Nyingma tantric lineages
According to the history of the origin of Nyingma tantras, there are six types of lineage:
Three Common Lineages (of Kama and Terma):
(1) The Thought Lineage of Buddhas, the most original teachings of the Dharmakaya Buddhas, originating from the primordial Buddha, Samantabhadra.
(2) The Symbolic Lineage of the Vidyadharas (Knowledge Holders), which refers to the teachings of the Sambhogakaya Buddhas, originating from Vajrasattva, to Vajrapani to Garab Dorje of Uddiyana.
(3) The Ear-whispered Lineage Of The Great Individuals, which are the teachings of the Nirmanakaya Buddha, originating from the Five Buddha families to the great human emanation master Garab Dorje, and then to Manjushrimitra, Shrisimha, Padmasambhava, Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra and Vairochana. This lineage then started and continued in Tibet, and continues through the present day.
Three Specific Lineages (of Terma):
(4) the Lineage Of Prophesied Mandate (bk’a-babs lung-bstan-gyi-brgyud-pa),
(5) Lineage Empowered By Enlightened Aspiration (smon-lam-dbang-bskur-gyi-brgyud- pa), and
(6) the Lineage Of The Dakinis’ Seal of Entrustment (mkh’a-’gro-gtad-rgya’i-rgyud-pa).
Generally, the Nyingma vajrayana transmission lineage is classified into three main groups:
(1) Kama (bk’a-ma), Oral Transmission Lineage;
(2) Terma (gter-ma,) Concealed Treasures Transmission Lineage;
(3) and Daknang, (dag-snang) Visionary Lineage.
These three are further summarized into two basic transmission lineages:
(1) The Oral Transmission Lineage – the unbroken oral lineage of the Dzogchen tantras of Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga and other associated texts belonging to these subjects.
(2) The Treasure Transmission Lineage – the treasures of instructional scriptures, statues, and other spiritual artifacts hidden by the Guru Padmasambhava sometime in 8-9th century that are revealed later by many great Tertöns, the Treasure Masters, through their enlightened mind and meditative visions.
long lineage of the Kama;
seven transmissions or seven categories which cover all the existing modes of transmission:
Pure Vision; and