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Guru Rinpoche


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Guru Rinpoche (tib. Padmasambhava) is often considered second only to the Buddha in importance regarding the spread and preservation of Buddhism.  Credited with subduing the demons in Tibet so that Buddhism can have a secure place, Guru Rinpoche is celebrated as the one who insured the safety of Buddhism throughout all of Tibet. 

The absolute tantric master, Guru Rinpoche (precious teacher) was born out of a lotus blossom.  Known as a great master, he was invited by King Trisong Detsen to rid Tibet of its harsh demons and spirits to make a suitable environment for the continuation of Buddhism in Tibet.  Guru Rinpoche won the respect and love of Tibetans by subduing the wrathful forces that inhabit Tibet into working for the protection of Buddhism and Buddhists throughout all of Tibet.  Upon performing certain rituals including some fire offerings, the name of Guru Rinpoche is called to remind the spirits of their oath to aid the interests of Buddhism.  Certain meditations visualize the presence, and if the practitioner is a great master the manifestation of Guru Rinpoche to subdue the evil forces that can stand as obstacles in the way of achieving nirvana. 

Guru Rinpoche is seated upon a lotus blossom with his right foot resting in lalitasana position on a smaller lotus bloom.  Dressed in red robes and crowned by a magical red hat, Guru Rinpoche holds in his right hand a vadjra (dorje) and in his left a skull cup filled with ambrosia.  Resting on his left shoulder is a tantric staff decorated with the heads of demons defeated, and ending in a trident.  Guru Rinpoche sits in the center of the piece with a rainbow bounding over his head, while he is accompanied by two hosts.  One seated to his left is the bodhisattva of wisdom Manjushri seated in a lotus blossom in teaching pose.  To his right sits Sakya Pandita, an incarnation of Manjushri known for his exceptional abilities at debate, and part of Panchen Lama lineage.



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