The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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and master of the three roots of
In order to propagate and spread the teachings of the Dharma in general, and particularly the secret mantra and Dzogchen teachings, he appears to every being of the three thousand billion world systems in a form to benefit them according to their personal karmic vision.
When the time for Guru Rinpoche to liberate the beings of this world approached, on the tenth day of the sixth month of the Monkey year, he appeared miraculously in the blossom of a lotus in the lake called “Ocean of Milk” in South West Odiyana, which is also known as Lake Danakosha located on the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier.
However there are different interpretations regarding his birth.
This source is the most renow and thus the following history is provided accordingly.
Prior to Guru Padmasambhava’s birth, in the centre of the lake a large, fully mature, beautiful, red lotus grew, and from the heart of Buddha Amitabha in space, a red syllable HRI fell about eight cubits above the collora of the lotus.
The syllable dissolved into light and instantly, without depending on the causes and conditions of father and mother, there arose an eight-year-old child perfectly adorned with the characteristic major and minor marks.
He then exclaimed, “Beggars have still not ceased, but I have nothing to grant!”.
The king heard this and, inspired to acquire inexhaustive wealth for the beggars, he travelled to the ocean to procure the wish-fulfilling jewel from the crown of the mystical creature, Charumati, daughter of Naga.
- My father is the self-arisen Samantabhadra.
- My mother is the sphere of reality, Samantabhadri.
- My caste is the union of primordial wisdom and the Dharmadhatu. :
And my name is the glorious Padmasambhava.
He perceived that since politics is contradictory to the teachings of liberation, and his position would not fulfil the purpose of sentient beings, he performed a mystical activity of killing the son of a wicked minister and lifted his consciousness into the Charadhatu.
Gradually by performing mystical activities at the cemeteries of Nandanvan, Daanbhumidvipa, Parushakavan, and so forth he accomplished the common and uncommon siddhis and came to be known as Rodravajrakala, “The Wrathful Vajra Display.”
In order to inspire faith towards the teachings in the disciples of the future, he then went to Bodhgaya and many other places displaying the act of receiving teachings from many great scholars, accomplished masters and Dakinis.
By listening just once, he comprehended and accomplished the whole canon of the three baskets of Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma, as well as the teachings of the outer and inner secret mantra, oral transmissions, and the pith instructions of the highest and innermost tantra of Atiyoga.
Possessing the marks of a dakini, he took her to the mountain cave of Maratika, known as Halesha, in present day, Nepal, where they performed the accomplishment rituals of longevity for three months and actualised the Immortal Vajra Body which marks the attainment of an Immortal Life Awareness Holder.
In order to tame the people of Odiyana he returned there disguised as a mendicant but many people recognised him and he was set to be burned alive in a sandalwood fire by a host of evil-minded ministers and people.
In addition, at the cave of Yanglashod in Nepal he practised the Vishuda deity depending on the accomplishment consort Sakya Devi of Nepal and very soon both of them became supreme Mahamudra Awareness Holders.
However she died before the stupa was completed. Her four sons vowed to complete the unfinished stupa, and in honour of their mother, and out of supreme faith in the Dharma, they made solemn prayers from the bottoms of their hearts.
Upon completion of the stupa, they each fervently prayed to be reborn as a Dharma king, a great learned khenpo, a powerful tantric master, and a messenger that would bring the previous three together.
In addition they gave monk’s vows tot Tibet’s first seven monks, standardised translation methods, supervised translation of most of the sutras and tantras from Sanskrit to Tibetan, and for the first time in Tibet, firmly established the tradition of study, contemplation and meditation, thereby radiating the Buddha Dharma in Tibet like rays of the sun.
Not leaving even the space of a horse-hoof untouched, Guru Padmasambhava miraculously walked upon the entire land of Tibet and generally blessed all the mountains, lakes and caves as places for accomplishment. Specifically in the Ngari region of upper Tibet he blessed twenty mountain caves.
In addition, for the sake of beings to be tamed in the future, Guru Padmasambhava concealed eighteen varieties of treasure which include treasure texts, material wealth, holy images and so forth, and gave explicit prophesies regarding the future manifestation of these treasures, including the revealer and protector of the treasure, as well as the time of revelation.
- Padmavajra, Vajra of the Lotus, severed the roots of the five poison.
- Padmaraja, King of the Lotus, provided mundane and ultimate benefits to sentient beings.
- Padmasambhava, the Lotus-born, blessed beings endowed with faith.
- Dorje Drolo tamed the Yakshas and haughty beings.
- Suryaprabha, the Rays of the Sun, taught the essence of secret mantra.
- Sakyasimha, the Lion of Sakyas, guided beings towards the path of liberation.
- Simhanada, Roar of the Lion, defeated the outside aggressors of non-Buddhists.
- And Dhimanvaruchi, the Supremely Wise Love, showered the teaching of sutra and mantra.
In addition, three million disciples achieved stability in tantric generation stage practice, one hundred thousand disciples showed signs of accomplishment, ninety thousand disciples achieved the uncontaminated Illusory Body, and eighty million disciples had some attainment.
Having accomplished these great activities, knowing his personal beings to be tamed on Earth were exhausted, he departed for the South-western universe of the magical cannibals, to help the beings there and to protect Earth from their harm.
But for his stay in Tibet there are many unreliable versions claiming he stayed for three years, six years, thirteen years and so forth.
Despite these differences, according to Guru Padmasambhava’s own kama teachings, he actually stayed for fifty years and three months, directly manifesting the meaning of the teachings by benefiting countless sentient beings in incredible myriad ways according to their desires and propensities, which is a reliable and trustworthy fact.
With kindness as vast as the sky, Guru Padmasambhava powerfully served the beings of the god, human, and naga realms.
Remembering his past aspirations, with infinite profound treasure teachings and material wealth, He especially benefited the beings of the snowland of Tibet.
- Phillippe Cornu, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique du Bouddhisme, page 419.
- Chögyam Trungpa, Crazy Wisdom, The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Five (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2004), page 123.
- Chögyam Trungpa, Crazy Wisdom, The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Five (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2004), pages 123-133.