Padmasambhava is the Lotus Born Tantric Buddha who established Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet in the 9th century upon the invitation of Chögyal Trisong Détsen.
Ngak’chang Rinpoche comments:
stands out in the history of the world’s traditions of Buddhism as being a major
figure for the dissemination of the widest and most thoroughly encompassing
vision of Dharma. He is utterly unprecedented in every sense in terms of
compassion, wisdom, and power. He opened the door to realisation to innumerable
beings and provided systems of methodology so vividly variegated and
indefinitely unfolding as to provide the means of liberation of every style of
dualistic bewilderment throughout the ages. His inspiration is as potent now as
it ever has been and the lineages he inspired continue today, to provide the
spiritual nourishment for accomplishment in every sphere of Dharma.
Padmasambhava is the embodiment of the wisdom of the Buddhas of the past present and future and encapsulates the enlightened gestalt of the 84 Mahasiddhas. Padmasambhava manifested the attainment of the four Rig’dzin levels as an inspiration to practice Vajrayana and is thus known as Dü-sum Sang-gyé Rinpoche (dus gSum sangs rGyas gu ru rin po che) The Precious Teacher – Buddha of the Three Times.
Together with his Consort – Khandro Chenmo Yeshé Tsogyel (mKha’ ’gro chen mo ye shes mTsho rGyal) – he hid innumerable gTérmas throughout Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, and the entire Transhimalayan area – to be discovered and revealed by predestined disciples in the future – the gTértön Gya-tsa (gTer sTon brGya rTsa – ‘The Hundred gTértöns’) the hundred revealers of spiritual treasure predicted by Padmasambhava to spread the Vajrayana teachings in the future. gTérma (gTer ma) is Vajrayana transmission through concealed treasures hidden, mainly by Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel, to be discovered at the proper time by a gTértön for the swift realisation of future disciples. It is one of the two chief traditions of the Nyingma Tradition – the (Nyé Gyüd gTérma – nye brgyud gter ma) or Short Lineage of gTérma and the Long lineage of Kama.
Padmasambhava resides in the wisdom space known as the Copper Coloured Mountain (rNga gYab zangs mDog dPal ri).
This line drawing by Khandro Déchen depicts him according to the Aro gTér lineage in which he is shown as the Tantric Buddha – the quintessential, all-pervasive, Vajra Master of the gö kar chang-lo’i dé.