In the Southern area of the Kathmandu Valley on the road to Dakshin Kali lies the Town of Pharping. An important Pilgrimage site to followers of the Nyingma tradition as it is here that Guru Rinpoche - Padmasambhava achieved the state of Mahamudra. There are two main caves in this area. The lower Yanglesho cave is goverened by local hindus who see it as an important spot for the worship of Vishnu. The upper Asura cave has a Monastery built around it which was originally constructed by the Great Master Tulku Orgyen. There are many different monasteries in the area from every tradition and is the place that Chatral Rinpoche chooses to spend his time in Private retreat.
Before entering the town of Pharping one passes a small Pond on the right hand side. Above the small pond is a small Gompa associated with Chatrel Rinpoche. This is the great Power place of Yanglesho where Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava achieved Mahamudra with his consort Shakyadevi, who he previously met at another powerful place important to Vajrayogini in Sankhu.
In this particular Cave, Guru Rinpoche practiced the Generation stage of Vajrakilaya. There is a small channel in the rock through which a system of complex tunnels leads up to the Asura Cave. Where he practised the completion Stage of Yangdak Heruka.
Padmasambhava had previously practised various ascetic yogas in the different charnel grounds and took to wandering these holy lands.
At the cave complex in Maratika (Helasi) he attained the knowledge holder of immortality At Bodhgaya he attained the Knowledge holder of spontaneity. And at Yanglesho he attained the Mahamudra knowledge. Amongst these four attainments of knowledge. the mastery of Mahamudra is the Ultimate, unsurpasable, supreme attainment.
In a Terma revealed by Nyangral Nyima Odzer he Describes Guru Padmasambhava's accomplishment of the Mahamudra Knowledge Holder by means of Yangdag and Phurba combined at Yanglesho:
Then the Guru thought to himself "Although I have attained the knowledge of Immortality, There is no Advantage Unless I attain the Mahamudra Knowledge."
Previously, it is said, that he captivated a highly qualified Yogini called Sakya Devi at the cremation grounds of Sankhu and began his practice at Pharping with the mandala of Glorious Yangdag's Nine Lamps.
Obstacles immediately arose. The Nagas Rakshas and sky demons conspired to cause a three year drought and famine in Nepal, Tibet and India. The Appearance of Death provoked Guru Rinpoche to the realisation that he must destroy the power of those demons if he was to attain Mahamudra.
Giving an ounce of gold dust to his Nepali disciples Jila Jisad and Kunlakubzhi, he sent a plea to his Pandita Gurus in India to send the means to achieve the subjugation of the obstructing spirits. He was instructed to apply to Prabhahasti, which he did, and he received the text of the Phurba Vitotama, which two men could barely carry. Immediately upon the appearance of the text in Yanglesho, the ocean threw up gifts, the earth was suddenly fertile and clouds gathered in the sky. Rain fell upon the parched soil and simultaneously shoots, levels, buds and fruit matured. By eating this fruit both men and cattle were cured of disease and the kingdom was filled with happiness and Laughter.
At this time Padmasambhava had a vision of the retinues of both Yangdag and Phurba. Attaining identity with Yangdak and Phurba. Attaining Identity with Yangdak he gained great siddhi, but obstacles arose too; then upon Dorje Phur-ba's entourage's manifestation all obstacles disappeared.
Practicing their combined rites he attained Supreme Mahamudra Siddhi. Through that night, at evening, at midnight and before dawn, various spirits came to him offering their life essence, and he bound them all to pledges to serve as Dorje Phurbas Logos Protectors. Thus Guru Rinpoche overcame the arrogant spirits of the Mandala of Divine form.
He brought all sound and vibration of the Mandala of Mantra under his control; and every mental construct and thought, and all the five poisons, were rendered void as the arose into the mandala of the True Nature of Mind, into the reality of indeterminate, non conceptual purity. In the plenum of Innate purity he entered the unchangeable Mind of Mahamudra"
Yeshe Tsogyal visited Sakya Devi, Jilajipha and others at Yanglesho and Asura during her first visit to Nepal 780-790. Sakya Deva was Padmasambhavas mystic Partner. Her mother died at childbirth and she was left at the cremation grounds after her mother was cremated. She was reared by monkeys untill Guru Padmasambhava discovered her and took her from Sankhu to Yanklesho to Practice the Yangdag and Phurba meditation rites (Urgyan Lingpa). When Yeshe Tsogyal met her she was a fully matured yogini in her own right and passed on the precepts, which she had received.