At the beginning of the eighth century, when Arab power was supreme from Morocco to Sindh, in India the numerous inheritors of imperial Gupta glory were engaged in internecine conflicts, and Indian culture was in a state of decay. The old dispensation was vitiated, society taking refuge in inflexible caste rules and regulations; and as form and procedure governed social life, so ritual dominated religion and scholasticism the academics. There was no vital, united society to meet the threat of the fanatical Islamic armies who wreaked burning, pillage and massacre, and who were a new kind of enemy, compelling Islam or the sword. As a stream of Buddhist refugees brought tales of the destruction of Buddhist Central Asia to India, Tantra was increasing its influence, particularly in Oddiyana, the front-line state, and also in eastern India, where a new power, the Buddhist Pala Dynasty, was emerging. Was it coincidence that India took refuge in Tantra with its uncompromising non-dualist metaphysics, its school of spontaneous liberation, and its fierce flesh-eating, blood-drinking deities, during a period of incipient doom? Nearly four centuries passed between AD , when Sindh S.
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Their liIe stories represent what they have accomplished and what they did Ior others upon gaining realization Irom their practice. The lives oI these 84 mahasiddhas have a similar pattern. Their personal encounter with a spiritual teacher turns out to be a turning point in their lives. The siddhas-to-be are given an initiation by their respective gurus, and the guru will skilIully give them instructions. This is usually something that they can put to immediate use.
The students gradually or some immediately acquire great Iaith and place a high level oI commitment to their teacher. They do not hold back in any possible aspect. Any instruction Irom the guru is oI great importance to them, and they practice it diligently as it is the vital link to the highest attainment.
The mahasiddhas are people who come Irom all walks oI liIe. There are men and women, kings and beggars, young and old, monks and laymen. It proves to us that no matter what our initial state is, it is possible to reach the highest human condition within one liIetime.
Below is a list oI the 84 mahasiddas and oI Vajradhara. There is a photo and a short description on the side. I have always love to read the stories oI these Mahasiddhas.
They brought tears, joy, amazement, Iaith, wonder, awe, and laughter when reading about them. They always inspire great inspiration towards the Dharma and blesses me to do more. To realize peseverance and diligence does produce results. Each oI them had their particular attachments, delusions and hang ups. In each oI them, we can Iind ourselves or something similar. It makes us realize, beIore they became attained, they were just like you and me. That means, we can be eventually just like them iI we apply ourselves!
He is also the quintessence oI all the Buddhas oI the three times. His right hand holds a vajra which symbolizes skillIul means while his leIt hand holds a bell which symbolizes wisdom. He observed the laws oI the Brahmins by day, and he received instruction in the tantric mysteries Irom Buddhist masters by night.
However, Saraha enjoyed spirituous liquors which were Iorbidden by Brahmin law. Eventually, this was discovered and they were outraged by his behavior. They brought this up to King Ratnapala and demanded he be deprived oI his caste status. However, the king was a reasonable man, and decided to investigate the matter himselI. And so, a large crowd gathered, and Saraha announced a series oI trials to prove his innocence. He placed his hands in hot oil and drank a bowl oI molten copper, but he was unharmed.
Later he jumped into a tank oI water stating the liar will sink, and true enough the Brahmin that jumped into the tank with him sank.
Then to clear more doubt, he ask Ior the two oI them to be weighed and the lighter oI the two was the liar. When weighed, the Brahmin who was twice the size oI Saraha, was much lighter than Saraha. And with that, the king prostrated beIore Saraha, Iollowed by all the Brahmin. Saraha then took a 15 year old girl as his consort and moved to a distant land, where he practiced his sadhanas in isolation.
One day, he told her to cook him radish curry. However, he began meditating which continued Ior 12 long years. So astonished was his dakini consort that Saraha decided to move to a mountain hermitage to continue his meditation properly, but his consort questioned him, saying that iI he awoke Irom Samadhi and still possessed an undiminished desire Ior radish curry, what good would the isolated mountains be Ior him?
He listened careIully and began to devote himselI to ridding his mind oI conceptual thoughts and belieI in the substantiality oI objective reality. In time, he attained the supreme realization oI Mahamudra and spent the remainder oI his liIe in service to others. They were discovered, and Nagarjuna escaped by standing invisible, but his 3 Iriends were beheaded.
The entire district was in an uproar, Nagarjuna, now Iilled with selI-disgust went willingly into exile. Frustrated and dissatisIied with liIe, he set out on a spiritual quest. Then he travelled to the Iamous monastic academy oI Sri Nalanda, where he studied the 5 arts and sciences until he could recite the entire library Irom memory. But spiritual dissatisIaction arose again and books were no longer suIIicient.
So he began to practice a mediataion propitiating Tara, and when she appeared to him, he leIt the security oI monastic liIe and took up liIe as a mendicant monk.
For seven days, disaster stroked the place but it was unable to overwhelm the meditator. So Ior 12 years, the Elementals brought him 4 handIuls oI rice and 5 handIuls oI vegetables and by the end oI his sadhanas, all Elemental consorts were under his control. Renewed with purpose, Nagarjuna had the clear intention oI serving all sentient beings. His Iirst act was his attempt to turn Gandhasila Mountain into pure gold. However beIore he could do so, the Bodhisattva Manjushri questioned him as to what good a gold mountain would be to sentient beings besides causing conIlict and striIe.
Nagarjuna acknowledged the wisdom oI Manjushri and abandoned the plan. Next he came to the bank oI a road river near Sri Parvata Mountain. When he asked some herdsmen Ior saIe passage, they led him to the most dangerous part oI the river, but they insisted it was the saIest place to cross. A herdsman took pity on Nagarjuna and decided to carry him across the crocodile-Iilled river. Once saIely across the river, the yogin said the herdsman could have anything he desired, and so he was made a king and came to be known as King Salabandha.
However, he was rejected and Nagarjuna gave him a Precious Rosary to protect him and his kingdom, then sent him back to his people Ior another years. However, the evil spirit, Sundarananda grew jealous oI the king, and unleashed many disasters on the kingdom.
The King interpreted these omens as a sign that his guru was in mortal danger, and so he rushed to search Ior his guru Nagarjuna and to sit at his Ieet. Just like what the king Ieared, Nagarjuna began giving away all his worldly goods and prepared Ior death. Nagarjuna then took a stalk oI kusha grass, beheaded himselI and handed his severed head to the Brahmin.
All things withered, and the virtue and merit oI men Iaded. When the teachings and loving kindness oI Maitreya, the Buddha Yet to Come, encompass the earth, Nagarjuna will rise again to serve us all.
He began to practice alchemy to discover the secret to eternal liIe, and at much material expense, he bought a rare alchemical manual and all the needed ingredients listed. He prepared the elixir careIully, however, he was still lacking one ingredient oI which, without it the potion is useless. In Iury and now penniless aIter 13 years oI worthless pursue, he throw the manual into Mother Ganga, and became a wandering beggar.
One day, while begging, he met a courtesan and a conversation Iormed. She told him that she Iound a book while she was bathing in the river. When she showed the book to Vyali, he laughed uncontrollably as it was the very book he threw away and he told her oI his tale. The courtesan, desperate to preserve her beauty, begged the yogin to continue his research and oIIered him 30 pounds oI gold as an incentive.
He accepted her oIIer and began Iormulating the potion once again, but still lack the one crucial ingredient, the red myrobalan. Another miraculous event took place again while the courtesan bathed in Mother Ganga.
Instantly they achieved mundane siddhi and the power oI deathlessness. However, they were still selIish and when they ascended into the heavens the gods rejected them. So the two immortals went to live in the land oI Kilampara where they made their home in the shade oI a lone tree on top oI a rock one mile high. Possessing the power oI Ilight, Arya Nagarjuna vowed to recover the secret oI immortality which was stolen Irom all mankind.
Cleverly, he removed one oI his shoes beIore taking to the air. When he arrived at the top rock, he prostrated himselI to the mortal pair. They were startled to see him and desired his power oI Ilight. When they questioned Nagarjuna on his remarkable giIt, he told them it was the power oI the one shoe he was wearing.
The barter done, Nagarjuna returned to India with the precious Iormula. However, the secret oI Ilight is still unknown to Vyali and the courtesan. And to those who Iind the path to realization, he grants the secret oI the magic elixir oI liIe. He sustained himselI through the sale oI pearls he Iound in the ocean. There was a day he was despaired because he Iailed to Iind a single pearl to earn money Ior Iood. As he wandered to the cremation ground dejectedly and ranted about his unIortunate state, the yogin Acintapa met him there.
The yogin Iurther made it clear to Samudra that he had endured severe pain in his past liIe and in his present liIe he would continue to suIIer, without even a moment oI bliss. Samudra begged the yogin to show him the path out oI suIIering and he received an initiation Irom the yogin in return. He was given instructions oI the Iour boundless states oI mind and the Iour internal joys. Samudra took the instructions to heart and meditated Ior three years.
At the end oI his meditation, he attained siddhi and was known as the Guru Samudrapada. Mahasiddha Lakshimikara. Laksminkara was an extraordinary being, blessed with the qualities oI the elect. Time passed and at age 16, she was escorted to the Kingdom oI Lankapuri. AIter her sheltered upbringing, she was terriIied oI entering the mundane world, when all she wished to do was continue with her practice.
Due to the delay oI her departure, the royal party arrived later than expected and was denied entry to the palace because according to them, it was an inauspicious day. So the princess and her retinue had to wait until the Iollowing day.
She grew uneasy oI her new environment and Iell into depression. And when she languished outside the palace observing the liIe oI the city around her, her depression deepened.
See other formats The 84 Maha Siddhas of Tibetan Buddhists Some hold that there are 84 known Mahasiddhas in both Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, with some overlap between the two lists. Each Maha Siddha has come to be known for certain characteristics and teachings, which facilitates their pedagogical use. Some of the methods and practices of the Maha Siddha were codified in Buddhist scriptures known as Tantras. Traditionally the ultimate source of these methods and practices is held to be the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, and often it is a trans-historical aspect of the Buddha or deity Vajradhara or Samantabhadra who reveals the Tantra in question directly to the Mahasiddha in a vision or whilst they dream or are in a trance. This form of the deity is known as a sambhogakaya manifestation.
Dowman holds that they all lived between and CE. Dowman holds that the eighty-four Mahasiddha are spiritual archetypes : The number eighty-four is a "whole" or "perfect" number. Thus the eighty-four siddhas can be seen as archetypes representing the thousands of exemplars and adepts of the tantric way. The siddhas were remarkable for the diversity of their family backgrounds and the dissimilarity of their social roles. They were found in every reach of the social structure: kings and ministers, priests and yogins, poets and musicians, craftsmen and farmers, housewives and whores. Philosophically this movement was based on the insights revealed in the Mahayana Sutras and as systematized in the Madhyamaka and Chittamatrin schools of philosophy, but the methods of meditation and practice were radically different than anything seen in the monasteries.
Aramuro Yogipa was from Odantapuri of the candela caste, and his guru was Savaripa. Kucipa came to excellent realization and obtained the siddhi of Mahamudra without mental constructions. At their first meeting, the prince recognized Buddhapa as his master and prostrated mahwsiddhas the yogin. You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States.