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The Tibetan term “Beyul” (sBasYul) comes from a historical description of the eighth-century prophecy related to Guru Padmasambhava, the Guru Rinpoche, who was miraculously born in a lotus from Uddhyana, enlightened in Pharping, and accomplished longevity in Halesi or Maratika caves in Nepal.

Hidden sacred places or Beyuls hold prominent places among Buddhist communities around the world for their auspicious significance as the sites for Buddhist practitioners and enthusiasts alike. These places are the center to evoke the essence of Triratna or the Triple Gem, though Buddha’s life and teachings are now literally a matter of the distant past. These places preserve the heritage of knowledge transmission through generations of Buddhist followers to come. These places remind the visitors that some precious teachings still lie somewhere undiscovered and thus provide the necessary impetus in attaining Siddhi.

During the eighth century at Samyé, Tibet’s first mahā-vihāra, the Tibetan emperor Thrisong Dé-tsen (Khri srong lde btsan, r. 742-797) asked Padmasambhava about the long-term transmission of the Buddha’s teaching in the Snow lands and about the threats that might occur in Tibet on the practice of Dharma in the future, especially by Mongol invasions. Padmasambhava (the lotus born) answered,

“When the Mongols and others would attack Tibet in later centuries, the Tibetan Buddhists who wanted to preserve Buddhism and the practices of Buddhist meditation could go down to the southern part of the Himalayas, i.e., cis-Himalayas. There are well-documented seven valleys in the southern part of Tibet known as the ‘Seven Hidden Lands,’ or “Seven Secret Places,” or “Beyul Dun” (sBas Yul bDun). According to Padmasambhava, the future treasure revealers, “Tertöns” (gter ston), would reveal the treasures or the hidden lands with their proper guidelines, descriptive maps with ritual opening in the future. People who wanted to preserve Buddhism and practice meditation could go there with the key and unlock these secret lands with a detailed itinerary.”