Guru Rinpoche has eight principal manifestations: Padmasambhava, Padmakara (San.; Tib. Pema Jungne), Shakya Senge, Loden Choksi, Dorje Trolö, Senge Dradrok, Nyima Öser, and Pema Gyalpo. King Trisong Detsen (755–797 C.E.) invited Shantarakshita to present the Buddhist teachings of the precepts and the sutras to the Tibetans. When they began to build the monastery at Samye, many obstacles arose in the form of psychic and political negativities. On Shantarakshita’s advice, the king invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet. In carrying out his mission, Padmasambhava converted and subjugated the local deities, binding them by oath to aid the teachings and not to obstruct them. In this way, he tamed the psychic environment of the Tibetan national ego, making possible the presentation of the complete teachings in Tibet.
Jetsün (Tib.): An honorific term applied to revered teachers.
outer, inner, and secret obstacles: Three types of obstacles to one’s realization of dharma. Outer obstacles manifest in the environment, such as quarrels or one’s car breaking down. Inner obstacles refer to physical sickness and conflicting emotions. Secret obstacles are the loss of one’s awareness of sacred outlook and falling into confused, dualistic projections of self and other, friend and enemy, good and bad.
pure four truths: The teachings of the hinayana, whose basis is the four noble truths.
Shakya Senge (Tib. “lion of the Shakya clan”): Padmasambhava’s manifestation as a monk, wearing robes, sitting in vajrasana (lotus posture), holding a begging bowl with his left hand and a vajra with the right. Sakya Senge shows Guru Rinpoche’s mastery and protection of the basic teachings of the dharma.
bodhichitta path: The teachings of the mahayana, whose basis is bodhichitta, or compassion for all sentient beings.
aspiring and entering: Two stages of engaging with the mahayana path: (1) the inspiration to take the vow of a bodhisattva and work for others, and (2) the actual discipline of the practicing the paramitas.
Loden Choksi (Tib. “Possessing Intelligence Supreme Existence”): Padmasambhava’s manifestation as the guru of the king of Sahor. He is depicted in royal robes, wearing a white turban on his head and a mirror around his neck. Through Guru Rinpoche’s miraculous ability to deal with whatever threats, difficulties, and obstacles arose, Loden Choksi manifested invincibility.
perverted aspirations: The desire to edit or twist the teachings in order to gain self-benefit, whether material, psychological, or spiritual.
Dorje Trolö (Tib. “Indestructible Loose-Hanging Stomach”): A wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava, with a red face and three eyes, biting his lower lip with his fangs, wielding a vajra in his right hand and a phurba in his left, standing on a pregnant tigress. Both he and Senge Dradrok are crazy wisdom forms; they transmute the poisonous confusion of samsara into spontaneous wisdom activity. In The Sadhana of Mahamudra, the form and the activity of Dorje Trolö is unified with that of Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa.
three yanas of the Great Eastern Sun: The Shambhala teachings for creating an enlightened society, based on fundamental human dignity and wisdom.
gyalgongs (Tib. “king spirit”): Demons who provoke the aggression of perverting the dharma with one’s analytical preconceptions, corrupting dharma vision into politics and sectarian strife. Trungpa Rinpoche described them as “monk-demons” possessed by spiritual pride.
senmos: Female demons who seduce the practitioner into samsaric passion through sensual fascination.
Guru Senge Dradrok (Tib. “Lion’s Roar”): A very wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava as a defender of the faith and great magician. He is dark blue, with three eyes and fangs, trampling on human corpses, wearing a tiger skin skirt, hair streaming upwards with a crown of five skulls and a necklace of human heads, surrounded by flames of wisdom and wrathful compassion.
Hepo Hill: A hill near Samye, where Padmasambhava tamed the local deities interfering with the establishment of dharma in Tibet.
Samye: The first Tibetan monastery, constructed in south central Tibet (probably between 775 and 779 C.E.) after the model of the Indian monastery Odantapuri. It was the center of the early transmission of Buddhism, where scriptures were translated into Tibetan.
deva (San.; Tib. lha, “god”): A male deity. A female deity is called a “devi.”
rakshasa (San.): A demon; one of the eight classes of gods and demons. They are said to live on the southwestern subcontinent of Chamara, where they are ruled by Padmasambhava.
Mahaguru (San. “great teacher”): An epithet of Padmasambhava, who wields supreme power over the phenomenal world.