Padmasambhava At Yangleshö
Then at Yangleshö, present day Pharping in Nepal, he practised the sadhana of Yangdak Heruka with the consort Shakyadevi, daughter of a king of Nepal. Powerful spirits caused a three year drought, with famine and disease, and Padmasambhava asked his teachers in India for a teaching to counter them. Two men returned, laden with the tantras and commentaries of Vajrakilaya, and the moment they arrived, the obstacles were pacified. Guru Rinpoche and Shakyadevi both attained the third vidyadhara level, ‘vidyadhara of the great seal, or mahamudra’. Guru Rinpoche recognized that Yangdak is like a merchant engaging in trade—the achievement can be great, but so can the obstacles, whereas Vajrakilaya is like an armed escort; he is needed to guard against obstacles and overcome them. He then composed sadhanas of Yangdak and Vajrakilaya combined, and bound the guardians of Vajrakilaya to protect the teachings.
As for the Dzogchen teachings, it is said that Padmasambhava met Garab Dorje in a pure vision, and he also received the Nyingtik teachings from Manjushrimitra. As Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche explains in his ‘History of the Natural Dzogpachenpo’ A Marvellous Garland of Rare Gems, Guru Rinpoche travelled to the Parushakavana charnel ground where Shri Singha granted him the teachings of the Three Classes of Mind, Space and Pith Instructions. After granting him the Outer, Inner and Secret cycles, Shri Singha conferred on Padmasambhava the teachings of the Innermost Unsurpassed Cycle of Pith Instructions, the Khandro Nyingtik, along with all the tantras and instructions. He stayed for twenty-five years, receiving and contemplating on this teaching. Subsequently, he went to the Sosadvipa charnel ground and practised for three years, obtaining an enlightened body that was “like the reflection of the moon in water, not subject to birth or death”. He attained ‘the rainbow body of great transference’, in which form he later went to Tibet. In this subtle light body, great masters such as Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra can remain, without dissolving into the dharmakaya, for as long as there is service to perform for sentient beings.
Guru Padmasambhava visited lands and kingdoms all over Asia, including Mongolia, China and Shangshung, where he manifested as Tavihricha to teach the hearing lineage of Dzogchen in the Bön tradition, which led many to enlightenment and the rainbow body. “In this way,” Jamgön Kongtrul writes, “Padmasambhava’s activity for leading people to the path of liberation through appearing in various places and in various forms, and speaking various languages, is indeed beyond all measure.”