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According to legend, Guru Rinpoche was born not from a woman, but as an eight year-old boy in the center of a lotus in North India. He played a crucial role in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, subduing the defiant local spirits and founding the first tantric sect, the Nyingmas.
In 760, the Tibetan king Trisong Detsen invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet to subdue the local spirits that were obstructing the establishment of Buddhism. The king had been attempting to build the first monastery in Tibet, but local spirits demolished by night the work that had been done during the day. Guru Rinpoche agreed to travel to Tibet, and after subduing the strongest among the demons, none dared to challenge his authority. In Tibet Guru Rinpoche hid many teachings called terma, “hidden treasures,” which were to be revealed later when the time was right. The adepts who reveal these treasures are known as tertons, or “Treasure Revealers,” and have played an important role in the Nyingma tradition.
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