“Looks Like Me” Statue of Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa
Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (1729–1798) is one of the most important tertons in the history of Tibet. He discovered the cycle known as Longchen Nyingthig, the Heart Essence teachings of the Vast Expanse and later in his life became known as “Rigdzin” (Skt. Vidyadhara) a title given only to the most accomplished and realized masters. His discovery, the Longchen Nyingtik, is the most famous and widely practiced cycle of Dzogchen teachings in the world today, and has been the focus of the spiritual life of many great masters, including Chatral Senge Dorje Rinpoche, Orgyen Kusum Lingpa, the lineage of Dodrupchens and Trulshik Rinpoche. Jigme Lingpa himself prompted at least five emanations, including the famous masters Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje.
This unique statue of Kunkhyen Jigme Lingpa is based on an image which was completed in 1798, just after Jigme Lingpa’s death. The original is believed to have been made by disciples who actually knew the master, and as such, is said to look exactly like him. These resin statues are 9.75 inches high, 8 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep. They are filled in the traditional way with mantras, relics, ringsel, holy texts, grain, sang substances and so forth, and also contain the various mandalas of the Longchen Nyingthig cycle of termas which Jigme Lingpa revealed. The full text of the Guru Sadhana of Longchenpa, known as Tigle Gyachen, is among the texts included in the statue.
The inscription on the back of the statue reads:
I bow at the feet of Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa, who is nondual with the Victorious Ones.
All funds raised through the sale of these images will go to help Denver Dzogchen (Chönyi Ling) to spread the teachings of the Vajrayana; to continue to bring teachers from Bhutan, Tibet, India and Nepal to teach in the West; to build and place stupas; to support practitioners in meditation retreat (primarily in Tibet and Kham); and especially to help spread the lineage of the Longchen Nyingthig.
As of August, 2018, several great Lamas have consecrated and/or received as a gift of one of these statues, including Adzom Paylo Rinpoche, Kilung Rinpoche, Terton Rinpoche of Kham, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, and His Holiness Dodrupchen Rinpoche, who is the principal holder of the Longchen Nyingthig lineage. Without exception they have been thrilled, stating that these statues ‘contain the blessings of Jigme Lingpa and the Longchen Nyingthig lineage’.