Yeti wrote:IMHO I feel it needs to be stated in proper context why "Guru Rinpoche is the towering central figure of the Nyingma tradition today" when presenting the Nyingma, otherwise we can be seen as some sub group following an off shoot branch of Buddhadharma.
Please correct me if I present things wrongly, but I believe it first it needs to be clearly stated that Guru Rinpoche is a direct emanation of Amitabha Buddha. And to put Amitabha Buddha in context in needs to be stated that the Amitabha Sutra was the one sutra Shakyamuni Buddha taught without it being requested because of the huge store of merit Amitabha Buddha accumulated in relation to the beings of this eon. So to me, Shakyamuni Buddha, in teaching the Amitabha Sutra was clearly outlining the context within which Guru Rinpoche would manifest.
It also needs to be stated that Guru Rinpoche will come as the Dharma Regent to all the 1000 Buddhas of this fortunate aeon, and He will teach the Vajrayana to fortunate beings, even if the universal Buddha does not, so He doesn't just pop up as a one off in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha.
I think this foreknowledge helps put Guru Rinpoche in much clearer and proper context for the whole of the Buddhadharma, and also why He is so significant in the Nyingma, and thus why us Nyingmapas have such reverence for Guru Rinpoche and the power of his Dharma for beings of this age. It also helps Pure Land Mahayanists have some appreciation of Nyingma as their Dharma brothers and sisters.
That's a nice approach, not usually expressed by Nyingma lamas in my experience. It is definitely said that Amitabha is the Dharmakaya, Chenrezi he Sambogakaya and Pedmasambhava the Nirmankaya.