From the heart of Buddha Amitabha, light rays radiated into the bud of a lotus on Danakosha lake. Upon its ripening, appeared an amazing child, adorned with the major and minor marks sitting atop a thousand petalled lotus. Glorious Guru Padmasambhava, please protect and guide me until I attain complete enlightenment.

 

After 1200 years since the Lord Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, a divine being was born from a lotus blossom in the Danakosha Lake to the north-west region of the kingdom of Oddiyana. It was from that day onward he has come to be hailed as 'Padmasambhava', Sanskrit for 'Lotus born teacher'. The king of the realm was called Indrabudhi who had no male heirs to succeed him. He, then, was understandably convinced

about it being a Divine intervention, and invited the lotus-born to live in.his palace, showering as much love and affection as he would his own true-born.

 

The virtues the young Prince exhibited left the king and his advisors in no doubt as to the destined greatness of the Lotus-born. Seeing the Prince's inclination towards the meditative life the king feared that eventually he would renounce his kingdom, he assembled his ministers and devised to fetter the young Prince with marriage. The Prince, as enlightened a being that he was, saw through it all. But after due consideration, the Prince chose not to disobey the old king who, like a father, had safeguarded and reared him.

Thus it was that Guru Padmasambhava, the Lotus-born, eventually married,_ princes Bhasadhara, an  daughter of the king Chandra Kumar of Singala along with her four hundred and ninety nine maidens, for it was the custom then in the Kingdom of Oddiyana that required the King to have five hundred queens. Five years went by and, having attained the heights of worldly power and of sensuous fulfillment, the Lotus-born realized the bewitchingly illusory and unsatisfactorily shallow nature of all things worldly. In his dreams while asleep or in his consciousness when awake, his mind gravitated exceedingly towards what he always knew to be his destiny. The Great Renunciation of the Sakhyamuni Buddha was constantly at the forefront of his mind, shining like a beacon and lighting the path forward which He must embark on. So when he thought the moment to be appropriate he announced to the king his foster-father his intention to abdicate and enter The Order. While the king and the ministers of state would have it otherwise they, at the same time, were fully aware of the uselessness of their entreaties where even the lamentations of his five hundred wives failed to get him to reconsider. He explained to all that this worldly life is transitory and separation inevitable. The Guru Padmasambhava then set about the length and breadth of the ancient Indian subcontinent, seeking gurus and invoking deities in his quest for mastery of the `Tantric' discipline and, having taken the vow of celibacy, received ordination into The Order. Being a fully ordained monk now and possessed of the power of the Mahayana to destroy the evils off the face of the earth, he set forth subduing demons and evil spirits and delivering the land from them. But in accordance with the practices of Tantricism, he neither did destroy nor banish them, choosing instead to harness their negative energies for the good of the land. Himself a 'Bodhisattva", the Lotus-born taught the esoteric aspects of the Doctrines of the 'Tantras' to other 'Bodhisattvas', various deities and `Dakinis(fairies)'.

 

It was during one of such sojourns He undertook in his mission of cleansing and purging the land off the menace of evil spirits that he set his feet upon the city of Zahor, believed to be in present day Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It was then ruled by king Arshadhara, who was greatly displeased by his daughter, the princess Mandarava's inclination towards the spiritual path. He eventually caved in to his daughter's wish and had her ordained to the Sisterhood along with her five hundred maid-servants, and built for them a palatial monastery. The Guru Padmasambhava determined that the relevant time had come about to begin the instructions to Mandarava. But unbeknownst to them a cowherd happened to have observed the coming of Guru Padmasambhava and how he was taken inside the monastery by the nuns. He promptly reported to the king that Mandarava was living with a youthful 'brahmachari', and that she was not so virtuous as they took her to be. The livid king ordered the monastery to be forcibly raided and the nuns to be segregated for the last of their living days while Mandarava was sentenced to be confined in a pit full of thorns for a quarter of a century. But the ghastliest of punishments was reserved for the Lotus-born, who was to be burnt alive at the stake. Astonished that the pyre was still letting out smoke after seven days, the fearful king sent some of his ministers to investigate. They were amazed at what lay before their eyes. A beautiful lake shimmered, with a rainbow for a halo, right where the pyre had been erected. The woods along the perimeter of the lake were still ablaze, as though protecting a lotus blossom at the centre of the lake, upon which sat a beautiful child of about eight years of age, decked with a heavenly aura.

 

The king frantically rushed to the spot and ruefully payed salutation and made humble repentance, recognizing in the Lotus-born the Buddha of the past, present and the future, and offered himself and his kingdom to him in a desperate bid for complete atonement.

In the 8th century AD, the38th ruler of the royal lineage of Tibet king Trisrong Deutsen, in a concerted effort to bring the full blessing of and establish the Buddha Dharma in Tibet, invited Bodhisattva Shantarakshita, India's foremost scholar from the premier Nalanda University for the purpose of founding a Sangha and subsequently transmitting his Vinaya lineage to the first Buddhist monks in Tibet. But complications arose when evil spirits and hostile denizens disrupted their every bid to carry out their mission. So the king sought the help of Guru Padmasambhava to help dispel the evil energies that plagued them. The Guru himself was in Bodh Gaya and happened to be contemplating about the time being right to proceed to Tibet, 'The Land of Snow'. The collective might of these Bodhisattvas easily subdued the demons to build the great monastic university called 'Samye' and established a firm foundation for the propagation of The Dharma in Tibet. The lineages established by the early masters, transmitted unbroken from masters to disciples for nearly twelve.centuries have come down to modern times through the Nyingma tradition which is the oldest of the four major Tibetan schools of Buddhism.
Commanding the now tamed demons and spirits to engage in the upkeep of The Dharma in Tibet, The Guru Padmasambhava now proceeded south to the hidden land that we now know as Sikkim, which he named `Bayul Demojong', which literally translates to The hidden valley of rice'. The Guru personally consecrated this land blessing and fortifying it from the ravages of human existence by meditating in its four corners and introducing the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism. He concealed a great deal of major and minor treasures including Holy Scriptures to be preserved for future use when the Dharma will reach at the edge of destruction. The great Tantric Guru turned the demons of Sikkim, Dakinis, arrogant spirits and deities and bound them under solemn oath. They were entrusted with being guardians of the hidden treasures and protector of the Holy Dharma. The converted evil spirits were not only instructed to grace the land with timely rain and good harvest, but also to prevent all sorts of natural calamities. Further, He advised the people to observe the rituals with faith and sincerity to keep this blessed land peaceful where religion will flourish and harvest be bountiful. Finally, the deity `Kang-Chen-Zod-Nga' whose abode is the eponymous third highest peak in the world was appointed to _be the guardian deity of this blessed land of Sikkim.

 

Guru Rimpoche, the Lotus-Born's teachings remain firmly entrenched within the consciousness and psyche of every'Buddhist in the world. His message transcends every single natural barrier. It transcends time itself, for his discourses are timeless, never more so than in today's day and age when materialistic pursuit has attained abominable proportions.