Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) – The "Lotus-born"
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 1
Display 1

ABS 301

 Code: ABS 301

  Country: Bhutan


  Date: 1750 - 1800

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 12.3 x 16.5 x 10.3

  Materials: Silver

Padmasambhava – The "Lotus-born" aka Guru Rinpoche

Padmasambhava, "the Lotus-Born" is an essential and complex figure of Tibetan Buddhism. Worshipped by Tibetans as the establisher of Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century, he is regarded as the Second Buddha. Considered as the archetypal tantric master, he is also called Guru Rinpoche, the Precious master. Although a historical figure, his cult, especially with the Nyingma school which sees him as its founder, made him a supernatural, immortal character with multiple manifestations. Starting from the twelfth century onward, his hagiographies notably relate his stay in Tibet and the numerous teachings, objects, and sacred substances that he is said to have hidden for future generations in anticipation of future persecutions. These treasures or terma were destined to be rediscovered by tertön —incarnations of his twenty-five main disciples. He is also famous as a master of Dzogchen, "the Great Perfection", a special tradition proper to the Nyingma and the Bön. Said to be from Oddiyana in the Swat Valley, he can be easily identified thank to his long hair and thin mustache.

This small silver statue shows Padmasambhava under his most usual aspect. With long hair and a mustache, he is dressed in royal garments, wearing boots and his famous lotus hat, normally topped with vulture feathers or a peacock’s eyespot. His left hand holding a skull cup topped by a longevity vase rests in his lap, and the right held in front of his heart holds a vajra. He is also usually depicted with a trident in the crook of his left arm. The face and hand are painted with cold gold, and the earring and hats are inset with turquoises.