The Sins of King Sendharkha
Towards the end of the eighth century, King Sendharkha ruled a small kingdom in the province which is today called Bumthang in central Bhutan. As his son died in a battle, Sendharkha placed the blame for this on Shelging Karpo, the god who should protect his lineage. In his anger, the king had all the holy places of Shelging Karpo soiled with excrement, thus spiritually polluting these sites. Shelging Karpo, however, sought revenge in slowly robbing Sendharkha of his vitality. As a result of this, the king became very ill.
In this situation, only Guru Rinpoche could now help. Sendharkha had heard of the Guru's reputation as a conquerer of demons. At this time, Guru Rinpoche was staying with his tantric consort Mandarava, a Dakini*, in Nepal and was practicing secret rituals in the Maratika cave.
The Ride on the Tiger
Here he heard the calling to come to Bumthang in order to conquer Shelging Karpo. Strengthened through the tantric rituals, through which he had been conveyed Buddha Amitayus's power and insight, Guru Rinpoche flew in his emanation as Dorje Drolö - riding on a tiger - to Bhutan. There he meditated for three months in a cave, high over the Paro Valley. Today, at this place stands the Taktsang or the »Tiger's Nest« monastery, one of the holiest places of the country.