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Jigme Lingpa

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Jikme Lingpa

Jikme Lingpa[1] (Tib. འཇིགས་མེད་གླིང་པ་, Wyl. 'jigs med gling pa) (1730-1798) is an important figure in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Also known as ‘Khyentse Özer’, ‘Rays of Compassion and Wisdom’, he is regarded as a great scholar and visionary, who discovered the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of teachings and practice through a series of visions from the great fourteenth century master, Longchenpa.

Jikme Lingpa organized the first publication of the compilation of Nyingma tantras known as the Nyingma Gyübum.

Revelation of the Longchen Nyingtik

Jigme Lingpa

According to traditional accounts, Jikme Lingpa discovered the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of teachings as "mind ter" at the age of twenty-eight. Tulku Thondup writes:

In the evening of the twenty-fifth day of the tenth month of the Fire Ox year of the thirteenth Rabjung cycle (1757), Jikme Lingpa went to bed with an unbearable devotion to Guru Rinpoche in his heart; a stream of tears of sadness continuously wet his face because he was not in Guru Rinpoche’s presence, and unceasing words of prayers kept singing in his breath.
He remained in the depths of that meditation experience of clear luminosity for a long time. While being absorbed in that luminous clarity, he experienced flying a long distance through the sky while riding a white lion. He finally reached a circular path, which he thought to be the circumambulation path of Jarung Khashor, now known as Boudhanath Stupa, an important Buddhist monument of giant structure in Nepal. [2]

In this vision, the wisdom dakinis gave Jikme Lingpa a casket containing five yellow scrolls and seven crystal beads. One of the scrolls contained the prophetic guide of Longchen Nyingtik, called Nechang Thukkyi Drombu. At the instruction of a dakini, he ate the yellow scrolls and crystal beads, and all the words and meaning of the Longchen Nyingtik terma were awakened in his mind.

According to traditional accounts, Jikme Lingpa kept the teachings secret for years, before revealing them to a small group of students.[3]


Jigme Lingpa

He composed many original texts of which the Treasury of Precious Qualities (Yönten Dzö) is the most well known. His collected writings fill some fourteen volumes in the Adzom Chögar edition and nine volumes in the set produced in Dergé.


Jikme Lingpa's foremost disciples were known as the 'Four Jikmes'. They were

  1. Dodrupchen Jikme Trinle Özer of Golok
  2. Jikme Gyalwe Nyugu of Dzachukha
  3. Jikme Ngotsar of Dzachukha
  4. Lopön Jikme Küntröl, or Jikme Kundrol Namgyal of Bhutan


In his biography of Patrul Rinpoche, Khenpo Kunpal states that Jikme Lingpa had three incarnations:

Alternative names

  • Dzogchenpa Rangjung Dorjé (Wyl. rdzogs chen pa rang byung rdo rje)


  1. Often his name is rendered Jigme Lingpa
  2. Masters of Meditation and Miracles, by Tulku Thondup, pages 122-123.
  3. Hidden Teachings of Tibet, An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, by Tulku Thondup, pages 122-123.



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Further Reading

  • Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, Its Fundamentals and History, trans. and ed. Gyurme Dorje (Boston: Wisdom, 1991), vol.1 pp.835-840
  • Janet Gyatso, Apparitions of the Self, Princeton: University of Princeton Press, 1998
  • Michael Aris, 'Jigs-Med-Gling-Pa's Discourse on India of 1789: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Lho-Phyogs Rgya-Gar-Gyi Gtam Brtag-Pa Brgyad-Kyi Me-Long', The International Institute for Buddhist Studies of ICABS, 1995
  • Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, Padma Publications, 2005
  • Sam van Schaik, Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003
  • Sam van Schaik, 'Sun and Moon Earrings: the Teachings Received by ‘Jigs med gling pa' in The Tibet Journal 25.4 (2000): 3–32. Also available online here
  • Steven D. Goodman, 'Rig-'dzin Jigs-med gling-pa and the kLong-Chen sNying-Thig' in Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation edited by Steven D Goodman and Ronald M. Davidson, SUNY, 1992
  • Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Boston: Shambhala, 1996, pp.118-135

External Links

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