Guru Rinpoche - The Greatest Guru Since 8th Century
Guru Rinpoche Kenno!
Padmasambhava or Pema Jungney means the one born from the lotus. Also known as Maha Guru Rinpoche or Lopon Chenpo in Tibetan, Maha means great, and Guru Rinpoche means precious spiritual master. Lopon Chenpo means the great spiritual master.
Maha Guru Rinpoche
Tibetans owe a lot to Maha Guru Padmasambhava. Even Maha Guru Rinpoche said Bo La Drin Chen Chay Kang, Drin Me Ko, meaning in simple words; Even though I was gracious to Tibetans, they will ingratitude.
1. The Lotus-Born.
Maha Guru Padmasambhava is known to be born from the Lotus, and this is already an excellent teaching since the teachings of Buddhism are beyond humans' five senses. It is hard for ordinary people like me to digest that he was born from the Lotus since we can't go beyond the five senses. Maha Guru Padmasambhava was born during the 8th century in Oddiyana City, modern-day Swat in Pakistan.
Photo: Statue of Maha Guru Rinpoche in Kham
2. Oddiyana Princesss Mandarava.
It is written that Maha Guru Rinpoche learned the Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism under many great masters, including Nagarjuna and his central Guru, Shiri Singha. At that time, spiritualism was very popular in Oddiyana City and Nalanda University. Oddiyana, also known as Zahor, is the home of Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism. There were a few kings named Indrabhuti. One of the Indrabhuti was the first king in India to practice Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism from Buddha Shakyamuni or his disciple Vajrapani.
When Maha Guru Padmasambhava was meditating in the retreat areas in Oddiyana, the Oddiyana Princess Mandarava, after seeing the great master, a deep devotion arose in her mind, and she followed Maha Guru Rinpoche as a disciple. The king of Oddiyana was miserable after finding out that the Princess was following a Buddhist Yogi since the King was a Hindu disciple.
The king caught Maha Guru Padmasambhava and tried to burn him with massive fire for many days. After a few days, the king found Maha Guru Padmasambhava on the lotus flower without any effect from the fire. The king was amazed, and a deep devotion arose in his mind, and he asked Maha Guru Rinpoche for forgiveness for his evil deeds.
The king offered his kingdom and the Princess to Maha Guru Padmasambhava, but Guru said I am a wandering Yogi and won't need your kingdom. Maha Guru Padmasambhava left the kingdom to wander around the mountains, and Princess Manadarava followed him.
Photo: Samye monastery is the first monastery in Tibet built during the 8th Century
3. All Places blessed by The One Lotus-Born.
Almost all the places in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet are blessed by Maha Guru Padmasambhava. The famous places in Nepal where Maha Guru Padmasambhava meditates are:
- Chumig Jangchub ( Hetauda ) Nepal
- Yanglesho ( near Kathmandu )
- Halasho ( there is a monastery of Trulshik Rinpoche ), Nepal
- Taktsang Tigers Nest at Bhutan
Later, Maha Guru Rinpoche traveled to Bhutan and Tibet.
4. Maha Guru Rinpoche in Tibet.
The 38th King Trisong Deutsen invited Indian master Shantarakshita for helping to build the first monastery in Tibet known as the Samye monastery. When people constructed the monastery in the day, the evil spirit destroyed it at night, so the king asked the Indian master Shantarakshita what to do. The great Shantarakshita urged the king to invite Maha Guru Padmasambhava for help.
Later, Maha Guru Padmasambhava blessed the Samye monastery, and from that day, local people built the monastery during the day, and the evil spirit built the monastery during the night.
5. The first Tibetan Group 25 Yogis.
The first Tibetan group of Yogis, consisting of twenty-five great disciples, was sent to meditate in the Chimpuk meditation cave near the mountain from Samye monastery.
6. The Yogini Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal.
One of the greatest disciples was Tibetan Yogini Jetsun Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal. She followed Maha Guru Padmasambhava from the age of sixteen ( after three years of arriving in Tibet ) until leaving Tibet near Kungtang Pass at the modern-day town Kyirong, as listed in the biography of Jetsun Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal. Maha Guru Padmasambhava has spent 3000 years in India and 111 years in Tibet.
Photo: Lion Face Dakini - Khandro Sengdongma
7. A few Popular meditation areas of Maha Guru Rinpoche in Tibet are:
- Chimpuk meditation cave
- Yemalung meditation cave
- Dzong Kumbum meditation cave
- Drak Yangzom meditation cave
- Tidrum meditation cave
- Upper Rongbuk Meditation cave
- Drak Yerba meditation cave
- Chiu Monastery in Ngari
- Tadapuri Hot Spring Meditation Cave
Above are only a few places that I know. From my experience, almost all the places in Tibet are blessed by Maha Guru Rinpoche. Even though Maha Guru Padmasambhava was born as an Indian, most of his time has been spent in Tibet teaching Mahayana Buddhism to the Tibetans. Without Maha Guru Padmasambhava, Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism wouldn't flourish in our world like today, and that is one of the main reasons we should never forget his kindness.
7. Changing the rooted faith of locals needs tremendous spiritual attainment.
Before his arrival to Tibet, Tibetans were following a Native Bon religion, and we should understand how difficult it is for him to change the deep-rooted faith of Tibetans. It will take so much wisdom and courage, so he is one of the wisest Buddhist masters.
8. Some sayings from Maha Guru Padmasambhava.
- Those who have faith in me, I will be sleeping right at your door.
- Those who don't have faith in me, even though they haven't seen me, all these children of mine will always be protected by my compassion.
- Arising Bodhichitta is the main essence of all the Buddha Dharma practices.
- Although my realization is higher than the sky, my observance of karma is finer than grains of flour.
- Chant Om Mani Padme Hum for Sentient Beings.
- Chant Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Padma Siddhi Hung for self.
- Taking refuge and keeping vows are the roots of Dharma practice.
- Instead of staying at other places for 100 years, I remain a night at the place where I have been blessed.
- If you don't train your mind, suffering won't stop.
- When a disciple calls upon me with yearning devotion and with the melodious song of the Seven-Line Prayer, I shall come straightaway from Zangdokpalri. ( The pure land of Maha Guru Padmasambhava)
9. Five great Emanations of Maha Guru Rinpoche are :
Maha Guru Rinpoche is the founder of the Nyingma Dzogchen school of Buddhism in Tibet and is also considered the second Buddha in the schools of Buddhism in Tibet. He is also known as the emanation of Amitabha Buddha. ( The Buddha of pure realms and infinite light)
The Mantra of Maha Guru Padmasambhava is: Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Padma Siddhi Hung
Every tenth day in the Tibetan Lunar calendar is known as the birthday celebration of Maha Guru Padmasambhava. Maha Guru Padmasambhava is also known as the emanation of compassion Buddha Chenrezig. May Maha Guru Padmasambhava bless all Sentient Beings. I recommend visiting Siddharthas Intent's website for more information about Maha Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava.
Maha Guru Padmasambhava is definitely one of the most powerful Gurus in history; here, power refers to infinite compassion and endless wisdom.
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