Well, the quote from that webpage certainly implies it, but that's just one source.Ngawang Drolma wrote:Hi Luke,Luke wrote: http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... 0Kayas.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That webpage said the following: "The Supreme emanation takes birth in the world as a unique person. Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Padmasambhava are examples of this kind. They have special forms of body, speech and mind."
So it would seem, at least accoding to Vajrayana Buddhists, that Padmasambhava was also a Nirmanakaya Buddha who appeared before Maitreya. I wonder if there were any other Nirmanakaya Buddhas in our kalpa besides Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche.
Your question is interesting! I haven't heard Padmasambhava specifically referred to as a nirmanakya. But he is certainly very, very special and he passed dharmas to our lineage holders.
I found the following on another webpage:
This great master [Padmasambhava] was not an ordinary person on the path or just a noble being on one of the bodhisattva bhumis but an emanation of both Buddha Amitabha and Shakyamuni who appeared in order to tame the human beings and spirits difficult to convert.
Even the great bodhisattvas are incapable of fully explaining his life example...
http://www.rangjung.com/authors/padmasambhava.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So, Padmasambhava was an emanation of Shakyamuni. Perhaps all beings which are emanations of Shakyamuni are Nirmanakaya Buddhas?
I guess I need to find the details of what being an emanation entails now, so I can look into this further.