Choeze Kuchen | Guru Rinpoche
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Guru Rinpoche

About This Project

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,[1] and shortly thereafter leaving Tibet due to court intrigues.[2]

A number of legends have grown around Padmasambhava’s life and deeds, and he is widely venerated as a ‘second Buddha’ across Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Himalayan states of India.[3][4]

In Tibetan Buddhism, he is a character of a genre of literature called terma,[2] 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.[5]

Nyangrel Nyima Özer (1136-1204) was the principal architect of the Padmasambhava mythos according to Janet Gyatso.[6] Guru Chöwang (1212–1270) was the next major contributor to the mythos.[6]

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries there were several competing terma traditions surrounding Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Songtsän Gampo, and Vairotsana.[7]At the end of the 12th century, there was the “victory of the Padmasambhava cult,”[8] in which a much greater role is assigned to the role of Padmasambhava in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet.[9]