Known as the Lotus Born, Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), brought Vajrayana Buddhism into Tibet during the reign of King Trisong Detsen in the 8th century. His appearance was foretold by Buddha Shakyamuni. His importance to Tibetan Buddhism cannot be overstated and today this venerated Tantric master is considered the founder of the Nyingma Dzogchen lineage.
King Trisong Detsen first invited Santaraksita to propagate Buddhism and build Samye monastery, but obstacles arose. Then the tantric master Guru Rinpoche was invited to Tibet. He successfully tamed the interference by local spirits so that the construction of Samye monastery could be continued. Guru Rinpoche became known for his miraculous powers and his eight peaceful and wrathful manifestations.
His students included the King Trisong Detsen, Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava, and he created the foundation for the future of Buddhism in Tibet. In addition, the teachings of Guru Rinpoche included the lineage of Termas or hidden treasure texts. These termas have been discovered and revealed over the centuries by fortunate beings called Tertons, or treasure revealers, when conditions are ripe for their reception. Padmasambhava is said to appear to these Tertons in visionary experiences.