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Tibetan name
Tibetan script :
པད་ མ་ འབྱུང་ གནས (པད་ མ་ ཀ་ ར)
Wylie transliteration :
pad ma 'byung gnas
(pad ma ka ra)
Pronunciation in IPA :
[ pɛʔma tɕuŋnɛʔ ]
Official transcription of the PRCh :
Baima Jungnai
THDL transcription :
Pema Jungné
Other spellings:
Pema Jungne,
Pema Jungney,
Padma Jungne,
Pema Chungne
Chinese name
Traditional :
蓮華 生; 蓮華 生 上 師
Simplified :
莲华 生; 莲华 生 上 师
Pinyin :
Liánhuáshēng; Liánhuáshēng shàngshī

Padmasambhava (in German: Lotosgeborener ; also: Guru Rinpoche , Guru Padma , Padina Sambhava or Padmakara ; 8th century AD to 9th century AD ) is considered the founder of Buddhism in Tibet at the time of King Thrisong Detsen (756 to 796) in Tibet .

Live and act

There are few historical facts about Padmasambhava's life; his existence is shrouded in legend to a large extent . He grew up as the foster son of King Indrabhuti in today's Pakistan . He should, as among other things, in the Seven-line prayer in the Ngöndro Exercises of the Nyingma held -Tradition not born of a woman, but miraculously on a lotus in a lake in Oddiyana be born. The land of Oddiyana, which can be traced back to Buddhist scriptures, is now believed to be in the ancient region of Gandhara . Various sūtras of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni indicated his coming, such as the Nirvana Sutra , the Sutra of the Immaculate Goddess and the Sutra of Incredible Secrets . Padmasambhava is considered to be an incarnation of the Buddha Amitabha , in which the Siddhis of all Buddhas of all times were manifested.

According to tradition, he was adopted as a son by the king of Oddiyana, but later banished from the kingdom because he is said to have killed the son of a minister. The stories also tell of his life, that he studied the five classical sciences of India and astrology , was ordained as a monk in India by Prabahasti and received the teachings of outer and inner tantras from many Indian masters in the following years . He was a student of the "Eight Holders of Knowledge of India" (Hungkara, Manjushrimitra , Nagarjuna , Prabhahasti, Dhanasamskrita, Vimalamitra , Rombuguhya and Shantigarba) and many other masters. He received the teachings and empowerments of the "Great Perfection" ( Dzogchen ) from Garab Dorje and Sri Singha . Princess Mandarava of Zahor was Padmasambhava's Indian tantric companion, Princess Yeshe Tsogyal of Kharchen was his most important tantric companion in Tibet. Both are often shown on thangkas at Padmasambhava's side.

Foundation of the Samye Monastery

Samye, the oldest Buddhist monastery in Tibet

Padmasambhava's life stories contain many depictions of his supernatural work. He is said to have subjugated the spirits and demons of the snowy land, who opposed Buddhism, through tantric powers and tied many of them to the Buddha's teachings as Dharma protectors . Due to his special abilities, Padmasambhava was decisive for the establishment of the first Buddhist monastery Samye . With the establishment of this monastery (in the year 769 or 775) by the Tibetan King Thrisong Detsen (759–797), the first wave of translation of Buddhist scriptures from India to Tibet began. From this first translation period from the end of the eighth century the school of "old translations" ( Nyingma ) emerges, in contrast to the second translation period from the eleventh century from which the "new schools" ( Sarma ) of Tibetan Buddhism ( Kadam , Kagyü , Sakya and Gelug ) developed. The Nyingma tradition traces its tradition back to the introduction of the Dharma (Buddhist teachings) at the time of Thrisong Detsen by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra (a learned Siddha ), Vairocana and their hundreds of disciples, the Abbot Shantarakshita of Nalanda and the scholar Kamalashila . More than a hundred scholars and translators gathered at that time and translated the teachings of Sutra and Tantra from Sanskrit into Tibetan . Many of the esoteric teachings, especially the teachings on Dzogchen ("Great Perfection"), were brought to Tibet by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and Vairocana.

Eight manifestations of Padmasambhava

Guru Dorje Drölö, a wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava

The work of Padmasambhava is represented in his life stories in the form of symbolic Buddha activity. According to tradition, Padmasambhava took different manifestations for the various activities. Of these, the so-called "Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava" (Tib .: gu ru mtshan brgyad ) are of particular importance:

  1. Guru Dorje Drölö (Tib .: gu ru rdo rje gro lod )
  2. Guru Loden Chogse (Tib .: gu ru blo ldan mchog sred )
  3. Guru Nyima Öser (Tib .: gu ru nyi ma 'od zer )
  4. Guru Orgyen Dorje Chang (Tib .: gu ru o rgyan rdo rje 'chang )
  5. Guru Pema Gyelpo (Tib .: gu ru pad ma rgyal po )
  6. Guru Pema Chungne (Tib .: gu ru pa ma 'byung gnas )
  7. Guru Sengge Dradog (Tib .: gu ru seng ge sgra sgrog )
  8. Guru Shakya Sengge (Tib .: gu ru sha kya seng ge )

Sengge Dradrog stands for the submission of non-Buddhists, Dorje Drölö for the hiding of termas and the binding of spirits through Eid and Nyima Öser for the submission of demonic spirits.

25 students

Of the disciples of Padmasambhava, the so-called 25 disciples of Chimphu have become famous for their high realization and the manifestation of Siddhi . These are:

  1. Trisong Detsen (Tib .: ཁྲི་ སྲོང་ ལྡེའ ུ་ བཏཟན, khri srong lde'u btzan )
  2. the translator Tsemang of Denma (Denma Tsemang; Tib .: ldan ma rtse mang )
  3. Dorje Düdjom von Nanam (Tib .: sna nam pa rdo rje bdud 'joms ; Minister Thrisong Detsens, was sent to Nepal to invite Padmasambhava)
  4. the translator Drokben Khyechung Lotsawa (also: Lokyi Chungpa; tib .: lo ki chung pa )
  5. Gyelwa Changchub from Lasum (Tib .: la gsum rgyal ba byang chub )
  6. Gyelwa Chogyang from Nganlam (Tib .: ngan lam rgyal ba mchog dbyangs )
  7. Gyelwe Lodrö von Dre (Tib .: 'bre rgyal ba'i blo gros )
  8. the translator Jnanakumara from Nyak (Tib .: gnyag jna na ku ma ra ; also: Jnanakumaravajra, Nyag Lotsawa)
  9. the translator Kawa Peltseg (Tib .: ska ba dpal brtsegs )
  10. Khandro Yeshe Tshogyel of Kharchen (Tib. མཁར་ ཆེན་ བཟའ་ མཚོ་ རྒྱལ, mkhar chen bza 'mtsho rgyal )
  11. Könchog Chungne von Langdrö (Tib .: lang gro dkon mchog 'byung gnas ; Minister Thrisong Detsens and translator)
  12. Lhapal Shönnu, the Sokpo (Tib .: sog po lha dpal gzhon nu )
  13. Namkhe Nyingpo from Nub (Tib .: gnubs nam mkha'i snying po ; one of the first Buddhist monks in Tibet, translator)
  14. the translator Nanam Shang Yeshe De (Tib .: zhang sna nam ye shes sde )
  15. Pelgyi Dorje von Lhalung (Tib .: lha lung dpal gyi rdo rje ; who killed Langdarma)
  16. Pelgyi Sengge by Lang (Tib .: rlangs dpal gyi seng ge )
  17. Pelgyi Wangchug of Kharchen (Tib .: mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug ; the father of Yeshe Tshogyels)
  18. Pelgyi Wangchug from Odren (Tib .: 'o dran dpal gyi dbang phyug )
  19. Pelgyi Yeshe von Drogmi (Tib .: brog mi dpal gyi ye shes )
  20. Rinchen Chog von Ma (Tib .: rma rin chen mchog ; one of the first Buddhist monks in Tibet; translator)
  21. Sanggye Yeshe from Nub (Tib .: gnubs sangs rgyas ye shes )
  22. Pelgyi Sengge from Shubu (Tib .: shud bu dpal gyi seng ge ; Minister Thrisong Detsens, translator)
  23. the translator Vairocana (Tib. བཻ་ རོ་ ཙ་ ན, bai ro tsa na )
  24. Yeshe Yang from Ba (Tib .: sba ye shes dbyangs )
  25. the translator Yudra Nyingpo from Gyelmo (Tib .: rgyal mo g.yu sgra snying po )

Other important students of Padmasambhava were, for example, the translator Chogro Lui Gyeltshen (tib .: cog ro klu'i rgyal mtshan ), the Bon master Drenpa Namkha , the princess Pema Sel (daughter of Trisong Detsen), the princess of Zahor Mandarava (tib .: man da ra ba me tog ).

Terma tradition

A specialty of the Nyingma tradition are the "hidden treasures" ( terma ). Padmasambhava and his closest disciples hid hundreds of texts, ritual objects and relics in secret places in order to protect the teachings of Buddhism from destruction by the Tibetan King Lang Darma (reign 836-842) , who was hostile to Buddhism . Thus, in the Nyingma tradition, two types of transmission emerged: the so-called “long” transmission line from master to disciple in one uninterrupted line, and the “short” transmission line of “hidden treasures”. The termas discovered were later rediscovered by masters with special skills, so-called "treasure hunters" ( Tertön ), and passed on to their students. These masters were often considered to be the incarnations of the 25 main disciples of Padmasambhava. Thus, over the centuries, a complex system of lineages emerged, which constantly supplemented the teachings of the Nyingma schools with "fresh" teachings that were appropriate to their time and were intended to lead students to awakening ( Bodhi ). Important Tertöns included Nyangrel Nyima Öser (1124–1192), Guru Chöwang (1212–1270), Rigdzin Gödem (1307–1408), Dorje Lingpa (1346–1405), Pema Lingpa (1450–1521) and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo ( 1820-1892).

Occasionally, however, Tertöns also appeared in the three new schools. Among these Sarma-Tertöns were the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), the 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatsho (1617-1682) and the master Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892), originally from the Sakya lineage ).

In the Buddhist context, however, hidden treasures are not something completely new. Termas have already been found in India. For example, Nagarjuna is said to have discovered the last chapter of the “ Prajnaparamita Sutra in One Hundred Thousand Verses” as a term in the mythological realm of the Nagas .

The "Six Great Seats of the Nyingma"

The around 35 meter high statue of the patron saint of Sikkim , Padmasambhava, in Namchi (South Sikkim)

The life stories of Padmasambhava largely agree that he stayed in Tibet for 55 years and during this time he awakened many disciples. According to the tradition of the Nyingma, Padmasambhava still works in this world to lead sentient beings to liberation and his blessings are available to all who turn to him. The main monasteries of the Nyingma School in Tibet are Mindrölling , Dorje Drag , Pelyül , Dzogchen , Shechen and Kathog . A large number of Nyingma monasteries derive their origin from these “great seats” of the Nyingma.

See also



  • Guru Padmasambhava: The Secret Doctrine of Tibet. Kösel-Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-466-20439-9
  • Patrul Rinpoche: The words of my consummate teacher. Arbor Verlag, Freiamt 2001, ISBN 3-924195-72-2
  • Tulku Thondup: The Hidden Treasures of Tibet - An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism. Theseus Verlag, 1994, revised new edition: Wandel Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-942380-08-9 .
  • Yeshe Tsogyal: The Lotus Born in the Land of Snow - How Padmasambhava brought Buddhism to Tibet. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt 1997, ISBN 3-596-12975-3
  • Yeshe Tsogyal: The lotus born in the land of snow - New edition 2015 Hardcover VetH Verlag ISBN 978-3-939972-13-6
  • James Low: One with Guru Rinpoche, A Commentary on Nuden Dorjes Terma: The Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana. edition khordong im Wandel Verlag, Berlin 2007/2010, ISBN 978-3-942380-01-0
  • Chhimed Rigdzin / James Low (translator): Prayer in seven chapters - Le'u bDun Ma. edition khordong im Wandel Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-942380-11-9
  • Padmasambhava: The Secret DAKINI TEACHINGS. Padmasambhava's oral teachings to Princess Tsogyal. Wandel Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-942380-03-4 .
  • James Low: From the hand luggage of a Tibetan yogi - Basic texts of the Dzogchen tradition. Theseus Verlag, Berlin 1996, revised new edition: Wandel Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-942380-17-1 .
  • Anne Wanitschek: A Story of Padmasambhava ( online )
  • Martin Boord: Padmasambhava. Meditation on the Great Guru ( online )
  • Crystal Mirror Volume VI - Annual of Tibetan Buddhism, Dharma Publishing, Berkeley CA 1984, ISBN 0-913546-59-3
  • Keith Dowman: Skydancer - The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca NY 1996, ISBN 1-55939-065-4
  • Ngawang Zangpo: Guru Rinpoché - His Life and Times. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca NY 2002, ISBN 1-55939-174-X
  • The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. Dharma Publishing, Berkeley CA 1978, 2 volumes, ISBN 0-913546-20-8 . This text (པདམ་ བཀའི་ ཐང) was "discovered" by O-rgyan-gling-pa and ascribed to Yeshe Tsogyal. Translated from Tibetan into French by Gustave-Charles Toussaint (Le dict de Padma) ; Translated from French into English by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays.
  • James Low: Being Guru Rinpoche. Trafford Publishing, Oxford 2006, ISBN 1-4120-8407-5
  • Chhimed Rigdzin / James Low (translator): Seven Chapters of Prayer - Le'u bDun Ma. edition khordong im Wandel Verlag, Berlin 2008/2010, ISBN 978-3-942380-02-7
  • Herbert V. Guenther: The Teachings of Padmasambhava. Brill, Leiden 1996, ISBN 90-04-10542-5
  • German: The teachings of Padmasambhava. Buddhist Studienverlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-937059-21-1
  • Isabelle Charleux: Padmasambhava's Travel to the North: The Pilgramage to the Monastery of the Caves and the Old Schools of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia ( Online ; PDF; 426 kB)

Web links

Commons : Padmasambhava  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. "A manifestation of the Buddhas of the three times with wonderful deeds in this good age will appear in the middle of a wonderful lotus flower as Vidyadhara." Quoted from Yeshe Tsogyal, The Lotus-Born in the Land of Snow , p. 15
  2. Padmasambhava: Eight Forms
  3. Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche
  4. Brief information on the pages of The Yoniverse (English)