Guru Padmasambhava

Padmasambhava Statue

Guru Rinpoche--Buddha of the Vajrayana
[Image used by permission, Padmasambhava Buddhist Center of Tennessee]

Within the sacred sutras handed down through the ancient lineages of the Buddhist traditions, Padmasambhava (Padma Sambhava) is revered as the founder of the Nyingma1 sect—the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. 

Living in the 8th Century CE, Padmasambhava established the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. He is credited with preserving the branch of knowledge of Vajrayana Buddhism and is called the “Buddha of the Vajrayana.” The veneration held for Padmasambhava is universal among all the schools and the devotion to certain of his practices so widespread he is often referred to as the “Second Buddha.”

When a Western student is introduced to the teachings of the Buddha and later researches the more advanced teachings of Dzogchen,2 the reader will encounter terms and concepts that are uncommon to occidental spiritual thought.  A vast depth of understanding awaits the student beginning the practice of Dzogchen and who decides to study under the tutelage of masters conversant with Padmasambhava, also called Guru Rinpoche.3

Guru Rinpoche supervised a large project translating many Buddhist texts to Tibetan from the original Sanskrit while advancing the tenants of Vajrayana Buddhism. Most intriguing is that among the Nyingma practitioners is the acknowledgment that Guru Rinpoche left behind termas, hidden teachings to be discovered by his tertons—revealers of treasures, enlightened students.

The Vajrayana is also known as tantra. Tantric teachings are based on the foundational Sutra Mahayana4 and offer a more subtle understanding of our experience and additional methods to realize enlightenment. It is among these methods adapted to Western modes of thought that we may find revelations designed for the very challenges we face today.

And where are the tertons themselves to be encountered? Interestingly, we may trace some of our own ascended master teachings to a lineage fostered by a wise dakini, or feminine spiritual being,5 who worked closely with the Guru Rinpoche during his lifetime in Tibet to deliver precious termas vitally applicable and relevant to contemporary generations.

"Practicing on" Guru Padmasambhava

“Practicing on” a guru is an Eastern tradition describing the devotional relationship between a master and disciple that has existed since ancient times. Somewhat foreign to our Western culture, the devotion given to the guru is a yogic practice quintessential to and at the core of Buddhism. Guru Yoga is an ongoing process of merging with the wisdom-mind of the master.

From the modern spiritual classic,The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying6 we read:

“All the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and enlightened beings are present at all moments to help us, and it is through the presence of the master that all of their blessings are focused directly at us.” 

Do all lineages subscribe to the belief that guru yoga is the swiftest and most powerful path to spiritual awakening?  Is it the surest practice for invoking the help of enlightened beings?

For the Tibetans of the Nyingma sect, Padmasambhava is considered the embodiment of all the masters and the bestower of the blessings of all the Buddhas. As a disciple merges with the compassionate heart of Padmasambhava, all beings are included in him.  For the Nyingma sect guru yoga is the path that leads to enlightenment.  Its ultimate aim—that the outer teacher introduces the disciple to his or her own inner teacher.

We find in the Catholic tradition among the holy orders a related spiritual practice entered into by Christian renunciates to merge with the mind of Christ through their reverence to the saints of the Church.

Now as students of the ascended masters, we employ a modern form of guru yoga to yoke our souls to the compassionate and mindful ones in heaven. We can commune with any enlightened being, saint or master for whom we feel devotion, whether the master is ascended or unascended, to inspire and help awaken us to our own Christ/Buddha nature.

The Rich Rewards of Chanting and Toning Mantras

Padmasambhava, who begat a Tibetan lineage of true miracle workers, created the mantra below. Visualize now, while reciting his “Golden Mantra” that you are within a vast auric field, a flowfield enlivened, populated by devotees’ tracings dating to the historical epoch of Padmasambhava’s legendary appearance and even beyond Earth’s recorded time, when the Guru was mindfully contemplating his incarnation-to-come.

As you are able to be among sincere ones giving this mantra aloud, see yourself bathed and ensconced in cloud blessings, enfolded in and carried beyond ordinary mind into the pure realm of the wisdom of rigpa.7 Feel the living presence of Buddha, of Padmasambhava. As you invoke the Buddha to inspire and transform, your own Buddha nature is quickened, blossoming as naturally as a flower in sunlight:

OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM

To engage mindfully, to reap a greater spectrum of alchemy whereby you may touch the very heart essence of the Master, prayerful guru yoga practitioners embark upon a fourfold, or four-phased, practice of mantra that allows them to joyfully advance in this ritual of merging with the heart-mind of the Master.

Building upon the principles taught and modeled by the classical masters, some of whom were regarded as emanations of the Guru Padmasambhava , we, in the West, can strive for realization of these same inner realms the Buddhist devotees have experienced through their many lifetimes dedicated to Dzogchen and cultivating the rigpa, that higher awareness that leads to ultimate enlightenment.

In phase 2 of the practice,8 “Maturing and Deepening the Blessing,” as defined in Sogyal Rinpoche’s treatise, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, we can begin to appreciate the transcendent, transformative potential of the mantra. He states:

“Slowly, through the blessing and power of this practice, you will find you actually experience your mind being transformed into the wisdom mind of Padmasambhava and the master; you begin to recognize the indivisibility[ …] What happens is that gradually your mind begins to find itself in the state of Rigpa, as the innermost nature of mind is nothing other than the wisdom mind of all the buddhas.”

He finishes describing this “maturing of the blessing” as the heart and main part of the practice, to which you should devote the most time when you do the guru yoga practice.

In our Hearts Center community, we know that much of our devotional time focused in the giving of mantra and song, bhajans, kirtans and dynamic decrees is a type of guru yoga! Prayers both classic and modern, adapted to our culture and times, empower us in the Word. We are garnering and implanting the heart-mindedness of the saints and sages, East and West.

 

Through the great bliss state
I myself become the mentor deity.
From my luminous body
Light rays shine all around
Massively blessing beings and things,
Making the universe pure and fabulous--
Perfection in its every quality.

From the booklet, Jewel Tree of Tibet: Mentor Devotion

 

Hidden Secrets of the Tertons Revealed

Tibetan devotees credit Padmasambhava as a “lotus-born”9 individual. His very name; “Padma” meaning “lotus” in Sanskrit—announces his spiritual pedigree. The Master came into this world as a fully-realized being. Karma-free, he possessed a full array of the siddhis (spiritual prowess or abilities) to advance the work of his predecessor, Buddha Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha). Shakyamuni attained enlightenment through his incarnations; Padmasambhava brought his Buddhic mastery with him upon his appearance in the physical realm, so it is said.

Padmasambhava also is believed to have left this world in a manner that is largely unheard of here in the West. Witnessed by his closest disciples, Padmasambhava attained the rainbow body10 at his transition from his physical body temple. Recorded as the first individual to have experienced this, he desired future students to achieve a similar feat in so-called death. So, he bequeathed to the Dzogchen lineage the teachings and practices to help them accomplish their glorious departure from the physical plane in this miraculous manner.

Sogyal Rinpoche describes the rainbow body phenomenon as having different categories, or levels. A penultimate rainbow body occurrence would manifest when the body, left undisturbed for six or seven days, is gradually reabsorbed into light. The body becomes smaller and smaller, and depending on the level of alchemical attainment, may disappear altogether with only the hair and nails as impurities remaining.

Researcher, author and acclaimed expert on the paranormal, David Wilcock, recently released a video-based course11 on aspects of the Dzogchen teachings. In his preliminary studies, Wilcock claims that 160,000 credible and documented accounts exist in the Nyingma Dzogchen lineage of persons achieving various rainbow body exhibitions upon the death of the physical body. Those interested in the rainbow body experience may wonder how applicable the Dzogchen alchemy is to our ascended master path.

The modern, spiritual path sponsored by the ascended masters is a path to the ascension. The ascension process transfuses the auric field into attenuated light frequencies. Is it related to a rainbow body phenomenon? Click Here to learn more. Download a Free PDF booklet on newsletter sign-up!

 

Ascended Master Lineage Revelations

As students of the ascended masters of The Hearts Center community, we have been taught that Padmasambhava belongs to a specific, noble lineage of Buddha masters in addition to those recognized by his Tibetan followers. Within this lineage of gurus and their disciples are heaven-borne, bodhisattvas known to us as the Masters of the Ruby Ray. Our community is indeed blessed to have the sponsorship and opportunity to receive direct initiations and communications offered to us by these beloved Ruby Ray Masters through our organization’s co-founder David Christopher Lewis.

In the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, an auspicious heart-tie to the guru opens up the possibility that our teachings, transmitted from the ascended masters through David to our community are indeed part of the great Kama,12 or oral transmission of teachings originating from Tibet. And it is delightful to contemplate the depth to which our mentors, the ascended masters, may be imparting instruction and revelations of the Terma lineage as taught by Yeshe Tsogyal with Padmasambhava.

So, within the long train of lineages, spanning centuries and leaping from East to West, our students are fortunate to know this precious tie to the venerable Padmasambhava. Tibetans today, grounded in their Dzogchen lineage, might well appreciate the possibilities that exist in a community where an individual holds such a heart/mind connection with the Guru.

The Terma—East and West

Within the second paragraph of the featured quote from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying  at the top of this page, there is imparted a mystery taught by Buddhists. Unfortunately for the West this mystery was suppressed by early Christian clergy. Any great master, including Jesus, is able to bestow heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind13 sacred teachings and revelations to his disciples through thought (clairaudience or telepathy). This spiritual capacity (or siddhi) is part of the terma, or hidden teachings, preserved in the Nyingma lineage.

We read from the venerable Khenpo Rinpoches of the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center:14 “The oral transmission lineage is the way we receive teachings in the human world. However, the oral transmission lineage contains the mind-to-mind transmission lineage and the symbolic transmission lineage. It is not separate from them; it embodies them. When the oral transmission lineage came to Tibet, it was transmitted in three different ways: through the Kama lineage, the Terma lineage, and the pure vision lineage.”15

In The Hearts Center, we explain this inner transference between teacher and student in two of several introductory booklets: What Is a Messenger? and What Is Heartstreaming?  David, through great devotion and long practice of mantra and of guru yoga, has attained a state of “a maturing of the blessing” and received the grace of merging with the heart/mind of many ascended beings, including Padmasambhava.  David can be regarded as a “venerable terton” and “holder of the awareness of the wisdom teaching” from the Buddhist perspective. He has locked into his own Buddha nature and has earned the ability to transmit the wisdom teaching in all the three different ways described: the Kama lineage, the Terma lineage, and also the Pure Vision lineage reserved for high initiates.

What heart sutras, what sacred scriptures are being conveyed to us by Guru Padmasambhava today through David, a modern-day revealer of spiritual treasures? See the “Featured HeartStreams” module on this page to find out.

 

Gautama's Thoughtform (Heartform) for 2020

"When you chant my mantra* during your rosaries, blessed hearts, see the full manifestation of your own Buddha nature locked right within your heart and aura. And as you give the earth touching mudra as a part of this mantra, know that I am there physically with you,

Through bestowing heart to heart and mind to mind, my presence of awareness of the wisdom teaching, even of that heart sutra whose cosmic glyphs hold within your heart the key to self-identity within the Buddha form that you now express."    HeartStream from the Master, May 31, 2008

*Golden Mantra: OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM

Meru University Course: Gautama Buddha on Solar Beingness and Planetary Compassion
(4-minute video preview)

 


Through course instructor David Christipher Lewis, Gautama inspires us to broaden our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings and to emanate light on a planetary level with his insights on solar beingness.  Course page here.

Featured HeartStreams of Padmasambhava

 
 
Title and EventMedia
Padma Sambhava Says, "Hold the Sun Within"
Padma Sambhava Leads Us in a Planetary Alchemy in Mindfulness
Padma Sambhava: Maintain Your Practice!
2015 Spring Equinox MU Event
2014 Sweden Seminar
2013 Winter Solstice Conference
Morning Meditation and Prayers 2012
Harvest Conference 2009
I Have Written In The Skies The Names Of Those Who
2008 India Pilgrimage
Page: 
 

Buddha-Themed Store Items

Wateer of Life prints
"Water of Life" prints by Bruce Harman available in the Hearts Center Store

More prints and Buddha gift items featured here.

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References

1.The Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism traces its ancient origins back to the Buddha Samantabhadra, Vajrasattva, and Garab Dorje of Uddiyana. The most important source of the Nyingma order is the Indian Guru, Padmasambhava, the founder of the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, who came to Tibet in the eighth century C.E. (source: https://kagyuoffice.org/buddhism/buddhism-in-tibet/the-nyingma-school/)
2. Dzogchen: The teaching of the innate Great Perfection, a practice of awakening and accepting or opening to the natural, luminous true nature of our spiritual mind, often identified as our Buddha nature. (Source: Dzogchen.org)

3. Guru Rinpoche: A title meaning "precious master;" the name generally used to refer to Padmasambhava
4. Sutra Mahayana: "Sutra" is a Sanskrit word that means “condensed” or “summarized.” This sutra specifically is an advanced teaching on compassion. (Source: padmasambhava.org) Also referring generally to the sacred and/or canonical scriptures that form the foundation of Mahayana Buddhism. The earliest sources for the Mahayana sutras are scriptures that were first compiled some four centuries after the Buddha’s death, almost certainly written by monks. (Source: britanica.com/topic/Mahayana)
5. Specifically referring to Yeshe Tsogyal (715-817 AD) a feminine disciple and consort of Padmasambhava who is credited with chronicling his biography and many of his teachings. Now fondly revered in The Hearts Center as the Ascended Lady Master Clare de Lis.
6. Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, (Rigpa Fellowship, 2002)
7. Rigpa: It denotes the awareness or knowledge of the innermost nature of the mind. Rigpa, therefore, is the knowledge that comes from recognizing (realizing) one's own [divine] nature. (source: Yogapedia.com/definition/6215/rigpa)
8. “This practice of Guru Yoga has four main phases: invocation; merging your mind with the master through his heart essence; the mantra; receiving the blessing or empowerment; and uniting your mind with the master and resting in the nature of Rigpa.” pp. 149-150, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
9. Lotus-born: Legend has it that Padmasambhava first appeared as an 8-year-old child within a lotus flower floating on a lake. It is also the title of the life story of Padmasambhava originally authored by Yeshe Tsogyal.
10. Rainbow body:Tangible matter is considered to be made up of five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Certain Buddhist meditation practices are meant to alter the gravitational field of these five elements that constitute the body, transforming them into the five radiant lights of the color spectrum. The Tibetan name given to this physical fluorescence is jalu, literally meaning, “rainbow body.” Rainbow body is also the name given to the transformation of the ordinary physical body as a result of years of specific disciplined practices. [The results of the Vajrayana tantric, meditative practices may then manifest in various forms of the “rainbow body phenomenon.”] (Source: lionsroar.com/what-is-rainbow-body/)
11. "David Wilcock and Dannion Brinkley on Tibetan Rainbow Body!" Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-DvF7KOeGQ
12. Kama: this term refers to the lineage of oral transmission of the wisdom teachings passed on from teacher to disciple. In the Nyingma lineage, the Kama continues unbroken from the first human guru of the Vajrayana, the Awareness-Holder Garab Dorje up to the present.
13. “Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus ...”  Philippians 2:5 KJV
14. Padmasambhava Buddhist Center, https://www.padmasambhava.org/the-nyingma-lineage/
15.  ibid.