K a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n

Naropa (1016-1100)

Excerpts from "The Biographies of the Kagyu Lineage" by the second Shamarpa, Kacho Wangpo

Naropa was born to a royal family in Bengal. He was given the name Samantabhadra and was brought up to become a king. However, being more inclined towards a spiritual path and intellectual studies, at the age of eight he asked to go to Kashmir for higher education. Three years later he arrived there and began his studies in art, science, grammar, rhetoric and logic with the most well-known teachers of that time.

After completing his studies he returned home to find that his parents had arranged for his marriage to a Brahmin girl named Vimaladipi. The marriage only lasted eight years and was dissolved upon Naropa's insistence.
He returned to Kashmir where he was ordained and continued to pursue his studies.

At the age of twenty-eight he went to live in Pullahari. He received further teachings at the nearby Buddhist University of Nalanda, where he later became an Abbot. One day a dakini appeared before him. She explained the importance of meditation practice suggesting that he seek out the master Tilopa for instructions.

Thus, Naropa left in search of this teacher whom he encountered while travelling East. During his training with Tilopa he was subjected to considerable hardships. However, Naropa persevered and attained mastery of the teachings he received.

His Tibetan disciple, Marpa the translator, brought these teachings to Tibet and became the founding father of the Kagyupa lineage.

Marpa (1012-1097)




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