Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, is considered as the second Buddha
and the apostle of Vajrayana Buddhism
. He was the founder of Buddhism in Tibet and spread the teachings of the Nine Yanas of Buddhism in Tibet and the entire trans-Himalayan area.
Padmasambhava in Sanskrit means ‘the lotus born'. He was born at Udyana, located in Swat near the present-day Afghanistan-Pakistan border. His birth was predicted by Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha.
Padmasambhava collected the entire contents of Vajrayana from the 84 Mahasiddhas (saints) and completed it himself. He was a famous teacher in Nalanda, an ancient center of learning situated in the eastern state of Bihar.
He went to Tibet in the 8th century when he was invited by the Tibetan king, Trisong Deutsen. He founded a Buddhist school there, named Nyingma. Padmasambhava translated many Tantric books from Sanskrit to Tibetan. Some books written by him were unearthed in Tibet from the 11th century onwards.
The Statue of Padmasambhava, situated at Samdrupste, in Namchi, is considered as the tallest statue of Padmasambhava in the world, about 135 ft high.