Life Story – Guru Rinpoche 1

Now follows a short life story of Guru Rinpoche,also known as Padmakara or Padmasambhava, extracted from the PreciousGarland of Lapis Lazuli, a collection of life stories of the 108 main tertonswritten by Jamgon Kongtrul the First and found in Volume I of his Treasury of PreciousTermas – theRinchenTerdzo:

Padmakara has influencedcountless beings through the Vajrayana teachings and in particular through theactivity of the profound terma treasures. This great master was not an ordinaryperson on the path or just a noble being on one of the bodhisattva bhumis butan emanation of both Buddha Amitabha and Shakyamuni who appeared in order totame the human beings and spirits difficult to convert.
Even the great bodhisattvas are incapable of fully explaining his life example butin brief I will narrate it as follows.
In the dharmakaya realm of the Luminous Vajra Essence he has by nature attainedperfect enlightenment since the very beginning as the liberated ground ofprimordial purity. He is renowned as the original protector, Unchanging Light.
In the self-manifestsambhogakaya realm of the Thunder of the Drum of Perfection, he spontaneouslymanifested as the boundless wisdom array of the five families of Buddha ImmenseOcean possessing the five certainties.
As the external manifestation of this self-appearing display, in the countlesssceneries of bodily forms in buddhafields of the five families comprised of thesemi-manifest natural nirmanakaya realms of Mahabrahma, he appears to all thebodhisattvas on the ten bhumis. Since these all are the cloud banks of GuruRinpoche’s wisdom display, the ‘inexhaustible wheel of adornment,’ he is knownas the All-Holding Lotus.
By the power of these wisdom displays he appears in countless worlds of the tendirections as the magical apparition of nirmanakayas who tame beings. Inparticular, it is taught that only in this Saha world-system he illuminatesfifty worlds with the lamp of the teachings of Sutra and Tantra appearing asthe eight manifestations to tame beings in the different parts of the world.
The Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal had a vision in which she saw a manifestation of GuruRinpoche called Immense Vajra Ocean in the direction to the east. Each of thepores in his body held one billion realms and in each realm there were onebillion world systems. In each of these world systems there were one billionGuru Rinpoches who each created one billion emanations. Each of theseemanations carried out the activity of taming one billion disciples. She thensaw the same display in each of the other directions and in the center.
In this world of Jambudvipa, Guru Rinpoche is known as just one nirmanakaya whotames beings but according to the different capacities and giftedness of peoplehe is perceived in various ways. The history of the Oral Transmission of Kilayaand most Indian sources explain that he was born as the son of a king or aminister in Uddiyana; while the terma treasures for the most part narrate thathe was miraculously born. In some texts he is said to have appeared from a boltof lightning at the summit of Mount Malaya. Each of these wondrous storiesdiffer in many ways. This is indeed a topic that lies far beyond the reach ofan ordinary person’s intellect.
I shall now limit the explanation down to a mere seed, the life of Guru Rinpocheaccording to miraculous birth as it appears in the terma teachings.
In the land of Uddiyana situated to the west of Bodhgaya there was an island ina huge lake on which appeared a multicolored lotus flower through the blessingsof the buddhas. Buddha Amitabha sent from his heart center a golden vajramarked with the letter HRIH into the bud of this lotus flower whichmiraculously turned into a small child eight years of age holding a vajra and alotus and adorned with the major and minor marks. The child remained thereteaching the profound Dharma to the devas and dakinis on the island.
At that time Indrabodhi, who was the king of the country, had no sons. He hadalready emptied out his treasury by making offerings to the Three Jewels andgiving alms to the poor. As a last resort, in order to find a wishfulfillingjewel he embarked on a journey with his minister Krishnadhara on the greatlake. On their return first Krishnadhara and later King Indrabodhi met themiraculous child. The king regarded him as an answer to his prayers for a sonand brought him to the palace where he was given the name Padmakara, the LotusBorn. Padmakara was then asked to sit on a throne made of precious gems andgiven lavish offerings by all the people.
The prince grew up, bringing countless beings to maturation through hisyouthful sports and games. He married Prabhadhari and ruled the kingdom ofUddiyana in accordance with the Dharma. At that time he perceived that he wouldbe unable to accomplish the immense welfare of other beings by governing acountry so he asked Indrabodhi permission to leave which was not granted. In anact of play, he then pretended that his trident slipped out of his hand; itfell and killed the son of one of the ministers. He was then sentenced to beexpelled to a charnel ground. He remained in Cool Grove, Joyful Forest andSosaling, engaging in the conduct of yogic disciplines. During this time hereceived empowerment and blessings from the two dakinis Tamer of Mara andSustainer of Bliss. When bringing all the dakinis of the charnel grounds underhis command, he was known as Shantarakshita.
Padmakara returned to Uddiyana, to the island in Lake Danakosha where hepracticed Secret Mantra and the symbolic language of the dakinis through whichhe brought the dakinis on the island under his command. He then practiced inthe Rugged Forest and was blessed with a vision of Vajra Yogini. He bound underoath all the nagas of the lakes as well as the planetary spirits and wasinvested with supernatural powers by all the dakas and dakinis. Thus he becamerenowned as Dorje Drakpo Tsal, Wrathful Vajra Power.

He then journeyed to the Vajra Throne in Bodhgaya where he showed manymiracles. People asked who he was and when he replied that he was aself-appeared buddha they did not believe but instead defamed him. Seeing themany reasons to have a teacher, he went to Zahor where he took ordination from Prabhahasti andwas given the name Shakya Senge. He received the teaching on Yoga Tantraeighteen times and had visions of the deities. The he went to the female masterKungamo who was the wisdom dakini Guhya Jñana appearing in the form of a nun.He asked for empowerment and she changed him into the letter HUNG which shethen swallowed and emitted through her lotus. Inside her body he was bestowedthe entire outer, inner and secret empowerments and purified of the threeobscurations.
Later, he met the eight great knowledge-holders and received the Eight SadhanaSections. He received the Magical Net from the great master Buddha Guhya andDzogchen from ShriSingha. In this way he studied and received all the sutras, tantras andsciences from numerous learned and accomplished masters of India. He becameadept by learning a topic just once and had visions of all the deities evenwithout practicing. At this time he was known as Loden Choksey and he displayedthe manner of perfecting the vidyadhara level of maturation.
He then went to the country of Zahor where he magnetized Mandarava, a qualifieddakini who was the daughter of King Vihardhara. Taking her as his sadhanasupport, they practiced for three months in the Maratika Cave after whichBuddha Amitayus appeared in person, conferred empowerment upon them and blessedthem to be inseparable from himself. They were given one billion tantras onlongevity and accomplished the vidyadhara level of life-mastery. Havingattained the vajra body beyond birth and death, they went back to teach thekingdom of Zahor. When begging for alms, they were arrested by the king and hisministers and burned alive. The master and his consort inspired faith bydisplaying the miracle of transforming the pyre into a cool lake in the centerof which they sat on a lotus flower. They caused all the people to embrace Dharmapractice and established them in the state beyond falling back into samsara.
Padmakara then returned to convert the people of Uddiyana. While begging foralms, he was recognized and burned in a huge pyre of sandal wood. The masterand his consort again appeared unharmed on a lotus flower in the center of alake wearing a garland of skulls to symbolize liberating all sentient beingsfrom samsara. Because of showing this miracle he was then renowned as PadmaTotreng Tsal, Powerful Lotus of the Garland of Skulls. He remained in Uddiyanafor 13 years as the king’s teacher and established the whole kingdom in Dharmapractice. During this time he gave the empowerment and teachings for the DharmaOcean Embodying All Teachings (Kadu Chokyi Gyamtso), through which the king andqueen as well as all the destined ones accomplished the supreme vidyadharalevel. He was then known as Padma Raja, the Lotus King.
In accordance with a prophesy in the Sutra on Magical Perception, Padmakaratransformed himself into the monk Wangpo Dey in order to convert King Ashoka.Having established Ashoka in unshakable faith, during a single night he erectedin this world one million stupas containing the relics of the Tathagata. Healso subdued several non-Buddhist teachers, was poisoned by one king butremained unharmed. When he then was thrown into the river he made the riverflow upstream and danced about in mid-air. Through that he became known asPowerful Garuda Youth.
Moreover, Padmakara manifested himself in the form of Acharya Padmavajra, themaster who revealed the Hevajra Tantra, as well as the Brahmin Saraha, DombiHeruka, Virupa, Kalacharya and many other siddhas. He practiced in the greatcharnel grounds where he taught the Secret Mantra to the dakinis. He subduedthe outer and inner mundane spirits and named them protectors of the Dharma. Atthat time he became known as Nyima Özer.

When five hundred Non-Buddhist teachers were about to defeat the Dharma indebate at Bodhgaya, Padmakara challenged them and was victorious. Some of theteachers resorted to evil spells, but Padmakara scattered them by means of awrathful mantra given by the dakini Tamer of Mara. The rest converted toBuddhism and the banner of the Dharma was raised to the skies. At that time hebecame known as Senge Dradrok. Up to this point he had exhausted the threedefilements and resided on the vidyadhara level of life-mastery, the stage ofhaving fully perfected the supreme path.
Proceeding to the cave of Yanglesho situated between India and Nepal he metShakya Devi, the daughter of a Nepalese King, whom he accepted as his sadhanasupport and consort. While practicing Vishuddha Heruka three powerful spiritscreated obstacles, preventing rainfall for three years and causing disease andfamine. Padmakara sent messengers to India asking his masters for a teachingthat could counteract these obstacles. Two men returned loaded with Kilayascriptures and the obstacles were spontaneously pacified the very moment theyarrived with the scriptures in Nepal. Padmakara and his consort then attainedthe supreme siddhi and abided on the vidyadhara level of mahamudra.


To be continued……….


Shared by Lotuschef / Pure Karma / True Buddha School

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