Padmasambhava popularly known as Guru Rinpoche, the ‘Precious Master’, is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. He blessed the 14th century saint Pema Lingpa, during his numerous past lives and prophesized that he would become the protector of dharma to fulfill the dharma wishes of all sentient beings. Pema Lingpa’s popularity, it’s known, had spread beyond the realms of human world. Given his accomplishments, there was no reason to remain in the samsaric world. However, to teach and help enlighten the sentient beings he took numerous rebirths in both pure and impure life forms.
Pema Lingpa first met Padmasambhava in the ninth century. He was then a princess of the Tibetan King Thrisong Duetsen called Pema Sel. She received transmissions and empowerments of Khandro Nyingtik – The Heart Essence of the Dakinis, one of the main practices of dzogchen. She was told that in a future life she would be born as one of the main treasure revealers – called terton Pema Lingpa. She would then reveal more than one hundred and eight major hidden treasures. Padmasambhava prophesized these treasures would revitalize and propagate Buddhism.
Since the encounter, the princess took several rebirths before finally being born as terton Pema Lingpa. She was reborn as a nun called Rikma Sangye Kyid from Tibet, Pema Drolma the consort of Guru Chokyi Wangchuk (1212-1270), Ngakchang Rinchen Drakpa, terton Pema Ledrel Tsel (1291-1315) and the great scholar Longchen Rabjam (1308-1364).
The great Longchen Rabjam equaled the realization and knowledge of Vimalamitra. He was regarded as the actual manifestation of the pinnacle of pundits of the land of Arayas, Vimalamitra. He mastered all the teachings he received and attained the victorious state of the primordial Buddha, and exhibited an enormous enlightened activity by reaching the peerless teaching of Atiyoga (Dzogchen), benefiting countless beings. Longchen Rabjam passed away into the ultimate state of reality in 1364 leaving behind the following prophecy:
‘My emanated rebirth will be an accomplished dharma practitioner and trustworthy to everyone; will possess the knowledge to liberate all sentient beings; until then you, the great disciples; I pray that we will meet again and will relish the joy of practicing dharma.’