These exquisite statues represent the three individuals who established the Dharma in Tibet. Through their combined efforts, Buddhism flourished in the "Land of Snow" and today we can still practice these authentic teachings. Tibetan artists frequently depict these three great beings together in a combination knowns as "Khen Lob Chos Sum".
According to the tradition, in their previous lives, King Trisong Deutsen, Guru Padmasambhava and Abbot Santaraksita had been brothers. Their poultry farmer mother had great faith in the Dharma and aspired to build the stupa at Boudhanath in Nepal. Her sons completed the stupa upon her death and also made a vow -- to take rebirth in the land of Tibet as a great Dharma King, a great tantric master and a learned abbot. Their fourth brother vowed to take birth as the king's messenger to bring the first three together …. Due to the purity of their aspiration, the three elder sons were reborn as the Tibetan King, the tantric master and the abbot in 8th century Tibet.
"Khen" is short for Khenpo, or learned teacher or professor. This title belongs to Santaraksita (Tib. Shyiwa Tsho). Tibetans often refer to him as Khenpo Bodhisattva. His name translates to " Guardian of Peace". A great scholar, Santaraksita served as the first abbot of Samye Monastery and brought philosophical study to Tibet.
"Lob" is the abbreviation of Lopon (Tib. slob dpon) or spiritual master. In this context, the title refers to Padmasambhava ( Guru Rinpoche), the lotus-born Pema Jungne. Guru Rinpoche is known as a second Buddha and he promises to aid all practitioners who supplicate him.
"Chos" is the abbreviation of chos rgyal or Dharma King. In the 8th century, the great Dharma King Trisong Deutsen invited Santaraksita to Tibet to found the first monastery of Samye and to ordain the first Buddhist monks. Demonic forces and political opposition raised many obstacles and Santaraksita advised the king to invite the powerful tantric adept Padmasambhava to tame all opposition forces. The king took his advice and Samye monastery was completed and the Dharma firmly established. Many Tibetans consider the king to have been a manifestation of the bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri.
Many practitioners already keep a statue of Guru Rinpoche on their shrines and regularly supplicate him to remove obstacles. Now , Akara rejoices that we have the statues of the trio so students can enshrine them all together. The statues have all been filled with the appropriate mantras and have been blessed.
When we place theses statues on our shrines, we pay homage to interdependent origination and the power of aspiration.
Khen Statue - 13cm (height)
Lob Statue - 22cm (height)
Chos Statue - 14cm (height)
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