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Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798)

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 Jamyang 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.

Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (1729-1798) was considered to be an emanation of the great pandit Vimalamitra, of King Trisong Detsen, of Longchen Rabjam (13O8-1363), of Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal (1487-1542), and of many other sages. He was also the immediate reembodiment of Choje Lingpa, also known as Orgyen Rogje Lingpa (1682-1725). [RY]

Literary Works

See Writings of Jigme Lingpa

Main Teachers

Main Students

Main Lineages

Alternate Names

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.

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