] King Indrabhuti adopted him as his son and spiritual master. Padmasambhava is one of his eight names, one for each of eight important actions he performed during his lifetime. He studied in Nalanda University in India and became an ordained monk. He practiced tantric Buddhism and was held in high esteem as the greatest master of the occult science in India and as such was recommended to the king of Tibet in eighth century A.D. by one of the most famous Buddhist scholars of the time Shantarakshita. King Khri-sron-ide-btsan (756-797 A.D.) invited Padmasambhava to help in the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. He visited Tibet and stayed there for some years. His principal task there was to demonstrate the superiority of the miracle-working power of Buddhism to that of Bon, a local cult of Tibet. As a great exorcist he was able to overcome local demonic opponents of Buddhism. From a miracle-worker he grew to gigantic proportions and was spoken of as the second Buddha. He accomplished the fusion of the old and new.
He founded Lamaism and Nyingmapa sect in Tibet. Tibetans call him Guru Rinpoche or Precious Teacher. He is highly revered in Tibet by all four great Buddhist sects. Though the statues and paintings of him are found every Tibetan monastery, but his teachings are followed especially by the Nyingmapa sect.
In the present painting he is seated in lalitasana on a moon disk on a lotus flower. He holds a vajra in his right hand and in the left, a skull cup, filled with nectar, in which rests a longevity vase. Moreover, he is holding a khatvanga staff under his left arm. He has a lovely young pink face. He wears a red scholar's hat with a half vajra and a peacock feather on top; jeweled ornaments that are painted with gold and an ornately decorated blue robe with red outer cloak. There is a halo and mandorla behind his head and body, respectively. The mandorla is encircled with flowers and leaves. Above the figure, stylized clouds are depicted in sky. The middle and foregrounds, depicts mountainous landscape, framed by clouds. The bottom center is filled with auspicious offerings.
A. Getty, The Gods Of Northern Buddhism, Tokyo, 1962
M.M. Rhied & R. A. F. Thurman, The Sacred Art Of Tibet, London, 1996