Gods and Sacred Mountains | Guru Rinpoche | The Second Buddha | The South-West Paradise

The South-West Paradise

After completing all of his tasks, Guru Rinpoche retreated to a palace in the »South-West Paradise«, from which no return back into the circle of rebirths is necessary.

This palace is depicted on the scroll picture as having three stories: In the lowest story, one can see the image of Guru Rinpoche as the earthly master of the Nirmanakaya level and on the Sambhogakaya level, above which he appears as Avalokiteshvara*, the Bodhisattva* of compassion. In the top story, on the Dharmakaya level one meets with Buddha Amitayus, the Buddha of the unfathomable light. These visions embody the three existence levels of the enlightenment.


The bottom half of the picture, as well as the details left and right show the eight manifestations of the Guru, who can take these on depending on the spiritual life situation:

Tzokye Dorje Guru Rinpoche as the original Buddha with his tantric consort - »The Vajra who is Born out of the Lake«
Padma Gyalpo Guru Rinpoche as the king born out of the lotus - »The Lotus King«
Guru Nyima Öser Guru Rinpoche as Yogi and protector of the suffering in the bardo* - »The Sunshine Guru«
Senge Dadog Guru Rinpoche as the protective and initiation god - »The Guru with the Lion's Voice«
Dorje Drolö Guru Rinpoche as the conquerer of demons - »The Guru who Comforts«
Sakya Senge Guru Rinpoche as monk and as the second Buddha - »The Lion from Sakya«
Loden Chogse Guru Rinpoche as proclaimer of the Buddhist teachings - »The Proclaimer of Wisdom«
Pemasambha Guru Rinpoche as a Buddhist monk and a learned man - »The One Borne out of the Lotus«
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The South-West Paradise of Guru Rinpoche, zangdog palri; Thangka*; 125 x 77 centimeters; on loan from Josette Schulmann
Guru Rinpoche is portrayed in his south-west paradise on top of a majestic mountain, glowing of copper. From this mountain paradise no return to the cycle of of rebirths is necessary. Although Buddhism rejects speculations regarding the beyond, there are, however, still depictions of paradise, into which believers may enter.
For the Bhutanese, the mountain plays the role of expressing spiritual purity and represents the home of the gods.

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Tzokye Dorje

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Padma Gyalpo

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Nyima Oser, Protector of the Suffering

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Senge Dagog

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Dorje Drolo, the Conquerer of Demons

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Sakya Senge

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Loden Chogse, The Proclaimer of the Teachings

The Emanation of Guru Rinpoche as Pemasambha or, – in Sanskrit – , Padmasambhava