Longchen was the reincarnation of Princess Pemasal, the daughter of King Trisong Deutsen and direct student of Guru Rinpoche. His birth in the Tra Valley of Southern Tibet was accompanied by miraculous events and auspicious omens. He began his Dharma training at the age of seven, when he received empowerments and teachings from his father, a tantric yogi. At twelve, he took novice monastic vows at Samye monastery. When he was in his late twenties two events occurred that were to be of decisive importance in his intellectual and spiritual development. One was a vision of Guru Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal. The other happened in his twenty-ninth year, his meeting with the great mystic Rigdzin Kumaradza from whom he received the Dzogchen empowerment and teachings in the mountains, the uplands of Yartokyam at Samye where he was traveling from valley to valley with his students under the most difficult of circumstances. Longchenpa passed away at the age of fifty-six. He left over two hundred and fifty treatises behind, many of which are still regarded as the most comprehensive and authoritative works yet written concerning the view and practice of the Great Perfection.