This was first taught in the dharmakaya realm by Samantabhadra, in what is known in that realm as the lineage of mind transmission. Then by the transmission of sign and symbol, it was taught in Akinishta to all the vidyadharas, dakas, and dakinis by the hundred peaceful and wrathful deities. It came into our realm when Amitayus appeared in front of Guru Rinpoche and his consort Mandarava in the Maratika cave in Nepal and he gave them the complete transmission of this lineage.
Having realized the deathless state of Amitayus, Guru Rinpoche taught his disciples this teaching in various places such as Senge Dzong and Lodrak Karchu in Tibet and Taktsang in Bhutan, and finally he hid the teachings for the benefit of future generations.
In 1905, as prophesied, Rigdzin Zilnon Namkha Dorje (1868-c.1927), who was a manifestation of Vairocana and Nanam Dorje Dudjom, discovered this teaching in Senge Dzong. When he took the terma out from the Tsogyal cave, there were many auspicious signs and manifestations of dakinis and dharmapalas. Then Guru Rinpoche and Mandarave and all the dharmapalas appeared before him and transmitted the teachings in their entirety to him.
In the terma, Guru Rinpoche instructed the terton to keep these teachings intact and give them to Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, twenty-one years later, so that he might be the holder of these teachings. Accordingly, twenty-one years later, Zilnon Namkha Dorje gave them intact in a vessel to Dudjom Rinpoche on Tranang Mountain behind the monastery of Mindroling, and said, “I have been waiting so long, but now, according to the instruction of Guru Rinpoche, I give you these teachings.” Thus at the age of twenty-one, Dudjom Rinpoche became the holder of these teachings and it has been ever since included as part of the Dudjom Tersar.
This practice of long-life is very swift and powerful and all the practitioners of this terma extend their lives and expand their beneficial activities very widely.