Guru Rinpoche in the lake at Lerab Ling
Today is the anniversary of the birth of Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava. Guru Rinpoche brought the Buddha's teachings to Tibet in the eighth century, founding Tibetan Buddhism.
While Buddha Shakyamuni is known primarily for having taught the teachings of the sutra vehicle, Guru Rinpoche is known for his teachings of the tantras. Also, while Buddha exemplifies the buddha principle, the most important element in the sutrayana path, Guru Rinpoche personifies the guru principle, the heart of Vajrayana Buddhism, and he is therefore known as the ‘second Buddha’.
There are many accounts of Guru Rinpoche’s life, written by great scholars or revealed by the tertöns. A list of some of the more important accounts, along with a brief biography, can be found at www.rigpawiki.org.
The statue of Guru Rinpoche shown above in the lake at Lerab Ling, was a gift from Khenchen Namdrol, a senior master from the Namdroling Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India, who has donated statues of Padmasambhava to many Buddhist centres around the world to promote peace. It is said that images of Padmasambhava such as this one can spread blessings of wisdom and compassion wherever they are placed.
(Photo courtesy of Jonker Burger)