares: “The Dzogchen tradition insists on the fact that all the reality of our existence comes from our mind, that our mind is primordially perfect and that we only have to recognize it to free ourselves from the illusory chains of suffering, impermanence and death.”

Let’s take a look on how this tradition came into being. According to the canonical texts of the Dzogchen, its founder was an Indian master named Garab Dorje, born nearly two centuries after the Buddha’s parinirvana.

His teachings became the core of the Dzogchen Tradition. The main disciple of Garab Dorje was the famous great pandita Manjushrimitra who wrote commentaries that are still of great help to students, researchers and meditators of our modern time. In turn, Manjushrimitra passed on the lineage to his main disciple Shri Singha.

Throughout the centuries, the teachings of Dzogchen originally delivered by Garab Dorje have remained completely pure and totally unaltered by the concepts and corrections of unenlightened, ordinary beings. Because they have always been transmitted through an unbroken lineage of highly realized masters, who just like Garab Dorje all realized Great Perfection during their lives.


The teachings have thus been able to keep their purity, freshness, great effectiveness and blessing until now.

The very essence of these teachings is reflected in the noble qualities of all these great sages of the past and the present.

Moreover, all these great beings have been able to adapt the Dzogchen teachings to the specific times and needs of the people, without in the least changing the core, the very essence of the teachings. That is why nowadays we can still rely on the original words taught more than 2000 years ago, notably by Garab Dorje.

Today, more than ever, the teachings have to be taught and adapted to our modern situation, by realized masters in a very pure and authentic way. This is the very purpose of Dzogchen Today! !

Written by Lama Kunsang Olivier

Lama Kunsang Olivier is a French Buddhist teacher, translator and author.

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