Guru Padmasambhava  

e training in Vajrayana must always be carried out under the
direction of a teacher since it entails a variety of complicated
ritual practices. Since such practices are never writ en in ful , it
is not advisable for anyone to practise them by relying mainly on
writ en texts. Vajrayana teaches that every Buddha or Bodhi-
sat va is associated with a particular mantra or mudra, which
when recited or performed correctly, can link one with the deity
in question and partake its transcendental powers. `A mantra
consists of a number of syl ables which when translated literal y,
may be quite meaningless but it can be extremely effective when
pronounced by one who has undergone the proper training and
discipline and is familiar with its operations. A mantra, when
ut ered correctly, can have the power to drive off evil spirits
or thwart the actions of black magic sent by enemies. It must
be warned that mantras should not be learned from books or
freely used. However there are a number of universal mantras
which may be recited by anyone and Avalokitesvara's mantra,
"OM MANI PADME HUM", is one of them. is great mantra of
compassion, when recited by one who is pure in mind, can bring
about beneficial effects to oneself and others.
uru admasambhava
e founder of Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism is Guru Padma-
sambhava, often endearingly addressed by his devotees as `Guru
Rinpoche' or the `Precious Guru'. He is undoubtedly a histori-
cal figure but since his life is so entwined with many fantastic
legends which displayed supernatural powers, modern men, save

Tibetans, are likely to find it difficult to believe. However, two
basic testaments which proved his existence are:
1. e famous Samye Monastery which was built under his
2. Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism with all its body of teaching,
learning and realisations which are so rich and profound that
it is still converting and lifting the spiritual lives of not only
Tibetans but people all over the world.
e Precious Guru has so earned the love and veneration of the
Tibetans that they cal ed him the `essence of all the Buddhas of
the past, present and future, the Mantra-holder', and a host of
honorific titles. His miraculous birth on the pol en bed of a lotus
caused by the ray of light emanating from the Buddha Amita-
bha has caused Vajrayanists to call him the `Lotus-born Guru'.
History and legend has it that he was discovered and adopted
by the King of Uddiyana of northwest India. When he was old
enough, the king retired and handed his throne over to him. But
Padmasambhava had no desire to be a king, and like Gautama
Buddha some twelve centuries earlier, the lotus-born youth
traded his princely robes for an ascetic's rags. He concentrated
ful y on Tantric Buddhism, mastering all the secret doctrines
and mysterious powers associated with that aspect.
So begins the legend of Padmasambhava, the Great Tantric
Master, the eminent Indian Guru who spread the teachings of
the Buddha in the Himalayan lands rife with worship of spirits

and demons which required sacrifices of animals and human
beings and other disgusting practices. History has it that when
Santaraksita, the famed Abbot of Nalanda Monastery, was
invited by King Trison-Detsun to teach the Doctrine to the
Tibetans, he met considerable opposition from the spirits and
priests of the local faith, the primitive Bon cult. In anger, the
Bon spirits caused great destructions through flood and famine
across the land so that Santaraksita had no choice but to ask the
king to send for Guru Padmasambhava, who was then residing
in Nepal, to take over the task of conversion of these very stub-
born and powerful opposing forces. us the great guru arrived
in Tibet in the year 747.
In Tibet Padmasambhava lived up to his fame as a demon-
tamer, subduing the defiant spirits and sparing only those who
accepted the Buddhist faith and agreed to become its defenders.
As a reward, he included them into the Mahayana Pantheon so
that they would be properly worshipped. Blending native beliefs
with certain elements of Tantrism, he developed a new kind of
Buddhism which is known to the world as Lamaism. Padmasam-
bhava thus became the Precious Guru of all the lamas and is
regarded as highly as the Buddha himself. e Nim-ma-pa or
`Red-Hat' sect regards him as their founder and worships him
in various forms, both gentle and fierce, expressive of his dif-
ferent moods at different times. rough his efforts the famous
Samye Monastery near Lhasa was built and it became the centre
of Buddhist studies in Tibet. Santaraksita was appointed as its
first abbot.


In al , Padmasambhava stayed for eighteen years in Tibet, be-
tween 747 A.D. to 765 A.D., although some sources claimed that
he was there for fifty years. He then disappeared mysteriously
causing several speculations as to his whereabouts. ose of the
Nim-ma Lineage believe that to this day, Guru Padmasambhava
still come to visit and bless his devotees on the 10th day of every
lunar month.
e Lotus-born Guru is the embodiment of the entire lineage of
Teaching, both exoteric and esoteric, which has been transmit-
ted by words, mudras and telepathy through 2,500 years. He is
often depicted seated on a red lotus throne upon a white moon-
mat with legs locked in a vajra position. He wears the three royal
robes of the ree Yanas -- Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
His right hand carries the golden Vajra (diamond-cut er) while
his left, lying on his lap, the Patra or `begging bowl which is
fil ed with the Nectar of Immortality. Clamped to his left side
is his special symbol, the Khatvarga, a three-pronged flaming
staff which has three human heads attached to it, symbolic of
impermanance and other deeper meanings. e Vajra, peculiar
to Vajrayana, is used by Guru Rinpoche to cast spel s or exorcise
devils. On his head is a lotus cap adorned with sun and moon
and surmounted by a feather from a vulture's wing. is master
of all yogas often wears a strange smile, compassionate but with
a hint of wrathfulness. If you are ready to accept him as your
guru some day, he may take your mundane ego and hang it on
his flaming staff. In return he will give you all the knowledge of
the universe and give you a drink of the Nectar to make you for-
get pain and dissatisfaction forever; his Vajra wisdom will also

protect and guide you so that you will never know fear again.
Since he is the guru who is powerful enough to break the dark
spell which has kept you in the sleep of ignorance since count-
less lifetimes, why not seek his blessings for the awakening? You
can easily develop a karmic link with him with the daily recita-
tion of this mantra:
e purpose of including this chapter in the book is to prepare
the minds of those who are fortunate enough to come across Va-
jrayana teachings in the near future Vajrayana, or Mi-Tsung Jiao,
is not new to the Chinese for its teachings have been in China
for almost a thousand years and because of its esoteric nature of
practice very few people were able to come across it. However,
this seems to be the period of the Vajrayana teachings as a great
number of energetic and highly qualified Lamas are currently
ceaselessly spreading the Dharma across the world.