The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Who is Padmasambhava?
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The subject of many myths and legends, little is known about him historically. During the reign of King Trisong Detsen, Padmasambhava helped establish the country’s first Buddhist monastery in Samye and he is considered the founder of the Nyingma (“ancient”) school, the oldest of the four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
In addition to his historical role, Padmasambhava is an important symbol of enlightenment in the Dzogchen teachings of the Nyingma lineage, and his image is often visualized as an object of meditation. He is said to have had eight manifestations, including both the peaceful and wrathful forms.
Padmasambhava’s main consort was Yeshe Tsogyal, another semi-legendary figure who was an important realized teacher in her own right. She received Dzogchen teachings directly from Padmasambhava and a number of important texts are attributed to her.