Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasabhava
Updated: May 28
Among Tibetans, Guru Padmasabhava is most well known as “Guru Rinpoche,” or the “precious guru.” He is the historically tangible founder of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also considered the founder of the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Nyingma school, but is nevertheless of great importance for all the other schools too.
There are eight different forms - manifestations of the Guru Rinpoche , the most common of them being fairly easy to recognize: he is depicted sitting with a special hat with upturned ear flaps and a spring at the top. As hardly anyone else in Tibetan iconography, Guru Rinpoche is pictured with a beard. In his left hand he holds a blood-filled skull-cup and in the right the Vajra. With his left elbow he holds a magic wand, which tip is usually a flaming trident (manifestation #4).
Guru Padmasambhava hid hundreds of teachings and instructions as treasures, in the forms of scriptures, images, and ritual articles, to be revealed at an appropriate time in the future. He saw that though the time was not ripe for him to teach them at that time, many of the teachings would benefit future generations. Since that time, more than one hundred tantric masters have revealed these treasures and taught them, as instructed by Padmasambhava, to their students. In this way, the Terma lineage emerged.
The Mantra of Guru Rinpoche:
OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADME SIDDHI HUM
There are 8 manifestations of the Guru Rinpoche
First Manifestation: Guru Tsokyé Dorje
Guru Tsokyé Dorje - at the time of birth. Directly related to Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of the western direction. Guru Padmasambhava was born to the northwest of Bodhgaya in a kingdom known as Oddiyana. Oddiyana has always been considered a very mystical place and is praised throughout Vajrayana literature
Second Manifestation: Guru Shakya Sengé
Guru Shakya Sengé - at the time of ordination. Guru Shakya Senge demonstrates how to awaken in this lifetime by using discipline and renunciation.
Third Manifestation: Guru Nyima Özer
Guru Nyima Özer - at the time of subjugating demonic spirits. is associated with crazy wisdom activities.
Fourth Manifestation: Guru Padmasambhava
Guru Padmasambhava, ‘Lotus-born’ - when establishing Buddhism in Tibet. This emanation is about transforming negative energy into more peaceful and compassionate forms, developing the power, and expressing the inner urge of Guru Padmasambhava which is the heart of loving-kindness and compassion.
Fifth Manifestation: Guru Loden Choksé
Guru Loden Choksé when He mastered the teachings. This third emanation means "supreme knowledge holder." Guru Loden Chokse is the emanation of Guru Rinpoche who deals with the removal of ignorance and the accumulation of wisdom through contemplation. Guru Loden Chokse also received the Dzogchen teaching known as the Empowerment of Awareness from Master Sri Singh. On the external level, he received many different instructions and mastered each one of them. This period of his life demonstrates how to follow a course of study and learn to develop our wisdom step by step.
Sixth Manifestation: Guru Padma Gyalpo
Guru Padma Gyalpo - kingship. Guru Padma Gyalpo openly demonstrates the splendor and magnificence of perception and conception when they’re completely free of ego-clinging and negative emotions.
Seventh Manifestation: Guru Sengé Dradrok
Guru Sengé Dradrok 'The Lion's Roar' when subjugating of non-buddhists. is the first of the two wrathful emanations of Guru Rinpoche. Wrathful deities are particularly useful in counteracting negative influences from black magic, curses and other disturbances, such as people who malign you for no good reason.
Eighth Manifestation: Guru Dorje Drolö
Guru Dorje Drolö - concealing terma. Is the crazy wrathful Buddha of the degenerate era. In order to preserve the practice of Dharma in Tibet, and secure the commitment of the local spirits to extend their protection across generations, Guru Padmasambhava emanated as Guru Dorje Drolo. In this form, he reconfirmed the power of his realization and insured the support and submission of the invisible beings.
Although incomprehensible to linear or chronological interpretations, all eight manifestations can simultaneously appear together or in many different places unlimited by any dualistic system of understanding.