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On the Path to Enlightenment

Padmasambhava* grew up as a prince, married and ruled the kingdom of Kanci according to the commands of the holy teachings. However, he soon realized that in this way he would not be able to free the living beings from the cycle of rebirth.

After Indrabhuti also was given a real son, Padmasambhava* abdicated his worldly rule in favor of his younger brother. Henceforth, he devoted his life to the deliverance of all living beings from earthly sorrow. Many god-like masters led him to the highest insights. In his meditations the Dakini* accompanied him and provided him with religious enlightenment and supernatural powers. They also lent him mastery over the Gods of many worlds.

First Miracles

Besides being a time for the study of the holy scriptures and of meditative contemplation, these years of Padmasambhava were also a time marked by wonderful deeds. For example, during a famine in the country, he forced the Naga, the god-like guards of fertility, to refill the corn silos.

The reputation of the magical Yogi soon spread. His path finally also led him to the Himalayas.

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Thangka; measurements 126 x 90 centimeters; object lent by Michael Rutland
With sparse golden brush strokes a Dakini*, a »heavens wanderer« is represented. As such, she is at home in all three worlds, – the heavenly, the earthly and the subterranean – . These female heavenly beings initiated many Yogis into esoteric rituals and lead them to meditiation experiences that should lead them to becoming one with the absolute. Their nakedness is an expression of the undisguised truth which they embody. With a chopping knife, having a Vajra handle, she destroys ignorance and the skull bowl in her right hand is a holder for knowledge.
The gold painted Thangkas with a black background shape a mystical, esoteric character. Black is the color of hate, which is transformed through wisdom into the recognition of the true reality. Only those very advanced Yogis on the path to enlightenment use Thangkas of this kind as meditation images.