(also: Palyul) Nyingma is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, and Gelug. The Nyingma school was the first to develop, tracing its origins back to the 9th-century tantric practitioner Padmasambhava. Characteristic of the Nyingma teachings is its classification of the path to enlightenment as progressing through nine stages, the first three of which are the paths described in the various sutras, the remaining six indicating the ever more mystical paths taught in the tantric texts.