The Lotus Born Guru Rinpoche and his Disciples
Guru Rinpoche is a highly esteemed Vajrayana Buddhist guru, and a fully enlightened Buddha often referred to as Padmasambhava. The sole purpose of existence was servitude towards the sentient beings through his power of wisdom and compassion towards them. He has considered a future Buddha foretold from Buddha Shakyamuni.
During the 9th century, Padmasambhava visited Tibet through the invitation of Trisong Duetsen; this was regarded as the first time Buddhism had entered Tibet. One such incident would include the subduing of living and non-living creatures of a particular area that were making the construction of the Samye monastery a hindrance. It is believed that he battled the spirits at the peak of the Hepo mountains and made them swear their allegiance to the dharma and its allegiance.
Guru Rinpoche later visited many different places which surrounded the lands near Tibet and blessed them as 'Sacred Lands.' He also miraculously concealed these esoteric truths in his followers' impressionable minds while teaching them is even more extraordinary. Then he hid many religious items and texts in several places, such as rocks, sculptures, lakes, and even space. These religious artifacts would later be known as his renowned Terma or 'hidden treasure teaching'; those are what are referred to as covert teaching.
Preaching Buddhism to his inner circle in Tibet made him well known as Guru Rinpoche due to the fact of his influence on the spread of Buddhism in Tibet. His yogic and philosophical teachings formed the basis of the Nyingma sect, an early Tibetan Buddhist order.
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25 disciples of Padmasambhava
During the journey of Guru Rinpoche, he had many followers as well as disciples during his time. Guru Rinpoche mainly had 25 followers during his time preaching Buddhism; they played a significant role in the spread of Buddhism. The 25 disciples were later known as masters who attained great experience, insight, knowledge, and success.
Among the 25 disciples, guru Rinpoche had all obtained the rainbow bodies (except Trisog Detsen) and were the first mahasiddhas of Tibet. These twenty-five Mahasiddhas are considered to have future incarnations of particular importance, as they were destined to find the treasures of Padmasambhava's Therma. To this day, these 24 disciples continue to reincarnate as Tertons, passing on the teachings of Padmasambhava to new generations in a pure and modern way.
1.King Trisong Detsen [ khri srong lde'u btsan]
The 38 kings of Tibet were also considered one of the most important disciples and the most important key piece in introducing Buddhism in Tibet. The great masters Shantarashita and Guru Padmasambhava came to Tibet from India to establish Buddhism. This mainly occurred due to the efforts and requests of the king.
2.Namkhé Nyingpo [nam mkha'i snying po]
Among the twenty-five disciples of Guru Rinpoche, Namkhé Nyingpo was considered the most devoted student of all. He was well versed in Sanskrit and was known for visiting India on multiple occasions to study with humkara and other instructors. Guru Rinpoche empowered him in Samye Chinpu's cave. He achieved supreme dominion through the worship of that particular god and was believed to ride the rays of the sun.
3.Nupchen Sangye Yeshe [gnubs chen sangs rgyas ye shes]
She is rumored to have lived for 113 years, and some believe more than 130. Several tantras were translated by him, and the Anuyoga teachings were also brought back to Tibet by him. In persecuting Buddhist believers in Tibet, King Langdharma is said to have spared normal tantriks due to his supernatural powers.
4.Gyalwa Chokyang [rgyal ba mchog dbyangs]
Like Namke Ningbo, he was ordained as a monk by Master Shantarakshita. Kagyé's flower landed on the mandala of Hayagriva as Guru Rinpoche was empowering him in the Samye Chimpu caves. He was able to transform into a deity with the practice that he had.
5.Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal [ye shes mtsho rgyal]
She was known for many titles during her time 'mother of Tibetan Buddhism is what people would often call her. She was considered the highest woman in Nyigma Vajrayan and attained enlightenment within her lifetime. Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal is often referred to as the 'Victorious Ocean of Knowledge' or 'Knowledge Lake Empress.'
6.Palgyi Yeshé [dpal gyi ye shes]
Palgyi Yeshé was born at Yadrok in Drokmi Clan. Under the guidance of his primary religious master, Nyak Jñānakumara and Ma Rinchen Chok (rma rin chen mchog), he achieved many great things. He was also responsible for translating Mamo Bötong and numerous other articles, which are regarded as highly important.
7.Langchen Palgyi Seng [rlangs chen dpal gyi seng ge]
Lanfchen Palgyi Seng is known for achieving both normal and highest levels of achievements through the practice of Jikten Chötö. Among the 108 translators who were sent to India and Oddiyana he was one of them.
8.Vairotsana [bai ro tsa na]
Vairotsana, from a young age, displayed incredible intelligence and extraordinary abilities, including the ability to fly and read people's minds. He was also considered the most outstanding translator of Tibetan lotsewas by many practitioners. Just like Gyalwa Chokyang and Namkhé Nyingpo, he was also ordained as a monk by great master Shantarakshita. Alongside Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, he was one of the three principal gurus who introduced the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet.
9.Nyak Jñanakumara or Yeshé Shyönnu [gnyag dz+nyA na ku ma ra]
Among the many skilled monks and translators in Tibet, one of the few who received the Four Great Rivers of Transmission from Yudra Nyingpo, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava, and Vimalamitra. His work includes the translation of the Tantra of Mahayoga and Ati Yoga in close collaboration with Vimalamitra. He also goes by the names Nyag Lotsawa and Drimey Dashar, which means "Flawless Moonlight."
10.Gyalmo Yudra Nyingpo [g.yu sgra snying po]
An outstanding scholar and translator who studied under Vairotsana, Vimalamitra, and Padmasambhava. He is one of the 108 Rotosawa Translators and the primary lineage bearer of the Dzogchen Spiritual Division of the Great Translator Vairotosana.
11.Nanam Dorje Dudjom [sna nam rdo rje bdud 'joms]
One of the many ministers dispatched by King Trisong Detsen to invite Guru Rinpoche to Tibet was Nanam Dorje Dudjom. He had the skill of flying at the speed of the wind and passing through solid rocks, perfected through practice and determination. His flower landed on Vajrakilaya's mandala when he received his powers from Padmasambhava.
12. Yeshé Yang [ ye shes dbyangs]
Yeshe Yang (Tibetan for "Melody Wisdom") was the lead author of the Termas Records of Padmasambhava and an accomplished yogi with the ability to soar into the heavens on the wings of birds.
13. Sokpo Lhapal [ye shes dbyangs]
Sokpo Lhapal was a blacksmith by profession who was taught by Guru Rinpoche and Nyak Jnanakumara. A feat of Vajrakilaya's practice was to catch or take hold of ferocious animals by hand, which he was more than capable of. The second throne holder of the Palyul Monastery, Pema Lhundrub Gyatso (1660-1727), is believed to be one of the reincarnations of Sokpo Lhapal.
14. Nanam Shyang Yeshé Dé [sna nam zhang ye shes sde]
The Madhyamakalankara texts were translated by the combined efforts of Nanam Shyang Yeshé Dé with Surendrabodhi. More than 300 hundred texts were translated with his help, mainly including Nanam Shyang Yeshé Dé, together with Surendrabodhi, which currently resides in the Kangyur and Tengyur.
15. Kharchen Palgyi Wangchuk [mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug]
With the practice of Vajrakilaya, he attained enlightenment. Kharchen Palgyi Wangchuk means the 'Resplendent Lord.' He was one of the brothers of Yeshe Tsogyal.
16. Denma Tsémang [ldan ma rtse mang]
A renowned Sanskrit translator and a master Tibetan calligrapher. He is famously known for creating a new type of calligraphic style as well as translating several different terms from Sanskrit. He is also believed to have a perfect memory due to his training efforts.
17. Kawa Paltsek [ska ba dpal brtsegs]
He was ordained as a monk by Shantarakshita and was considered one of the best Tibetan translators. He, along with Sarvajadeva, was the first to transcribe Bodhisattva Bodhisattva into Tibetan. He was sent to India under the orders of King Trisong Detsen to invite Vimalamitra to Tibet.
18. Shüpu Palgyi Sengé [shud phu dpal gyi seng ge]
One of the ministers with Shüpu Palgyi Sengé, Nanam Dorje Dudjom sent by the king to invite Guru Rinpoche to Tibet. Under the guidance of his Padmasambhava he translated several Mamo, Yamantaka, and Kilaya teachings into Tibetan. His successes with kilaya and Mamo allowed him to break rocks with his daggers and divide rivers.
19. Dré Gyalwé Lodrö ['bre rgyal ba'i blo gros]
Dré Gyalwé Lodrö started out as Gönpo, a trusted adviser to Trisong Deutsen, and was subsequently ordained under the name of Gyalwey Lodrö. Gyalwey Lodrö means "Victory Knowledge." According to legend, he achieved his Vidyadhara degree of longevity, and from 1012 until 1088, he taught Buddhism to Rongzom Pandita Chökyi Sangpo (rong zom chos kyi bzang po). He took lessons from Junkala in India and became a successful translator.
20. Khye'u Chung Lotsawa [khye'u chung lo tsA ba]
With the common belief of him being a reincarnation of a Hindu maha Pandita, he was introduced early to Sanskrit, which resulted in him being called "boy translator." Before he was a disciple of Padmasambhava, he worked as a householder. He, later on, went to master the early transmission tantra.
21. Otren Palgyi Wangchuk ['o bran dpal gyi dbang phyug]
Otren Palgyi Wangchuk was a renowned scholar and tantrika who achieved siddhis by meditating on Guru Drakpo, the angry nature of Padmasambhava. "Lady of the Lotus" and other documents mention his name. Guru Rinpoche, born of Gyalwa Janchup, bestowed the sadhanas of the outer, inner, and hidden roots of Mamos, Nyuap, and Reggae and asked him to practice at Yerpa Cave.
22. Ma Rinchen Chok [rma rin chen mchog]
He was then selected among the 25 disciples of Guru Rinpoche with six other disciples. He was also skilled at translations; with Vimalamitra and his help, they translated many tantras. 'Cittabindu Upadesha,' a work by three renowned Siddhas Buddhaguhya, Lilavajra, and Vimalamitra, was translated with his help.
23. Lhalung Palgyi Dorje [lha lung dpal gyi rdo rje]
Lhalung Palgyi Dorje born in Dromto Gungmoche ('brom stod gung mo che), east of Lhasa on the north bank of the Kyichu River (skyid chu).He was responsible for eliminating the evil King Langdharma, freeing the man, and ending the persecution of Buddhism in Tibet. He also attained the rainbow body at the end of his life.
24. Langdro Könchok Jungné-Langdro Lotsawa [lang gro dkon mchog 'byung gnas]
Langdro Könchok Jungné was considered one of the most important ministers of King Trisong Detsen. He is believed to have had many reincarnations; the renowned tertön Ratna Lingpa, Dzogchen Pema Rigdzin, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo are considered his principal reincarnations.
25. Lasum Gyalwa Changchup [la gsum rgyal ba byang chub]
One of the first of seven other Tibetans to receive a complete ordinance from Shantarakshita monk. He was a close disciple of Padmasambhava, possessed siddhi, and was able to fly. One of his incarnations is said to be Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab, the founder of the famous Palyül monastery in Kham. He is considered knowledgeable and made trips to India to translate holy texts frequently during his time.