Padmasambhava[note 1] (lit. "Lotus-Born"), also known as Guru Rinpoche, was an 8th-century Buddhist master from the Indian subcontinent. Although there was a historical Padmasambhava, little is known of him apart from helping the construction of the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet at Samye, at the behest of Trisong Detsen, and shortly thereafter leaving Tibet due to court intrigues.
A number of legends have grown around Padmasambhava's life and deeds, and he is widely venerated as a "second Buddha" by adherents of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, the Himalayan states of India, and elsewhere.
In Tibetan Buddhism, he is a character of a genre of literature called terma, an emanation of Amitābha that is said to appear to tertöns in visionary encounters and a focus of guru yoga practice, particularly in the Rimé schools. The Nyingma school considers Padmasambhava to be a founder of their tradition.
Padmasambhava, Pema Jugne
One of the earliest sources for Padmasambhava as a historical figure is the Testament of Ba (dating to the 9th or 10th centuries), which records the founding of Samye Monastery under the reign of king Trisong Detsen (r. 755–797/804). Other texts from Dunhuang show that Padmasambhava's tantric teachings were being taught in Tibet during the 10th century. New evidence suggests that Padmasambhava already figured in religious myth and ritual, and was probably even seen as the enlightened source of tantric scriptures, as many as two hundred years before Nyangrel Nyima Özer (1136-1204).
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries there were several competing terma traditions surrounding Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Songtsän Gampo, and Vairotsana. At the end of the 12th century, there was the "victory of the Padmasambhava cult," in which a much greater role is assigned to Padmasambhava in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet.
According to tradition, Padmasambhava was incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in Lake Dhanakosha, in the kingdom of Oddiyana. While some scholars locate this kingdom in the Swat Valley area of modern-day Pakistan, a case on literary, archaeological, and iconographical grounds can be made for placing it in the present-day state of Odisha in India. Padmasambhava's special nature was recognized by the childless local king of Oḍḍiyāna and was chosen to take over the kingdom, but he left Oddiyana for northern parts of India.
In Rewalsar, known as Tso Pema in Tibetan, he secretly taught tantric teachings to princess Mandarava, the local king's daughter. The king found out and tried to burn him, but it is believed that when the smoke cleared he just sat there, still alive and in meditation. Greatly astonished by this miracle, the king offered Padmasambhava both his kingdom and Mandarava.
Padmasambhava left with Mandarava, and took to Maratika Cave in Nepal to practice secret tantric consort rituals. They had a vision of buddha Amitāyus and achieved what is called the "phowa rainbow body,"[note 2] a very rare type of spiritual realization. [note 3] Both Padmasambhava and one of his consorts, Mandarava, are still believed to be alive and active in this rainbow body form by their followers. She and Padmasambhava's other main consort, Yeshe Tsogyal, who reputedly hid his numerous termas in Tibet for later discovery, reached Buddhahood. Many thangkas and paintings show Padmasambhava in between them, with Mandarava on his right and Yeshe Tsogyal on his left.
According to Sam van Schaik, from the 12th century on a greater role was assigned to Padmasambhava in the introduction of tantric Buddhism into Tibet:
According to earlier histories, Padmasambhava had given some tantric teachings to Tibetans before being forced to leave due to the suspicions of the Tibetan court. But from the twelfth century an alternative story, itself a terma discovery, gave Padmasambhava a much greater role in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, and in particular credited him with travelling all over the country to convert the local spirits to Buddhism.
According to this enlarged story, King Trisong Detsen, the 38th king of the Yarlung dynasty and the first Emperor of Tibet (742–797), invited the Nalanda University abbot Śāntarakṣita (Tibetan Shiwatso) to Tibet. Śāntarakṣita started the building of Samye. Demonical forces hindered the introduction of the Buddhist dharma, and Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet to subdue the demonic forces. The demons were not annihilated, but were obliged to submit to the dharma.[note 4] This was in accordance with the tantric principle of not eliminating negative forces but redirecting them to fuel the journey toward spiritual awakening. According to tradition, Padmasambhava received the Emperor's wife, identified with the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, as a consort.
King Trisong Detsen ordered the translation of all Buddhist Dharma Texts into Tibetan. Padmasambhava, Shantarakṣita, 108 translators, and 25 of Padmasambhava's nearest disciples worked for many years in a gigantic translation-project. The translations from this period formed the base for the large scriptural transmission of Dharma teachings into Tibet. Padmasambhava supervised mainly the translation of Tantra; Shantarakshita concentrated on the Sutra-teachings.
He is regarded as the founder of the Nyingma tradition. The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.[note 5] The Nyingma tradition actually comprises several distinct lineages that all trace their origins to Padmasambhava.
"Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as "Nga'gyur" "[note 6] or the "early translation school" because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan, in the eighth century.[note 7]
The group particularly believes in hidden terma treasures. Traditionally, Nyingmapa practice was advanced orally among a loose network of lay practitioners. Monasteries with celibate monks and nuns, along with the practice of reincarnated spiritual leaders are later adaptations, though Padmasambhava is regarded as the founder of Samye Gompa, the first monastery in the country. In modern times the Nyingma lineage has been centered in Kham in eastern Tibet.
Bhutan has many important pilgrimage places associated with Padmasambhava. The most famous is Paro Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" monastery which is built on a sheer cliff wall about 900m above the floor of Paro valley. It was built around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where he is said to have meditated in the 8th Century. He flew there from Tibet on the back of Yeshe Tsogyal, whom he transformed into a flying tigress for the purpose of the trip. Later he travelled to Bumthang district to subdue a powerful deity offended by a local king. According to legend, Padmasambhava's body imprint can be found in the wall of a cave at nearby Kurje Lhakhang temple.
The khaṭvāńga is a particular divine attribute of Padmasambhava and intrinsic to his iconographic representation. It is a danda with three severed heads denoting the three kayas (the three bodies of a Buddha, the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya), crowned by a trishula, and dressed with a sash of the Himalayan Rainbow or Five Pure Lights of the Mahabhuta. The iconography is utilized in various Tantric cycles by practitioners as symbols to hidden meanings in transmitted practices.
There are further iconographies and meanings in more advanced and secret stages.
Padmasambhava is said to have taken eight forms or manifestations (Tib. Guru Tsen Gye) representing different aspects of his being, such as wrath or pacification for example. According to Rigpa Shedra the eight principal forms were assumed by Guru Rinpoche at different points in his life. The Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava belong to the tradition of the Revealed Treasures (Tib.: ter ma).
Padmasambhava's various Sanskrit names are preserved in mantras such as those found in the Yang gsang rig 'dzin youngs rdzogs kyi blama guru mtshan brgyad bye brag du sgrub pa ye shes bdud rtsi'i sbrang char zhe bya ba.
His Pureland Paradise is Zangdok Palri (the Copper-Coloured Mountain).
My father is the intrinsic awareness, Samantabhadra (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ). My mother is the ultimate sphere of reality, Samantabhadri (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་མོ). I belong to the caste of non-duality of the sphere of awareness. My name is the Glorious Lotus-Born. I am from the unborn sphere of all phenomena. I act in the way of the Buddhas of the three times.
The Vajra Guru (Padmasambhava) mantra Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum is favoured and held in esteem by sadhakas. Like most Sanskritic mantras in Tibet, the Tibetan pronunciation demonstrates dialectic variation and is generally Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung. In the Vajrayana traditions, particularly of the Nyingmapa, it is held to be a powerful mantra engendering communion with the Three Vajras of Padmasambhava's mindstream and by his grace, all enlightened beings. In response to Yeshe Tsogyal's request, the Great Master himself explained the meaning of the mantra although there are larger secret meanings too. The 14th century tertön Karma Lingpa has a famous commentary on the mantra.
The Seven Line Prayer to Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is a famous prayer that is recited by many Tibetans daily and is said to contain the most sacred and important teachings of Dzogchen.
Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso composed a famous commentary to the Seven Line Prayer called White Lotus. It explains the meanings, which are embedded in many levels and intended to catalyze a process of realization. These hidden teachings are described as ripening and deepening, in time, with study and with contemplation. Tulku Thondup says:
Enshrining the most sacred prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, White Lotus elucidates its five layers of meaning as revealed by the eminent scholar Ju Mipham. This commentary now makes this treasure, which has been kept secret among the great masters of Tibet for generations, available as a source of blessings and learning for all.
There is also a shorter commentary, freely available, by Tulku Thondup himself. There are many other teachings and Termas and widely practiced tantric cycles incorporating the text as well as brief ones such as Terma Revelation of Guru Chöwang.
Padmasambhava also hid a number of religious treasures (termas) in lakes, caves, fields and forests of the Himalayan region to be found and interpreted by future tertöns or spiritual treasure-finders. According to Tibetan tradition, the Bardo Thodol (commonly referred to as the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was among these hidden treasures, subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa.
Tantric cycles related to Padmasambhava are not just practiced by the Nyingma, they even gave rise to a new offshoot of Bon which emerged in the 14th century called the New Bön. Prominent figures of the Sarma (new translation) schools such as the Karmapas and Sakya lineage heads have practiced these cycles and taught them. Some of the greatest tertons revealing teachings related to Padmasambhava have been from the Kagyu or Sakya lineages. The hidden lake temple of the Dalai Lamas behind the Potala called Lukhang is dedicated to Dzogchen teachings and has murals depicting the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava. Padmasambhava established Vajrayana Buddhism and the highest forms of Dzogchen (Mengagde) in Tibet and transformed the entire nation.
Many of those who gathered around Padmasambhava became advanced tantric practitioners as well as helping to found and propagate the Nyingma tradition. The most prominent of these include Padmasambhava's five main female consorts, also known as dakinis and his twenty five main disciples.
Padmasambhava had five main female tantric companions, beginning in India before his time in Tibet and then in Tibet as well. When seen from an outer, or perhaps even historical or mythological perspective, these five women from across South Asia were known as the Five Consorts. That the women come from very different geographic regions is understood as mandala, a support for Padmasambhava in spreading the dharma throughout the region.
Yet, when understood from a more inner tantric perspective, these same women are understood not as ordinary women but as dakinis; from this point of view, they are known as the "Five Wisdom Dakinis" (Wylie: Ye-shes mKha-'gro lnga). Each of these consorts is believed to be an emanation of the tantric yidam, Vajravārāhī. As one author writes of these relationships:
Yet in reality, he [Padmasambhava] was never separate from the five emanations of Vajravarahi: the Body-emanation, Mandarava; the Speech-emanation, Yeshe Tsogyal; the Mind-emanation, Shakyadema; the Qualities-emanation, Kalasiddhi; and the Activity-emanation, Trashi [sic] Chidren.
In summary, the five consorts/wisdom dakinis were:
While there are very few sources on the lives of Kalasiddhi, Sakya Devi, and Tashi Kyedren, there are extant biographies of both Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava that have been translated into English and other western languages.
Chemrey Monastery or Chemrey Gompa is a 1664 Buddhist monastery, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Leh, Ladakh, northern India. It belongs to the Drugpa monastic order. It was founded in 1664 by the Lama Tagsang Raschen and dedicated to King Sengge Namgyal.
The monastery has a notable high Padmasambhava statue. It also contains a valuable collection of scriptures, with title pages in silver and the text in gold letters. The monastery is also a venue for the festival of sacred dances which takes place on the 28th and 29th day of the 9th month of the Tibetan calendar every year.
The monastery comprises a number of shrines, two assembly halls (Du-Khang) and a Lama temple (Lha-Khang). The main attraction of the monastery is the one storey high statue of Padmasambhava. Another big attraction is the 29 volume scripture written in silver and golden letters.
The monastery holds every year the Chemrey Angchok festival of sacred dances. It takes place on the 28th and 29th day of the 9th month of the Tibetan calendar.Daklha Gampo Monastery
Daklha Gampo Monastery (Dwags lha sgam po), also romanized as Daglha Gampo, is a Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist monastery founded in 1121 CE by Je Gampopa (1079-1153), the disciple of the famous and much-loved bodhisattva, Jetsun Milarepa (c. 1052—c. 1135) It is located in Gyatsa County in the old district of Dakpo in southern Tibet on land sanctified as a geomantic power-place ('head of the ogress') by the first Tibetan emperor, Songtsen Gampo (605 or 617? - 649), and made a repository of terma by Padmasambhava.Gurudongmar Lake
Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and in India, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,430 m), in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava—also known as Guru Rinpoche—founder of Tibetan Buddhism, who visited in the 8th century.
l1995">Dalvindar Singh Grewal (January 1995). Guru Nanak's travel to Himalayan and East Asian Region: a new light. National Book Shop. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-81-7116-177-5.Hemis Monastery
Hemis Monastery is a Himalayan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage, in Hemis, Ladakh, India. Situated 45 km from Leh, the monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. The annual Hemis festival honouring Padmasambhava is held in early June.Kurjey Lhakhang
Kurjey Lhakang,སྐུ་རྗེས་ ཡང་ན་ གུ་རུ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་གི་ ཞབས་རྗེས་ also known as the Kurjey Monastery, is located in the Bumthang valley in the Bumthang district of Bhutan. This is the final resting place of the remains of the first three Kings of Bhutan. Also, a large tree behind one of the temple buildings is believed to be a terma that was left there by Padmasambhava.List of Buddhas
This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:
Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism
Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)
Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya
Mandarava (Skt., Mandāravā) (Tib., མནྡཱ་ར་བཱ་; Wylie, ma da ra ba me tog) (also known as The Long Life Dakini Mandarava, Machik Drubpai Gyalmo, or Pandaravasini) was, along with Yeshe Tsogyal, one of the two principal consorts of great 8th century Indian tantric teacher Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), a founder-figure of Tibetan Buddhism, 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 (the Swat valley) 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, she 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.Mandarava attained full enlightenment alongside Padmasambhava in the famed Maratika Cave in Nepal. She was a fully realized spiritual adept, a yogini, and a spiritual teacher.
There may be a relationship between Mandarava and the tree with the same colloquial name and the scientific name of Erythrina. Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra mentions, "Mandarava blossoms rain down, scattering over the Buddah and the great assembly."Nyingma
The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug). "Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as Ngangyur (IPA: [ŋaɲɟuː], Tibetan: སྔ་འགྱུར་རྙིང་མ།, Wylie: snga 'gyur rnying ma, "school of the ancient translations" or "old school") because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Old Tibetan in the eighth century. The Tibetan alphabet and grammar was created for this endeavour.
The Nyingma particularly believes in hidden terma treasures and place an emphasis on Dzogchen. They also incorporate local religious practices and local deities and elements of shamanism, some of which it shares with Bon. The Nyingma tradition actually comprises several distinct lineages that all trace their origins to the Indian master Padmasambhava. Traditionally, Nyingmapa practice was advanced orally among a loose network of lay practitioners. Monasteries with celibate monks and nuns, along with the practice of reincarnated spiritual leaders, are later adaptations.In modern times, the Nyingma lineage has been centered in Kham and has been associated with the Rime movement.Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa or Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) was a tertön or "treasure revealer" and contemporary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul. Regarded as one of the major tertöns in Tibetan history, his termas are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.
Chokgyur Lingpa was the "manifestation," meaning the reincarnation, of King Trisong Deutsen's son, Prince Damdzin. Another of his former lives was the great terton, Sangye Lingpa, who revealed the Lama Gongdu. Chokgyur Lingpa was the last of the 100 major tertons. He was the owner of seven transmissions and is regarded as the universal monarch of all tertons. One of the reasons for this is that no other terton has revealed a teaching that includes the Space Section (Longde) of Dzogchen. There are several Mind Section (Semde) revelations and all major tertons have revealed the Instruction Section (Mengagde), but only Chokgyur Lingpa transmitted the Space Section. This is why the Dzogchen Desum is considered the most extraordinary terma that he ever revealed.
Chokgyur Lingpa's main consort was Dechen Chodron (Lady Degah) and Padmasambhava predicted that his three children would be emanations of the three family lords: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. I don't like saying this, for it may sound like I'm bragging about my family line, but such a prophecy does exist. The Manjushri emanation was supposed to be Wangchok Dorje, the Avalokiteshvara emanation Tsewang Norbu and the Vajrapani emanation my grandmother, Konchok Paldron.
Chokgyur Lingpa founded Neten Monastery in Nangchen in 1858. It is the seat of the Neten Chokling reincarnation line.Neten Chokling Rinpoche and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche are the fourth reincarnations of Chokgyur Lingpa.
This lineage traces back to Trisong Detsen, the Tibetan king who invited Padmasambhava to Tibet.Paro Taktsang
Paro Taktsang (Dzongkha: སྤ་གྲོ་སྟག་ཚང་, also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery and the Tiger's Nest), is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and the temple complex is located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan.
A temple complex was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or "tiger lair" caves in which he meditated.
The temple devoted to Padmasambhava (also known as Gu-ru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang, "the Temple of the Guru with Eight Names") is an elegant structure built around the cave in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. It has become the cultural icon of Bhutan. A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honor of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.Rewalsar, India
Rewalsar or Tso Pema in Tibetan is a small town and a pilgrimage place in a nagar panchayat in Mandi district in India. It is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The local name for Rewalsar is Tri Sangam. Rewalsar Lake is a tourist spot in the area.Rewalsar Lake
Rewalsar Lake is a mid-altitude lake located on a mountain spur in the Mandi district, 22.5 km south-west from Mandi, in India. Its elevation is about 1,360 m above sea level.
The lake is shaped like a square with the shoreline of about 735 m. It is held as a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.
There are three Buddhist monasteries at Riwalsar. The lake also has three Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and to the sage Lomas. Another holy lake, Kunt Bhyog which is about 1,750 m above sea level lies above Rewalsar. It is associated with the escape of 'Pandavas' from the burning palace of wax—an episode from the epic Mahabharata.
It was from here that the Indian teacher and 'Tantric' Padmasambhava left for Tibet. Known to the Tibetans as 'Guru Rinpoche', the Precious Master, it was under Padmasambhava's influence that Mahayana Buddhism spread over Tibet. There are islands of floating reed on Rewalsar lake and the spirit of Padmasambhava is said to reside in them. It is here that the sage Lomas did penance in devotion to Lord Shiva, and the Sikh guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), the tenth Guru of Sikhism, also resided here for one month.
The Sisu fair held in late February/early march, and the festival of Baisakhi are important events at Rewalsar.Samye
Samye (Tibetan: བསམ་ཡས་, Wylie: bsam yas, Chinese: 桑耶寺) was the first gompa (Buddhist monastery) built in Tibet. It was probably first constructed between 775-9 under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen of Tibet who sought to revitalize Buddhism, which had declined since its introduction by King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. The monastery is in Dranang, Lhoka. It was supposedly modeled on the design of Odantapuri in what is now Bihar, India.The 18th century Puning Temple built by the Qianlong Emperor of Qing China in Chengde, Hebei was modeled after Samye.Takthok Monastery
Takthok Monastery (also known as Thag Thog or Thak Thak) is a Buddhist monastery in Sakti village in Ladakh, northern India, located approximately 46 kilometres east of Leh. The name Takthok, literally meaning 'rock-roof' was named because both its roof as well as walls are made up of rock. It belongs to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and approximately 55 lamas reside there. It is the only Nyingma monastery in Ladakh.The monastery was founded around the mid-16th century during the reign of Tshewang Namgyal on a mountainside around a cave in which Padmasambhava is said to have meditated in the 8th century. Every year on the 9th and 10th day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar, celebrations which include sacred dances are held.Terma (religion)
Terma (Tibetan: གཏེར་མ་, Wylie: gter ma; "hidden treasure") are various forms of hidden teachings that are key to Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhist and Bon religious traditions. The belief is that these teachings were originally esoterically hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava and dakini such as Yeshe Tsogyal (consorts) during the 8th century, for future discovery at auspicious times by other adepts, who are known as tertöns. As such, terma represent a tradition of continuous revelation in Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. Termas are a part of tantric literature.Tertön
Tertön (Tibetan: གཏེར་སྟོན་, Wylie: gter ston) is a term within Tibetan Buddhism. It means a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma. Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava. A vast system of transmission lineages developed. Nyingma scriptures were updated by terma discoveries, and terma teachings have guided many Buddhist and Bon practitioners.Tsi Nesar
Tsi Nesar (rTsis gnas.gsar, also called rTsis lha.khang) is a geomantic ('district controlling' or 'border taming') temple attributed to Emperor Songtsen Gampo who lived in the 7th century CE. However, the original buildings, their precious murals and paintings said to date back to the 12th century, and the nearby temple constructed by Emperor Trisong Detsen in the 8th century to house a famous image of Prajnaparamita, consecrated by Padmasambhava, which survived until the Cultural Revolution, have all been destroyed. A "country-style" temple has been built in recent years incorporating some of the revered ancient timbers from the original temples. It is located in a valley 25 km from Gyantse and 6 km north of Drongtse Monastery.There were two small ancient temples, the Runo Tsuklakang (Ru-gnon gtsung lag.khang or 'dgon-khang') was built by Songsten Gampo. It consisted of three chapels dedicated to rNam.par snang.mdzad, (Vairocana) mGon.po (Mahākāla) and sPyan.ras.gzigs (Chenresig = Avalokiteshvara). The Yumchen lhakang, apparently founded during the reign of Trisong Detsen, contained a statue of Yumchenmo or Prajnaparamita surrounded by the Buddhas of the Four Directions, as well as an image of mGon.po said to have been made from blood drawn from the nose of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). The third temple, traditionally attributed to the reign of Emperor Ralpacan (although Vitali dates its foundation to about 1057), was called rGya-phibs, which, from its name, must have been surmounted by a pagoda roof at one time. The "stiff, medallioned robes" dressing the bodhisattvas at Tsi Nesar show Central Asian and Indian (Pala) influences and probably date to the 11th century.The site is one of the twenty-five main terne, or 'power-places with treasure-troves', of Central Tibet mentioned in the biographies of Padmasambhava. Tsi Nesar is said to contain 'exoteric terma'.Vimalamitra
Vimalamitra (Chinese: 無垢友, Wylie: དྲི་མེད་བཤེས་གཉེན་) was an 8th-century Indian monk. His teachers were Buddhaguhya, Jñānasūtra and Śrī Siṃha. He was supposed to have vowed to take rebirth every hundred years, with the most notable figures being Rigzin Jigme Lingpa, Khenchen Ngagchung, Kyabje Drubwang Penjor Rinpoche and Kyabje Yangthang Rinpoche. ' Vimalamitra' was more known to the Bhutanese and Tibetans as 'Penchen Vimalamitra' meaning 'the Great Pandita'. He was one of the eight teachers of the great Indian adept Guru Padmasambhava. Centuries later he was adopted as a literary character of terma and was attributed various works. Chatral Sangye Dorji (1913-2016) was said to have received a mala rosary from a man who was at the time dressed as an Indian Sadhu. It was only later that Rinpoche told his attendants that he received a mala on that day from Vimalamitra in real. The attendants were curious and went back to the place where they met a sadhu only to be left lost and I found. The sadhu was not to be found anywhere. One scholar remarked that the historical Vimalamitra "would have been astonished to find himself the focus of such a tradition."Yeshe Tsogyal
Yeshe Tsogyal (also known as "Victorious Ocean of Wisdom", "Wisdom Lake Queen" (Wylie: ye shes mtsho rgyal, or by her Sanskrit name Jñānasāgara "Wisdom Ocean"; or by her clan name of Lady Kharchen), (757–817CE) was the Mother of Tibetan Buddhism. Some sources regard her as a wife of Trisong Detsen, emperor of Tibet. Her main karmamudrā consort was Padmasambhava, a founder-figure of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. She is known to have revealed terma with Padmasambhava and was also the main scribe for these terma. Later, Yeshe Tsogyal also hid many of Padmasambhava's terma on her own, under the instructions of Padmasambhava for future generations.Born a princess in the region of Kharchen, Tibet, in about 777CE, she lived for approximately 99 years and is a preeminent figure in Tibetan Buddhism and 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.
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, 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. Lady of the Lotus-Born is thus a testimony of Yeshe Tsogyal's enlightenment.
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