It is not possible to travel far in Bhutan without seeing images or statues of a noble looking man , seated and with large gazing eyes . This is Guru Rinpoche , a great tantric yogi of the 8Th Century , often referred to as the second Buddha . As befitting a great being , Guru Rinpoche did not enter the world in a conventional way, but miraculously appeared in a lotus flowers as an eight – year – old boy. It is said that he was already fully enlightened at the time and that his youthful persona symbolized the purity and vitality of awakened mind.
Soon after his discovery , the Guru was adopted as the son and heir of Indrabodhi , the King of Oddiyana, an ancient kingdom located on the borders of modern day Pakistan And Afghanistan. As an enlightened being , Guru Rinpoche did not need to learn how to teach deluded humans or animals , but like gold that takes the shape of coins or spoons according to necessity, he allowed his activities to be defined by the spiritual needs of others. In this way he spent many years in the Indian plains and Nepal curiously exploring and touching the various aspects of existence .
Guru Rinpoche first visited Bhutan at the invitation of Sindhu Raja, a king who lived in an iron fortress known as Chakhar in the region presently known as Bumthang. Although a powerful monarch , Sindhu lost his son while engaged in battle with a strong rival named Naochhe . The incident disturbed Sindhu greatly and he ordered the destruction of all the temples dedicated to guardian of the region , Shelging Karpo. In response , the guardian conducted a ritual that forced Sindhu to fall gravely ill. Unable to find remedy for the King’s ailment , Sindhu’s ministers sent an urgent appeal to Guru Rinpoche.
Soon after his arrival in Bumthang , the Guru performed eight scared dances. Guru Rinpoche recognized him instantly and , transforming himself into a garuda, swopped down and captured the guardian. Overwhelmed by the superior power of the great Guru, Shelging Karpo surrendered and later became a protector of the Buddha’s teachings ( the Dharma). The king , for his part, regained his health and converted to Buddhism. This marked the beginning of the Dharma taking root in Bhutan and was a major event in the history of the country .