Padmasambhava[note 1] (lit. “Lotus-Born”), also known as Guru Rinpoche, was an 8th-century Indian Buddhist master. Although there was a historical Padmasambhava, nothing 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.
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.
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 the role of Padmasambhava in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet.