Explaining Padmasambhava – The fierce Guru Dragpo
Table of Contents
- 1 - The life of Padmasambhava
- 2 - Iconography of the Padmashamvara
- 3 - Depicting Padmasambhava Thangka
- 4 - Long Life Dakini – Mandarava
- 5 - Yeshe Tsogyal
- 6 - Guru Rinpoche
- 7 - Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha
The life of Padmasambhava
In this portion, we are going to learn about the life of Padmasambhava. After, that we will learn the short etymological description of the word Padmasambhava itself.
Etymology of the Padmasambhava
Padmasambhava is known as Byung Gnas in Tibet.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava. Now we were going to learn about the iconography of Padmasambhava.
Iconography of the Padmashamvara
Posture of Padmasambhava
Padmasambhava is Very fierce red in color. Padmasambhava is with one face and three eyes. Padmasambhava has a gaping mouth.
And Padmasambhava has yellow hair flowing upward. The right hand of Padmasambhava holds upraised a gold vajra scepter. The left hand of the Padmashamvara holds a black scorpion with numerous eyes.
Padmashamvara is adorned with a crown, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces of gold. And Padmashamvara has worn large green writhing snake. Padmashamvara wears a garland of heads and an elephant skin draped across the shoulders. A tiger skin covers the lower body.
With the right leg of the Padmashamvara bent and left extended atop a seat of two prone figures, a sun disc, and multi-colored lotus blossom. Padmashamvara stands surrounded by the red flames of pristine awareness. A Garuda bird soars at the apex of the flames.
From the wrathful mandala of natural great bliss, Padma Krodha with a red-black blazing body who has one face and who contains two hands have two legs outstretched homage to the form of the terrifying Fierce One.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava and the iconography of Padmasambhava. Now, we are going to learn about depicting Padmasambhava thangka.
Depicting Padmasambhava Thangka
The thangka of Padmasambhava is from Tibet. It is made in between 1500 – 1599 AD. Padmasambhava is from Nyingma lineage. The size of the painting is 64.77×52.71cm. The base of the painting is Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton. Presently, this painting is in the Rubin Museum of Art.
Mandarawa and Yeshe Tsogyal
Mandarawa and Yeshe Tsogyal are at the top center of Padmasambhava in the thangka. Buddhas deities and lineage teachers are arranged in the top two registers.
Dancing Goddesses is at the bottom center of the thangka. Dancing Goddesses is a protector deity with blue in color with one face and six hands which are red in color.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava, the iconography of Padmasambhava, and depicting Padmasambhava thangka. Now, we are going to learn about Long Life Dakini.
Long Life Dakini – Mandarava
Now, we will learn about Long life Dakini – Mandarva.
Mandarava is also known as The Long Life Dakini Mandarava Machik Drubpai Gyalmo, Mandarava is called Pandaravasini who was along with Yeshe Tsogyal. Both were one of the two principal consorts of great 8th century Indian tantric teacher Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche, a founder-figure of Tibetan Buddhism who was described as a second Buddha by many practitioners. Mandarava is considered to be a female guru-deity in Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana.
There are a number of conflicting stories about the birthplace of Mandarava. According to some legends, she was born a princess in Zahor, Bengal in eastern India. while other sources and some contemporary lore place this in Sahor in Oddiyana of northern Pakistan or near the city of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, India. Mandi is supposedly named after Mandarava and many shrines and important pilgrimage sites to Mandarava can be found there today such as the shrine to Mandarava above Lake Rewalsar pictured here.
According to legend, Mandarava renounced her royal birthright at an early age in order to practice the Dharma. Mandarava is known as being highly educated at a very young age a rare accomplishment for a woman at that time. Mandarava’s devotion led her to bring at least 800 women including her entire personal retinue to the path of the Dharma. All before meeting her teacher and consort, Padmasambhava.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava, the iconography of Padmasambhava, depicting Padmasambhava thangka, and Long Life Dakini. Now we are going to learn about Yeshe Tsogyal.
Now, we will learn about Yeshe Tsogyal.
Yeshe Tsogyal is also known as Victorious Ocean of Wisdom, and Wisdom Lake Queen. Yeshe Tsogyal was the Mother of Tibetan Buddhism. Some sources regard her as a wife of Trisong Detsen, Emperor of Tibet.
She was also the main scribe for this terma. Later, Yeshe Tsogyal also hid many of Padmasambhava’s terma on her own under the instructions of Padmasambhava for future generations. She was born as a princess in the region of Kharchen, Tibet in about 777 CE.
She lived for approximately 99 years and is a preeminent figure in Tibetan Buddhism. She plays a role model for contemporary spiritual practitioners. Although often referred to as being Padamasambhava’s main consort.
she was primarily a spiritual master and teacher in her own right. Yeshe Topgyal is based on her spiritual accomplishments, the Nyingma and Karma Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism recognize Yeshe Tsogyal as a female Buddha. The translators of Lady of the Lotus-Born, the Namtar, or spiritual biography, that Yeshe Tsogyal left as a terma, observe.
As Dodrup Tenpai Nyima makes clear, She beings able to reveal Termas must have at least the realization of the Perfection Stage practices. On the other hand, the one who originates the Treasures must have the supreme attainment of Buddhahood. She is the Lady of the Lotus-Born is thus a testimony of Yeshe Tsogyal’s enlightenment.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava, the iconography of Padmasambhava, depicting Padmasambhava thangka, Long Life Dakini, and Yeshe Tsogyal. Now we are going to learn about Guru Rinpoche.
Now we will learn about Guru Rinpoche.
Guru Dragpo is also known as a wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Dragpo is a fierce protector of the Dharma and a destroyer of obstacles on the path to enlightenment. This practice is especially beneficial for transforming negative conditions into wisdom light.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava, the iconography of Padmasambhava, depicting Padmasambhava thangka, Long Life Dakini, Yeshe Tsogyal. and Guru Rinpoche. Now we are going to learn about the presentation of Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha.
Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha
The thangka of Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha is from Tibet. It is made in between 1600 – 16599 AD. Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha is from Nyingma lineage. The size of the painting is 68.58×50.80cm. The base of the painting is Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton. Presently, this painting is in the Rubin Museum of Art.
By depicting this thangka, we are going to learn about the presentation of Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha, Sadaksari Avalokiteshvara, and Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, etc.
Amitabha Buddha is at the top center of the thangka. Amitabha Buddha is red in color with the hands in the mudra (gesture) of meditation.
Sadaksari Avalokiteshvara is at the left of the thangka. Sadaksari Avalokiteshvara is white in color with one face and four hands.
Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava
Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava is at the right of the thangka. Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava is holding a vajra to the heart, a skullcup in the lap, and a katvanga staff against the shoulder. Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava is attired in variously colored robes and a lotus hat.
Earlier, we learn about the life of Padmasambhava, the iconography of Padmasambhava, depicting Padmasambhava thangka, Long Life Dakini, Yeshe Tsogyal. and Guru Rinpoche. Finally, we learn about the representation of Padmasambhava with Amitabha Buddha.