“The basis for realizing enlightenment is a human body. Male or female, there is no great difference. But if she develops the mind bent on enlightenment the woman’s body is better.” (Guru Rinpoche Terma Teaching)

The story and powers of Padmasambhava are written into the Himalayan landscape—in stone footprints, blood-stained cliffs, and jagged peaks. Less recognized, however, is the role and presence of Padmasambhava’s partners and consorts. Nearly all that we know of Padmasambhava, as told through the Terma Treasures (spiritual teachings), are the gifts of his consorts. And of all his consorts, none rises above Yeshe Tsogyal (Wisdom Lake Queen).

Yeshe was the young queen of the Tibetan King but was ‘given’ to Padmasambhava as an offering when he arrived in the Himalayan kingdom. Together, Yeshe and Padmasambhava traveled across most of the Tibetan plateau and she became his most accomplished disciple. Invariably, Padmasambhava cave sites also include a Yeshe cave. It was Yeshe who actually concealed the terma treasures, receiving the instructions from Padmasambhava and then secreting the teachings across the mountains and valleys of Tibet. She is considered a realized being, a Dakini (Sky Dancer), and the reincarnation of the Buddha’s mother, and the landscape bears as much witness to her story and accomplishments as to Padmasambhava.



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