Place of Guru Rinpoche in Nepal

  • Hemanta Budhathoki
  • Last Updated on Jul 21, 2024

Table of Contents

Padmasambhava also is known as Guru Rinpoche was a Buddhist master and founder of Tibetan Buddhism. He is respected as a second Buddha. His first Buddhist monastery is in Tibet at Samye. He has traveled many holy places in Nepal and taught, practiced, accomplished the Dharma, and visit many places in Nepal too. Here we are describing the places of Padmasambhava in Nepal. Those places are still important and preserved as places of holy Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche in Nepal.

22 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, Padmashamvaba entered in a meditation retreat focused on the Tantric Buddha know as Vajrakilaya in Tibetan. This result became the foundation of the majority of Vajrakilaya wisdom and the main theory of Tibetan Buddhism. He again enters the Upper cave in Pharping which is known as Asura cave now and he attained there and achieved knowledge of Mahamudra. Pharping now a day has the same significance to Vajrayana Buddhists as Bodhgaya. This is the main place of Padmasambhava in Nepal.

Upper cave of Guru Rinpoche (Asaura cave) in Pharping 

Matrika cave
There are many other sites related to Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava in Nepal. The dramatic cave in the Khotang district of Nepal also known as Matrica cave, where Padmasambhava practice secret tantric consort rituals with Mandarava. Mandarava is considered to be a female Guru idol in Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana. They both flow to Matrika cave from Rewalsar Lake India and practice sadhana. It is believed Mandarava attained full enlightenment alongside Padmasambhava inside Matrika cave Nepal.

Another important pilgrimage place of Padmasambhava is in Timal. Guru on his journey back from Tibet, he meditated there before moving Pharping at Asura cave. There are several interconnected stories of Guru Rinpoche's meditation in the caves of Timal and his unexceptional charges against the evils around, generation of lakes called Tongsum Kunda using his vajra (thunderbolt), and the origination of Bodhichitta Maala (Praying beads) which believed not to be able to grow elsewhere other than Timal village in Buddhistic Nepal. Timal village is 75 kilometers towards the east from Kathmandu.

Yempi Mahavihar temple in Patan is the first place where Guru Rinpoche lived in Nepal. Before that, he had been staying in the charnel grounds. So this temple is the first temple where Guru Rinpoche lived. As soon as Guru Rinpoche settled here, the eighty-four mahasiddhas from India came to visit him and brought with them a wealth of tantras, tantric scriptures. Before this temple, Guru Rinpoche is believed to have meditated in the caves in the Pharping, 22km southwest of Kathmandu Valley, which is known as Asura cave.

Swoyambhunath inside Kathmandu valley also has some legend about Guru Rinpoche. According to the Pema Kathang, Guru Rinpoche met his Newar consort Shakyadevi at Swayambhunath, and together they deeply and better practice of secret mantra in this world.  One of the huge Guru Rinpoche statues is stood now a day at bottom of Swoyambhunath.
Guru Rinpoche Statue in Nepal
Guru Rinpoche Statue in Kathmandu at bottom of Swoyambhunath stupa 

When and where was Padmashambhava born?

He was born in the 8th century, 717 AD. According to legend, Padmasambhava was incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a multi-colored lotus blossom floating on an island in the Lake Dhanakosha in current Odessa of India. Padmasambhava was the adopted child of King Indrabhuti of Sambalak (Now the modern city of SAMBALPUR, ODISHA). The sister of king Indrabhuti named Laxmikara was a master of Tantric Buddhism who spread the Tantric Campion of Buddhism when she got married in subarnapur, the present Sonepur district of ODISHA. So it can be stated that Padmasambhava learned the Tantric Buddhism from her aunty Laxmikara and later when he left Sambalak, he transferred the knowledge of Tantric Buddhism learned from her aunty Laxmikara to different Himalayan states such as Nepal, Bhutan, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet, and Sikkim.

Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet by Tibetan king Trisong Detsen and founded Tibetan Buddhism together with other invited scholars and masters. According to Jamgon Kongtrul, Guru Rinpoche spent 55 years in Tibet. He is respected as the second Buddha by the Nyingma School. (The oldest Buddhist school in Tibet). He also helped to build the firest Buddhist monastery in Tibet at Samye with the request of the Tibetan King. The wife of Tibetan king Yeshe Tsogyal became a great master and Buddha in her life after studying with Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava.

How is Guru Rinpoche important to us?

Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava is a mean born from Lotus. He is the second Buddha. He is said to have his own miraculous power including the ability to control demons and evil spirits. His birth was predicted by Sakyamuni Buddha. He conquered these entities throughout Nepal and Tibet, making them into protectors of the dharma, as a way of pacifying the country of its aggression and making it a place where the dharma would flourish.

Muktinathis Chumig Gyatsa, which means “The Hundred Springs.” For both Tibetan Buddhists and the Himalayan Buddhists of Nepal, it is venerated as one of the 24 places where Guru Rinpoche practiced in the 8th century on his way from India to Tibet and is a very important place where dakinis (dancing goddesses who are manifestations of energy in space) are said to reside. Guru blessed the place and made his own statue which can still be found in the Narsingh Gompa of Muktinath. The nuns of Chumig Gyatsa are also considered to be dakinis, being the offspring of the females who lived there during Guru Rinpoche’s time and were taught by him; when the time came for him to leave, he built a statue in his own image, which resides in the Gompa and is tended by the nuns to this day. A Buddhist monk present worship in the temple.

Nepal, the land of Buddha birth is also blessed by second Buddha Guru Rinpoche. Including all these six important pilgrimage places of Padmasambhava, Nepal highland treks have designed a perfect Guru Rinpoche tour in Nepal. Tour including not only the pleases but also including Himalayan experienced too.    

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki is team leader of Nepal Highland Trekking and travel company. 

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