Mengakdé (T. man ngag sde མན་ངག་སྡེ་), or "Instruction Class," is the third of three divisions of the Dzogchen teachings according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The other two divisions are Semdé (mind class) and Longdé (space class).
Tulku Thondup states:
- [Mengakdé] teaches realization of the true nature, as it is, without falling into extremes or creating something new. The true nature is the union of three principles: the essence of emptiness (openness), nature of clarity, and compassion (power) of all pervading presence.
John Pettit states:
- The esoteric instruction class (man ngag sde) is said to introduce the nature of gnosis directly, without any adherence to subtle reference points of emptiness, clarity, or nonconceptuality. It is divided into outer, inner, secret, and innermost secret precepts. To the division of innermost secret precepts belong the teachings of the snying thig, or heart-essence. The heart-essence teachings were introduced in Tibet by both Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, and have also appeared in many important termas. Heart-essence is the most widely practiced form of the Great Perfection meditation today.
- outer cycle
- inner cycle
- esoteric cycle
- innermost esoteric cycle
Tulku Thondup states:
- [Mengakdé] has four cycles of teachings and trainings: outer, inner, esoteric, and innermost esoteric. All these cycles are similar and being the teachings on the prime orderly pure nature (ka dag), which is called "cutting through" (khregs ch'od) all the graspings. However, the innermost esoteric cycle focuses on the trainings of spontaneous perfection of appearance (lhun grub), which is called "direct approach" (thod rgal).
Innermost esoteric cycle
John Pettit states:
- To the division of innermost secret precepts belong the teachings of the snying thig, or heart-essence. The heart-essence teachings were introduced in Tibet by both Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, and have also appeared in many important termas. Heart-essence is the most widely practiced form of the Great Perfection meditation today.
Variations of the name of the fourth section include:
- the Secret Heart Essence (gsang ba snying thig),
- the Most Secret Unexcelled Nyingtig (yang gsang bla na med pa snying tig),
- the Innermost Unexcelled Cycle of Nyingtig (yang gsang bla na med pa'i snying thig skor),
- the Most Secret and Unexcelled Great Perfection (yang gsang bla na med pa rdzogs pa chen po),
- the Most Secret Heart Essence (yang gsang snying thig),
- the Most Secret Unsurpassable Cycle (yang gsang bla na med pa'i sde) and
- the Vajra Heart Essence.
Tantras of the innermost esoteric cycle
This fourth section of Mengakdé (the Innermost Esoteric Cycle), is said to contain seventeen tantras, although by some counts there are eighteen or nineteen tantras in this group.
Mengak (Skt. upadeśa) refers to the most essential and practical instructions for a set of teachings.
Dé refers to a section, class, division, etc.
Alternate translations for Mengakdé
The term Mengakdé (T. man ngag sde) has been translated as:
- Instruction class (Princeton Encyclopedia of Buddhism; Rangjung Yeshe Wiki)
- Instruction section (Rangjung Yeshe Wiki)
- Instruction category (Rangjung Yeshe Wiki)
- Category of Direct Transmission (Richard Baron)
- Category of Pith Instructions (Rigpa Wiki)
- Instruction series
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Pettit, John Whitney (1999), Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, Wisdom Publications
- Tulku Thondup (1996), Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambala
- Germano, David; Gyatso, Janet (2000). Longchenpa and the Possession of the Dakinis. in: White, David Gordon (author, editor)(2001). Tantra in practice. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 240.
- Norbu, Namkhai and Clemente, Adriano (1999). "The Supreme Source: The Fundamental Tantra of the Dzogchen Semde, Kunjed Gyalpo". Ithaa, New York: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-120-0
- Schmidt, Marcia Binder (Ed.) (2002). The Dzogchen Primer: Embracing The Spiritual Path According To The Great Perfection. London, Great Britain: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-57062-829-7 (alk. paper)
- Tulku Thondup (edited by Harold Talbott) (1989). "The Practice of Dzogchen". Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-054-9
- Van Schaik, Sam (2004), Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig, Wisdom Publications