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While he was living, Padma Sambhava initiated an inner circle of twenty-five disciples who became adepts and transmitters of the teachings. Because the Tibetan people were not yet ready to receive the essence of Padma Sambhava’s highest teachings, the master and his disciples preserved them in an abbreviated, codified form that could be deciphered only by those who had been properly prepared. These scriptures are called ''termas'', meaning literally “treasures.Padma Sambhava and his disciples concealed the termas where they would be safe until it was time for them to be revealed. He predicted that his twenty-five disciples would reembody as ''tertöns'' (literally “revealers of treasure”) to discover and interpret these esoteric teachings.
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Durante su vida, Padma Sambhava inició a un círculo interno de veinticinco discípulos que se convirtieron en adeptos y transmisores de las enseñanzas. Debido a que el pueblo tibetano aún no estaba preparado para recibir la esencia de sus enseñanzas más elevadas, el maestro y sus discípulos las conservaron en una forma abreviada y codificada que sólo podían descifrar aquellos que habían sido preparados adecuadamente. Estas escrituras se llaman «termas», que significa literalmente «tesoros». Padma Sambhava y sus discípulos ocultaron las termas para salvaguardarlas hasta que llegara el momento de revelarlas. Padma Sambhava predijo que sus veinticinco discípulos reencarnarían como «tertones» (literalmente «reveladores de tesoro») para descubrir e interpretar esas enseñanzas esotéricas.
    
According to other traditions, the most prominent tertöns are incarnations of Padma Sambhava himself. Tibetan Buddhists believe that starting in the eleventh century and continuing, tertöns began to recover and expound upon these termas. Some of the termas that were discovered contain prophecies made by Padma Sambhava concerning the future of Tibet—prophecies we have seen come to pass in our own lifetime. These include prophecies of the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet; the destruction of monasteries; the desecration of sacred scriptures, statues and paintings; the degradation of monks; the slaying of the Tibetan people and the raping of nuns.
 
According to other traditions, the most prominent tertöns are incarnations of Padma Sambhava himself. Tibetan Buddhists believe that starting in the eleventh century and continuing, tertöns began to recover and expound upon these termas. Some of the termas that were discovered contain prophecies made by Padma Sambhava concerning the future of Tibet—prophecies we have seen come to pass in our own lifetime. These include prophecies of the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet; the destruction of monasteries; the desecration of sacred scriptures, statues and paintings; the degradation of monks; the slaying of the Tibetan people and the raping of nuns.

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