Why do nearly all thangkas of Padmasambhava take your breath away? That may be rhetorical. This one definitely does. The colors are vivid. The picture does not do it justice. Below Guru Rinpoche are probably two of his best disciples. The one on the right is obviously Yeshe Tsogyal. We aren't going to guess who the one on the left is. The brocade on the outside is unique. The embroidery is raised not smooth. The overall effect is quite extraordinary.
All Tibetans share a deep abiding love for this Buddha. To them he is simply known as Guru Rinpoche. His right hand is holding a vajra. The left hand holds a white skull cap filled with nectar of longevity and deathless wisdom. The ornate Katvanga staff of a Vajrayana mendicant decorated with streamers, rests against the left shoulder. Yes, the staff has three severed heads or skulls. They denote the three kayas (the three bodies of a Buddha: the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya).