13. Jigme Lingpa
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.
Unlike many masters of the Tibetan tradition that went on to compose influential philosophical treateises, 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, 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.