Guru Rinpoche is known as Padmasambhava is the condensed essence of all enlightened beings. This beautiful Thangka od Guru is handpainted in Nepal on handmade cotton canvas.
Guru Padmasambhava as Precious Master
Guru Rinpoche, which means “precious master.” Guru Rinpoche is a totally enlightened being, a fully awakened one, a Buddha. He did not become enlightened gradually, or start practicing the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni and eventually achieve enlightenment. Guru Rinpoche incarnated as a fully enlightened being. Through his form, primordial wisdom manifests in the world to benefit all sentient beings.
Padmasambhava is considered a manifestation of Buddha Amitabha. He was a tantric Buddhist master born in India and he played a fundamental role in bringing Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century. Padmasambhava is also the founder of the Nyingma school, the oldest of the four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
The legend says that he secretly taught Tantra to Mandarava, the princess of Rewalsar kingdom. When the king found out he tried to burn him alive, but Padmasambhava just sat in meditation and didn’t burn. Astonished by the miracle the king offered him both princess Mandarava and his kingdom.
Nepal and Tantric Practise
Padmasambhava left with Mandarava and went to Nepal to practice secret tantric rituals. During this time they had a vision of Buddha Amitayus and achieved a special spiritual manifestation called “rainbow body”. Both Mandarava and Padmasambhava’s other main consort, Yeshe Tsogyal reached Buddhahood, in fact, Guru Rinpoche is often portrayed between Mandarava, on his right, and Yeshe Tsogyal on his left.
The five main consorts of Padmasambhava are considered emanations of Vajrayogini and considered not ordinary women but Dakini. The five main consort are listed below:
- Yeshe Tsogyal
- Tashi Khyidren
There are also eight different manifestations of Padmasambhava himself, both in wrathful and peaceful forms, representing the different aspects of his being. The eight manifestations are listed below:
- Guru Tsokye Dorje
- Guru Shakya Senge
- Guru Nyima Ozer
- Guru Padmasambhava
- Guru Loden Chokse
- Guru Pema Gyalpo
- Guru Senge Dradrok
- Guru Dorje Drolo