The Great Master, Padmasambhava
The Great Master, Padmasambhava
Eight years after Shakyamuni Buddha entered nirvana, Amitabha Buddha sent a ray of light into Lake Dhanakosa of Uddhiyana, at the spot where the light had entered, a lotus blossomed. On the lotus sat an eight-year-old boy, the Lotus-born Padmasambhava. Guru Padmasambhava is the manifestation of the speech, mind and body of Amitabha Buddha, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Shakyamuni Buddha, respectively. He has appeared in this age of dharma decline to aid all beings. Shakyamuni Buddha had already predicted the birth of Guru Padmasambhava long ago.
In the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava accepted Tibetan King Trisong Detsen’s invitation to Tibet to spread the Buddha’s teachings and to build Samye monastery. He taught his Tibetan disciples sutra translations and invited great masters from India to Tibet to translate important exoteric and esoteric sutras and sastras into Tibetan. By building dharma schools for exoteric and esoteric teachings, places for tantric practices, and developing the sangha system for both lay and monastic practitioners, he established the foundation for Tibetan Buddhism. As such, he became known as the Founding Father of Tibetan Buddhism and the Founder of Nyingma School (also known as the Red Sect and is often referred to as “school of the ancient translations”).
Guru Padmasambhava propagated Buddha’s teachings in places which include India and Nepal for about 900 years with dual practice of wisdom and compassion, his moral prestige is well-known throughout and practitioners who had bathed in his rain of dharma and attained enlightenment were countless.
Out of the fifty-five and a half years he spent in Tibet, forty-four years were during Tibetan King Trisong Detsen’s reign (age 21 – 69), the state politics and religion then were in their peak, and Kham-Tibetan Buddhism continues till today and is respected by the world. In year 864 (wood monkey year), before Tibetan King Mutri Tsenpo, Guru Padmasambhava flew into the sky to the Copper Coloured Mountain of Auspiciousness to preach to the sentient beings in Raksasi-dvipa. In front of everyone, he said, “I do not come and go, I will appear before those who believe in me to deliver the dharma, on the tenth of every lunar month, I will come and visit all disciples.” Thus, his later disciples would gather on the tenth of every Tibetan calendar month to practice Guru Yoga and do ritual offering.
Guru Padmasambhava had foreseen that the future descendant of the Tibetan king would want to destroy the buddhadharma, and sentient beings of the age of dharma decline have little virtues and great obstacles. To prevent the Vajrayana teachings from destruction, deterioration or contamination by worldly knowledge, and to retain their blessing power to benefit future beings, he hid the teachings of the sutras, tantras, rituals and the like between mountains, inside rocks and in the mind of his disciples. To benefit sentient beings then, his great accomplished disciples vowed to be reincarnated as tertons to spread these hidden teachings in future.
More than a thousand years ago, the great Guru Padmasambhava foretold, “When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the rays of the Vajrayana teachings will shine throughout the world.”