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Jigme Lingpa.jpg

Jigme Lingpa Tib: 'jigs med gling pa (1730-1798)

Jigme Lingpa was regarded as an incarnation of both King Trisong Deutsen and Vimalamitra. His most enduring contributions to the Tibetan tradition are his revealed teachings, the Longchen Nyingthig, the diverse body of literature he composed, and the amazing lineage of realized masters that have followed in his wake, which includes Patrul Rinpoche, Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje and Jamyange Khyentse Wangpo.

Unlike many masters of the Tibetan tradition that went on to compose influential philosophical treatises, Jigme Lingpa did not receive extensive educational training. Neither was he a recognized reincarnation, a tulku. Instead, his great realization came directly through practice. In particular, it came from a series of three visions he had of the great master Longchenpa while in retreat at the Samye Chimpu. In these visions, Jigme Lingpa received the entire transmission of Longchen Rabjam's works, both their words and meanings, and his mind eventually merged completely with that of Longchenpa's.

Following his pivotal retreat at Samye Chimpu, Jigme Lingpa went on to found one of the most influential lineages in the Nyingma tradition. In the centuries since his passing, the inheritors of the Longchen Nyingthig have proven to be some of the greatest scholars, meditation masters and realized yogis in recent history. Many of his literary works, particularly the Treasury of Precious Qualities (Tib: yon tan mdzod), continue to be widely studied in Nyingma educational institutions, while his works on tantric practice, such as the famed yeshe lama, are among the most commonly taught practice manuals.

Literary Works

See Writings of Jigme Lingpa

Literary Works in English

Kangyur Rinpoche (2001). Treasury of Precious Qualities. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Committee. Boston: Shambhala Publications. A commentary on the sutra section of Jigme Lingpa's yon tan mdzod; root text as of yet unpublished.
Van Schaik, Sam (2004). Approaching the Great Perfection. Boston: Wisdom Publications. This book contains most of the root Dzogchen material contained in the Longchen Nyingthig cycle, excluding the Yeshe Lama.

Main Teachers

Terton Rigdzin Thukchok Dorje

Main Students

Jigme Trinley Ozer, the first Dodrupchen Rinpoche
Jigme Gyalwey Nyugu, root guru of Patrul Rinpoche

Main Lineages

Longchen Nyingthig

Alternate Names

Namkhai Naljor; nam mkha'i rnal 'byor
Drime Ozer; dri med 'od zer
Ranjung Dorje; rang byung rdo rje

Other Reference Sources

Thondup, Tulku (1996). Masters of Meditation and Miracles. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
Contains a short biography of Jigme Lingpa and most of the primary masters of the Longchen Nyingthig lineage.