Our Guru Rinpoche statue represents a very influential figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche is also known as Padmasambhava which means “lotus born” in Sanskrit. Although he is a mysterious person with a rich spiritual history, the historical facts are few and far between. We know that he was called to Tibet by his contemporary Santaraksita in the 8th century to assist with the construction of Tibet’s first monastery. This is because it was believed that evil mountain demons were impeding progress. Therefore, Padmasambhava used his spiritual influence to subdue the danger. As a result, the Samye monastery was completed shortly thereafter.
Additionally, he foresaw the demise of Tibetan Buddhism that was to come in the 9th-10th century and he preserved the teachings in a written form known as “terma”. These termas were hidden in secret locations around Tibet to be rediscovered at a more auspicious time. Also, the sacred teachings were written in a secret dakini script. Therefore, they had to be rediscovered by a qualified guru known as a “terton”. This Guru Rinpoche statue honors a prescient guru who was an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.
This Guru Rinpoche statue depicts him holding the khatvanga which has the three severed heads of the three kayas impaled on the tip. These heads represent the destruction of desire, form and formlessness. Additionally, his hat represents the 5 petals of the lotus blossom and the vulture feather on top represents realization of the highest view. The kapala skull is in the palm of the left hand which holds the vase of immortality inside. Furthermore, he holds the vajra in his right hand and his eyes glow in a state of pristine awareness.