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Padmasambhava

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Thangka of Padmasambhava, 19th century, Lhasa, Central Tibet.
Colossus of Padmasambhava, 123 ft. (37.5 m) high in mist overlooking Rewalsar Lake, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Padmasambhava (T. པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ pad+ma 'byung gnas; "the Lotus-born"), also known as Guru Rinpoche (Precious Guru), was a tantric Buddhist master from India who is credited with bringing the Vajrayana teachings to Tibet (circa 8th - 9th centuries).[1][2][3][4] According to some early Tibetan sources like the Testament of Ba, he came to Tibet in the 8th century and helped construct Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.[3]

While little is known about the actual historical figure other than his ties to Vajrayana,[5][6] over time Padmasambhava came to be viewed as being a central figure in the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.[7][8] Beginning in about the 12th century, hagiographies about Padmasambhava were written in Tibet, which presented an expanded view of Padmasambhava as a great tantric master who tamed all of the local spirits and gods in Tibet, and concealed various secret texts (terma) for future generations of Tibetans.[9] The earliest biography of Padmasambhava, Zangling-ma (Jeweled Rosary), was written by Nyangral Nyima Özer (1124–1192).[10][11] He has been called "one of the main architects of the Padmasambhava mythos – who first linked Padmasambhava to the Great Perfection in a high-profile manner."[12][13]

In modern Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava is considered to be a Buddha that was foretold by Buddha Shakyamuni.[2] According to traditional hagiographies, his students include the great female masters Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava.[14] The contemporary Nyingma school considers Padmasambhava to be a founding figure.[15][4] The Nyingma school also traditionally holds that its Dzogchen lineage has its origins in Garab Dorje through a direct transmission to Padmasambhava.[16]

In Tibetan Buddhism, the teachings of Padmasambhava are said to include an oral lineage (kama), and a lineage of the hidden treasure texts (termas).[17] Tibetan Buddhism holds that Padmasambhava's termas are discovered by fortunate beings and tertöns (treasure finders) when conditions are ripe for their reception.[18] Padmasambhava is said to appears to tertöns in visionary encounters, and his form is visualized during guru yoga practice, particularly in the Nyingma school. Padmasambhava is widely venerated by Buddhists in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, the Himalayan states of India, and in countries around the world.[19][20]

Notes

  1. Kværne, Per (2013). Tuttle, Gray; Schaeffer, Kurtis R., eds. The Tibetan history readerFree access subject to limited trial, subscription normally required. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780231144698. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, The Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava, (May 1992), https://turtlehill.org/cleanup/khen/eman.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, pp. 34-35.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doney, Lewis. "Padmasambhava in Tibetan Buddhism" in Silk, Jonathan A. et al. Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism, pp. 1197-1212. BRILL, Leiden, Boston.
  5. Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 34-5, 96-8.
  6. Kværne, Per (2013). Tuttle, Gray; Schaeffer, Kurtis R. (eds.). The Tibetan history reader. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780231144698.
  7. Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Jr., Donald S. (2013). The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 608. ISBN 9781400848058. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  8. Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 34-5, 96-8.
  9. Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, p. 96.
  10. Doney, Lewis. The Zangs gling ma. The First Padmasambhava Biography. Two Exemplars of the Earliest Attested Recension. 2014. MONUMENTA TIBETICA HISTORICA Abt. II: Band 3.
  11. Dalton, Jacob. The Early Development of the Padmasambhava Legend in Tibet: A Study of IOL Tib J 644 and Pelliot tibétain 307. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 124, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 2004), pp. 759- 772
  12. Germano, David (2005), "The Funerary Transformation of the Great Perfection (Rdzogs chen)", Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (1): 1–54
  13. Gyatso, Janet (August 2006). "A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal". The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (2). 
  14. Schaik, Sam van. Tibet: A History. Yale University Press 2011, page 34-5, 96-8.
  15. Harvey, Peter (2008). An Introduction to Buddhism Teachings, History and Practices (2 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 9780521676748. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  16. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal. Lion's Gaze: A Commentary on Tsig Sum Nedek. Sky Dancer Press, 1998.
  17. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Beauty of Awakened Mind: The Dzogchen Lineage of Shigpo Dudtsi. Dharma Samudra, 2013. https://www.padmasambhava.org/chiso/books-by-khenpo-rinpoches/beauty-of-awakened-mind-dzogchen-lineage-of-shigpo-dudtsi/
  18. Fremantle, Francesca (2001). Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-57062-450-X p.19
  19. "Padmasambhava". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  20. Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Jr., Donald S. (2013). The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 608. ISBN 9781400848058. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 


Sources

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  • Berzin, Alexander (November 10–11, 2000). "History of Dzogchen". Study Buddhism. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  • Bischoff, F.A. (1978). Ligeti, Louis, ed. "Padmasambhava est-il un personnage historique?". Csoma de Körös Memorial Symposium. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó: 27–33. ISBN 963-05-1568-7. 
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  • Thondup, Tulku. Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. London: Wisdom Publications, 1986.
  • Trungpa, Chögyam (2001). Crazy Wisdom. Boston: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 0-87773-910-2.
  • Tsogyal, Yeshe. The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. Padma bKa'i Thang. Two Volumes. 1978. Translated into English by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays. ISBN 0-913546-18-6 and ISBN 0-913546-20-8.
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