Jikme Lingpa

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Jikme Lingpa

Jikme Lingpa[1] (Tib. འཇིགས་མེད་གླིང་པ་, Wyl. 'jigs med gling pa) (1730-1798) is regarded as one of the most important figures in the Nyingma lineage. Also known as ‘Khyentse Özer’, ‘Rays of Compassion and Wisdom’, he was a great scholar and visionary, and discovered the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of teachings and practice through a series of visions from the great fourteenth century master, Longchenpa. With the patronage of the Dergé royal family, Jikme Lingpa published the compilation of Nyingma tantras known as the Nyingma Gyübum and composed a catalogue to accompany it.


Revelation of the Longchen Nyingtik

Jikme Lingpa discovered the Longchen Nyingtik 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.

Jikme Lingpa kept this terma secret for years, and he did not even transcribe the terma until he entered another retreat in which he had a series of visions of Longchen Rabjam. Tulku Thondup explains:

In the earth-hare year (1759) he started another three-year retreat, at Chimpu near Samye monastery. During that retreat, because he was inspired by three successive pure visions of Longchen Rabjam, and he was urged by repeated requests of dakinis, he transcribed his terma as the cycle of Longchen Nyingtik. On the tenth day of the sixth month (monkey month) of the monkey year (1764) he made his terma public for the first time by conferring the transmission of empowerment and the instructions upon fifteen disciples. [3]


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.

He was also instrumental in the transmission of the Collected Tantras of the Nyingma school. He compiled a new edition, expanding on Ratna Lingpa's edition, and also compiled a catalogue. The work was begun in 1771 and lasted until the summer of the next year, during which new printing blocks were carved.


A list of Jigme Lingpa's teachers mainly based on his record of received teachings (tob-yik).[4]

  • Gomchen Dharmakīrti or Gomchen Chö or Gomdrak Chö (sgom chen, sgom chen chos, sgom grags chos)
  • Shrīnātha (same as Drubwang Palgön in Gyatso 1998, p289) (grub dbang dpal mgon)
  • Neten Kunzang Özer or Kunzang Drolchok (gnas-brten kun bzang ‘od zer, kun bzang grol mchog)
  • Tangdrok Pema Rikdzin Wangpo or Tangdrok Kukyé (Tangdrok Monastery was established by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol) (thang ‘brog pad+ma rig-‘dzin dbang po, thang ‘brog sku-skye)
  • Tangdrok Wönpo Gyurme Pema Chokdrub or Wönpo kukyé (thang ‘brog dbon po rgyur med pad+ma mchog sgrub, dbon po sku skye)
  • Tukchok Dorje (thugs mchog rdo rje)
  • Samantabhadra
  • Kongpo or Kongnyön Trati Ngakchang Rikpe Dorje (also known elsewhere as Könnyön Bepe Naljor) (kong po, kong smyon kra ti sngags ‘chang rig pa’i rdo rje, kon smyon sbas pa’i rnal byor)
  • Chakzam Tulku Tendzin Yeshe Lhündrub (lcag zam sprul sku bstan ‘dzin ye shes lhun grub)
  • Gomri Orgyen Longyang or Gomri Lama or Druk Gamri Lama (sgom ri o rgyan klong yangs, sgom ri bla ma, ‘brug sgam ri bla ma)
  • Tekchen Lingpa or Drime Lingpa (theg chen gling pa, dri med gling pa)
  • Tsogyal Tulku Ngawang Lozang Pema (mtsho rgyal sprul sku ngag dbang blo bzang pad+ma)
  • Rigdzin Trinle (rig ‘dzin phrin las)

The following are only responsible for one transmission in his record of received teachings.

  • Jortse Trulpe Ku (sbyor rtse sprul pa’i sku)
  • Gelong Namgyal (dge slong rnam rgyal)
  • Dzangkar Dargye (rdzang kar dar rgyas)
  • Odi Karma (o di kar+ma)

There are two early teachers whom Jikme Lingpa did not include in his record of received teachings.

  • Lobpön Bön Tsenpa (slob dpon bon btsan pa) (Namthar page 16)
  • Damchö Losal Wangpo (dam chos blo gsal dbang po) (Namthar page 19)


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 tells us that Jikme Lingpa had three incarnations:

See Jikme Lingpa Incarnation Line for more details

Alternative Names

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


  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.
  4. This list is based completely on Sam van Schaik, Sun and Moon Earrings: Teachings Received by Jigmé Lingpa.

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

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
  • Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Taye, The Hundred Tertöns, translated by Yeshe Gyamtso (Woodstock: KTD Publications, 2011), pages 366-372.
  • Guru Tashi's History
  • The catalogue of the Longchen Nyingtik by Gyurme Kalden Gyatso and the catalogue by Katok Getse Gyurme Tsewang Chokdrup of his collected works.
  • A Concise History of the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dalhousie: Damchoe Sangpo, 1976.
  • Shechen Gyaltsab's History

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