Known by many different names which reflect his multiple forms, Padmasambhava is credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet. In the eighth century, the Indian abbot Shantarakshita and the Tibetan chögyal or dharma king Trisong Detsen invited the tantrika Padmasambhava to make the arduous journey to Tibet.
Along the way, he encountered and subdued the many local spirits, gods and goddesses and bound them by oath as sworn protectors and protectresses of Buddhism in Tibet. Upon his arrival in Ü province, Padmasambhava subdued the local spirits hindering the contruction of Tibet's first monastery, Samye.
Compare a circa 15th century Padmasambhava formerly in the Blanche C. Olschak Collection, see U. von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 449, pl. 122C, and compare pedestal design with circa fifteenth century gilt-copper statues portraying Shadakshari Lokeshvara and a lama, ibid., p. 449, pls. 122G-H.
Compare also another circa fifteenth century gilt-copper Padmasambhava in the Victoria and Albert Museum, collected in Shigatse in 1914, that is similarly cast separately to its lotus base, Victoria and Albert Museum acc. no. IM.240-1922.
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