- Indrabhuti the Great or Elder (Tib. ཨིནྡྲ་བྷུ་ཏི་ཆེན་པོ་, Wyl. i n+dra b+hu ti chen po)
- Indrabhuti the Intermediate or Second (Tib. ཨིནྡྲ་བྷུ་ཏི་བར་པ་, Wyl. i n+dra b+hu ti bar pa)
- Indrabhuti the Younger (Tib. ཨིནྡྲ་བྷུ་ཏི་ཅུང་པ་, Wyl. i n+dra b+hu ti chung ba or ཨིནྡྲ་བྷུ་ཏི་ཆེན་པོ་སྲས་, i n+dra b+hu ti chen po'i sras), aka Lawapa, Kambalapāda, or Shakraputra — the son of Indrabhuti the Great
- Indrabhuti, the King of Oddiyana, who was the adoptive father of Padmasambhava.
King Dza or Ja (Tib. རྒྱལ་པོ་ཛ་, Wyl. rgyal po dza) of Zahor, the first human recipient of the Mahayoga teachings as well as an important figure in the transmission of Anuyoga, has been varyingly identified with either one of the first three Indrabhutis.
Dudjom Rinpoche writes:
- Some say that King Ja was none other than Indrabhuti the Great, who had been empowered by [Buddha Shakyamuni] himself, but others maintain that he was Indrabhuti's son. Some even believe him to have been [Indrabhuti the Intermediate].
Thus, there are various dissimilar opinions; but, because ordinary persons cannot imagine the emanations of great sublime beings, perhaps they are all correct!
And yet, upon examination of the chronology, we find he is described as a contemporary of master Kukkuraja.
For this reason, he may well be an intermediate Indrabhuti.
Moreover, the great accomplished master Kambalapada and this king are contemporary, whether or not they are in fact one and the same person. He is also the approximate contemporary of Vidyavajra, Saroruha, and Jalandharipa.
- Nathan Katz, 'A Translation of the Biography of the Mahāsiddha Indrabhūti, with Notes' in Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 12, no. 1 (1975), pp. 25-29.
The matter of the conflation of Indrabhuti and at least one evocation of the historicity of a particular personage by that name is intimately connected with the location of 'Oddiyana' (the locality denoted by the term 'Oddiyana' whether in each case cited is Swat Valley or
Orissa and the cult of Jaganath and a number of texts that inform the matter such as the Sādhanamālā' , Kālikā Purāṇa, Caturāsiti-siddha-Pravṛtti, Jñānasiddhi as Donaldson (2001: p. 11) frames an overview of some of the debate and then ventures further salience:
(1) O-rgyān, U-rgyān, O-ḍi-yā-na, and (2) O-ḍi-vi-śā, with the first series connected with Indrabhūti, i.e., Oḍiyăna and Uḍḍiyāna, while the second series falls back on Oḍi and Oḍiviśa, i.e., Uḍra (Orissa) and has nothing to do with Indrabhūti.
N.K. Sahu objects, however, and points out that these two sets of names are seldom distinguished in Buddhist Tantra literature, and opines that the words Oḍa, Oḍra, Uḍra, Oḍiviśa and Oḍiyāna are all used as variants of Uḍḍiyāna.
King Ja, receiver of gifts from the sky
According to Nyingma tradition, King Ja (also known as Indrabhuti) taught himself intuitively from "the Book" of the Tantric Way of Secret Mantra (that is Mantrayana) that magically fell from the sky along with other sacred objects and relics "upon the roof of King Ja" according to Dudjom (1904–1987), et al. (1991: p. 613
This date of 853 BC[E] is problematic as it puts the event prior to the dates of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni circa 500 BCE as well as prior to the emergence of Tantra in any of its historical permutations according to modern Western peer-reviewed scholarship bar the lineages of the Bonpo (the dates are according to Bonpo tradition which are contended with) which not 'officially' tantric have many elements akin to tantra traditions.
Moreover, it should be stated that the falling of Buddhadharma relics upon a Tibetan royal palace also happened in the case of Thothori Nyantsen and these two stories (i.e. the story of Thothori Nyantsen and the narrative of King Ja) may have influenced each other as they share a distinctive motif of magical realism.
Dudjom (1904–1987), et al. (1991: p. 460 History) also include another important source that impacts on this story of King Ja and salient dates for the greater tantric tradition, particularly the dating of the emergence of the texts of Anuyoga with the provision of a quote of what Dudjom et al.
identify as a "prediction" found in the fifth chapter of the 'Tantra which Comprises the Supreme Path of the Means which Clearly Reveal All-Positive Pristine Cognition' (Wylie: kun bzang ye shes gsal bar ston pa'i thabs kyi lam mchog 'dus pa'i rgyud, Nyingma Gyubum Vol.3) which Dudjom, et al., render in English thus:
- The Mahayoga tantras will fall onto the palace of King Ja. The Anuyoga tantras will emerge in the forests of Singhala (Dudjom et al. identify Singhala as located in Ceylon).
Indrabhuti, at the time of Tilopa, disciple of Kambalapada
- The Sidhacharyas popularised the tenets of vajrayana by composing numerous texts. Indrabhuti, disciple of the saint Kambalapada, created a sensation by composing his famous treatise 'yajnasidhi'.
Although it is generally accepted that Tantric Buddhism first developed in the country of Uddiyana or Odra Desha under King Indrabhuti, there is an old and well known scholarly dispute as to whether Uddiyana or Odra was in the Swat valley, Odisha or some other place.
The Tantric Buddhist sects made efforts to raise the dignity of the lowest of the low of the society to a higher plane. It revived primitive beliefs and practices a simpler and less formal approach to the personal god, a liberal and respectful attitude towards women and denial of caste system.
From the seventh century A.D. onwards many popular religious elements of heterogeneous nature were incorporated into Mahayana Buddhism which finally resulted in the origin of Vajrayana, Kalachakrayana and Sahajayana Tantric Buddhism.
They hailed from so-called the low castes of the society and were followers of Lakshminkara. Because of their miraculous power and feats; they have been later on deified and worshipped by the folk people.
A systematic analysis of the trend of religious development of the period under review and circumstantial evidences reveal that Chakra Sambar Tantricism of Tantric Buddhism gained popularity in the Gandhagiri region.
In Gandhagiri which also contained a large number of caves and rock shelters, apparently of the Vajrayanists and Sahajayanists, the adherents of the cults used to live in seclusion and practice Kaya Sadhana or Yogic practices along with worshipping god Buddha Sambara.
This tantric Buddhist culture greatly affected the religious faith and beliefs of the tribal of Gandhagiri, so much so that eventually even today one can notice the invocation of various Buddhist Siddhacharyas and Buddhist deities in the mantras of the tribal to ward off evil spirits or cure some disease.