The Lotus Born: The Life Story Of Padmasambhava
Guru Rinpoche (Precious Master) is one of the highly revered enlightened Buddha. He is a Buddha who has incarnated as one of the Vajrayana Buddhist World’s finest sages. Also referred to as Padmasambhava, with his strength of intelligence and compassion, he has helped unlimited sentient beings for eons.
Padmasambhava is often termed as ‘Lotus Born’. He was mysteriously born to use and serve his knowledge and compassion to benefit an unlimited number of sentient beings. In Zangdok Palri Pure Land, where he first appeared, he still resides as the body of light.
Shakyamuni Buddha foreshadowed the coming of Guru Rinpoche,
“Eight years after my mahaparinirvana, a remarkable being with the name Padmasambhava will appear in the center of a lotus and reveal the highest teaching concerning the ultimate state of the true nature, bringing great benefit to all sentient beings.”
Twelve years after the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana the Buddha of Infinite Light's blessing light hit a lotus in the Milk Ocean in the southwest direction from Bodhgaya. As stated in Terma teachings, Padmasambhava emerged miraculously as an eight-year-old kid seated on a lotus flower while clutching a vajra and a lotus. Guru Rinpoche was thus miraculously born without human parents through lotus birth. While traveling over the sea, Indrabodhi, the King of Oddiyana, and his Ministers discovered the newborn. He was brought to the Palace where he was crowned as the Crown Prince.
The youthful Padmasambhava received training in all the knowledge arts and mastered them. However, he soon left the royal Palace to devote his life to helping sentient creatures via the use of esoteric knowledge and sacred power. He was a fully realized Buddha, but to emphasize the need of adhering to the Dharma, he also received numerous transmissions from Dakini, non-human deities, and human knowledge-holders. He imparted those teachings to an endless number of visible and invisible entities, and with the use of his unbreakable strength, he subdued countless evil powers that were impeding his enlightening endeavors.
Guru Rinpoche and his Consort
Click here to view thangka of Guru Rinpoche with two consorts
On the journey of his teachings, spreading the words of wisdom, and helping innumerable sentient beings Guru Rinpoche had a total of five consorts. Each consort helped him in his sadhana to attain higher realization. Out of five consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal are his two major consorts. They are considered as ‘Female Guru Deity’.
As stated in ancient hagiographies, Princess Mandarava was a smart, righteous, and elegant who was born to a royal couple in Zahor, northeastern India. Her mother Mohauki was a Dakini, while her father Vihardhara was the incarnation of Suddhodana, father of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Mandarava's loving parents granted all her wishes, but as she got older, she was moved by the inevitable nature of pain in samsara. Her parents agreed when she requested that she may dedicate her life to religious observance if she stayed in the palace.
Mandarava had achieved mastery in all the sciences by the time she was 13. Together with the instructor Vimalapraja, she learned the ‘Four Noble Truths’ and accepted the bodhisattva vows. All her palace maidens were motivated by her to follow a holy path.
Click here to view High Quality Thangka Painting of Dakini Mandarava
At the age of 16, Mandarava had already received her monastic ordination. Around that time Guru Rinpoche manifested himself and imparted his teachings. She instantly realized that Guru was an excellent instructor. She acquired the hidden Vajrayana's teachings and empowerments. In her own royal rooms, her other maids were also there. He concluded by giving her the initiations.
One day, a cowherd saw Guru Padmasambhava instructing Mandarava. They were both in her private chambers. He then started gossiping about which King Vihardhara heard the rumors as well.
The monarch was furious that a commoner was associated with his daughter after she had rejected marriage to all the other kingdoms when he heard that Padmasambhava was living in Mandarava's palace. He gave the order to have Padmasambhava burnt alive and Mandarava imprisoned in a pit. In place of being burnt, Padmasambhava changed the funeral pyre into a lake of sesame oil. A ring of fire ringed the lake, and in the center of the fire, a giant lotus flower emerged, on which he was sitting among clouds and rainbows.
The monarch realized his mistake after seeing such a remarkable event. Guru Rinpoche was not an ordinary being, he pledged. They were greatly moved and motivated by the event. The king and his soldiers then admitted their wrongdoing. Guru Padmasambhava, the Lotus-born guru, provided them with direction and so Dharma practice spread across the entire kingdom.
Mandarava journeyed to Maratika Cave alongside Padmasambhava and both practiced and perfected the longevity rituals related to the union of Hayagriva and Vajravarahi. They attained "eternal life," which in this context refers to the unchanging comprehension of the fundamental nature of phenomena and the intellect. At the age of 16, Mandarava became the first of Padmasambhava's five historical spiritual consorts.
"Om hrih bam jana dakini mandarava ayu siddhi ja hung"
Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal
Yeshe Tsogyal is referred to as the "Mother of the Victorious Ones" to symbolize the idea that she is a manifestation of Prajnaparamita, the understanding that all things are unborn, unproduced, and without end.
Click here to view High Quality Thangka Painting of Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal
Yeshe Tsogyal made a promise to the former Buddha in her previous existence as a merchant, that she would only be reincarnated for the welfare of creatures. She was a member of the wealthy Kharchen family from the Chokdro Dri region when she was born in 777. Yeshe Tsogyal's mother had a dream that a blue woman arrived in the sky and shot a star into her womb while she was conceived. A very adorable baby girl was born nine months later. She had a mark of crossed vajras on her forehead. At the same time a ,spring suddenly sprang from the earth and a pond was formed close to the home. Tsogyal Lha-tso, or the sacred lake of Tsogyal, came to be known as a popular pilgrimage destination.
She was inhumanly beautiful and due to her breathtaking beauty, she began to get marriage proposals very quickly. She did eventually become King Trisong Detsen's consort and queen. Later, as a token of gratitude for receiving all the empowerments, transmissions, and concise directions, the king presented her to his master Padmasambhava. She was freed by Padmasambhava, who later accepted her as a disciple.
She practiced in thousands of retreats despite being already enlightened to bless all sentient beings and eliminate barriers for aspiring practitioners. She also got the siddhi of recalling precisely everything Padmasambhava taught. She gathered all the lessons that the Guru had taught in Tibet using the power of her memory, and at the order of the Guru, she concealed them all in various locations as Terma to be exposed in the future for the benefit of the disciples. The secret Dakini language was used to encrypt these concealed Terma.
These valuable scriptures, which have been discovered at auspicious periods throughout Tibetan history, demonstrate the "fresh warm breath" of true teachings by skillfully addressing different aspects. Because of this crucial role, Yesh Tsogyal is forever regarded by Tibetans as the mother of realization. She establishes herself as an eternal, timeless presence in the Tibetan imagination by making a pledge upon her death that she will always answer to cries for protection, blessing, and realization. There have been several emanations of her throughout Tibetan history, and artifacts including hair, Dakini calligraphy, clothes, and ritual tools have been found across the country.
Her flower landed on the Vajrakila mandala during the empowerment of the Eight Sadhanas. She made substantial progress via the sadhana practice. She spent years practicing in solitude as Padmasambhava's companion while receiving all his teachings, eventually becoming his heart disciple and spiritual successor. Together, they journeyed to Tibet, engaged in practice, and bestowed spiritual blessings on many sites.
She stayed in Tibet for many years after Padmasambhava went to secure the teachings, re-conceal them, and save innumerable individuals. She left Shang Zabulung in 837 as her life was coming to an end and went through the heavens to Padmasambhava's pure land, Zangdok Palri.
Yeshe Tsogyal Mantra
"Om Ah Hung Benzra Guru Jnanasagara Bam Ha Ri Ni Sa Siddhi Hung"
To this present day, she still makes appearances in visions and dreams today, giving support, counsel, and prophesy to those who seek her. From this angle, Yeshé Tsogyal strengthens her enduring presence for Tibetan Buddhist practitioners by adding lineage authority.In a remarkable chapter in ‘Lady of the Lotus-Born, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal, two of Guru Rinpoche's most well-known consorts, impart teachings to one another.
" Mandarava requested the twenty-seven pith instructions, special teaching of the Guru, unknown in India. And Tsogyal offered them to her. Now Mandarava was a Dakini of longevity, a Lady of Immortal Life, and so Tsogyal asked her for the seven pith instructions of long life, as well as the thirteen pith instructions on Hayagriva and other deities, all which teachings she concealed as Treasures. "
Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal Portrayal
Click here to view Statue set of Dakini Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal
The statue set of Khando Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarva was expertly hand-crafted using ancient techniques. The master artisans molded the body using copper. On both deities, intricate designs and patterns are hand-craved. Later it is gilded using 24K pure gold. The two statues' dimensions are identical to fit your prayer altar perfectly. Both deities are shown standing on top of a moon disc lotus, one hand folded inward and the other spread out, each carrying various holy ceremonial objects. Mandarava holds a vase with her left hand, while Yeshe Tsogyal holds a skull cup. The crowns are adorned with priceless gemstones. The acrylic paint gives the statue a captivating aesthetic by highlighting the details more. This figurine can be used in various Buddhist rituals and meditation practices.
In the thangka paintings, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal are seated on a moon disc lotus seat. Both the deities are adorned with crowns and body ornaments embellished with precious gemstones.
Mandarava holds a bumpa or wisdom vase of the ashtamangala with her left hand and on the right shoulder rests a trident having 5 colorful silk with a mirror above it. Yeshe Tsogyal holds kapala, a skull cup. The vibrant halo illuminates their faces beautifully.