Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - (Main Form)

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 69902)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: King

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P4956

Interpretation / Description

Padmasambhava (Tibetan: pema jung ne. English: the Lotus Born) from the land of Oddiyana. The main founder of Tibetan Buddhism, 8th century, surrounded by a variety of emanated forms protecting from the common sufferings of worldly existence. (From the Terma text Barche Kunsal Tugdrup).

Pemasambhava Pema Jungne Biographical Details

Along with Trisong Detsen and Shantarakshita, Padmasambhava is considered one of the principal early teachers to bring Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century, Padmasambhava has numerous forms representing outer, inner and secret aspects of his spiritual being. He is also known by many different names which generally follow chronologically his life story. Aside from Trisong Detsen and Shantarakshita, the most important figures to interact with Padmasambhava were his principle Tibetan consort Yeshe Tsogyal and the principal Twenty-five Disciples. There are various Padmasambhava Number Sets which help to organize the important topics and essential subjects of his life and chronological sequence of important events, along with grouping the various sub-sets of important disciples. An 18th century curiosity is the inclusion of Padmasambhava as one of the pre-incarnations in the line of Panchen Lamas.

Concerning the life story of Padmasambhava there are at least four different versions of his birth and early childhood. [1] Within the Oral (Kama) Tradition of the Nyingma School, Padmasambhava was born in Northern India as the son of a king, or minister. [2] In the Revealed Treasure (Terma) Tradition he was born on a lotus in Dhanakosha lake, in the country of Oddiyana, as an emanation of Lokeshvara and the Buddha Amitabha. [3] The Treasure King, Dorje Lingpa, revealed a number of Buddhist and Bon treasure texts where the Bon explain a completely different narrative of the life story and have Padmasambhava born in Tibet. [4] There is also some evidence to suggest that Padmasambhava came from South India and that he was the brother-in-law of the Indian Abbott Shantarakshita, founder of Samye, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.

Jeff Watt 11-2011

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection: Private 5
Subject: Transferance (Powa)
Padmasambhava: 'Revealed Treasure'
Padmasambhava: Terma Forms & Transference
Padmasambhava: Main Form (Vajra at the Knee)