I have not posted anything on Tibetan Buddhism lately, and this is about a subject that is well known, but for those unfamiliar refer to the Wiki write up on Padmasambhava also know as Guru Rinpoche or Tibet’s “second Buddha”.
I found this post at the Karmapolice blog today entitled The Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava and it is well written. Also under the source of the thanka above is another well written resume.
The fun part of the whole story to me as a Magickian is that at first a more scholarly Lama first tried to introduce Buddhism into the wild mountains and culture of the Tibetan plateau, but he was chased out by the local wrathful protector deities. It took a more powerful Magickian like Padmasambhava to come in and tame those spirits, not killing them, but converting them to Buddhism and turning them into Protectors of the Dharma (teachings). Thus a wrathful Hindu and Pagan deity like Rahu was converted into Rahula. The “La” at the end means “god”. The original deities were a wild and crazy and dangerous group representing all in Nature that will kill a human with a glance. That’s one thing about Buddhism I like, that they transform the local deities instead of just killing them off and burning their temple like Christianity and other religions would. The Christians would make the locals burn their deities then tear down their temples and use the stones to rebuild a church on their sacred spot. The Buddhists would instead pull the statues out to an alcove or entranceway to the intact temple, thus allowing the local pagans to still make offerings to them for fertility, wealth and healing. But they were seen as a pathway to a higher deity, the Buddha, thus the old gods because the new guards. Psychologically the Christian way induces spiritual schizophrenia creating a primal duality between good and bad. The Buddhist (and even Hindu) way psychologically integrates them all into a hierarchical whole. Enjoy reading about this Magickian Mahasiddhi who is the Solomon of the East.
One of the 8 Manifestations of Padmasambhava is Dorje Drollo or Trollo and i think you can see the shamanic nature of this form. Above and below are pictures from my temple of a statue and thanka, the photos being Copyright GLHoke 2014.