Guru Rinpoche


On the tenth day of the sixth month of the Monkey year, Guru Padmasambhava appeared miraculously in a lotus in Lake Danakosha in South West Odiyana, located on the Afganistan-Pakistan frontier. There are different interpretations regarding his birth, but Guru Padmasambhava’s treasure teachings confirm that he was born spontaneously from a lotus. In order to propagate and spread the teachings of the Dharma in general, and particularly the Great Perfection teachings, Guru Padmasambhava appears to every being of the three thousand billion world systems in a form to benefit them according to their personal karmic vision.

Spiritual activities in Odiyana

The ruler of the land of Odiyana, the Second King Indrabodhi, invited the child to the palace as his son as well as religious guide. The child was named ‘Padmasambhava’ meaning ‘lotus-born.’ Later Padmasambhava married Prabhadharani, the daughter of King Chandan Gomashree, and ruled the kingdom in accordance with the Dharma.

Accomplishment of the common and uncommon siddhis

Afterwards, he banished from the kingdom to the fearful cemetery of Sitavana. By performing mystical activities at the cemeteries of Nandanvan, Daanbhumidvipa, Parushakavan, and so forth he accomplished the common and uncommon siddhis and came to be known as Rodravajrakala, “The Wrathful Vajra Display.”

Act of receiving teachings

In order to inspire faith towards the teachings in the disciples of the future, he went to Bodhgaya and many other places displaying the act of receiving teachings from eight great masters such as Shri Singha, Khenpo Prabhahati, Dakini Lekyi Wangmo, Rigden Gyalwa Pema Karpo, Vimalamitra, Manjusrimitra, Nagarjuna and  Dhanasamkrita.

Attainment of Immortal Life Awareness Holoder

Guru Padmasambhava accepted princess Mandarava, daughter of Shastradhara, the king of Zahor, as his consort. In the mountain cave of Maratika in Nepal, they performed the accomplishment rituals of longevity for three months and actualized the Immortal Vajra Body which marks the attainment of an Immortal Life Awareness Holder.

Spiritual activities in Tibet and Himalayan Regions

Trisong Deutsen, the 38th king of Tibet invited Guru Padmasambhava to Tibet. On his way he subdued all the harmful gods and demons of Tibet, making them faithful guardians of the Dharma. Guru Padmasambhava, Khenchen Bodhisattva and King Thrisong Deutsen together constructed Tibet’s first great monastery at Samye. Guru Padmasambhava standardized translation methods, supervised translation of most of the sutras and tantras from Sanskrit to Tibetan, thereby establishing the tradition of study, contemplation and meditation.

Guru Padmasambhava miraculously walked upon the entire land of Tibet and the Himalayan regions and blessed all the mountains, lakes, and caves as places for accomplishment. Moreover, for the sake of future generations, Guru Padmasambhava concealed eighteen varieties of treasure which include treasure texts, material wealth, holy images and so forth, and gave explicit prophesies regarding the revealers and protectors of these treasures, as well as time of revelation.

The Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava

The Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava are the eight principal forms assumed by Guru Padmasambhava for benefiting sentient beings. They are: Guru Tsokyé Dorje (Lake-born Vajra), Guru Shakya Sengé (Lion of the Shakyas), Guru Nyima Özer (Rays of the Sun), Guru Padmasambhava (Lotus-born), Guru Loden Choksé (Wise Seeker of the Sublime), Guru Pema Gyalpo (The Lotus King), Guru Sengé Dradrok (The Lion’s Roar) and Guru Dorje Drolö (Wild Wrathful Vajra).

Disciples of Guru Padmasambhava

Guru Padmasambhava’s twenty-five chief disciples attained liberation and eighty other disciples   attained rainbow body. In addition, three million disciples achieved stability in tantric generation stage practice; one hundred thousand disciples showed signs of accomplishment; ninety thousand disciples achieved the uncontaminated Illusory Body; and eighty million disciples had some attainment.

Departure from this world

Guru Padmasambhava is said to have lived for three thousand and six hundred years in India upholding the Buddha’s teachings and benefitting sentient beings. But for his stay in Tibet there are many unreliable versions claiming he stayed for three years, six years, thirteen years and so forth. According to Guru Padmasambhava’s own kama teachings, he actually stayed for fifty years and three months, directly manifesting the meaning of the teachings by benefitting countless sentient beings in incredible myriad ways according to their desires and propensities, which is a reliable and trustworthy fact. Finally, Guru Padmasambhava departed for the South-western universe of the magical cannibals, to help the beings there and to protect Earth from their harm.

Compiled from ‘Oasis of Liberation’, published in 1999 by Ngagyur Rigzod Editorial Committee