Tertön is a term within Tibetan Buddhism meaning a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma.
Origin of the Tertöns
Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), who foresaw a dark time in Tibet.
Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal hid teachings to be found in the future to benefit beings.
According to generally accepted history, the rediscovering of terma began with the first .
Nyingma traditional histories consider their teachings to trace back to the first Buddha Samantabhadra (Güntu Sangpo) and Indian mahasiddhas such as Garab Dorjé, Śrī Siṃha and Jñānasūtra.
Traditional sources trace the origin of the Nyingma order in Tibet to figures associated with the initial introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century, such as Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana, Buddhaguhya and Shantaraksita.
Nyingma teachings are also known for having been passed down through networks of lay practitioners .