17. Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyamtso
Mipham the Great was born to an aristocratic family in 1846 in Eastern Tibet. He was recognized as an exceptional child from a young age, memorizing texts as early as age six. By the age of ten he had already composed many texts. At twelve, he entered the monastery as an ordinary monk of the Ogmin Urgyen Mindroling lineage at a branch monastery of the great Nyingma seat Shechen.
When he was fifteen or sixteen, after studying the very difficult Mindroling system of chanting for only a few days and praying to Manjushri, he is said to have completely mastered it. In an 18-month retreat, he accomplished the form of Manjushri known as ´Lion of Philosophers´, using a liturgy composed by the fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje. He made many medicinal pills blessed with Manjushri´s mantra, and many miraculous signs were said to have been manifest. After this, it was said that he could accomplish any sutra or tantra without any effort, and no text was unknown to him. He went to many lamas to obtain the necessary lungs (oral transmissions), but he needed no study or teachings for any texts.
Mipham was "a luminary of the nineteenth century Nyingma renaissance and Rime movement ecumenical movement, which started in the Kham region of eastern Tibet". As such he received teachings from masters of all lineages Nyingma and Sarma alike. His root gurus were Dza Patrul Rinpoche, from whom he received instruction on Shantideva´s Bodhicharyavatara and Dzogchen and the renowned master Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, from whom he received transmission of the orally transmitted or Kama and revealed or Terma lineages, and many other teachings. His other teachers included Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye; Dzogchen Khenpo Padma Vajra; Lab Kyabgon Wangchen Gyerab Dorje; Jubon Jigme Dorje; Bumsar Geshe Ngawang Jungne and Ngor Ponlop Jamyang Loter Wangpo.