The Life Story of Padmasambhava
Composed by Yeshe
Revealed by Nyang Ral Nyima Öser
Foreword by His Holiness Dilgo
Clarification of the Life of Palmasambhava
by Tsele Natsok Rangdröl
Translated from the Tibetan by Erik Pema Kunsang
Edited by Marcia Binder Schmidt
©1993 by Erik Hein Schmidt
Eight years after I pass into nirvana, I will reappear in the country of Uddiyana bearing the name Padmasambhava. I will become the lord of the teachings of Secret Mantra.
from the Tantra of the Perfect Embodiment of the Unexcelled Nature
by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Clarifying the True Meaning
by Tsele Natsok Rangdröl
THE COPPER TEMPLE LIFE STORY OF PADMASAMBHAVA
I. Padmasambhava becomes the son of King Indrabodhi and ascends the royal throne.
2. Padmasambhava practices in the charnel grounds and is blessed by the dakinis.
3. Padmasambhava follows his gurus, receives teachings, and shows the manner of mind-training.
4. Padmasambhava converts people by means of miracles, tames heretics, and vastly benefits the Buddhist teachings.
5. Padmasambhava accomplishes the vidyadhara level of mahamudra by means of Vishuddha and Kilaya.
6. The king of Tibet takes hold of his kingdom.
7. The king awakens faith in the Dharma, invites Master Bodhisattva to Tibet to fulfill his aspiration, and lays the foundation for the temple.
8. Padmasambhava goes to Tibet out of compassion and meets with the emissaries.
9. Master Padma binds all the gods and demons of Tibet under oath.
10. Padmasambhava is invited to the palace of Red Rock and tames the building site.
11. His Majesty the King and Master Padma erect glorious Samye and perform its consecratlon.
12. The two masters, Padmasambhava and Khenpo Bodhisattva, and the two translators, Kawa Paltsek and Chokro Lui Gyaltsen, translate and establish the teachings of Secret Mantra.
13. Five Tibetan monks go to India to search for teachings and Master Namkhai Nyingpo attains accomplishment.
14. Vairochana of Pagor goes to India in pursuit of the Dharma and is expelled to Tsawarong.
15. The king establishes the law of the Buddhadharma.
16. Master Vimalamitra is invited and Vairochana's expulsion regretted.
17. The Dharma teachings are translated and established at Samye.
18. Padmasambhava performs supportive rituals for the king and extends his life span.
19. Master Padma transmits the sadhanas of Secret Mantra and the king and the disciples engage in sadhana practice.
20. Padmasambhava employs the guardian of the temples, translates the fierce mantras for the sake of protecting the Buddhadharma and teaches the methods for mending sacred commitments.
21. Master Padma conceals the teachings and instructions as treasures and gives predictions to the king.
22. Master Padma personally visits the sacred places for sadhana in Tibet, conceals mind treasures, and gives oral instructions.
23. The Tibetan king and subjects try to dissuade him, but are unsuccessful in obtaining Master Padma's consent when he intends to leave for the southwestern continent.
24. Master Padma gives his last words to the kings of Tibet.
25. Master Padma gives his last words to the ministers of Tibet.
26. Master Padma gives his last words to the monks and nuns of Tibet.
27. Master Padma gives his last words to the Dharma teachers of Tibet.
28. Master Padma gives his last words to the tantrikas of Tibet.
29. Master Padma gives his last words to the meditators of Tibet.
30. Master Padma gives his last words to the yogis of Tibet.
31. Master Padma gives his last words to the men of Tibet.
32. Master Padma gives his last words to the women of Tibet.
33. Master Padma gives his last words to the benefactors and reverend recipients of Tibet.
34. Master Padma gives his last words to the healers and sick people of Tibet.
35. Master Padma gives his last words to the Tibetan masters and disciples who form dharmic links.
36. Master Padma gives his last words to the Tibetan people in general.
37. The king and the ministers request Master Padma to teach the instructions of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
38. The description of how the Lord of Great Compassion gazes upon the six classes ofsentient beings with the three types of compassion.
39. The benefits and virtues of the Six Syllables
of the Great Compassionate One.
40. Master Padrna sings a song in response to homage.
41. Master Padrma departs to subdue the rakshasas in the southwest and sings songs to his attendants and escorts.
The Abbreviated Chronicle
Foreword by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:
GURU PADMASAMBHAVA, the glorious Master of Uddiyana and king of the Dharma, is the single embodiment of the activity of the victorious ones throughout the three times. According to the ways in which sentient beings perceive reality, there exists an inconceivable number of life stories of the three mysteries of his body, speech, and mind. Among them, the Sanglingma Life Story entitled The Jewel Garland Dharma History and Biography, revealed from the profound terma of Ngadag Nyang, is like the king.
The Sanglingma places emphasis on how Padmasambhava converted disciples in the dark country of Tibet. It condenses all the biographies and histories of Guru Rinpoche and contains the profound key points of the nine vehicles of Sutra and Mantra. It is the most authoritative scripture regarding how the teachings of Sutra and Mantra spread to the Snowy Land of Tibet.
The Sanglingma also contains oral instructions and advice that the Great Master of Uddiyana left as his profound and detailed testament to help the Buddhadharma and people of future generations.
This biography, containing Padmasambhava's final advice concerning practice, the quintessence of the teachings of Sutra and Mantra, has been carefully translated into English by Erik Pema Kunsang of Denmark with the single, pure intention of furthering the Buddhadharma.
The gate to the benefit and good qualities of Guru Rinpoche's life story having been opened to people of all times and races, may everyone who sees, hears, or thinks of him obtain insight into the sacred Dharma of scriptures and realization and be assured of becoming a child of the victorious vidyadhara on the Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain on Chamara.
This was written at the glorious temple of Ngagyur Shechen Tennyi Dargye Ling by Dilgo Khyentse on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Year of the Iron Horse. May it be virtuous.
THE LOTUS-BORN: THE LIFE STORY OF PADMASAMBHAVA, commonly called Sanglingma, is a translation of a biography of the great master recorded by his foremost Tibetan disciple, the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. The name Sanglingma means "Copper Temple." It refers to a temple built at Samye by one of King Trisong Deutsen's queens. Yeshe Tsogyal concealed this biography in the ninth century under the statue of the tantric deity Hayagriva on the temple's shrine. The terma treasure was revealed by Nyang Ral Nyima Öser (1124-1192). In later centuries it became known after its place of discovery.
Jamgön Kongtrül the First (1813-1899) felt this life story of Padmasambhava was important enough to be the first text in the first volume of his famous collection of terma treasures known as Rinchen Terdzö. The Sanglingma itself belongs to the Kathang literature, a class of Buddhist scriptures that narrates the biography of Padmasambhava as it was written down by his close Tibetan students. Many of these biographies were concealed as terma treasures to protect them against the changes of time. Centuries later they would be revealed by a tertön, a reincarnation of an accomplished student of Padmasambhava who had made the aspiration to benefit people in future generations. The Sanglingma is a religious scripture read by devoted followers of Padmasambhava to keep his miraculous deeds and great compassion in mind.
Why was Padmasambhava so important? Due to his great realization and spiritual power, he created the conditions for the propagation of the Vajrayana teachings in this world. In Tibet, he tamed spirits hostile to the Buddhadharma and pacified negative forces, allowing for the completion and consecration of the magnificent temples of Samye. Moreover, through Master Padma's unfailing compassion and diverse skillful means, he hid numerous teachings for future generations. These terma teachings would be revealed when the conditions were auspicious and the benefit most appropriate for the people of that particular time. Even in recent times, Padmasambhava's treasure teachings continue to be revealed. Judging from the past and discerning the present, the impact of Padmasambhava is inconceivable.
To clarify doubts about Padmasambhava I would like to suggest to the reader to investigate the concise version of Padmasambhava's life by Jamgön Kongtrül the First as contained in Dakini Teachings. Secondly, there are several English books available that are mentioned at the end of the bibliography. Finally, I will present a condensation of the writings of Tsele Natsok Rangdröl concerning the Lotus-Born Master.
During the latter part of his life, Tsele Natsok Rangdröl, who is also reputed to be one of Jamgön Kongtrül's prior incarnations, was asked eighteen questions about the life story of Padmasambhava contained in the Kathang literature. Several of his replies are directly relevant to the translation of the Sanglingma presented in this book. I have therefore taken the liberty to extract and summarize the most pertinent parts of his eminent advice on how to view the historical and personal background of the Lotus-Born Master. They are presented in the following essay entitled "Clarifying the True Meaning."
In the back of the book I have included a bibliography of Tibetan historical source material related to Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, and Vairochana. Together with the oral teachings I have been fortunate enough to receive, these precious writings form the basis for the notes and the explanations in the glossay. I sincerely wish that enclosing the names of these scriptures may inspire further translations to illuminate the historical background for the precious Vajrayana teachings.
To conclude, I would like to thank His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for his encouragement to undertake this translation, the most venerable Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche for clarifying many dicult points, and the current upholders of Guru Rinpoche's teachings who have given priceless inspiration, especially Tulku Pema Wangyal and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche. Out of gratitude for their kindness, I engendered the wish to share this wondrous life story of the eminent master Padmasambhava. My deepest thanks go also to everyone who helped with the translation of the Sanglingma, especially to my wife Marcia, who checked all stages of the production; to Phinjo Sherpa, who repeatedly typed the manuscript and entered numerous corrections; to Franz-Karl Erhard for help in locating existing manuscripts; and to Carol Faust for many helpful suggestions.
Finally, I am pleased with the coincidence that this translation was completed on the auspicious day of the consecration of Samye Monastery in Tibet by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche on September 29, 1990.
ERIK PEMA KUNSANG
Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling Monastery
Clarifying the True Meaning
Tsele Natsok Rangdröl
Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout all times and directions,
Embodiment of all objects of refuge, Padma Thötreng Tsal,
Consider all beings and myself with your loving kindness.
May every wish we make be effortlessly fulfilled.
Strengthen the Dharma and increase auspicious conditions
So that true awakening will swiftly be attained.
The Birth of Padmasambhava
THE WORD padma is Sanskrit. It was preserved as a Tibetan word and means lotus flower. Sambhava means "born from." Padmasambhava's usual name in Tibetan, is Pema Jungney, translated from the Sanskrit name Padmakara, which means "originated from a lotus."
When Padmakara was born from a lotus flower and, also, while being led back by King Indrabhuti, wherever he was set down, a lotus spontaneously sprung up. The king exclaimed, "This child is truly a lotus-born one!" Therefore he became renowned as Padmakara.
His ordination name was Shakya Senge. Later, when he became learned in the fields of knowledge and presided as the head of five hundred great panditas, he was known as Padmasambhava, the Lotus-Born. Thus he is indeed named after his manner of birth.
It is universally renowned that the Precious Master took birth from a lotus flower in a way that is called instantaneous birth. Instantaneous birth in itself is nothing to marvel about since all beings take rebirth through one of the four modes of birth: womb birth, egg birth, moisture birth, and instantaneous birth. But this master's birth was superior to ordinary instantaneous birth. The reason is that the lotus flower from which he was born, in the center of Lake Danakosha, had been fused with the combined light rays of compassion of Buddha Amitabha and all the buddhas of the ten directions.
This is not just an exaggerated praise tenaciously offered by old ignorant followers of the Nyingma School; Padmakara was foretold by Buddha Shakyamuni himself in many sutras and tantras. If it was the case that those predictions are found only in the Nyingma tantras, it would be difficult for other people to have full trust in them, so here is a quotation from the Immaculate Goddess Sutra:
The activity of all the victorious ones of the ten directionsPadmasambhava is also prophesied in the Sutra of Inconceivable Secrets:
Will gather into a single form,
A buddha son, who will attain marvelous accomplishment,
A master who will embody buddha activity,
Will appear to the northwest of Uddiyana.
A manifestation of the buddhas of the three times,The Tantra of the Ocean of Ferocious Activity says:
With marvelous deeds in this Good Aeon,
Will appear as a vidyadhara
In the center of a wondrous lotus flower.
A holder of the secrets of all the buddhas,There exists a vast number of similar quotations, but since these will suffice for gaining understanding, I shall refrain from further elaborations. The heart of the matter is that these quotations establish that he was miraculously born from a lotus flower.
The king of the deeds of indestructible wrath,
A miraculous form without father or mother,
Will appear as a vidyadhara In Lake Kosha of Uddiyana.
For people who could not be converted by someone miraculously born, Padmasambhava showed himself as taking birth through a womb. In that version he was born as the son of King Mahusita of Uddiyana and given the name Danarakshita. When reaching maturity, he wanted to leave in order to practice the Dharma, but his parents did not permit him to do so. Unable to find any other way, he saw that he could only escape through some felonious action. He killed one of the king's children and was then banished as punishment. Taking ordination from the pandita Shakyabodhi, he was named Shakya Senge.
Whatever the case, Master Padma was not an ordinary, material person. We should understand that all his deeds and life examples are a magical display shown to convert people according to their individual inclinations. By regarding him as a normal human being, we will fail to perceive even a fraction of his enlightened qualities.
Padmasambhava's Stay in Tibet
Differing accounts exist regarding the length of time Master Padma remained in Tibet. One story narrates that he remained for one hundred and twenty years. Other sources state he was asked to leave due to the slander of evil-minded ministers after respectively six or three years, eighteen or three months. As I mentioned already, an ordinary person cannot measure the deeds of the victorious ones; remember that also here.
In the past, Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra. The sutra describes that the Buddha performed a miracle, making the duration of teaching, which was one morning, appear as if it were fifty aeons. The Buddha could also transform one moment into an aeon and one aeon into one moment. How can our intellect grasp that?
In the general perception of people and as narrated in the shorter and longer Bashey Annals, Master Padma came to Tibet, performed a ritual for taming the land around Samye, and twice made a ritual fire offering to tame the gods and demons. When about to perform the ritual a third time, some manipulative ministers prevented him from doing so. Master Padma gave the king and a few worthy people advice. When Padmakara was about to turn the dunes into meadows, the desert into fields, and plant trees and so forth, the ministers misinterpreted this and prohibited it. Without having furfilled his purpose, he was escorted to the Sky Plain Pass by two religious ministers. On the way, Master Padma overcame some murderers sent by antagonistic ministers by paralyzing them with his gaze. Leaving from the Sky Plain Pass, Master Padma flew through the air toward the southwest.
These narrations are exclusively what is described in the shorter and longer Bashey Annals. The Bashey Annals are only comprised of superficial perceptions of the ministers of that time which I do not consider fully authentic. Try to understand this comparison: the Buddha's twelve deeds and so forth differ in the traditions of Hinayana and Mahayana. We only take the Mahayana version to be truly accurate. The Hinayana version is what was perceived through the limited vision of Hinayana disciples. This is the same as the analogy of a white conch seen to be yellow by a person suffering from jaundice. The person with healthy eyesight will see it as it truly is. Here, similarly, we should not regard an impure perception as true, but place our trust in the impeccable words of the Great Master himself.
In this regard, it should be mentioned that there is no
the uncorrupted terma teachings that unanimously say Master Padma remained in Tibet for one hundred and eleven years. Since Indians then counted six months as one year, these "years" should be regarded as "half-years," meaning that Guru Rinpoche stayed for fifty-six years.
Some ministers and faithless people perceived that Guru Rinpoche only spent a few months in Tibet. They only saw that Padmakara tamed the land of Samye, performed its consecration, and gave teachings to the king and some fortunate disciples. The major part of the time the Great Master stayed in Tibet he spent visiting, blessing, concealing termas, and so forth in the principal sacred places and areas. For these reasons it seems that most Tibetan commoners did not meet him.
From our point of view, when Padmasambhava was about to leave Tibet for the land of rakshasas in the southwest, he consecrated all the temples. He was escorted to the Sky Plain Pass in Mang-yul by Prince Lhasey and many other disciples, where he gave many predictions and instructions. On the tenth day of the Monkey month, he was led through the sky to the continent of Chamara by dakas and dakinis carrying offerings.
Padmasambhava Being an Enlightened Buddha
Ordinary beings to be trained perceive the buddhas of
the three times as taking birth among different types of sentient beings
in the different worlds. Moreover, the buddhas enact the deeds of gathering
the accumulations and purifying the obscurations over incalculable aeons.
We can find evidence of this in the stories of the past lives of the Buddha.
If we regard the words of the Buddha as authentic, we also can trust in
his statements found in many sutras and tantras concerning the Great Master
Padmakara as the embodiment of the compassion of all the buddhas. There
is no great need to suffer by stubbornly objecting.
into This World
According to the scriptures mentioned above and other texts, including the Tantra of the Perfen Embodiment of the Unexfelkd Nature,4 there are varying statements about exactly when Master Padma would appear. Most sources seem to agree on twelve years after the passing of the Buddha. The Nirvana Sutra says:
Twelve years after
I pass into nirvana,
A person who is superior to everyone
Will appear from the anthers of a lotus flower
In the immaculate Lake Kosha
On the northwestern border of the country of Uddiyana.
The Buddha also said in the Sutra of Predictions in Magadha:
I will pass away to eradicate the view of permanence.
But twelve years from now, to clear away the view of nihilism,
I shall appear from a lotus in the immaculate Lake Kosha
As a noble son to delight the king
And turn the Dharma wheel of the unexcelled essential meaning.
This is the version unanimously agreed upon in all the narrations found in authentic terma teachings.
It is difficult for myself to identify correctly the exact year when the Buddha was born and passed away. There are ,many discrepancies in the various treatises, but all the histories of the Nyingma School tell that Buddha Shakyamuni passed away in the Year of the Iron Bird and that Padmasambhava was born in the Year of the Earth Monkey. Between these two events are twelve years so I consider that to be the correct version.
One version of the Kathang mentions that Padmasambhava took ordination from Ananda in the presence of the arhat Nyima Gungpa and Kashyapa the Elder. Other reliable and uncorrupted terma teachings do not include this story. I myself, though old and uneducated, have read quite a few of the shorter and longer versions of Guru Rinpoche's biographies. In particular, I have carefully examined the manuscript of Ngadag Nyang's terma that is renowned as the Sanglingma Life Story. My sources say that Padmakara stayed five years in the royal palace in Uddiyana and five years in Cool Grove. After that time he went to many different charnel grounds such as Joyful Grove and Sosaling where he received empowerment and blessings from the wisdom dakinis Vajra Varahi, Sustainer of Peace, and Subduer of Mara. Here he also bound under oath the mundane dakinis and karma dakinis and employed them as his servants.
Although the Buddhadharma and all topics of knowledge
arose spontaneously within Padmasambhava's mind, he nevertheless pretended
to study languages, healing, logic, craftsmanship, and so forth to instill
confidence in ordinary followers. After this, he took ordination in a cave
in Sahor from the preceptor Shakyabodhi, who is more known as the great
master Prabhahasti, and he was given the name Shakya Senge. The reason
Guru Rinpoche became a monk was to safeguard ordinary people from giving
rise to wrong thoughts. Padmakara then received the empowerments, tantric
explanations, and oral instructions on Yoga Tantra from Master Prabhahasti.
These details are indisputable and trustworthy.
Criticism of Followers of the Nyingma School
The teachings of the Secret Mantra of the Early Translations are profound, extensive, and marvelous. Unfortunately their followers fool themselves with pursuing the upkeep of livelihood and attainment of temporary aims, instead of endeavoring through practice to gain realization. Leading the life of a householder, they neither belong to the category of sutra nor tantra. They are nothing but a dishonor to the Early Translations. This is exactly the reason why followers of the Sarma Schools, both learned and ignorant, not only expel the teachings and followers of the Nyingma School from the confines of Buddhism, but find them as loathsome as beholding a pool of vomit.s Due to these circumstances, the flawless words of Padmakara, the Second Buddha, have been corrupted by people's individual corrections, omissions, additions, presumptions, and guesswork. The Secret Mantra has become like precious sandalwood turned into charcoal for trade.
In this dark age it seems that no one engages in teaching, studying, or practicing the flawless older termas. The volumes of books have become worms' nests. The teachers waste their lives chasing after the novelty of so-called new termas or anything that resembles a terma, which nowadays proliferate like mushrooms on a summer meadow. On seeing this sad state of affairs, an old ignorant monk like me can do nothing but shed tears.
The Reliability of the Kathang Literature
Nowadays, there are two renowned versions of Padma Kathang. One, by Orgyen Lingpa, is in poetry, and the other by Sangye Lingpa is in prose. Their effect on the land of Tibet has been immense. Although the main part of these two texts surely is the words of the Great Master, obviously some uneducated and foolish people have interpolated them with colloquial terms and phrases of their invention. Similarly, the famous Fivc Chronicles are unmistakenly a terma by Orgyen Lingpa. However, no matter how you examine the verbiage and meaning, it is unlike authentic terma teachings. For example, the assertion that Guru Rinpoche had a son and the predictions of people who later appeared I personally find implausible. The various versions of Padma Kathang are for the most part comprised of the teachings of Master Padmasambhava. Of course they possess great blessings, but it is simply hard for me to regard them as reliable historical sources.
In general, it is impossible for ordinary people to measure buddhas and great siddhas who can transform time, show numerous manifestations of their bodily form, and display inconceivable kinds of miracles. Sometimes a single teaching or deed of the Buddha is perceived in different ways by various disciples due to their capacity and caliber. For instance, when the Buddha displayed the great miracles, Hinayana followers saw them as lasting only one day while the people of the Mahayana perceived them for half a month.
People generally accept only three turnings of the wheel of the Dharma. Yet, extraordinary people saw the Buddha give an inconceivable number of other teachings, such as the Avatamsaka, Kalachakra, and so forth. Until one attains the eye of Dharma, it is inappropriate to try to judge the Buddhadharma or other people.
Here is a story to illustrate the huge difference between the scope of perception of Hinayana and Mahayana:
Once noble Manjushri had spent the rainy season retreat in the company of King Salgyal's assemblage of queens. Later, Mahakashyapa criticized him, sounded the gong, and said, "Bodhisattva, you offender, don't stay among the sangha of monks!" The Buddha himself then exhorted Manjushri to reveal the power of his qualities. By his power, it was seen how a Manjushri was present near each buddha in each realm in the ten directions. It was also seen that a Mahakashyapa was sounding a gong in each realm as well. The Blessed One then said, "Mahakashyapa, are you going to expel all these forms of Manjushri or only this one?" Mahakashyapa felt remorse. He wanted to throw down the gong but was unable to do so. The gong itself continued to sound. Asking the Buddha for forgiveness, the Buddha told him to ask forgiveness from Manjushri.
According to this story, when even a great arhat like Mahakashyapa is unable to judge the character of another person, how can ordinary people like ourselves do so? It is really important to avoid creating more obscurations!
Padmasambhava's Level of Realization
The Great Master of Uddiyana said that he was not an explicit buddha but a buddha who had attained the four results of spiritual practice. Some people, displeased with that statement, made various objections. It does not lie within my power to present a claim about whether Padmasambhava specifically realized the fruition of an arhat. Yet, the position of the Nyingma School on this definitely is that he is an embodiment of the compassion of all the buddhas of the ten directions. Padmasambhava appeared as a nirmanakaya to tame the beings of the dark age. This is not just our personal opinion that we stubbornly uphold with deluded obsession. The Great Master was foretold by the Buddha himself. There is no need to elaborate on this or to define him as an ordinary person who had to journey the path in stages, such as achieving the result of an arhat or a pratyekabuddha.
Padmasambhava's Five Superior Qualities
Buddha Shakyamuni extolled the virtues of the forthcoming incarnation Padmasambhava. He described him as possessing five qualities that made him superior to other emanations of the buddhas. The following quotation is from the Nirvana Sutra.
Kyeho! Listen, whole retinue, with one-pointed mind.
This emanation of myself
Will be superior to other emanations in the three times.
Not subject to age and decline,
His eminent form will be superior to other emanations.
From the very first vanquishing the four maras,
His wrathful power will be superior to other emanations.
Teaching the greater vehicle of buddhahood in one lifetime,
His realization will be superior to other emanations.
Converting the central and surrounding lands of the Jambu continent,
His benefit for beings will be superior to other emanations.
Beyond passing away in this Good Aeon,
His life span will be superior to other emanations.
This is because he is an emanation of Amitabha.
The line that mentions Padmasambhava "teaching the greater vehicle of buddhahood in one lifetime" does not mean that he attained enlightenment in one life. It means that Padmasambhava is superior by being someone who teaches the profound instructions of Secret Mantra through which buddhahood can be attained in this very body and lifetime.
Primordial Buddhahood According to Vajrayana
According to the Nyingma School, the ultimate source of
all buddhas is called Buddha Unchanging Light. This buddha is all-encompassing
wakefulness, the realization of all the victorious ones
throughout the three times without a single exception. This wakefulness is primordially beyond delusion, the original state of supreme and changeless great bliss that transcends the confines of mental constructs. It is also known as the dharmakaya Samantabhadra, the great forefather of all the buddhas.
The unceasing, natural expression of this wakefulness manifests as wisdom forms, free from obscuration. These wisdom forms are Buddha Vajradhara, the victorious ones of the five families of sambhogakaya, and so forth who are endowed with the seven aspects of union. They can only be perceived by the great bodhisattvas on the ten levels.
The compassionate energy of the sambhogakaya buddhas appears as a magical display. This display is inexhaustible and unending, the incarnate emanations and the nirmanakayas of supreme enlightenment, such as Buddha Shakyamuni. This display of emanations appears unceasingly for as long as there are sentient beings to be benefited.
In this way all the infinite mandalas of the victorious ones in the ten directions and in particular in this Saha world-system, as exemplified by the thousand buddhas who successively appear during the Good Aeon, are of one identity in being the vast dharmadhatu of innate wakefulness. The magical display of emanations simply appears according to those who have the fortune to be influenced. Such buddhas are not ordinary people, who necessarily must attain enlightenment through traversing the path gradually.
If this is truly so, one might question the Mahayana sutras that say the Buddha first aroused the intent to attain supreme enlightenment, next he gathered the accumulations of merit and wisdom during three incalculable aeons, and finally he attained buddhahood while enacting the twelve deeds. The answer is that those Mahayana teachings were an exercise in expedient meaning for the benefit of ordinary disciples to communicate that each action yields a particular result.
Just like Buddha Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava was an emanation of all the buddhas. Padmasambhava appeared to convert the beings of the dark age, like the moonlight of compassion on the lake of the disciple's faith.' From this angle, the debates about whether he was born from a womb or appeared miraculously, whether he attained the level of an arhat, and whether he became enlightened within one lifetime or the like—all such refutations and affirmations are like a child trying to fathom the sky.
Most important and trustworthy are the words of the Buddha: "Rely not on the expedient but on the definitive meaning. Rely not on the conditioned but on the unconditioned. Rely not on the words but on the meaning."
How Padmasambhava Received Empowerment
As mentioned earlier, we should keep in mind that Guru Rinpoche was not an ordinary person. To begin with, when he was born from a lotus flower in Danakosha, all the eight classes of gods and demons of this world-system paid homage to him and presented offerings. The victorious ones of the ten directions appeared, like cloud banks assembling, and conferred empowerments and blessings upon him.
Not only did he receive empowerment for Yoga Tantra from the master Prabhahasti, but later while residing in the eight great charnel grounds he had the complete teachings of the Three Inner Tantras of Secret Mantra clarified by Garab Dorje, Manjushrimitra, Shri Singha, the dakini Leykyi Wangmo, and many other great masters. In addition, he journeyed to the dharmadhatu palace of Akanishtha where he received the Three Inner Tantras in the presence of the teachers of the three kayas, Samantabhadra, Vajradhara, and Vajrasattva.
When Padmasambhava went to Maratika and engaged in the sadhana of longevity, his aim was not to attain immortality out of fear of birth and death, but to bring benefit to future generations of followers. Acting as if practicing the sadhana of longevity, he then received the tantras, sadhanas, and oral instructions from Buddha Amitayus and accomplished an immortal body. Not only Padmasambhava himself, but also Princess Mandarava reached this attainment. She became renowned as the single mother and queen of siddhas and had numerous followers. The practices she taught are still applied by the New Schools.
This was just one example of how Padmasambhava manifested the attainment of the vidyadhara level of longevity. The three other vidyadhara levels to be accomplished according to the Nyingma School are the vidyadhara level of maturation, the vidyadhara level of mahamudra, and the vidyadhara level of spontaneous perfection.
Much detailed analysis can be made about the exact time King Trisong Deutsen invited the Great Master and when Samye was built. Other issues to be raised are whether Padmakara remained secretly ruling the country for some years after the king passed away at the age of fifty-six, how long Master Padma stayed during the reign of Prince Lhasey, whether Guru Rinpoche consecrated the Vajradhatu Temple at Karchung after its completion, and what he was doing while the dispute broke out between the systems of Indian and Chinese Buddhism.
The truth is that the numerous well-known historical writings all differ on many points, and it is hard to decide on which to rely. It is also difficult to discern whether the statements made in the Kathang are corrupt or authentic, so we are still in want of reliable
Nevertheless, historical narrations from the uncorrupted terma teachings of the Nyingma School mention that Trisong Deutsen was born in the Year of the Horse. At the age of seventeen he gave rise to the thought of Dharma and invited the pandita Shantarakshita to lay the foundation for a temple. When hostile gods and demons interrupted the building, Shantarakshita proclaimed that Guru Rinpoche should be invited.
Padmasambhava arrived in the later part of the Year of the Tiger and tamed the building site. The foundation was established in the Year of the Rabbit, and the construction then went on for five years. The consecration was celebrated for a whole twelve-year cycle.
While the Buddhadharma was being translated, the Great Master spent approximately ten years at Samye and Chimphu. He brought worthy disciples to ripening and liberation. Moreover, there are convincing descriptions that he stayed in all the sadhana places of the country of Tibet.
Padmasambhava was not present during the dispute between the Indian and Chinese systems. Shantarakshita predicted a certain master by the name of Kamalashila was predestined to solve that conflict and should therefore be invited to Tibet. After Kamalashila defeated the Chinese teacher Hashang, he reestablished the earlier system of the Buddhadharma.
To ensure that Trisong Deutsen's life span would last for as long as the sun and moon would shine, Padmakara prepared the empowerment and elixir of longevity. But when he was about to present it to the king, some evil ministers protested and the auspicious coincidence was undone. Later, the king regretted this and made another request. By receiving the empowerment of longevity, his life was extended for thirteen years. Although he was not meant to live for more than fifty-six years, he remained till the age of sixty-nine.
Prince Muney Tsenpo, the oldest of the king's three sons, was then placed on the throne. He established four major places to worship the Tripitaka and the abhisambodhi. He attempted the remarkable feat of equalizing rich and poor. Later, he was poisoned by his own mother.
The middle son was known under the names of Mutig Tseypo, Muri Tsenpo, Hutse Tsenpo, or as Lekpey Lodro, the name he was given by Padmasambhava. He was young but dignified. He was enthroned at the age of thirteen. He became known as Seyna-lek Jing-yon, and he built the nine-storied Vajradhatu Temple at Karchung. His queen, Ngangchungma, had the Tsenthang Temple in Yarlung constructed. Padmakara consecrated both temples.9
The youngest son was Murub Tseypo or Prince Virtuous Protector. Padmasambhava gave him the name Prince Damdzin. He was strong-headed and wrathful. He became a general and was appointed to the task of guarding the borders in the four directions. After he had brought all enemies under his command, on his return, he had a fight with a minister's son. The son died and Prince Damdzin was sentenced to exile in the district of Kongrong for nine years.
Mutig Tseypo was young and had great faith in Padmasambhava. He asked for advice in all matters. That is the reason Master Padma is said to have ruled the kingdom. Padmasambhava stayed for three years during the reign of Mutig Tseypo.
Prince Lhajey was the oldest of Mutig Tseypo's five sons and received many oral instructions and predictions from Padmakara. Both he and his brother Lhundrub died at an early age. The third son, Tsangma, took ordination as a monk. Since Langdarma was unsuitable to rule, Tri Ralpachen was later appointed king. Most of the historical sources agree on this. Anyhow, Padmasambhava left Tibet while Prince Mutig was still young.
The Dependency of Perception
Of course it is impossible for any ordinary person to measure fully the virtuous qualities of even a single pore of the Buddha's body, since it defies the reach of ordinary thought. The inconsistencies and dissimilarities in the life stories of enlightened beings come about because those beings are perceived differently by the different levels of people who are to be influenced. It is therefore totally inappropriate to make fixed generalizations.
In the past, the buddha by the name Indomitable appeared with a body the size of eighty cubits, while the tathagata King of Stars was the size of one inch. The sugata Boundless Life lived for one hundred billion years while the sugata Lord of Assemblies appeared as living for just one day. These buddhas were definitely unlike
ordinary people who have different life spans and degrees of merit. The buddhas appeared in those ways because of the different karmic perceptions of the different followers.
The superior qualities of our teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni, were perceived in varying ways, respectively, by common people, the shravaka followers of Hinayana, and the bodhisattva followers of Mahayana. Devadatta and the heretics perceived the Buddha only with their impure thoughts. This does not mean that the Buddha himself had different degrees of qualities, but only proves the individual perceptions of different people.
Master Padma was a supreme nirmanakaya. He appeared free from faults and fully endowed with all eminent qualities. He surely does not remain within the reach of people's solid fixation on a permanent reality, but appeared according to those to be tamed. Consequently, the clinging to absolutes concerning whether he took birth from a womb or was born miraculously, whether his different names and deeds in the Indian countries agree with one another, whether there are inconsistencies in the duration he remained in Tibet and so forth are nothing but causes to exhaust oneself and prove one's ignorance while attempting to conform the inconceivable to fit within the confines of conceptual thinking.
The Great Master expressed the real essence of this in his advice named the Precious Garland of Gold:
I, Padmakara, came to benefit Tibet.
By miraculous displays, I have tamed the vicious splrlts
And established many destined people on the path of ripening and liberation.
The profound terma teachings shall fill Tibet and Kham with siddhas.
Pass and valley, mountain and cave, everywhere down to the size of a hoof,
I have consecrated to be a place of sadhana.
Creating the auspicious coincidence for lasting peace in Tibet and Kham,
I shall nurture beings with an unceasing stream of emanations.
My kindness to Tibet is great but it will not be appreciated.
Padmakara also said:
In the future, some incorrigible people with wrong views,
Foolish and corrupt, with the pretense of learning,
Babbling self-praise and disdain for others,
Will claim that I, Padma, did not stay long in Tibet.
Some will say that I stayed one month, some will say two weeks,
Some will claim that the Master of Uddiyana returned
With a load of gold after ten days.
That is not true; I stayed for one hundred and eleven years.
In all of Tibet, center and border land, the three valleys, down to the size of one arm span,
There is not any place I didn't visit.
Intelligent people, have trust when you discern
Whether I protect Tibet with kindness!
He also said:
Once in the future, some haughty and ignorant peoplePrologue
Will claim that Padmakara the Youngsr came to Tibet
While Padmakara the Elder never arrived in Tibet.
There is not a Younger and an Elder; in essence they are the same.
Just let people with wrong views say what they want.
If you have faith and devotion, supplicate me constantly.
You will then receive the blessings, people of future generations.
This is how Padmasambhava spoke, and in that I have full trust.
Homage to the divinities of the three kayas:
To dharmakaya Amitabha,
To sambhogakaya Great Compassion, noble Avalokiteshvara,
And to nirrnanakaya Padrnasambhava
THE NIRMANAKAYA PADMASAMBHAVA was emanated by Buddha Amitabha for the benefit of beings from Sukhavati in the western direction, a realm superior to all pure realms. He was emanated to the southern Jambu continent in this Saha world-system, the domain of the nirmanakaya Shakyamuni, into the countries of Uddiyana and India, and especially to Tibet, so that noble Avalokiteshvara could tame the entire Land of Snow.
If you ask with which supreme qualities this Lotus-Born nirmanakaya was endowed and what were the details of his life, then I shall describe them as follows.
IN THE WESTERN DIRECTION OF INDIA, in the country of glorious Uddiyana, in the city called Glowing Jewels, there was a palace of lapis lazali decorated with many kinds of precious substances. Within this palace lived the Dharma king Indrabodhi, who ruled his kingdom from a great throne of shining gems, surrounded by his hundred and eight queens, his inner, outer, and intermediate ministers, as well as innumerable servants.
As the king was without a son, he bade all the court chaplains to assemble and perform an extensive offering ceremony before the three jewels on the fifteenth day of the first month of summer. Having recited once the Cloud of Dharma Sutra, the king promised to perform a great act of generosity to benefit all.
Many years passed during which he gave out the wealth of his treasury as alms, and the treasury drew close to empty. The flow of giving ceased, but the flow of beggars did not cease.
The ministers said, "The treasury is completely emptied and there is nothing left."
But the beggars retorted, "If that is so and you do not give us anything, all the alms previously given to others will have been in vain.
The king then reflected, "On an island in the great ocean lives the naga king's daughter known as Lovely Maiden, in whose possession there is a precious jewel that knows no limits for granting all needs and wants. She will give it if asked by a bodhisattva practicing generosity for the sake of Dharma. I must therefore request it and continue to give alms to the people." Thinking this, he had a
PA D M A S A M B H A V A then went to the Vajra Seat in India. Sometimes he transformed himself into many hundreds of monks making offerings to the shrine, sometimes into many hundreds of yogis performing various practices. The people, therefore, asked him who his master was, whereto he replied:
I have no father and I have no mother.Everyone became doubtful and said, "Someone who displays miracles without having a teacher must be a demon."
I have no teacher nor do I have a master.
I have no caste and I have no name.
I am a self-appeared buddha.
Master Padma reflected, "Although I am a self-appeared nirmanakaya, to show future generations the necessity of a master, I must act as if seeking all the outer and inner teachings of Secret Mantra from the learned and accomplished masters of India."
Thinking this, he went toward the dwelling of Master Prabhahasti. On the road, he met the two monks Shakyamaitri and Shakyamitra, who were on their way to receive teachings from Master Prabhahasti. After paying homage, he requested teachings from them.
The two monks thought, "The rakshasa demon has come back!", and they became frightened.
Padmasambhava said, "I am not doing any more evil actions; please accept me."
They answered, "If that is so, first give us your weapons." Then he handed over the bow and iron arrows. The monks said, "The time has not come for us to teach you. Go to Red Rock Garuda where our master Prabhahasti lives."
He arrived before Prabhahasti, from whom he received ordination and was named Shakya Senge. The master taught him the three great sections of Yoga Tantra: Sundha Jnanaya, Yogacharyava, and Tattvasamgraha. Although he understood these scriptures the moment they were taught, he studied them eighteen times in the pretense of purifying obscurations. At the same time, even without having practiced, he had visions of the thirty-seven divinities of Yoga Tantra.
Shakya Senge reflected, "I will practice the teaching of Mahayoga and accomplish both the vidyadhara level of longevity and the supreme vidyadhara level of mahamudra." Thinking thus, he went to the great master Manjushrimitra who was living at Mount Malaya.
He requested the teaching, but the master said, "The time is not yet right for me to teach you. You must go to the charnel ground named Sandal Grove where the nun Kungamo lives. She is a wisdom dakini endowed with great blessings and skilled in conferring the outer, inner, and secret empowerments. Go there and request the empowerments." Thus he was instructed.
Shakya Senge then went to charnel ground Sandal Grove where he met the maid Young Damsel, who was fetching water. He presented the letter requesting the bestowal of the outer, inner, and secret empowerments. Having gotten no response, he asked, "Have you forgotten my message?" Still, she did not utter a word, so Master Padma applied his power of concentration, nailing down her buckets and crossbar.
Being unable to lift the buckets, she drew a white crystal knife from her waist and said, "You have quite some power, but I can do something more amazing!" Exclaiming these words, she cut open her chest revealing the forty-two peaceful deities in her upper part and the fifty-eight herakas of wrathful deities in her lower torso, thus vividly displaying the hundred peaceful and wrathful divinities.
"She must be the nun," he thought and began to pay her homage and to circumambulate her.
Yet, she said, "I am just a maid-servant. Go inside."
He went inside and met the nun Kungamo, who was seated on a throne. Flanked by dakas she wore bone ornaments and held a skull cup and a wooden drum in her hands. Surrounded by thirty-three maidens, she was performing a feast offering. After having offered a mandala, prostrating, and circumambulating Kungamo, he requested the outer, inner, and secret empowerments. She then turned Shakya Senge into the syllable HUNG and, swallowing him, she conferred the empowerments within the mandala of her body. Emitting the HUNG through the secret lotus, she purlfied the obscurations of his body, speech, and mind.
Empowering him externally as Buddha Amitabha, Kungamo gave the blessing to attain the vidyadhara level of longevity. Empowering him internally as the noble Avalokiteshvara, she gave the blessing to attain the vidyadhara level of mahamudra. Empowering him secretly as glorious Hayagriva, she blessed him to magnetize all the mamo dakinis, worldly devas, and haughty demon spirits. Finally, she also gave him the secret name of Loden Chogsey.
Loden Chogsey went back before Manjushrimitra, with whom he studied all the inner and outer teachings of Manjushri. Following this, he had a vision of Manjushri. Then, he journeyed to the master Humkara and studied all the teachings of Vishuddha. From the great master Prabhahasti, Loden Chogsey received all the teachings of Vajra Kilaya and had a vision of the Kilaya deities. Afterward, he proceeded to the great master Nagarjuna, where he learned all the causal philosophical teachings and the teachings on Lotus Speech. Having gone before the great master Buddhaguhya, he studied all the teachings on the magical display of the peaceful and wrathful ones. Later, he traveled to the great master Mahavajra and received all the teachings on Nectar Quality. Having gone before the great master Dhana Sanskrita, he learned all the teachings on the universal Mother Deities. Next, he went before the great master Rombuguhya Devachandra, with whom he studied all the teachings on Mundane Worship. Having gone before the great master Shantigarbha, he received all the teachings on the Maledictory Fierce Mantra and the fierce and subjugating mantras of the guardians of the Dharma. Later, he journeyed to the great master Shri Singha, with whom he studied all the teachings on the sacred Great Perfection. He gained immediate comprehension of these teachings and, without having to practice, he had visions of all the deities. He was now famed under the name Loden Chogsey.
This was the third chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, on how he followed his gurus, received teachings, and showed the manner of mind-training.
KAWA PALTSEK, CHOKRO LUI GYALTSEN, and other Tibetan Dharma teachers then asked, "Master, as you intend to leave for India and will not remain here any longer, how should the Tibetan Dharma teachers of future generations behave?"
Master Padma replied:
Spiritual teachers of Tibet who are educated and endowed with good qualities,
You should carefully study reading and writing, listen to teachings, and reflect upon them
In the presence of a learned and accomplished master.
Thoroughly train in all the teachings of the different vehicles,
The Tripitaka and the outer and inner Secret Mantra.
Train also adequately in the five sciences
In order to study all the topics of knowledge.
When you become an object of other people's respect
And get involved in the distraction of meritorious deeds,
Abandon pride, conceit, and jealousy
And do not engage in acts of self-aggrandizement.
Act according to the words that you preach.
Conduct yourself according to the Dharma and in harmony with all people.
Cast away the misdeed of envy,
Such as declaring "I am learned and he is not."
Teach whoever wants to learn
The particular Dharma teaching of his interest.
Serve your master and teachers
With respectful body, speech, and mind.
Offer whatever you possess, wealth, food, and so forth.
Do not brag about your Dharma practice,
But ask and depend on those who are learned.
Do not pretend greatness, booming like an empty drum.
Instead, be full of the virtues of the Dharma.
Give up rivalry with your Dharma friends.
When you have acquired even the tiniest bit of knowledge,
Do not be conceited and ambitious,
Since the main point is to cherish everyone with compassion.
Don the armor of the four immeasurables.
Unless you tame your mind with the Dharma,
How can you possibly tame the minds of others?
Be learned and control your emotions.
I, Padmakara, am now taking leave,
Whether you live in the present or will appear in the future,
Dharma teachers of future generations, keep this in your hearts.
Thus he gave instructions.
This was the twenty-seventh chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how Master Padma gave his last words to the Dharma teachers of Tibet.
SANGYE YESHE and other Tibetan tantrikas then asked, "Master, as you intend to leave for India and will not remain here any longer, how should the Tibetan tantrikas of future generations behave?"
Master Padma replied:
Tibetan tantrikas who enter the gate of Secret Mantra,Thus he gave instructions.
Seek an accomplished master, the root of Secret Mantra.
Through the steps of empowerments, open the door to Secret Mantra.
Observe correctly your sacred commitments, the life-force of Secret Mantra.
Regard the vajra master as precious as your head.
Possess the yidam deity like the heart in your chest.
Keep constant company with dakinis and protectors like the shadow of your body.
Guard the profound Secret Mantra like your eyes.
Retain the profound essence mantra like your breath.
Value the profound development and completion as dearly as your body and life.
Soar through the view, meditation, conduct, and fruition.
Forsake the ten nonvirtues and cultivate the ten virtues.
Be ready to sacrifice your life for the sake of the Dharma.
As most vital, endeavor in approach and accomplishment.
At the new and full moon, the eighth and the twenty-third,
Perform feast and torma offerings, do fulfillment rituals and petitions to the protectors.
Do not be frivolous and presumptuous, but follow an excellent master.
Do not let your sadhana become shamanism, but chant according to the meditation.
Pursue the approach and accomplishment and the four activities in the correct manner.
Give up doubt and hesitation about the Secret Mantra.
Neither trade the Secret Mantra for wealth nor proliferate it.
Once you reach accomplishment, the powers spontaneously appear.
I, Padmakara, am now taking leave,
Whether you live in the present or will appear in the future,
Tibetan tantrikas of future generations, keep this in your hearts.
This was the twenty-eighth chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how Master Padma gave his last words to the tantrikas of Tibet.
KYEMEY TOKDRÖL OF SHANG and other Tibetan meditators then asked, "Master, as you intend to leave for India and will not remain here any longer, how should the Tibetan meditators of future generations behave?"
Master Padma replied:
Meditators of Tibet who practice samadhi as most important,Thus he gave instructions.
To resolve the view, ask those who have realization.
To practice meditation, listen to those who have experience and understanding.
To engage in conduct, mingle meditation and post-meditation.
Realize the fruition of the three kayas to be your own awareness.
As a reminder, read the Buddha's words and the tantras, scriptures, and instructions.
Do not get entranced by words; instead, scrutinize their meaning.
Follow an eminent master who possesses the oral instructions.
The meditator with vast learning will not go astray.
While lacking true confidence, do not exhibit the guise of a meditator.
To cut through doubt, depend upon accomplished masters.
While ignorant, do not act with hypocrisy.
When abiding in the equanimity of dharmata,
Do not succumb to the flaws of dullness and agitation.
Throughout day and night, meditate in the state of empty cognizance.
When insight into the nature of dharmata dawns in your being,
Turn all pleasure and pain into support for spiritual practice.
No matter how loving a spouse may be, a meditator should not employ her as a servant.
Though female disciples may offer pleasurable service and have strong devotion,
They also may become a cause for disgrace.
Followers and attendants can serve you well, but keep them far away.
Business and meritorious activities are severe obstacles.
Take your mind as witness and avoid distractions.
The meditator who follows this advice is the heart of the victorious ones in human form.
I, Padmakara, am now taking leave,
Whether you live in the present or will appear in the future,
Tibetan meditators of future generations, keep this in your hearts.
This was the twenty-ninth chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how Master Padma gave his last words to the meditators of Tibet.
TRÜLSHIG OF NYANG and other Tibetan yogis then asked, "Master, as you intend to leave for India and will not remain here any longer, how should the Tibetan yogis of future generations behave?"
Master Padma replied:
Listen here, Tibetan yogis endowed with the confidence of view and meditation.Thus he gave instructions.
The real yogi is your unfabricated innate nature.
"Yogi" means to realize the wisdom of pure awareness.
That is how you truly obtain the name yogi.
Be free from ambition in the view; do not indulge in partiality.
Be free from reference point in the meditation; do not indulge in fixating your mind.
Be free from accepting and rejecting in the conduct; do not indulge in clinging to a self.
Be free from abandonment and attainment in the fruition; do not indulge in grasping to things as real.
Be free from limitation in keeping samaya; do not indulge in fraud and pretense.
Be free from bias toward the Buddhadharma; do not indulge in scholastic sectarianism.
Appearances are delusion; do not indulge in ordinariness
Food is merely to sustain your life-force; do not grovel for food.
Wealth is illusory; do not indulge in craving.
Clothes are to protect you from cold; do not indulge in opulent fashions.
Equality is nondual; do not indulge in intimate companions.
Be free from preference to country; do not indulge in a homeland.
Make your dwelling an empty cave; do not indulge in monastic life.
Do your practice in solitude; do not indulge in social gatherings.
Be detached and free from clinging; do not indulge in attachment.
Be a self-liberated yogi; do not indulge in charlatanism.
I, Padmakara, am now taking leave,
Whether you live in the present or will appear in the future,
Tibetan yogis of future generations, keep this in your hearts.
This was the thirtieth chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how Master Padma gave his last words to the yogis of Tibet.
VAIROCHANA and other masters and disciples then asked, "Master, as you intend to leave for India and will not remain here any longer, how should the Tibetan masters of future generations behave?"
Master Padma replied:
Listen, Tibetan masters and disciples who form a dharmic link.Thus he gave instructions.
At first, the masters should train in reaching perfection in learning.
Next, they should bring forth signs of accomplishment by being diligent in practice.
Finally, with bodhichitta, they should act impartially for the welfare of beings.
Masters, possess the confidence of having resolved the view.
Lay the basis of never violating your sacred commitments
And obtain the empowerments and reading transmissions as well as teachings on the two stages.
Practice while uniting samadhi and discriminating knowledge.
Conclude your sessions by implementing skillful action.
Be a master who has perfected the six limits of Secret Mantra.
The disciples who seek a master
Should examine the master and search for someone endowed with the qualities of learning and accomplishment.
Offer pleasing gifts and respectfully request the instructions.
Be persevering in the Dharma practices of learning, reflection, and meditation.
Receive empowerments and reading transmissions and request the complete teachings on the two stages.
By exerting yourself in practice, accomplish your own welfare.
Once you manifest signs of accomplishment, then undertake benefiting others.
When the master neglects examining the disciple, he forms dharmic links with unworthy people.
The disciple who fails to examine the master forms a dharmic link of no substance.
Even practicing will yield no result, when lacking the blessings of the Dharma.
The master and the disciple who do not keep the samayas are like calves yoked together falling into an abyss.
Reaping the reward of the hells, there will be no chance for liberation.
Masters and disciples, do not act like this but examine each other!
The disciples should have strong faith, devotion, and possess compassion.
Regarding your master as a buddha, keep pure perception.
Engender a respectful attitude and be free from arrogance and conceit.
Be most generous and diligent without procrastination.
Master, to such disciples teach the complete oral instructions.
Some people grovel for teachings with flattery and ingratiation.
Inflated and self-aggrandizing, they act with conceited arrogance.
Unable to give, they are deceitful and hypocritical.
If you teach such unworthy people, your samayas will be violated.
I, Padmakara, am now taking leave,
Whether you live in the present or will appear in the future,
Masters and disciples, keep this in your hearts.
This was the thirty-fifth chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how Master Padma gave his last words to the Tibetan masters and disciples who form dharmic links.
MASTER PADMAKARA THEN TOLD the Tibetan prince and the ministers, "The Lord of Great Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, continuously looks upon the six classes of beings with compassion. Compassion means affection, and the compassion that has sentient beings as its focus is directed toward the six classes of beings, like the affection of a mother toward her only child. Avalokiteshvara gazes with overwhelming compassion toward all the six classes of sentient beings, who are tormented by misery.
The compassion that has the Dharma as its focus is the six syllables of OM MANI PADME HUNG.
OM pacifies the suffering of the transmigration that the gods experience and makes them attain happiness.
MA pacifies the suffering caused by fighting that demigods perpetuate and makes them attain happiness.
Nl pacifies the suffering of serfdom and poverty that human beings undergo and makes them attain happiness.
PAD pacifies the suffering of stupidity that animals endure and makes them attain happiness.
ME pacifies the suffering of hunger and thirst that hungry ghosts experience and makes them attain happiness.
HUNG pacifies the suffering of heat and cold that hell beings perceive and makes them attain happiness.
If all of you, headed by the king, practice the ten virtues, you will achieve the state of a god in the higher realms. But, although you attain godhood, you have not transcended suffering. When the life span of a god finishes, he experiences the misery of falling and transmigration. His body begins to emit unpleasant odors, and the radiance of his form fades away. His crops that previously grew without cultivation wither, and his bathing pools dry up. His precious steeds and wish-granting cattle run away. The Lord of Great Compassion sees this overwhelming suffering of the god, who, through his superknowledge, perceives that his divine merit is exhausted and that he is about to fall down into the lower realms.
By chiefly engaging in nonvirtues such as hatred and envy, you will be born as demigods. When the gods and demigods fight, since the gods have greater merit, the demigods lose. The demigods are cut, wounded, killed, and struck down by the wheel-like weapons of the gods. In addition, they fight and argue amongst themselves, undergoing intense and overwhelming misery. They are also aware that when they die they will go to the lower realms. Their suffering is immense.
Though you are born as a human being you are not beyond suffering. To begin with, before birth there is the suffering of being inside your mother's womb, where is it like being thrown into an abyss when your mother is lifting; like being squashed between cliffs when your mother is full of food; like fluttering in the wind when your mother is standing up; like being suppressed by a mountain when your mother is lying down; like being torn apart when your mother is working hard, gets up, or sits down; like being strangled when taking birth; like being thrown into a heap of thorns when laid down; and like a bird being carried off by a hawk when your mother takes you up again.
As you grow older there are an inconceivable number of sufferings, such as cultivating fields, working, striving, trying to accomplish something, traveling, living, being unfree and destitute, and so forth.
For the suffering of old age, the bodily elements become depleted, your complexion fades away, and the sense faculties degenerate. Your eyesight grows dim and your ears deaf; your nose dribbles, your teeth fall out, and your tongue stutters; you cannot support yourself when standing and sink down when sitting; you are repulsive to your children and to other people. You agonize in the misery of thinking "I am getting old!"
For the suffering of death, your body, cherished so dearly, is left behind. You are separated from companions and friends. No matter how much wealth or how many possessions you had, you cannot take them along. Literally thrown out by your children and servants, your body will be cast away like a stone. Then follows the misery of thinking "My consciousness must now go to the lower realms!"
Before dying, there is the distress of not achieving what you have been striving for and the pain of feeling hungry and exhausted, the misery of being unable to maintain and protect what you already possess, the all-consuming fear of being unable to face your enemies, the immense worry of being unable to take care of your family, the worry of not being able to support your son, the worry of being unable to marry off your daughter, and the pain of being busy and exhausted by constant field work.
By engaging in the ten nonvirtues, you will go to the lower realms, where you will be enmeshed in intense misery. Animals certainly have not gone beyond suffering; they are enslaved by the humans, put to plow, carry loads, and be slaughtered. Among the animals without an owner, deer get killed by hunters, fish by the fishermen, and the weak and timid are devoured by carnivorous animals, who also murder each other. In particular, the animals in the great oceans live as close together as particles of mash in rice beer; they eat one another; even the small insects eat larger animals, like bees feeding off horses and donkeys or flesh-eating insects. There is an inconceivable number of miseries.
The sentient beings reborn as hungry ghosts also are not beyond suffering. They perceive food as burning iron and drink as pus and blood. Their body gets scorched when they do try to eat something. Moreover, they have the misery of not finding food or drink and, even if they do find it, they are unable to swallow. If they succeed in forcing it down their throats, their bellies do not become full. Furthermore, there is guarded food that they have no power to eat or that somebody else comes to claim even if they do find. The hungry ghosts who live in the air have no power over themselves and inflict harm on humans. The types called shin and scrak die of their own sickness. Unable to find a cure, they pass their sickness on to humans. When others beat the drum and throw the grains of exorcism, they go through tremendous suffering.
The sentient beings who are reborn in the hells suffer heat and cold that surpass the imagination. As to the eight hot hells, in the Hell of Revival you die and are revived again one hundred times a day. In the Black Line Hell your body is marked with a measuring string after which the infernal workmen cut you in half with a saw. In the Hell of Crushing you are smashed with a pestle inside an iron mortar. In the Hell of Crying one cries out after being tied with a rope around your neck. In the Hell of Loud Crying one howls after being put inside a burning iron box. In the Hell of Heat you are boiled after being put into a copper pot that is the size of the sky. In the Hell of Intense Heat you are burned and boiled while being held with iron thongs. In the Unceasing Hell you are pressed down by the wind of karma so that there is not even an instant without unbearable pain.
As to the eight cold hells, in the Hell of Whimpering you freeze and make miserable noises. In the Hell of Blisters the wind of karma makes blisters spring forth. In the Hell of Oozing Blisters the blisters burst open and ooze pus. In the Hell of Chattering Teeth you freeze so much that your teeth chatter. In the Hell of Splitting Like a Blue Lotus you freeze so much that you split into four pieces. In the Hell of Splitting Like a Big Blue Lotus your body splits into eight pieces. In the Hell of Splitting Like a Red Lotus your body splits into sixteen pieces, and in the Hell of Splitting Like a Big Red Lotus you freeze so much that your body splits into thirty-two pieces.
In the Temporary Hells you suffer at day and die at nighttime.
In the Neighboring Hells you die one hundred times a day. As to the common sufferings, you have to walk knee deep in the Pit of Embers and have to go through the Swamp of Festering Corpses. Your flesh and bones are cut asunder on the Road of Razors, and swords shower down in the Rain of Swords. On the Shalmali of Iron your body is ripped and shreaded while you try to crawl up and down a mountain that has iron spikes the size of sixteen fingers. There are an inconceivable number of hellish sufferings.
In this way the Lord of Great Compassion, noble lord Avalokiteshvara, continuously perceives that sentient beings never transcend suffering.
The compassion that is beyond a focus is to perceive the interruption of the samsaric sufferings of the six classes of beings: OM MANI PADME HUNG. OM interrupts the abyss of rebirth as a god and empties the realm of gods. MA interrupts the abyss of rebirth as a demigod and empties the realm of demigods. Nl interrupts the abyss of rebirth as a human being and empties the realm of humans. PAD interrupts the abyss of rebirth as an animal and empties the realm of animals. ME interrupts the abyss of rebirth as a hungry ghost and empties the realm of hungry ghosts. HUNG interrupts the abyss of rebirth as a hell being and empties the realm of the hells. Having emptied the abodes of the six classes of beings, the realms of sarnsara are emptied into primordial purity. Thus, the Six Syllables, the quintessence of the Great Compassionate One, have the power to lead sentient beings to the buddhafields.
This was the thirty-eighth chapter in the immaculate life story of the Lotus-Born Master, telling how the Lord of Great Compassion gazes upon the six classes of sentient beings with the three types of compassion.
Chokgyur Lingpa. Wish-Fulling Tree. RNAM THAR DPAG BSAM LJON SHING. Included in the Chokling Tersar collection of rediscovered treasures. Translated by Keith Dowman (and Tulku Pema Wangyal, Taklung Tsetrül Rinpoche) in The Legend of thc Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 973.
Deep and Vast Chronicles. BKA' THANG ZAB RGYAS. Revealed by an unknown Bonpö tertön. Its four volumes make it the most extensive version of Guru Rinpoche's life story. Ven. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche mentioned that he read it when he was a child and he was amazed by its richness of detail. This scripture is yet to appear outside of Tibet.
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. Nyingma Chöjung. BOD SNGA RABS PA RNYING MA'l CHOS 'BYUNG LHA DBANG G.YUL LAS RGYAL BA'IRNGA BO CHE'I SGRA DBYANGS. A translation of this important historical work has been completed by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein in The Nyingma School: Its History and Fundamentals, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991.
Garland of Precious Jewels: The History of the Heart Essence of the Dakinis. MRHA' GRO SNYING THIG GI LO RGYUS RIN PO CHE'l PHRENG BA. In Khandro Nyingtig, vol. 2, which is within the Nyingtig Yabshi collection. The history of the transmission of the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet by Padmasambhava and their subsequent concealment as terma treasures.
Göl Lotsawa Shönnu Pal (1392-1481). The Blue Annals. DEB THER SNGON PO. Translated by George N. Roerich. Delhi: Motilal Banaisidass, 1976.
Great Replica. RJE BTSUN THAMS CHAD MKHYEN PA VAl RO TSA NA'l RNAM THAR 'DRA 'BAG CHEN MO. Dehra Dun, India: Khochen Tulku. Translated by Anila Jinpa Palmo and as yet unpublished. The detailed life story of the great translator Vairochana and the transmission of the Dzogchen teachings through the buddhas and vidyadharas, written by the chief disciples of Vairochana.
Guru Tashi Tobgyal (also known as Jangdag Karma Guru Chögyal Wangpo, 1550-1602). Ocean of Perfect Wonders: A Life Story of Padmasambhava. RIG 'DZIN GRUB PA'I DBANG PHYUG CHEN PO PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI RNAM PAR THAR PA NGO MTSHAR PHUN SUM TSHOGS PA'I RGYA MTSHO ZHES BYA BA 'GRO BA RANG GROL. Gangtok: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama, 1976. 19 chapters, 719 pages. This detailed version of Padmakara's life story is not a terma but a condensation of many other termas and biographies. In the colophon he mentions the following: The Ocean of Sindhura, the Longer and Shorter Chronicles of Ngadag Nyang, the Eleven Deeds of Padmakara by Guru Chöwang (1212-1270), the chronicles of Sangye Lingpa, Dorje Lingpa (1346-1405), Ratna Lingpa, and Orgyen Lingpa, the Longer and Shorter Nub Edition by Nubtön and Nub Gyalseypa, the Namthar Thorbuba written by Pema Lingpa, and the Secret Life Story of Guru Rinpoche written by Yeshe Tsogyal.
________________. Ocean of Wondrous Sayings to Delight
the Learned Ones. 5 vols. BSTAN PA'I SNYING PO GSANG CHEN SNGA 'GYUR
NGES DON ZAB MO'I CHOS RYI
'BYUNG BA GSAL BAR BYED PA'I LEGS BSHAD MKHAS PA DGA' BYED NGO MTSHAR GTAM GYI ROL MTSHO. New Delhi: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse. An immensely detailed Dharma history of the transmission of the teachings in the Nyingma School.
Gyurmey Tsewang Chogdrub of Kathog (18th century). Drum of the Gods. 2 vols. BDE BAR GSHEGS PA'I BSTAN PA THAMS CAD KYI SNYING PO RIG PA 'DZIN PA'I SDE SNOD RDO RJE THEG PA SNGA 'GYUR RGYUD 'BUM RIN PO CHE'I RTOGS PA BRJOD PA LHA'I RNGA BO CHE LTA BU'I GTAM. This major work forms the last volumes of the Nyingma Gyübum published by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Detailed history of the Nyingma tantras: How the teachers of the three kayas appeared, how the Buddhadharma appeared in this world, the translation of the tantras into Tibetan, a catalogue of the Nyingma Gyübum, and the benefits of republishing these tantras.
Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye (1813-1899).
of Knowledge. 3 vols.
SHES BYA RUN LA RHYAB PA'I GZHUNG LUGS NYUNG NGU'I TSHIG GIS RNAM PAR 'GROL BAR LEGS BSHAD YONGS 'DUS SHES BYA MTHA' YAS PA'I RGYA MTSHO. New Delhi: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. His autocommentary on the famous Treasury of Knowklge (Shes bye mdzod), a literary work of amazing scope and depth. A translation of this work was initiated by the Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche.
___________________________. Life Story of Padmasambhava. A short biography of Guru Rinpoche extracted from The Precious Garland of Lapis Lazuli, ZAB MO'I GTER DANG GTER STON GRUB THOB Jl LTAR BYON PA'I LO RGYUS RIN PO CHE BAI DUR-YA'I PHRENG BA, an explanation of termas and a collection of life stories of the 108 main tertöns written by Jamgön Kongtrül and found in his Rinchen Terdzö, vol. I. An English translation of this extract by Erik Pema Kunsang is included in Dakini Teachings, Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1990.
________________ Life Story of Vairochana. VAI RO RNAM THAR PADMA'I DGA' TSHAL. 71 pages. Short terma in poetic verse form. Included by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse in the Rinchen Terdzö.
_________________. Vajra Necklace: A Life Story of Padmasambhava GU RU'I RNAM THAR RDO RJE'I RGYAN PHRENG. Included by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse in the Rinchen Terdzö. 24 pages. Short terma in poetry.
Jigmey Lingpa (1729-1798). All-Pervading Adornment. DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS LEGS PAR GSUNGS PA'I GSUNG RAB RGYA MTSHO'I SNYING POR GYUR PA RIG PA 'DZIN PA'I SDE SNOD DAM SNGA 'GYUR RGYUD 'BUM RIN PO CHE'I RTOGS PA BRJOD PA 'DZAM GLING MTHA'I GRU RHYAB PA'I RGYAN. In Nyingma Gyübum, vol. 34, 671 pages.
Karma Chagmey (1613-1678). History, Meditation and Benefts of the Supplication in Seven Chapters. GSOL 'DEBS LE'U BDUN PA'I LO RGYUS DMIGS RIM PHAN YON DANG BCAS PA. 78 manuscript pages. An explanation of the seven famous supplications to Guru Rinpoche revealed by the hermit Sangpo Drakpa and given to the great tertön Rigdzin Gödem. The daily practice of these supplications embody the entire life-story of Padmasambhava, all his lineages of transmission, and all the levels of his teaching.
Kunga Dorje (1309-1364). Red Annals. DEB THER DMAR PO.
Lhatsün Ngönmo. Liberating History of the Great Stupa Jarung Khashor. MCHOD RTEN CHEN PO BYA RUNG RHA SHOR GYI LO RGYUS THOS PAS GROL BA. 59 pages. Published recently in India. Translated by Keith Dowman as The Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973.
Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363/4). Great History of Nyingtig. RDZOGS PA CHEN PO SNYNG THIG Gl LO RGYUS CHEN MO. In Vima Nyingtig, which is within the Nyingtig Yabshi collection. Explains the transmission of the Instruction Section of the Great Perfection from Buddha Samantabhadra through the Indian vidyadhara masters to Vimalamitra and the Tibetan lineage holders, until reaching Longchen Rabjam and the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje.
________________. Illuminating Sunlight: A Dharma History. 2 vols. CHOS 'BYUNG RIN PO CHE'I GTER MDZOD THUB BSTAN GSAL BAR BYED PA'I NYI 'OD. New Delhi: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse. The author quotes his name as being Gyalsey Thugchok Tsal.
_______________. Narration of the Precious Revelation of the Terma Treasures. GTER 'BYUNG RIN PO CHE'I LO RGYUS. In Khandro Yangtig, vol. OM. IOO pages. The historical background for the Khandro Nyingtig. In this work the Sanglingma is quoted at great length. This history also includes the Dzogchen lineage of Padmasambhava, from Buddha Samantabhadra to Shri Singha, his transmission of the Dzogchen teachings to the close disciples headed by Yeshe Tsogyal.
Mipham Jampal Gyepey Dorje (1846-1912). Essence of Accomplishment. DPAL SGRUB PA CHEN PO BKA' BRGYAD KYI SPYI DON RNAM PAR BSHAD PA DNGOS GRUB SNYING PO. Published by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the Collected Works of Mipham Rinpoche. A most wonderful explanation of the general meaning of the Eight Sadhana Teachings, combining the teachings transmitted through Garab Dorje, King Jah, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava, Vairochana, and Namkhai Nyingpo.
_____________________________. White Lotus Flower. PADMA DKAR PO. Darjeeling: Taklung Tsetrül Rinpoche. An explanation of the famous "Seven Line Supplication" to Padmasambhava.
Namkhai Nyingpo. Life Story of Yeshe Tsogyal BOD KYI JO MO YESHES MTSHO RGYAL GYI MDZAD TSHUL RNAM PAR THAR PA GAB PA MNGON BYUNG RGYUD MANG DRI ZA'I GLU PHRENG. Woodblock of the manuscript available at Sangdog Palri Temple in Kalimpong, India. Translated by Tarthang Tulku as Mother of Knowkdge, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983, and by Keith Dowman as Sky Dancer, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984.
Nyang Ral Nyima Öser (1124-1192). Historical Origin of the Teachings of the Assemblage of Sugatas. BDE GSHEGS 'DUS PA'I BKAI BYUNG TSHUL. Published by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche in Eight Sadhana Teachings of the Dharma Cycle of the Assemblage of Sugatas (BKA' BRGYAD BDE GSHEGS 'DUS PA'I CHOS SKOR), vol. , 41 pages. This terma scripture is the detailed account of how the Eight Sadhana Teachings were transmitted from Buddha Samantabhadra to Dharmavajra, the dakini Leykyi Wangmo, the eight Indian vidyadharas and Padmasambhava, and then to the eight Tibetan disciples. Also included is a detailed list of the tantras received by the vidyadharas and the scriptures contained in the Assemblage of Sugatas.
____________________. Honey from the Center of the Flower: A Dharma History. CHOS'BYUNG ME TOG SNYING PO SBRANG RTSII BCUD. Published by VGH Wissenschaftverlag, 1985. 459 pages. One of the oldest historical narrations of the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet, with special emphasis on the life and teachings of Padmasambhava. Two additional versions of this scripture were published by Lama Tenpa by the order of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse.
____________________. Immaculate Legacy. SPRUL SRU MNGA' BDAG CHEN PO'I SKYES RABS RNAM THAR DRI MA MED PA'I BKA' RGYA CAN. 163 pages. Narration of fifteen former lives of Nyang Ral Nyima Öser, spoken to his chief disciples and written down by Migyur Dorje, a yogi from Central Tibet. These fifteen incarnations include King Trisong Deutsen, a son of the god Indra named Prince Boundless Radiance, the Tibetan king Ralpachen, the Indian prince Chöden, the Indian prince Mahayana, a prince in Uddiyana named Dharma Shvadha, the Nepalese prince Dharmaraja, Prince Udarphala in the country of Singala, Prince Enang-O in Lower Dokham, the Indian prince Dharimuka, Adharipa in the country of Li, Shvadha Garpa in China, Rinchen Jungney in the district of Latö Burang, Prince Shri Singha in the country of Sahor, Prince Purna Tri to the east of Bodhgaya, and finally the great tertön master Nyang Ral Nyima Öser.
______________. Sanglingma Life Story. SLOB DPON
PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI SKYES RABS CHOS 'BYUNG NOR BU'I PHRENG BA, RNAM
THAR ZANGS GLING MA'O.
Included by Jamgon Kongtrul in the Rinckn Terdo. 41 chapters, 202 pages. The first known terma biography. The Sanglingma exists also in a longer version of 286 pages. This version, also revealed by Lord Nyang, is so far unpublished, but is found at the National Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, under the title U RGYAN GU RU PADMA 'BYUNG GNAS RYI RNAM THAR 'BRING PO ZANGS GLING MAR GRAGS PA. The Sanglingma is also present in an extensive 2 vol. version, which was banned in Central Tibet due to some clear and damaging predictions about certain ministers' involvement in the decline of Buddhism in Tibet in the twentieth century. This version of 1260 pages was found in the Mustang region of Nepal and is also available at the National Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Orgyen Lingpa (1329-l367 or 1360). Concise Chronicle. Also known as Kathang Düpa. 0 RGYAN PAD-MA'I BKA' THANG BSDUS PA. 16 chapters plus predictions, 38 small pages. Written down by Vairochana and later revealed from a terma treasure by Orgyen Lingpa at Samye Chimphu. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang in an unpublished manuscript using a print from woodblocks kept at Thodung Gompa in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal.
________________. Five Chronicles. BKA' THANG SDE LNGA. Five sections in 853 pages. Recently republished by the Government of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. The Five Chronicles of Gods and Demons, the King, the Ministers, the Queens, and the Panditas and Translators.
________________. Padma Kathang. O RGYAN GU RU
PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI SKYES RABS RNAM PAR THAR PA RGYAS PA BKOD PA PAD-MA
BKA'I THANG YIG.
Long version in poetry, 108 chapters, 721 pages. Revealed in the Crystal Cave of Yarlung in Central Tibet and therefore also known as Thc Crystal Cave Biogaphy (Namthar Sheldragma). Originally translated into French by G.-C. Toussaint as Le Dict de Padma (Padma Thang Yig MS. de Lithang), Paris, 1933. Later retranslated into English by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays as The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing.
Pema Lingpa (1445/50-1521). Radiant Mirror: A Life
Story of Padmasambhava U RGYAN SLOB DPON PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI 'KHRUNGS
RABS CHEN MO
ZHES BYA BA SANGS RGYAS BSTAN PA'I BYUNG KHUNG MUN SEL SGRON ME LAS RNAM THAR DON GSAL ME LONG. Gangtok, 1977. A terma text in two volumes, revealed at Samye by Pema Lingpa.
Ratna Lingpa (1403-1478). Golden Garland: A Life Story of Padmasambhava. O RGYAN GU RU PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI RNAM THAR GSER GYI PHRENG BA. 327 pages. Included in the collection of termas of Ratna Lingpa published by Ven. Taklung Tsetrül Rinpoche. This version is quite similar in length and content to the Sanglingma Life Story revealed by Nyang Ral Nyima Öser.
Samten Lingpa, Taksham Nüden Dorje (b. 1655). Flawless
Adornment: A Lifc
Story of Padmasamthava. O RGYAN GU RU PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS ZHES BYA
BA'I RNAM THAR BCU GNYIS DRI MA MED PA'I RGYAN ZHES BYA BA JO MO MTSHO RGYAL DANG BAI RO TSAN NA GNYIS KYI MDZAD PA.
Sangye Lingpa (1340-1396). Bright Crystal Mirror. BLA MA DGONGS PA 'DUS PA LAS,YID CHES SHING KHUNGS BTSUN PA'I LO RGYUS SHEL GYI ME LONG GSAL BA. 81 pages. A life story of Padmasambhava by Yeshe Tsogyal from the Lama Gongdü cycle of termas revealed by Sangye Lingpa.
___________. The Golden Garland Chronicles. Also
known as Kathang Sertreng. U RGYAN GU PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI RNAM
THAR RGYAS PA GSER GYI
PHRENG BA THAR LAM GSAL BYED. PAD-MA BKA'I THANG YG. 117 chapters, 727 pages with tiny script. With its alternating poetry and prose, this delightful biography of Padmasambhava has for centuries been and still is a contribution of major importance to Tibetan Buddhist literature. Kalimpong: His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, 1970. Written down by Yeshe Tsogyal, who concealed it as a terma treasure for the benefit of people in the future. Revealed from a treasure in the Crystal Cave of Puri Phugmoche (pu ri phug mo che shel gyi brag phug) by Sangye Lingpa. Excerpts from this version were included by W. Y. Evans-Wentz in The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954.
Selnang of Ba. Bashey Annals. SBA BZHED GTSANG MA & SBA BZHED ZHABS BRTAG MA. Dharamsala: Shes-rig Par-khang, 1968. Early chronicles from the ninth century.
Sera Khandro Dekyong Wangmo. Immaculate White Lotus: A Life Story of Padmasambhava. CHOS NYID MKHA' 'GRO'I GSANG MDZOD LAS: O RGYAN RNAM THAR DRI MED PADMA DKAR PO. 2O pages of beautiful devotional poetry by this female tertön. Almost identical to Wish-Fulling Tree, revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa.
Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal. Pond of White Lotus Flowers. SNGA 'GYUR RDO RJE'I THEG PA GTSO BOR GYUR PA'I SGRUB BRGYUD SHING RTA BRGYAD KYI BYUNG BA BRJOD PA'I GTAM RDOR BSDUS LEGS BSHAD PAD-MA DKAR PO'I RDZING BU. New Delhi: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse. 527 pages. A major historical work on the Eight Chariots of the Practice Lineage, with predominant emphasis on the Nyingma School.
Sogdokpa Lodrö Gyaltsen (b. 1552). Dispelling the Darkness of Mind. Also known as Namthar Yikyi Münsel. SLOB DPON SANGS RGYAS GNYIS PA PAD-MA 'BYUNG GNAS KYI RNAM PAR THAR PA YID KYI MUN SEL. 255 pages. Published in India by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. An English translation is under preparation by Anila Jinpa Palmo.
Taksham Nüden Dorje. Life Story of Dorje Drolö. BLA MA RDO RJE GRO LOD KYI RNAM THAR. A life story of Padmasambhava focusing on the esoteric meaning of his wrathful manifestation as Dorje Drolö.
Taranatha. Threefold Confidence: A Life Story of Padmasambhava
SLOB DPON PAD-MA'I RNAM THAR RGYA GAR LUGS YID CHES GSUM LDAN. Included
by Jamgön Kongtrul in the Rinchen Terdzo, Vol. KA. Written in accord with Indian sources.
Tsele Natsok Rangdröl (b. 1608). Clarifying the
True Meaning. SLOB DPON RIN
PO CHE PAD-MA'I RNAM THAR CHEN MO LAS BRTSAM TE DRI BA'I LAN NGES DON GSAL BYED. Replies to 18 questions in 95 pages.
RELATED PUBLICATIONS IN ENGLISH
Ancient Tibet: Research Materials from the Yeshe De Project, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing.
Blondeau, A. M. "Analysis of the Biographies of Padmasambhava according to Tibetan tradition: classification of sources." In Tibetan Studies in Honor of Hugh Richardson, edited by M. Aris bc A. S. Suu Kyi: New Delhi: Vikas, 1980.
Crystal Mirror. Vols. 1-7. Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing, 1971-84.
Chokgyur Lingpa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. The Great Gate: The Heart Practice of Guru Rinpoche. Vol. I. Kathmandu: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1985.
Khetsun Sangpo Rinbochay. Tantric Prartice in the Nyingma. Translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications.
Khyentse, Dilgo T. Wish-Fulfilling Jewel. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1988.
The Legend of the Great Stupa. Translated by Keith Dowman. Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973.
The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. 2 vols. Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing, 1978.
Manjusrimitra. Primordial Experience. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1987.
Nam-mkha'i snying-po. Mother of Knowledge. Translated by Tarthang Tulku. Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983.
______________________. Sky Dancer. Translated by Keith Dowman. London: Rutledge and Kegan Paul, 1984.
Orgyen Tobgyal. The Life and Teaching of Chokgyur Lingpa. Kathmandu: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1982.
Sogyal Rinpoche. Dzogchen and Padmasambhava. Berkeley: Rigpa Publications.
Thondup Rinpoche, Tulku. Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism. London: Wisdom Publications, 1986.
__________________________. The Tantric Tradition of the Nyingmapa. Marion, Mass.: Buddhayana, 1984.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo. Translated by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa. Berkeley: Shambhala Publications, 1975.
Tsele Natsok Rangdröl. The Mirror of Mindfulness. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1989.
Yeshe Tsogyal. Dakini Teachings: Padmasambhava's Oral Instrurtions to Lady Tsogyal Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1990.
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