Néyik

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Néyik (Tib. གནས་ཡིག་, Wyl. gnas yig), or Néyig, is a pilgrimage guidebook, or a guide to a hidden-valley or a sacred place (Tib. ). These texts can be either termas revealed by a tertön, or directly written and authored by a realized master. Néyik is an important genre of Tibetan literature. The revelation or writing of néyik has been constant since the time of Rigdzin Gödem in the 14th century.

Purpose

The purpose of a néyik is to be a complete guide for practitioners wishing to visit either a known sacred place of pilgrimage (like Bodhgaya) or a hidden-valley (like Pemakö), revealing its location, the time when it would be propitious to enter, the topography of the valleys, the power places to be found, the benefits of the journey itself and of staying in these places[1].

According to Chatral Rinpoche[2], "Néyik reveal the underlying nature of the hidden-lands, but the qualities of the hidden-lands are by no means restricted to what is written. The most essential teachings in Tibetan Buddhism have never been written down."

Néyik refer to the journey’s inevitable hazards as inner obstacles that, once surmounted, lead to greater merit and spiritual realization until, ultimately “the eye can see and the ears can hear that which elsewhere is obscured.”[3]

Categories

Some Néyik are dedicated to pilgrimage places like Swayambhunath, Mount Kailash, or Lake Manasarovar, or the whole Ü and Tsang. Many of the néyik are dedicated to different hidden-lands like Beyul Dremoshong or Pemakö, and describe the difficult routes to go to these places.

The language of Néyik is very special as they use plenty of metaphors and symbols written in sandhabhasa, the tantric “twilight language”, in which truths are revealed only indirectly[4]. Without oral commentary from accomplished lamas, many Néyik would be largely unintelligible[5].

Content

A néyik will typically includes the following elements:

  • Prophetic verses

These prophetic verses usually includes ‘apocalyptic prophecies of war and devastation’[6] when the Néyik is related to a hidden-land.

  • Description of different routes of pilgrimage

Néyik describes the location of the places, the different routes of pilgrimage to go there, the topography of the valleys and the power places to be found.

  • Revelation of the hidden symbolism of the landscape

When related to hidden-lands, Neyik typically open with apocalyptic prophecies of war and devastation, but shifts into what read at times like a […] guide to a parallel universe, with outer, inner and secret descriptions of isolated regions of the Himalayas. According to Ian Baker[7], ‘By being a narrative map of hidden worlds, néyik can also alter the way one sees his surroundings, transforming waterfalls, cliffs, and other natural features of the landscape into doorways to exalted perception.’ Through this process, Néyik have reshaped Tibetan’s relationship to the natural world and revealed it as a place of continual revelation. In the case of Pemakö, many of the Néyik reveals how the whole area and landscape is connected to Vajravarahi’s different chakras[8].

  • Benefits of undertaking the journey

A Néyik usually describes how merit can be accumulated through journeying to such a sacred place.

  • Prophesized Tertön

When the Néyik is related to a hidden-land, the text usually includes verses identifying the name of the Tertön whose role is to ‘open’ (reveal), the hidden-land to practitioners. One of the roles of the tertön will be to read and interpret the néyik, follow its directions and lead his disciples successfully into the hidden-land.

Lists of Néyik

Among the néyik are the following texts:

  • Rigdzin Gödem (1337-1408)
    • sbas yul 'bras mo ljongs kyi gnas yig dkar chag gsal ba'i me long bdud rtsi'i 'od 'phro, (béyul dremojong kyi né yikkar chak salwé melong dütsi ö tro)
    • sbas yul spyi dang bye brag yol mo gangs ra'i gas yig (béyul chidang jedrak yolmo gangré néyik)
  • Jatsön Nyingpo (1585–1656).
    • The Concise Sadhana to Pacify Obstacles and Enter the Hidden-Land, revealed by Tertön Jatsön Nyingpo.
    • A Guide to the Hidden Land of Pemakö. Discovered by Jatsön Nyingpo
  • Rigdzin Düddul Dorje (1615-1672)
    • Self-Liberation Through Hearing of the Great Blissful Land of Pemakö. Discovered by Rigdzin Düddul Dorje.
    • ’Dispeling Clouds and Increasing Faith: A Guide to Pemaköé, an excerpt from the Kathang Treasures. Discovered by Rigdzin Düddul Dorje
  • Lelung Shyepé Dorje (1697-1740)
  • Tertön Orgyen Dorje Thokme (1746-1797).
    • Clear Mirror for Identifying the Five Miraculous Plants, from a subsection of Padmasambhava’s The Luminous Web: Seven Profound Teachings which Open the Gates of the Hidden-Land. Revealed by Dorje Thokma.
    • Relieving the Darkness of the Heart. Revealed by Tertön Orgyen Dorje Thokme.
    • Rituals and Rites for Pemakö’s Protector Spirits, in Accordance with the Blazing Wish-Fulfilling Mind that Opens the Gates to the Hidden-Land. Revealed by Tertön Orgyen Dorje Thokme.
    • Wish-Fulfilling Light Rays: Opening the Door to the Hidden-Land and Removing the Heart’s Darkness. Discovered by Tertön Orgyen Dorje Thokme.
  • Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892)
    • Guidebook to pilgrimage sites and Buddhist shrines in central Tibet (Wyl. dbus gtsang gnas yig ngo mtshar lun ston me long).
  • Dudjom Lingpa (1835-1904)
    • A Lamp For Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance: A Guide to the Most Secret Land of Pemashri. Revealed by Dudjom Lingpa.
  • Jedrung Trinlé Jampa Jungné (1856-1922)
    • The Bright Torch Guide to the Secret Land of Pemakö, A mind-treasure of Jedrung Trinlé Jampa Jungné (Jedrung Pung).
    • The Clear Light: A Guide to the Hidden-Land of Pemakö’, from the text The Three Roots Wish-fulfilling Jewel. Discovered by Rinchen Riwoche Jedrung Pung.
  • Dudjom Drakngak Lingpa (bDud ’joms drag sngags gling pa, ca. (1871-1929)), also known as Dudjom Namkhai Dorjé (bDud ’joms nam mkha’i rdo rje)
    • gNas mchog pre ta pu ri’i gnas yig shel dkar me long bugs sol, ‘The Crystal Mirror Chronicle of the Supreme Sacred Realm of Pretapuri’, on [Pemakö]], by Dudjom Namkhai Dorjé
    • dGongs gsang zad med ye shes klong mdzod las; Dai wa ko ta’i gnas yig ma rig mun sel bzhugs, ‘The Chronicle of Devakota That Clears Away the Darkness of Ignorance (from The Treasure of the Inexhaustible Wisdom Expanse of Secret Enlightened Intention’, on [Pemakö]], by Dudjom Namkhai Dorjé
    • rTsa gsum dgongs pa kun ‘dus las: Yang gsang pad shel gnas yig ma rig mun sel sgron me bzhugs, ‘The Chronicle of the Most Secret Pema Shelri Mountain: The Lamp Which Dispels the Darkness of Ignorance (from the Unity of All Sublime Thought of the Three Roots’), on [Pemakö]], by Dudjom Namkhai Dorjé
  • Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso (1880-1923/5)
    • Guidebook to pilgrimage sites and Buddhist shrines in central Tibet (Wyl. dbus gtsang gi gnas yig)
  • Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche (b.1932)
    • The Lama's Heart Advice which Dispels all Obstacles: A Concise Guide to the Hidden Land of Pemakö, translated by Brian Gregor, by Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, included in ‘Memories of Lost and Hidden Lands: The Life Story of Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, translated by Lozang Zopa, Chime Gatsel Ling, 2009’
  • Pawo Orgyen Chongon
    • Guide to the Heart Center: The All-Gathering Palace of Vajrasattva that Liberates Upon Seeing. Revealed by Pawo Orgyen Chongon.
  • Tertön Orgyen Dorje Dranak
    • Ode to the Sacred Land of Pemakö. Composed by Tertön Orgyen Dorje Dranak.

Notes

  1. Keith Dowman, The Sacred Life of Tibet, Thorson, 1997, p.216.
  2. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 117.
  3. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 35.
  4. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 23.
  5. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 10.
  6. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 35.
  7. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 35.
  8. Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004, page 10.

Further Reading

  • Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to The Last Secret Place, The Pinguin Press, 2004.
  • Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, Memories of Lost and Hidden Lands: The Life Story of Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche, translated by Lozang Zopa, Chime Gatsel Ling, 2009.
  • Elizabeth McDougal, Drakngak Lingpa’s Pilgrimage Guides and the Progressive Opening of the Hidden Land of Pemakö, Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, no. 35, April 2016, pp. 5-52.

External Links