Birthday of Guru Padmasambhava – Thukdrub Trinley Gyepa Puja
Guru Padmasaṃbhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, was an Indian Buddhist scholar who is revered for his role in bringing Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet. He was invited to Tibet in the 8th century at the request of King Trisong Detsen where he helped construct Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and translated many important Buddhist texts into the Tibetan language, thus helping to spread the teachings. He is considered to be the founder of the Nyingma school, the oldest of the four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Besides being a historical figure, Guru Padmasaṃbhava is a symbol of enlightenment in the Dzogchen teachings of the Nyingma tradition. According to legend, Guru Padmasaṃbhava was born in the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāna in the heart of a lotus flower. His birth was foreseen by Buddha Śākyamuni and he is considered to be the “Second Buddha” in some traditions, incarnated to accomplish the actions of the Buddhas of the past, present, and future.
One of the actions of Guru Padmasaṃbhava is to hide teachings, practices, and knowledge (known as termas) to be discovered later by tertöns (treasure revealers) at the right time for each era. One of these termas is the Chokling Tersar which was revealed by two great tertöns, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa. Within the Chokling Tersar is the Tukdrup Barché Künsel, also known as the Pūjā of the 12 Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche. This pūjā can be performed as an elaborate practice (Thukdrup Trinley Gyepa), average practice (Thukdrup Trinley Dengpo), or concise practice (Thukdrup Trinley Nyingpo).
Each year on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, the Thukdrup Trinley Gyepa Pūjā is performed at the monastery to mark the birthday of Guru Padmasaṃbhava and to receive his blessings and wisdom and protection from obstacles. During this all day pūjā, each of the individual sadhanas of the 12 manifestations of Guru Padmasaṃbhava is performed, with the focus being on the mind aspect of Guru Padmasaṃbhava (as separate from the body and speech aspects).
May everyone rejoice in this noble and virtuous event and dedicate the merit for the benefit of all sentient beings.