Mipham Rinpoche, Jamgön Ju Mipham Namgyal (Tib: 'jam mgon 'ju mi pham rnam rgyal, mi pham rgya mtsho) 1846-1912
Ju Mipham ranks alongside Longchen Rabjam and Tsongkhapa as one of Tibet's most prolific and influential masters. His presentation of the Nyingma School's unique approach to the view and practice of Buddhism, and in particular the relationship between Madhyamaka and the Great Perfection, has had an enormous impact on the past few generations of Tibetan Buddhist scholars and practitioners. Namdrolling Monastic College, currently the largest functioning Nyingma educational institution, includes twenty of his texts in its curriculum. By comparison, only five texts by Longchenpa are included and only one by Rongzom Mahapandita.
Mipham's primary teachers were Patrul Rinpoche and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, both incarnations of the tertön Jigme Lingpa. Khyentsé Rinpoche requested Mipham to preserve the Nyingma teachings through teaching, debate, and composition—a task in which he admirably succeeded. About his remarkable student, Khyentsé remarked: “In this time, there is no one else on earth more learned than lama Mipham.”
He excelled not only in study and teaching, however, but in practice as well. The numerous retreats he completed were always accompanied by miraculous signs of accomplishment.
Mipham Rinpoche’s collected writings comprise twenty-seven volumes and cover a vast array of topics. Among his most influential writings are The Speech of Delight—a commentary on Shantarakshita's Ornament of the Middle Way, Gateway to Knowledge—which provides an overview of the Buddha’s teachings, and Beacon of Certainty—an elucidation of the view of the Great Perfection and its relationship to the Middle Way teachings.
Mipham Rinpoche was also instrumental in training some of last century’s most important Nyingma teachers. His most prominent students include Khenpo Künpal, Katok Situ, Sechen Rabjam, Khenpo Pema Dorjé, and the tertön Lerab Lingpa.