Guru Padmasambhava

The Words of Kyapjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

In our own present world age, one thousand Buddhas will appear. Each one will be accompanied by an emanation of Guru Rinpoche to carry out the Buddha’s activities. In the present age of Buddha Shakyamuni, all the Buddha’s activity appeared in one emanation in the form of Padmasambhava, the Lotus-Born One.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Kyapjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Padmasambhava lived for a very long time. After his birth, he continued living in India for about one thousand years. Afterward, he arrived in Tibet and remained there for fifty-five years. Before Padmasambhava left Tibet, he made many predictions, hid many teachings to be revealed in the future, and blessed his close disciples to be inseparable from him. In this way, they would reincarnate in the future, reveal the hidden teachings, and be as powerful as Guru Rinpoche himself.

In particular, he prophesied the coming of 108 great tertöns, ‘hidden-treasure revealers.’ World history fluctuates, causing particular difficulties to arise at different times. Having foreknowledge of these historic intervals, Guru Rinpoche designed special practices that specific tertöns would reveal at the appropriate times, in order to aid human beings. The tertöns discovering these termas, or ‘hidden treasures,’ would then give a totally fresh, up-to-date teaching meant for that specific time and situation.

Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa

Chokgyur Lingpa was born in Sangyel, at the base of the sacred mountain Namkhadzö in the province of Nangchen, on the tenth day of the sixth month of the earth ox year (August 9, 1829). It is said that Chokgyur Lingpa was the final reincarnation of Prince Murup Tsenpo, second son of Dharma King Trisong Deutsen. Considered in his lineage as the last of the hundred major tertöns, Chokgyur Lingpa is regarded as the tertön meant for our times, with teachings particularly potent for our day and age. 

Chogyur Dechen Lingpa

Chokgyur Lingpa was also one of the most prolific treasure revealers of the nineteenth century. His revelations—together with their ancillary materials—span more than forty volumes of Tibetan pecha. They also include the three types of practices which qualify a Treasure revealer as a great treasure revealer—practices related to Guru Rinpoche, the Great Perfection, and Avalokiteshvara. Chokgyur Lingpa, moreover, was a holder of the seven transmissions, as predicted in his Treasure cycle, the Three Sections of the Great Perfection:

The unbroken Oral Lineage that comes from the scriptures,
the profound Actual Treasures and profound Mind Treasures,
the Rediscovered Treasures and the Recollected Treasures,
the Pure Vision Treasures and the Whispered Lineages —
the flowing river of these seven transmissions,
the foretold destiny of the king and his son,
will bring honor to the teachings in degenerate times.
They will be profound and vast in reach, spreading further than sunlight.

The king and son mentioned here are Trisong Deutsen and Murup Tsenpo, who were reincarnated respectively as Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa. Indeed, throughout his activity as a treasure revealer, Chokgyur Lingpa was closely associated with the two figures at the forefront of the non-sectarian Rimé movement – namely Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé, both of whom participated in many of his treasure discoveries and writings. These three masters were all related as teacher and disciple, each regarding the other two as gurus.

Tukdrup Barché Künsel:
The Guru’s Heart Practice, Dispeller of All Obstacles

According to the terma tradition of Chokgyur Lingpa and Jamyang Khyentsé, there are four levels of heart-practice or guru sadhanas: the outer is Barché Künsel, the inner is Sampa Lhündrup, the secret is Tsokyé Nyingtik, and the innermost secret is Guru Dorjé Draktsal. According to Chokgyur Lingpa’s personal tradition, the primary or root practice is the Gongpa Kündü, Embodiment of All Realization; while the two subsidiary practices are Barché Künsel and Sampa Lhündrup.

Words of Kyapjé Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoche

The Barché Künsel is the heart essence of the accomplished master Padmasambhava, who perceives the three times in their entirety. It is the quintessence of one billion heart sadhanas of the guru, the most unique terma, buried in the land of Tibet. It is also the first of the Four Cycles of Guru Sadhana. This Guru’s Heart Practice, Dispeller of All Obstacles contains in completeness all the profound key points of the view, meditation, and conduct of the three inner yoga tantras. It manifested from the secret treasury of great wisdom, the vast realization of the Second Buddha of Uddiyana, as self-existing, natural vajra sounds in perfect, melodious tones.

Its expressions, which are unmodified by the intellect of ordinary people; its words, which are without delusion; and its meaning, which is unmistaken, are exclusively due to the kindness of the three powerful knowledge holders, Khyentsé, Kongtrül, and Chokling, the great beings of the three families, who incarnated as masters to compile and propagate an ocean of secret teachings. It is exclusively through their kindness that this teaching was established in writing, as the splendor of unending welfare and happiness for disciples in the Land of Snow, and propagated to flourish everywhere. This pure and perfect teaching, which effortlessly bestows, in accordance with one’s wishes, the all-encompassing supreme and common siddhis, temporarily and ultimately, was an unprecedented diffusion of the gemstones of profound meaning, opening up the treasury of the universal monarch.


The short teachings given by Kyapjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Kyapjé Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoche are excerpts from the book Dispeller of Obstacles: The Heart Practice of Padmasambhava. If you wish to find out more about Lamé Tukdrup Barché Künsel you can refer to this book:

Padmasambhava. Dispeller of Obstacles: The Heart Practice of Padmasambhava. Trans. Erik Pema Kunsang, ed. Marcia Dechen Wangmo. Rangjung Yeshe Publications: Hong Kong, 2014.

Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.