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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. 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. His students i...Read more

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. 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. His students in Tibet include the great master Yeshe Tsogyal and the "Twenty-Five King and Subjects".

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.

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. 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." 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. 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.

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. Padmasambhava established Vajrayana Buddhism and the highest forms of Dzogchen (Mengagde) in Tibet and transformed the entire nation.

Photographies by:
Vikramjit KAkati - CC BY-SA 4.0
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