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Inspiring Stories

Biography of Guru Padmasambhava
Teacher: His Holiness the 43rd Sakya Trizin Gyana Vajra Rinpoche,
Venue: France,
Year: 2021

His Holiness the 43rd Sakya Trizin, Gyana Vajra Rinpoche bestowed this teaching at the request of Sakya Tsechen Ling, Kuttolsheim, France on July 4, 2021.

In the first part of this teaching, His Holiness recounts some essential points in the life of Guru Padmasambhava, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. Padmasambhava, whose name means “Lotus Born,” is revered to this day by Tibetan Buddhists as Guru Rinpoche (“Precious Teacher”) and as “the Second Buddha.” His Holiness’s account of Padmasambhava’s life contains insights into the rich tapestry of Tibetan Buddhist traditions that developed in the wake of Guru Rinpoche’s activities in the “Land of Snow.”

In the second part, His Holiness addresses some common pitfalls faced by both novice and experienced practitioners, and he offers practical advice for advancing on the path and receiving blessings from gurus. This teaching is a timely and valuable one for all practitioners in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Source: The teaching was obtained from the Sakya Tsechen Ling Zoom session.

Guru Padmasambhava brought Vajrayāna Buddhism from India to Tibet in the 8th century, establishing a tradition that thrives to this day. Known as the "Second Buddha" and "Guru Rinpoche" in Tibet, he is revered by all the major schools and followers of Tibetan Buddhism that developed subsequently. How did he manage to spread the Dharma throughout the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan region? This forms the core of our exploration.

While many may find the stories of Guru Rinpoche to be mythical and challenging to verify, they serve a significant and necessary purpose—effectively conveying profound spiritual truths that are otherwise difficult to express directly and clearly through conventional means to the multitude of beings in this degenerate age.

The deeply rooted local culture of the Himalayan region necessitates immense skillful means to successfully transform the minds of its inhabitants. The manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava after his arrival in Tibet are not mere stories; they hold infinite significance, aimed at guiding us towards the state of buddhahood.

As we explore these narratives, engage in Dharma learning, and practice, it's essential to always remember the ultimate goal of the Dharma. Just as a glass enables us to drink the water it holds, the teachings of the Buddha aim to guide us towards complete awakening. However, we often fixate on the glass, forgetting that its purpose is to drink the water. In this text, His Holiness elucidates these common misconceptions, urging us to focus on the profound truths of the Dharma.