I obviously adore the old ngakpas. It seems like the word can be used in several different ways, even by the people it is applied to. There are Sakya, Kagyu, Bon ngakpas, and many Nyingma ngakpas who have never had the opportunity to study Dzogchen. I think if we are going to use the word ngakpa, it describes someone, a mantrin, who practices mantra and has truly accomplished a deity yoga practice. Not someone like me who just adds up numbers of mantras recited, or days in retreat, and says "done" when the prescribed amount is completed.jerkhyi longdong wrote:I feel the primary job of a ngakpa/ma is to abide in rigpa, and also let that flourish through practices in order to benefit beings. It seems to me also that direct knowledge of rigpa is how a ngakpa will help liberate oneself and others from the four demons.
As Yudron pointed out about Longchenpa's advice (and many others), it can be dangerous manifesting as a village ngapka, unless you were under instruction by your lama to do so, otherwise one can benefit oneself and others by remaining a hidden yogi/ni.
I don't speak Tibetan, but I think Naljorpa (-ma -mo) is a more apt description of practitioners of the highest practices. One can be both.