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For information on the Rigpa organization, see About Rigpa

Calligraphy by Sogyal Rinpoche

Rigpa (Skt. vidyā; Wyl. rig pa) is a Tibetan word, which in general means ‘intelligence’ or ‘awareness’. In Dzogchen, however, the highest teachings in the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, rigpa has a deeper connotation, ‘the innermost nature of the mind’. The whole of the teaching of Buddha is directed towards realizing this, our ultimate nature, the state of omniscience or enlightenment—a truth so universal, so primordial that it goes beyond all limits, and beyond even religion itself.

Rigpa is the special feature of Dzogchen. Jikmé Lingpa says in his Treasury of Precious Qualities:

Rigpa, which transcends the ordinary mind,
Is the special feature of the natural Dzogpachenpo.

And Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima wrote: “Generally speaking, in the instructions on Dzogchen, profound and special aspects are endless.The key point, however, is the differentiation between the ordinary mind and rigpa."


The Dzogchen teachings mention various aspects of rigpa, such as

  • the 'ground rigpa' (Wyl. gzhi’i rig pa),
  • the 'essential rigpa' (Wyl. ngo bo’i rig pa), and
  • the 'effulgent rigpa' (Wyl. rtsal gyi rig pa).

Further Reading

  • Dalai Lama, Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, Snow Lion, 2004