Garab Dorje (T): Sanskrit: Pramodavajra, Prahevajra, Surati Vajra. Indian yogin and tantric adept who lived somewhere between 184 BCE and 57 CE. His life story is full of miraculous events and powers, yet Tibetans regard him as an historical figure, who like Padmasambhava, was born in Oddiyana from the virgin womb of a royal nun. He is generally regarded as the first human teacher of Dzogchen. As a nirmanakaya-emanation of the Buddha Vajrasattva, Garab Dorje received all the 6.4 million tantras and oral instructions of Dzogchen directly from the heavenly realm and thus became the first human vidyadhara (Skt., Knowledge Holder/T. rig-dzin) in the Dzogchen lineage. Having reached the state of complete enlightenment, he then transmitted these teachings to a retinue of exceptional beings, among who was Master Manjushrimitra, one of the greatest debaters of his day, who is regarded as the chief student of Garab Dorje who in turn passed them on to Sri Singha. Centuries later, Padmasambhava and Vairocana received the transmission of the Dzogchen tantras through Garab Dorje’s wisdom form; i.e. through a pure vision on Lake Dhanakosa in Oddiyana. Garab Dorje composed the “Natural Freedom of Ordinary Characteristics” and the “three words that strike the essence” his last testament in the form of three essential points given to Manjushrimitra; summing up the teachings of Dzogchen: a direct introduction to one’s own nature, deciding that there is nothing other than this and the capacity to abide in this unique state with confidence in liberation.