Rainbow Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava Thangka
Rainbow Guru Thangka- An extraordinary thangka depicting the attainment of rainbow body of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava. The artist has beautifully represented the Rainbow body of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava with gold paint along with other deities i.e. Mahankala, Kharcherri, Manjushri, and Green Tara. The artistry of this thangka painting is very fine and beautiful. The thangka is beautifully mounted in a brown silk brocade.
Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava is represented in the center in an illusory rainbow body. Just above Guru Rinpoche is Kharcherri who is another form of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. He is also known as the Six-Syllable Lokeshvara. On the top left is Mahankala, one of the eight terrible deities in the Buddhist pantheon. He is the defender of law, and is given good position at the entrance doors of Buddhist Shrines. On the top right is Manjushri, the god of divine wisdom who is also known as the founder of Kathmandu Valley. People believe that the worship of Manjushri can confer upon them wisdom, memory and intelligence, etc. At the bottom right is Goddess Green Tara who is also known as mother of all Buddhas.
Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, also known as Lotus born was a renowned and highly learned tantric yogi and teacher of Northern India. He is well known for the legendary foundation of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambhava was renowned for his knowledge of tantras and their efficacious application. He remained fifty years in Tibet founding Monasteries and teaching the tantras doctrine. He is said to have subdued all the malignant god in the Tibet sparing only those that became converted to Buddhism and that promised to be defenders (Dharmapala) of the doctrine. Padmasambhava in his turn, promise to enroll them in the Mahayana Patheon. He claimed to have received from the dakini the books from which he acquired his miraculous power. At the end of 50 years Padmasambhav disappeared miraculously. Padmasambhava is represented seated on a lotus asana with the legs locked, the right hand holding the vajra and the left, lying in his lap, the patra. He holds his special symbol, the Khatvana.
Rainbow body- This term relates to one of the highest attainments when, upon dying, the corporeal form is transformed into a body of light, primordial awareness, a ‘light without shadow.’ In this level the yogi not only dissolves the body completely into light but remains functional and visible as light. Usually at the time of death the adept’s physical body and mind are dissolved into the pure radiance of deathless awareness. The only worldly remains left behind are bits of hair and nails. When Padmasambhava left at the end of his time in physical form he dissolved his body completely back to their natural elements leaving nothing behind. Reports of the attainment of rainbow bodies persist throughout the history of Vajrayana Buddhism up until the present time, both in Tibet and Nepal.
A teacher or yogi who has acquired the highest forms of accomplishment can manifest what is called “the rainbow body” or “body of light.” At the most definitive and highest path of enlightenment, rainbow body is a level of realization. It is also said that one of the 8 forms of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava is The Rainbow. Rainbow body a very rare type of spiritual realization and is usually taken as a blessing and an auspicious sign.