Padmasambhava

Padmasambhava ("Born from a Lotus"; Sanskrit: पद्मसम्भव, IAST: Padmasambhava ; Tibetan: པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས།, Wylie: pad+ma 'byung gnas (EWTS); Mongolian ловон Бадмажунай, lovon Badmajunai ; Chinese: 莲花生大士; simplified Chinese: 莲花生大士; traditional Chinese: 蓮花生大士; pinyin: Liánhuāshēngdàshì), also known as Guru Rinpoche (गुरु रिनपोचे), incarnated as a fully enlightened being, as foretold by Buddha Shakyamuni.[1] Padmasambhava is considered the Second Buddha by the Nyingma school, the oldest Buddhist school in Tibet known as "the ancient ones". Around 767 he came to Tibet and helped construct Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist and Nyingma monastery in Tibet. Padmasambhava then revealed the Vajrayana of Tibetan Buddhism, with scholars, translators, and masters.[2] His students in Tibet include the great master Yeshe Tsogyal and the "Twenty-five King and Subjects".[3]

Padmasambhava, Pema Jugne
Guru Rinpoche in mist 2.jpg
Colossus of Padmasambhava, 123 ft. (37.5 m) high in mist overlooking Rewalsar Lake, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionTibetan Buddhism

A number of biographies describe Padmasambhava's life and deeds. The Nyingma scholar Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche explains of his birth:

There are many stories explaining how Guru Padmasambhava was born. Some say that he instantly appeared on the peak of Meteorite Mountain, in Sri Lanka. Others teach that he came through his mother's womb, but most accounts refer to a miraculous birth, explaining that he spontaneously appeared in the center of a lotus. These stories are not contradictory because highly realized beings abide in the expanse of great equanimity with perfect understanding and can do anything. Everything is flexible, anything is possible. Enlightened beings can appear in any way they want or need to.[1]

In addition to the Nyingma school, Padmasambhava is also widely venerated as a second Buddha by Buddhists in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, the Himalayan states of India, and in countries around the world.[4][5] Buddha Shakyamuni predicted Padmasambhava's coming and activities in 19 Sutras and Tantras, stating he would be an emanation of Amitaba and Avaloketishvara. Other accounts maintain Padmasambhava is a direct reincarnation of Buddha Shakyamuni.

For the most part, Buddha Shakyamuni taught Hinayana and Sutra Mahayana, and only taught Vajrayana to select students privately. As a reincarnation, Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche states that Padmasambhava "revealed the Vajrayana teachings in their entirety."[1] The Vajrayana is also known as Tantra, and is based on the Mahayana.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Vajrayana revealed by Padmasambhava has an oral Kama lineage, and a hidden treasure Terma lineage that was founded by Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.[6] The Terma are discovered by fortunate beings and Tertöns when conditions are ripe for reception. The Nyingma Dzogchen lineage has its origins in Garab Dorje through a direct transmission to Padmasambhava.[7]

Padmasambhava appears to Tertöns in visionary encounters, and his form is visualized during guru yoga practice, particularly in the Nyingma school. The Nyingma school considers Padmasambhava to be a founder of their tradition.[8] Padmasambhava established Vajrayana Buddhism and the highest forms of Dzogchen (Mengagde) in Tibet and transformed the entire nation.

BiographyEdit

Yeshe Tsogyal said there are nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine biographies of Padmasambhava.[1] They are categorized in three ways: Those relating to Padmasambhava's Dharmakaya buddhahood, those accounts of his Sambhogakaya nature, and those chronicles of his Nirmanakaya activities.[1]

Chronicle sourcesEdit

One of the earliest chronicle sources for Padmasambhava as a historical figure is the Testament of Ba (dating to the 9th or 10th centuries), which records the founding of Samye Monastery under the reign of king Trisong Detsen (r. 755–797/804).[9]

Other chronicle texts from Dunhuang evidence that Padmasambhava's tantric teachings were being taught in Tibet during the 10th century. New evidence suggests that Padmasambhava already figured in spiritual hagiography and ritual, and was already seen as the enlightened source of tantric scriptures, as many as two hundred years before Nyangrel Nyima Özer (1136-1204)[10] the primary source of the biography of Padmasambhava.

Biographical accountsEdit

Khenpo Nyangrel Nyima Özer (b.1124/1136 - d.1192/1204), abbot of Mawochok Monastery, is responsible for revealing the terma of "The Copper Palace" (bka' thang zangs gling ma), a complete biographical narrative on Padmasambhava which was located near Mawochok, in Lhodrak, Tibet. The narrative was also incorporated into Nyangrel Nyima Özer's history of Buddhism, the "Flower Nectar: The Essence of Honey" (chos 'byung me tog snying po sbrang rtsi'i bcud).[11] The Copper Palace narrative forms the beginning at least of the hagiographical tradition of Padmasambhava, according to Janet Gyatso.[12]

Guru Chöwang (1212–1270) was the next major textual source contributor on Padmasambhava, and may have been the first full lifestory biographer of Yeshe Tsogyal.[12]

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries there were several parallel narratives of Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Songtsän Gampo, and Vairotsana.[13] At the end of the 12th century, there was the "victory of the Padmasambhava"[14] narrative, which details the greater role of Padmasambhava in the introduction of Vajrayana to Tibet,[15] as revealed by Khenpo Nyangrel Nyima Özer's Copper Palace.

BirthEdit

Most biographical accounts of his nature state Padmasambhava consciously incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in Lake Dhanakosha, in the kingdom of Oddiyana.

Padmasambhava became the adopted child of King Indrabhuti of Sambalak. Laxmikara, the sister of King Indrabhuti, was a master of Tantric Buddhism and spread Buddhist Tantra when she married in Subarnapur. It may be assumed that Padmasambhava learned Tantric Buddhism from his aunt Laxmikara and later, when he left Sambalak, he transferred the knowledge of Tantric Buddhism learned from his aunt Laxmikara within different Himalayan states such as Nepal, Bhutan, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet, and Sikkim.[16]

Several scholars locate Oddiyana in the Swat Valley area of modern-day Pakistan. A minority theory developed on literary, archaeological, and iconographical grounds locates Oddiayna at Thankosh, near the modern-day city of Sambalpur in Odisha, India.[17] Subarnapur may also be the modern-day Sonepur district of Odisha.

Padmasambhava's special nature was recognized by the childless King Indrabhuti of Oḍḍiyāna, and he was chosen to take over the kingdom. Instead, Padmasambhava left Oddiyana for northern parts of India.[18][19] Padmasambhava's choice in departing the kingdom is in parallel with the Shakyamuni Buddha's choice in departing his own father's kingdom.

Northern IndiaEdit

 
Statue of Princess Mandarava at Rewalsar Lake.

In Himachal Pradesh, India at Rewalsar Lake, known as Tso Pema in Tibetan, Padmasambhava secretly gave tantric teachings to princess Mandarava, the local king's daughter. The king found out and tried to burn both him and his daughter, but it is said that when the smoke cleared they were still alive and in meditation, centered in a lotus arising from a lake. Greatly astonished by this miracle, the king offered Padmasambhava both his kingdom and Mandarava.[20]

NepalEdit

Padmasambhava left India with Mandarava and travelled to the Maratika Cave[21] in Nepal to continue practicing secret tantra. They had a vision of buddha Amitāyus and achieved what is called the "phowa rainbow body," (Wylie transliteration: 'pho ba chen po, pronounced Phowa Chenpo) a very rare type of spiritual realization (Wylie: 'ja' lus, pronounced Jalü). Both Padmasambhava and his consort Mandarava are still believed to be alive and active in this rainbow body form by Buddhists.

There is a huge 64 feet tall golden statue of Padmasambhava, to the right of Shakyamuni, in the Amidev buddha Park located at the foot of the hill which houses Swayambhu Mahachaitya. The Park was built in 2003 which acts as the entrance for the pilgrims visiting the Stupa on top.

Vajrayana in TibetEdit

 
Yeshe Tsogyal

Padmasambhava's main consort Yeshe Tsogyal, also known as Karchen Za, became his student while living in the court of Tibet's King Trisong Deutsen.

Padmasambhava was given Yeshe Tsogyal, one of Trisong Deutsen's queens, as a spiritual consort.[22] Together, they began the Nyingma school and Yeshe Tsogyal is called the "Mother of Buddhism". She was also among Padmasambhava's three special students (the King, Karchen Za, and Namkhai Nyingpo)[12] and among Padmasambhava's "Twenty-five King and Subjects".

Yeshe Tsogyal became a great master with many disciples. Padmasambhava hid numerous Termas in Tibet for later discovery with her aid, while she compiled and elicited Padmasambhava's teachings through the posing of questions, and then reached Buddhahood in her lifetime. Many thangkas and paintings depict Padmasambhava with consorts at each side, Mandarava on his right and Yeshe Tsogyal on his left.[23]

Eight ManifestationsEdit

 
Guru Senge Dradrog, a wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava. (Painting in Tashichho Dzong)

The Eight Manifestations are also seen as Padmasambhava's biography that spans 1500 years. As Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche states,

When Guru Padmasambhava appeared on earth, he came as a human being. In order to dissolve our attachment to dualistic conceptions and destroy complex neurotic fixations, he also exhibited some extraordinary manifestations.[1]

In accord, Rigpa Shedra also states the eight principal forms were assumed by Guru Rinpoche at different points in his life. Padmasambhava's eight manifestations, or forms (Tib. Guru Tsen Gye), represent different aspects of his being as needed, such as wrathful or peaceful for example.

The Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava belong to the tradition of Terma, the Revealed Treasures (Tib.: ter ma),[1][24][25] and are described and enumerated as follows:

  1. Guru Pema Gyalpo (Wylie: gu ru pad ma rgyal-po, Skrt: Guru Padmarāja) of Oddiyana, meaning "Lotus King", king of the Tripitaka (the Three Collections of Scripture), manifests as a child four years after the Mahaparinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni, as predicted by the Buddha. He is shown with a redish pink complexion and semi-wrathful, seated on a lotus and wearing yellow-orange robes, a small damaru in his right hand and a mirror and hook in his left hand, with a top-knot wrapped in white and streaming with red silk.
  2. Guru Nyima Ozer (Wylie: gu ru nyi-ma 'od-zer, Skrt: Guru Suryabhasa or Sūryaraśmi[26]), meaning "Ray of Sun", the Sunray Yogi, semi-wrathful, manifests in India simultaneously with Guru Pema Gyalpo, often portrayed as a crazy wisdom wandering yogi, numerous simultaneous emanations, illuminates the darkness of the mind through the insight of Dzogchen. He is shown seated on a lotus with left leg bent and with a golden-red complexion, semi-wrathful with slightly bulging eyes, long hair with bone ornaments, moustache and beard, bare-chested with a tiger-skin skirt, right hand holds a khatvanga and left hand is in a mudra, interacting with the sun.
  3. Guru Loden Chokse (Wylie: gu ru blo ldan mchog sred; Skrt: Guru Mativat Vararuci,[26]) meaning roughly "Super Knowledge Holder", peaceful, manifests after Guru Pema Gyalpo departs Oddiyana for the great charnel grounds of India and for all knowledge, the Intelligent Youth, the one who gathers the knowledge of all worlds. He is shown seated on a lotus, white complexion, wearing a white scarf with ribbons wrapped around his head, and a blue-green lotus decorating his hair, holding a damaru in the right hand and a lotus bowl in the left hand.
  4. Guru Padmasambhava (Skrt: Guru Padmasambhava), meaning "Lotus Essence", a symbol of spiritual perfection, peaceful, manifests and teaches Mandarava, transforming negative energies into compassionate and peaceful forms. He is shown with a rich white complexion, very peaceful, and wears a red monk's hat, and sits on a lotus with his right hand in a mudra and left hand holding a skull-cup.
  5. Guru Shakya Senge (Wylie: shAkya seng-ge, Skrt: Guru Śākyasimha) of Bodh Gaya, meaning "Undefeatable Lion", peaceful, manifests as Ananda's student and brings King Ashoka to the Dharma, Lion of the Sakyas, embodies patience and detachment, learns all Buddhist canons and Tantric practices of the eight Vidyadharas. He is shown similar to Buddha Shakymuni but with golden skin in red monk's robes, a unishaka, a begging bowl in the left hand and a five-pointed vajra in the right hand.
  6. Guru Senge Dradrog (Wylie: gu ru seng-ge sgra-sgrogs, Skrt: Guru Simhanāda,[26]) meaning "The Lion's Roar", wrathful, subdues and pacifies negative influences, manifests in India and at Nalanda University, the Lion of Debate, promulgator of the Dharma throughout the six realms of sentient beings. He is shown as dark blue and surrounded by flames above a lotus, with fangs and three glaring eyes, crown of skulls and long hair, standing on a demon, holding a flaming vajra in the right hand, left hand in a subjugation mudra.
  7. Guru Pema Jungne (Wylie: pad ma 'byung-gnas, Skrt: Guru Padmakara), meaning "Born from a Lotus", manifests before his arrival in Tibet, the Vajrayana Buddha that teaches the Dharma to the people, embodies all manifestations and actions of pacifying, increasing, magnetizing and subjugating. As the most depicted manifestation, he is shown sitting on a lotus, dressed in three robes, under which he wears a blue shirt, pants and Tibetan shoes. He holds a vajra in his right hand, and a skull-bowl with a small vase in his left hand. A special trident called a khatvanga leans on the left shoulder representing Yeshe Tsogyal, and he wears a Nepalese cloth hat in the shape of a lotus flower. Thus he is represented as he must have appeared in Tibet.
  8. Guru Dorje Drolo (Wylie: gu ru rDo-rje gro-lod, Skrt: Guru Vajra), meaning "Crazy Wisdom", very wrathful, manifests five years before Guru Pema Jungne departs Tibet, 13 emanations for 13 Tiger's Nests caves, the fierce manifestation of Vajrakilaya (wrathful Vajrasattva) known as "Diamond Guts", the comforter of all, imprinting the elements with Wisdom-Treasure, subduer for degenerate times. He is shown dark red, surrounded by flames, wearing robes and Tibetan shoes, conch earrings, a garland of heads, dancing on a tiger, symbolizing Tashi Kyeden, that is also dancing.

Padmasambhava's various Sanskrit names are preserved in mantras such as those found in the Yang gsang rig 'dzin youngs rdzogs kyi blama guru mtshan brgyad bye brag du sgrub pa ye shes bdud rtsi'i sbrang char zhe bya ba.[clarification needed][26][27]

TibetEdit

Samye and subjection of local obstructionsEdit

The treasure Terma revealed by Nyangrel Nyima Ozer entitled "The Copper Palace", provides scholars with the basic narrative on Padmasambhava's time in Tibet, and is supported by The Testament of Ba. In Copper Palace and the Testament, King Trisong Detsen, the 38th king of the Yarlung dynasty and the first Emperor of Tibet (742–797), invited the Nalanda University abbot Śāntarakṣita (Tibetan Shiwatso) to Tibet.[28] Śāntarakṣita started the building of Samye,[28] but the work collapsed repeatedly. It was ascertained that local spirits, or demonical forces, were hindering the construction and introduction of the Buddhist dharma. Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet to subdue the demonic forces.[29] The demons were not annihilated, but were obliged to submit to the dharma.[30] The subjection of concurring deities and demons is a recurrent theme in Buddhist literature, as noted also in Vajrapani and Mahesvara and Steven Heine's "Opening a Mountain".[31]

This was in accordance with the tantric principle of not eliminating negative forces but redirecting them to fuel the journey toward spiritual awakening. Padmasambhava successfully tamed the spirits, and the construction of Samye recommenced. The success increased the levels of respect for Padmasbhava, and supported the continued revelations of Vajrayana teachings in Tibet.

TranslationsEdit

 
Statues of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus at Namdroling Monastery.

King Trisong Detsen ordered the translation of all Buddhist Dharma Texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan. Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, 108 translators, and 25 of Padmasambhava's nearest disciples worked for many years in a gigantic translation-project. The translations from this period formed the base for the large scriptural transmission of Dharma teachings into Tibet. Padmasambhava supervised mainly the translation of Vajrayana Tantra teachings; Shantarakshita concentrated on the Mahayana Sutra teachings.

Nyingma schoolEdit

Padmasambhava, with King Trisong Deutsen as a patron, spread Vajrayana Buddhism to the people of Tibet, and specifically introduced its practice of Tantra.[30][32]

Padmasambhava is regarded as the founder of the Nyingma school. The word "Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as "Nga'gyur" "Tibetan: སྔ་འགྱུར།, Wylie: snga 'gyur, ZYPY: Nga'gyur, "school of the ancient translations", or the "early translation school" since the first translations of Buddhist teachings and discourses from Sanskrit into Tibetan were prepared by early Nyingma school teachers and students. The Tibetan script and grammar were actually created for this endeavour.

The Nyingma school has a Kama lineage, based on an oral transmission lineage, and a Terma lineage, based on revealed hidden terma treasures, which are found and disseminated when conditions are ripe for the reception of the treasures.[7] The Kama lineage traces its origins to Padmasambhava together with other early translation school masters Shantarakshita, Vimalamitra, and Vairochana. Its Dzogchen lineage traces its origins to Garab Dorje through Padmasambhava.[6] The origin of its Terma lineage is traced to Padmasambhava and Yeshe Ysogyal, while the Terma lineage is based on the Kama lineage.[7]

All people in Tibet that became enlightened from the 8th century to the 11th century did so through practicing the Nyingma school's Kama lineage.[7] The Nyingma is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug.

Originally, Nyingma teachings were propagated orally among a loose network of lay practitioners. Yogis, lay practitioners and vow-holding Ngakmapa practitioners were generally the earlier practitioners, while ordained monks and nuns and monasteries developed later.[33] Padmasambhava is regarded as the founder of Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery and Nyingma monastery in Tibet.[34] Later, the Nyingma school's Six Mother Monasteries were built. Many of the Nyingma monasteries were destroyed before and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and most recently demolished as at Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar.

The Nyingma school's lineage in Tibet remains centered in Kham in eastern Tibet, and monasteries founded by exiled Tibetan lamas are located in Nepal and throughout India. The Tibetan diaspora has caused the Nyingma school to flourish in Europe and in the Americas, and to spread most recently into Russia.

BhutanEdit

Bhutan has many important pilgrimage places associated with Padmasambhava. The most famous is Paro Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" monastery which is built on a sheer cliff wall about 900m above the floor of Paro valley. It was built around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where he is said to have meditated in the 8th Century. He flew there from Tibet on the back of Yeshe Tsogyal, whom he transformed into a flying tigress for the purpose of the trip.[citation needed] Later he travelled to Bumthang district to subdue a powerful deity offended by a local king. According to legend, Padmasambhava's body imprint can be found in the wall of a cave at nearby Kurje Lhakhang temple.[citation needed]

Iconography and attributesEdit

IconographyEdit

 
Wall painting at Paro Bridge, Bhutan, of Padmasambhava.

GeneralEdit

  • He has one face and two hands.[35][36]
  • He is wrathful and smiling.[35]
  • He blazes magnificently with the splendour of the major and minor marks.[35]

HeadEdit

  • On his head he wears a five-petalled lotus hat,[35][37] which has
    • Three points symbolizing the three kayas,
    • Five colours symbolizing the five kayas,
    • A sun and moon symbolizing skilful means and wisdom,
    • A vajra top to symbolize unshakable samadhi,
    • A vulture's feather to represent the realization of the highest view.[36]
  • His two eyes are wide open in a piercing gaze.[35]
  • He has the youthful appearance of an eight-year-old child.[36]

SkinEdit

  • His complexion is white with a tinge of red.[36]

DressEdit

  • On his body he wears a white vajra undergarment. On top of this, in layers, a red robe, a dark blue mantrayana tunic, a red monastic shawl decorated with a golden flower pattern, and a maroon cloak of silk brocade.[35]
  • On his body he wears a silk cloak, Dharma robes and gown.[37]
  • He is wearing the dark blue gown of a mantra practitioner, the red and yellow shawl of a monk, the maroon cloak of a king, and the red robe and secret white garments of a bodhisattva.[36]

HandsEdit

  • In his right hand, he holds a five-pronged vajra at his heart.[35][36][37]
  • His left hand rests in the gesture of equanimity,[35]
  • In his left hand he holds a skull-cup brimming with nectar, containing the vase of longevity that is also filled with the nectar of deathless wisdom[35][36] and ornamented on top by a wish-fulfilling tree.[37]

KhatvangaEdit

The khaṭvāńga is a particular divine attribute of Padmasambhava and intrinsic to his iconographic representation. It is a danda with three severed heads denoting the three kayas (the three bodies of a Buddha, the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya), crowned by a trishula, and dressed with a sash of the Himalayan Rainbow or Five Pure Lights of the Mahabhuta. The iconography is utilized in various Tantric cycles by practitioners as symbols to hidden meanings in transmitted practices.

  • Cradled in his left arm he holds the three-pointed khatvanga (trident) symbolizing the Princess consort Mandarava, one of his two main consorts.[35][37] who arouses the wisdom of bliss and emptiness, concealed as the three-pointed khatvanga trident.[36] Other sources say that the khatvanga represents the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal, his primary consort and main disciple.[38]
  • Its three points represent the essence, nature and compassionate energy (ngowo, rangshyin and tukjé).[36][37]
  • Below these three prongs are three severed heads, dry, fresh and rotten, symbolizing the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya.[36][37]
  • Nine iron rings adorning the prongs represent the nine yanas.[36][37]
  • Five-coloured strips of silk symbolize the five wisdoms[36]
  • The khatvanga is also adorned with locks of hair from dead and living mamos and dakinis, as a sign that the Master subjugated them all when he practised austerities in the Eight Great Charnel Grounds.[36][37]

SeatEdit

  • He is seated with his two feet in the royal posture.[35][36][37]

SurroundingEdit

  • All around him, within a lattice of five-coloured light, appear the eight vidyadharas of India, the twenty-five disciples of Tibet, the deities of the three roots, and an ocean of oath-bound protectors[37]

There are further iconographies and meanings in more advanced and secret stages.[citation needed]

AttributesEdit

Pure-land ParadiseEdit

His Pureland Paradise is Zangdok Palri (the Copper-Coloured Mountain).[39]

Samantabhadra and SamantabhadriEdit

Padmasambhava said:

My father is the intrinsic awareness, Samantabhadra (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ). My mother is the ultimate sphere of reality, Samantabhadri (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་མོ). I belong to the caste of non-duality of the sphere of awareness. My name is the Glorious Lotus-Born. I am from the unborn sphere of all phenomena. I consume concepts of duality as my diet. I act in the way of the Buddhas of the three times.

Another translation of Guru Rinpoche's statement is:

My father is wisdom and my mother is voidness.

My country is the country of Dharma.

I am of no caste and no creed.

I am sustained by perplexity; and I am here to destroy lust, anger and sloth.

-Guru Padmasambhava[1]

Teachings and practices of PadmasambhavaEdit

The Vajra Guru mantraEdit

 
The Vajra Guru Mantra in Lanydza and Tibetan script.

The Vajra Guru (Padmasambhava) mantra Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum is favoured and held in esteem by sadhakas. Like most Sanskritic mantras in Tibet, the Tibetan pronunciation demonstrates dialectic variation and is generally Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung. In the Vajrayana traditions, particularly of the Nyingmapa, it is held to be a powerful mantra engendering communion with the Three Vajras of Padmasambhava's mindstream and by his grace, all enlightened beings.[40] In response to Yeshe Tsogyal's request, the Great Master himself explained the meaning of the mantra although there are larger secret meanings too.[41] The 14th century tertön Karma Lingpa has a famous commentary on the mantra.[42]

The Seven Line Prayer to PadmasambhavaEdit

The Seven Line Prayer to Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is a famous prayer that is recited by many Tibetans daily and is said to contain the most sacred and important teachings of Dzogchen. It is as follows:[43]

Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāna (hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam)

In the heart of a lotus flower, (pema gesar dongpo la)

Endowed with the most marvellous attainments, (yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé)

You are renowned as the ‘Lotus-born’, (pema jungné shyé su drak)

Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs (khor du khandro mangpö kor)

Following in your footsteps, (khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi)

I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing! (jingyi lab chir shek su sol)

guru padma siddhi hūṃ

Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso composed a famous commentary to the Seven Line Prayer called White Lotus. It explains the meanings, which are embedded in many levels and intended to catalyze a process of realization. These hidden teachings are described as ripening and deepening, in time, with study and with contemplation.[44] Tulku Thondup says:

Enshrining the most sacred prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, White Lotus elucidates its five layers of meaning as revealed by the eminent scholar Ju Mipham. This commentary now makes this treasure, which has been kept secret among the great masters of Tibet for generations, available as a source of blessings and learning for all.

There is also a shorter commentary, freely available, by Tulku Thondup himself.[45] There are many other teachings and Termas and widely practiced tantric cycles incorporating the text as well as brief ones such as Terma Revelation of Guru Chöwang.[46]

TermasEdit

Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal also hid a number of spiritual treasures (termas) in lakes, caves, fields and forests of the Himalayan region to be found and interpreted by future tertöns or spiritual treasure-finders.[47]

According to Tibetan tradition, the Bardo Thodol (commonly referred to as the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was among these hidden treasures, subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa.

Tantric cyclesEdit

Tantric cycles related to Padmasambhava are not just practiced by the Nyingma, they even gave rise to a new offshoot of Bon which emerged in the 14th century called the New Bön. Prominent figures of the Sarma (new translation) schools such as the Karmapas and Sakya lineage heads have practiced these cycles and taught them. Some of the greatest tertons revealing teachings related to Padmasambhava have been from the Kagyu or Sakya lineages. The hidden lake temple of the Dalai Lamas behind the Potala called Lukhang is dedicated to Dzogchen teachings and has murals depicting the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava.[48] Padmasambhava established Vajrayana Buddhism and the highest forms of Dzogchen (Mengagde) in Tibet and transformed the entire nation.

ConsortsEdit

Many of the students gathered around Padmasambhava became advanced Vajrayana tantric practitioners, and became enlightened. They also found and propagated the Nyingma school. The most prominent of these include Padmasambhava's five main female consorts, often referred to as wisdom dakinis, and his twenty five main students along with king Trisong Detsen.

The five main consorts or five wisdom dakinisEdit

 
Padmasambhava in yab-yum form with a spiritual consort

Padmasambhava had five main female tantric consorts, beginning in India before his time in Tibet and then in Tibet as well. When seen from an outer, or perhaps even historical or mythological perspective, these five women from across South Asia were known as the Five Consorts. That the women come from very different geographic regions is understood as a mandala, a support for Padmasambhava in spreading the dharma throughout the region.

Yet, when understood from a more inner tantric perspective, these same women are understood not as ordinary women but as wisdom dakinis. From this point of view, they are known as the "Five Wisdom Dakinis" (Wylie: Ye-shes mKha-'gro lnga). Each of these consorts is believed to be an emanation of the tantric yidam, Vajravārāhī.[49] As one author writes of these relationships:

Yet in reality, he [Padmasambhava] was never separate from the five emanations of Vajravarahi: the Body-emanation, Mandarava; the Speech-emanation, Yeshe Tsogyal; the Mind-emanation, Shakyadema; the Qualities-emanation, Kalasiddhi; and the Activity-emanation, Trashi [sic] Chidren.[50]

In summary, the five consorts/wisdom dakinis were:

While there are very few sources on the lives of Kalasiddhi, Sakya Devi, and Tashi Kyedren, there are extant biographies of both Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava that have been translated into English and other western languages.

Twenty-five King and SubjectsEdit

Padmasambhava has twenty five main students (Tibetan: རྗེ་འབངས་ཉེར་ལྔ, Wylie: rje 'bangs nyer lnga) in Tibet during the Nyingma's school's Early Translation period. These students are also called the "Twenty-five King and subjects" and "The King and 25" of Chimphu.[52][53] In Dudjom Rinpoche's list,[54] and in other sources, these include:

Also, but not listed in the 25:

In addition to Yeshe Tsogyal, 15 other women practitioners became accomplished Nyingma masters during this Early Translation period of the Nyingma school:[54][7]

GalleryEdit

Biographies in EnglishEdit

  • The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. Translated by W. Evans-Wentz. OUP, 2000.
  • The Legend of the Great Stupa and the Life Story of the Lotus Born Guru. Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa. Translated by Keith Dowman. Dharma Publishing, 1973.
  • Padmasambhava Comes to Tibet. Yeshe Tsogyal & Tarthang Tulku. Dharma Publishing, 2009.
  • The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava. Yeshe Tsogyal. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Shambhala Publications, 1993
  • The Life & Liberation of Padmasambhava (Parts I & II). Yeshe Tsogyal. Translated into French by Gustave-Charles Toussaint. Translated into English by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays. Dharma Publishing, 1978.
  • Guru Rinpoché: His Life and Times. Ngawang Zangpo. Snow Lion Publications, 2002.
  • The Vajra Garland and the Lotus Garden: Treasure Biographies of Padmakara and Vairochana. Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. Translated by Yeshe Gyamtso. KTD Publications, 2005.
  • The Life of Padmasambhava. Taranatha. Translated by Cristiana de Falco. Shang Shung Publications, 2005.
  • The Condensed Chronicle by Orgyen Padma. Translated by Tony Duff. Padma Karpo Translation Committee, 2004.
  • Biography of Orgyen Guru Pema Jungne. Revealed by Adzom Drukpa. Translated by Padma Samye Ling. Published by Dharma Samudra (restricted).
  • The Great Tertön. Chokgyur Lingpa & Phakchok Rinpoche. Akara, 2016.
  • Following in Your Footsteps: The Lotus-Born Guru in Nepal. Jamgön Kongtrul & Neten Chokling Rinpoche & Lhasey Lotsawa Translations. Rangjung Yeshe, 2019.
  • A Short Biography of Padmasambhava by Jamgon Kongtrul, in Dakini Teachings. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Rangjung Yeshe, 1999.
  • A Great Treasure of Blessings, pp. 10–33. Rigpa, 2016.
  • Dzogchen and Padmasambhava. Sogyal Rinpoche. Rigpa, 1990.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, The Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava, (May 1992), https://turtlehill.org/cleanup/khen/eman.html
  2. ^ Kværne, Per (2013). Tuttle, Gray; Schaeffer, Kurtis R. (eds.). The Tibetan history reader. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780231144698.
  3. ^ Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 34-5, 96-8.
  4. ^ "Padmasambhava". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Jr., Donald S. (2013). The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 608. ISBN 9781400848058. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Beauty of Awakened Mind: The Dzogchen Lineage of Shigpo Dudtsi. Dharma Samudra, 2013. https://www.padmasambhava.org/chiso/books-by-khenpo-rinpoches/beauty-of-awakened-mind-dzogchen-lineage-of-shigpo-dudtsi/
  7. ^ a b c d e Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal. Lion's Gaze: A Commentary on Tsig Sum Nedek. Sky Dancer Press, 1998.
  8. ^ Harvey, Peter (2008). An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings, History and Practices (2 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 9780521676748. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  9. ^ van Schaik, Sam; Iwao, Kazushi (2009). "Fragments of the Testament of Ba from Dunhuang". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 128 (3): 477–487. ISSN 0003-0279
  10. ^ Cantwell, Cathy;Mayer, Rob; REPRESENTATIONS OF PADMASAMBHAVA IN EARLY POST-IMPERIAL TIBET(pg.22). https://ocbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Cantwell-Mayer-Early-Representations-of-Padmasambhava-copy.pdf
  11. ^ Daniel Hirshberg, Nyangrel Nyima Ozer, Treasury of Lives, April 2013, https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Nyangrel-Nyima-Ozer/TBRC_P364
  12. ^ a b c Gyatso, Janet (August 2006). "A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal". The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (2).
  13. ^ Davidson, Ronald M. Tibetan Renaissance. pg 229. Columbia University Press, 2005.
  14. ^ Davidson, Ronald M. Tibetan Renaissance. pg 278. Columbia University Press, 2005.
  15. ^ Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 96.
  16. ^ Trungpa (2001) 26. For debate on its geographical location, see also the article on Oddiyana.
  17. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). A Dictionary of Buddhism (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 203. ISBN 9780198605607. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  18. ^ Morgan (2010) 208.
  19. ^ Tsogyal (1973) volume I deals with Padmasambhava's life in India.
  20. ^ Lama Chonam and Sangye Khandro, translators. The Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandarava: The Indian Consort of Padmasambhava. (1998). Wisdom Publications.
  21. ^ Maratika, http://www.treasuryoflives.org/institution/Maratika
  22. ^ 'Guru Rinpoche' and 'Yeshe Tsogyal' in: Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2013). The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. B00BCRLONM
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2016-05-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Rigpawiki, http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Eight_Manifestations_of_Guru_Rinpoche
  25. ^ For the eight manifestations as terma, see: Eight Manifestations: Dorje Drolo, http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/261.html
  26. ^ a b c d Boord 1993, p. 115.
  27. ^ See also image + description
  28. ^ a b Snelling 1987, p. 198.
  29. ^ Snelling 1987, p. 196, 198.
  30. ^ a b Snelling 1987.
  31. ^ Heine 2002.
  32. ^ Harvey 1995.
  33. ^ Sherpa, Lhakpa Norbu (2008). Through a Sherpa Window: Illustrated Guide to Sherpa Culture. Kathmandu, Nepal: Vajra Publications. ISBN 978-9937506205. Archived from the original on 2013-05-09.
  34. ^ Norbu 1987, p. 162.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Illuminating the Excellent Path to Omniscience
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Chökyi Drakpa, A Torch for the Path to Omniscience: A Word by Word Commentary on the Text of the Longchen Nyingtik Preliminary Practices.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Patrul Rinpoche, Brief Guide to the Ngöndro Visualization
  38. ^ John Huntington and Dina Bangdel. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art. Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, and Serindia Publications, Chicago. 2004. p. 358.
  39. ^ Schmidt and Binder 1993, pp. 252-53.
  40. ^ Sogyal Rinpoche (1992). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, pp. 386-389 Harper, San Francisco. ISBN 0-7126-5437-2.
  41. ^ Khenpo Namdrol's Padmasambhava Global Project for World Peace
  42. ^ Benefits and Advantages of the Vajra Guru Mantra
  43. ^ "Seven Line Prayer". Lotsawa House. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  44. ^ White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava by Mipham Rinpoche, Ju and translated by the Padmakara Translation Group Archived 2009-01-25 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Commentary on the Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche
  46. ^ Lotsawa House|Seven Line Prayer, Accomplishing the Lama through the Seven Line Prayer: A Special Teaching from the Lama Sangdü, The Terma Revelation of Guru Chöwang
  47. ^ Laird (2006) 90.
  48. ^ Ian A. Baker: The Lukhang: A hidden temple in Tibet.
  49. ^ Dowman, Keith. (1984). Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel. p. 265.
  50. ^ Gyalwa Changchub and Namkhai Nyingpo, Lady of the Lotus-Born: The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal, Shambhala (1999, pp. 3-4)
  51. ^ Tibetan Wylie transliteration and Sanskrit transliteration are found in Dowman, Keith. (1984). Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel. p. 193.
  52. ^ Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Illuminating the Path, pg 179. Padmasambhava Buddhist Center, 2008.
  53. ^ RigpaShedra
  54. ^ a b Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, pg 534-537. Translated by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom Publications. 1991, 2002.
  55. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Denma Tsemang". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  56. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Nanam Dorje Dudjom". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  57. ^ Dorje, Gyurme (August 2008). "Lasum Gyelwa Jangchub". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  58. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Gyelwa Choyang". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  59. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Gyelwai Lodro". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  60. ^ Garry, Ron (August 2007). "Nyak Jñānakumara". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  61. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Kawa Peltsek". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  62. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Langdro Konchok Jungne". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  63. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Sokpo Pelgyi Yeshe". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  64. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Lhalung Pelgyi Dorje". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  65. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Lang Pelgyi Sengge". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  66. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  67. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Odren Pelgyi Wangchuk". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  68. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Ma Rinchen Chok". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  69. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (December 2009). "Nubchen Sanggye Yeshe". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  70. ^ Mandelbaum, Arthur (August 2007). "Yeshe Yang". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  71. ^ Leschly, Jakob (August 2007). "Nyang Tingdzin Zangpo". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-19.

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External linksEdit