Tsem Tulku : The Lives of the 84 Mhasiddhas

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Tsem Tulku : The Lives of the 84 Mhasiddhas

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:14 pm

'The mahasiddhas are people who come from all walks of life. 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 lifetime.'

'The 84 Mahasiddhas represent all those who have, within a single lifetime, attained direct realization of the Buddha’s teachings. Their life stories represent what they have accomplished and what they did for others upon gaining realization from their practice. By reading their stories, we know that through effort and practice of the Buddha’s teachings, we too can gain liberation.'

'I have always love to read the stories of these Mahasiddhas. They brought tears, joy, amazement, faith, 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 of them had their particular attachments, delusions and hang ups. In each of them, we can find ourselves or something similar. It makes us realize, before they became attained, they were just like you and me. That means, we can be eventually just like them if we apply ourselves!'

Tsem Tulku

The Lives of the 84 Mahasiddhas
http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-ri ... ddhas.html
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The Life of Saraha

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:18 pm

Saraha was a brahmin born in eastern India in an area named Roli in the city-state of Rajni. His mother was a Dakini and he was a Daka, a spiritual being with magical powers. Although raised as a Brahmin and tutored in Brahmin law, he was secretly a Buddhist and had been taught by numerous great masters. He lived a double life, observing Brahmin law during the day and maintaining his Buddhist vows at night. Saraha enjoyed drinking alcohol and this offended the other Brahmins. They told the king of Saraha's drinking and pleaded for him to be exiled. When the king began to chastise him, Saraha stated that he did not drink and that he would gladly prove it to him and all the Brahmins. When they were all assembled, Saraha took out a pot of boiling oil and stated that if he were guilty his hand would burn in it, and then put his hand into the boiling oil and pulled it out unscathed. The Brahmins didn't care and continued to yell vicious insults at him, telling the king they had repeatedly seen him drink with their own eyes. Saraha then took a bowl of molten copper and drank it in one gulp and his throat was not burned. The Brahmins continued to tell the king they had seen him drink. He then challenged the Brahmins, saying he would get into a tank of water with one of them and whoever is guilty will sink to the bottom and when he did, the Brahmin sank and not him. He also stated that he would weigh himself with anyone of them and whoever weighed less was guilty. He weighed himself along with one of the larger Brahmins but still was heavier. The king decided that if he possessed such powers then he should be allowed to continue to drink.

Saraha then sang a series of three instructional songs. One was to the king, one was to the queen, and one was to the people of Rajni. These songs became the famous "Three Cycles of Dohas." After he recited these songs the king and the Brahmins all converted to Buddhism and the entire court eventually attained enlightenment.

Saraha then took a fifteen-year-old bride and moved to an isolated location in another country. The master began to rigorously practice meditation while his consort would beg for the food needed to sustain them. One day she cooked him a plate of radish stew but when she went to serve it to him she saw that he was in a deep state of meditation and did not bother him. He remained in this meditative state for twelve years but when he finally came out of it, he asked his wife for the plate of stew she had fixed him twelve years ago. She was upset by the request and questioned him, asking why after twelve years of meditation was he still full of desire for the stew. He was embarrassed and said they should move to the mountains so as to be even more isolated in his meditation and she retorted that it was not necessary for them to move. She explained to him that the greatest solitude comes when one is free from conceptual thought as well as the preconceptions and prejudices of an inflexible and narrow mind. Saraha was inspired by his wife's words and continued his meditation with the sole intention of freeing his mind from conceptual thinking. He began to experience all things as space, seeing the world in its natural state. He attained the realization of mahamudra. Saraha lived the rest of his life devoted to the constant service of others until he and his consort entered the Dakini's paradise.
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The Life of Padmavajra

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:25 pm

The child was magically born in the center of a large lotus in the middle of a lake. As was foretold, great material wealth fell from the sky all across the country. The child was named Padmavajra and because of his good merit the people of Kanchi remained prosperous for some time.

When Indrabhuti died, Padmavajra refused to become the new king and the throne was inherited by his younger brother. Padmavajra then decided to leave home and travel to Shri Dhanyakataka and become a monk. While on the road he was approached by Avalokiteshvara who was disguised as another monk. After testing Padmavajra, Avalokiteshvara gave him powerful initiations, instructions, and blessings. Upon receiving this teaching Padmavajra immediately set out to enter a solitary retreat and practice meditation for twelve years.

While Padmavajra was in retreat he was one day visited by a wandering yogin. Impressed by Padmavajra, the yogin offered to serve him. His only condition was that upon attaining enlightenment, Padmavajra would then agree to be his teacher. Padmvajra agreed and the two lived together, Padmavajra practicing meditation and the yogin walking into the town every day to beg for food.

At this time a great drought struck all the lands of the region and caused a wide spread famine. It became much harder for the yogin to find sustenance but he remained determined to serve his master. Fearing that knowledge of the famine would distract Padmavajra from his meditation, the yogin did not tell him about it and attempted to live only on his leftovers. Eventually came a day when the yogin was only able to find a small bowl of uncooked rice and by the time he had brought it all back to Padmavajra he was close to starving and collapsed. The yogin was no longer able to hide the fact that there was a famine from his master. When the yogin told him about the horrible droughts
and famine, Padmavajra became angry and scolded the yogin for not telling him, stating that he has the power to bring rain. Padmavajra then took the bowl of rice and took them to a nearby stream where he made offerings to the nature spirits. He was able to coerce these spirits into making rain and ending the famine as well as make food and riches fall from the sky to ease the people?s suffering.

Word of Padmavajra?s great power spread quickly and many people became inspired and sought to become spiritual practitioners. Padmavajra also held to his word and gave the yogin who had served him initiations and instructions with which the yogin studied and practiced diligently, quickly achieving magical powers. Padmavajra then rose into the sky and entered the Dakini?s paradise. The yogin went on to find a consort and build a great temple to the god Rama.
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The Life of Ghantapa

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:30 pm

There was a wicked whore in Pataliputra who told Devapala that she would be able to corrupt Ghantapa and ruin him. This vile woman had a virtuous and unspoiled virgin daughter who was commanded to seduce the yogin. As Ghantapa would meditate the young girl would bow and circumambulate him, begging for the opportunity to serve him and be his patron. He resisted but the girl was persistent. Ghantapa eventually moved to a small hut for the monsoon season and although the maiden followed him; he requested that his food only be brought by male servants.

For two weeks, only men tended to the yogin but on the fifteenth day the young woman told them to stay back and she went herself. When Ghantapa asked her to leave she complained that there were rain clouds in the sky and that she should wait until they pass. Once the clouds had passed it was getting dark and she cried saying that if she were to leave at night bandits would kill her. He told her that she had to sleep outside but as it got colder during the night she moved into the hut. Saying she was cold, she got closer and closer until eventually their bodies touched and thus the two came together in tantric union.

Ghantapa and the young woman became yogin and yogini and in one years time a child was born. Believing they had successfully corrupted Ghantapa, king Devapala and the whore set out to expose him. Aware they were approaching, Ghantapa consulted his consort and she told him that she was scared and wanted to flee. He quickly hid their child in his robe and grabbed a container of liquor and then left, but as they were on the road the king caught up to them on his mighty elephant. The angry Devapala screamed at them, proclaiming that although Ghantapa once called him a sinful man it was he who was evil, for now he had a wife and child. The yogin replied that he had done nothing wrong and was faultless and warned Devapala not to insult him. The furious king repeated the accusation more viciously and without warning, Ghantapa flung his child and jar of liquor to the ground. When he did this, the earth goddess became frightened and let forth a flood that burst upward from a great crack in the ground. Floating in the rising water, the child and the jug magically transformed into a vajra and bell. Ghantapa and his consort then turned into the deities Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi in union and rose into the sky. The frightened king and his entourage were being overtaken by the flood, the whole time praying to be saved. Ghantapa remained in the Samadhi of immutable wrath. Just as the men were about to drown, Avalokiteshvara appeared and with his foot stopped the flood of water by sealing the crack. The kingdom was saved. Bowing down and begging for forgiveness, the men were given instructions and teachings on wholesome spiritual practice by Ghantapa. It is believed to this day that at that moment a large stone statue of Avalokiteshvara instantly appeared in Pataliputra and water still springs up
from under the foot.

Indian Adept: Ghantapada

Ghantapa: the Celibate Bell-Holder
(Abhayadatta #52)

After coming of age as a monk, Ghantapa left the great monastic academy Nalanda in Northern India to live the life of an ascetic yogin, wandering from place to place putting his wisdom into constant selfless practice. His fame grew as word of his great learning and spiritual power spread across the land.

When Ghantapa was in the city of Pataliputra he began meditating under a tree. The people of the city marveled at him and the great king Devapala who ruled the entire land wished to be his patron. Yet when asked by the king to come teach in his palace, Ghantapa declined the offer, shaming the king and stating that his kingdom was full of vice. The king continued to plead but Ghantapa remained firm, saying he would never give teachings to a king who ruled such a sinful kingdom. The king eventually became very bitter and began plotting to destroy the yogin. He decided to offer a large reward to anyone who could disprove Ghantapas virtue.

There was a wicked whore in Pataliputra who told Devapala that she would be able to corrupt Ghantapa and ruin him. This vile woman had a virtuous and unspoiled virgin daughter who was commanded to seduce the yogin. As Ghantapa would meditate the young girl would bow and circumambulate him, begging for the opportunity to serve him and be his patron. He resisted but the girl was persistent. Ghantapa eventually
moved to a small hut for the monsoon season and although the maiden followed him; he requested that his food only be brought by male servants.

For two weeks, only men tended to the yogin but on the fifteenth day the young woman told them to stay back and she went herself. When Ghantapa asked her to leave she complained that there were rain clouds in the sky and that she should wait until they pass. Once the clouds had passed it was getting dark and she cried saying that if she were to leave at night bandits would kill her. He told her that she had to sleep outside but as it got colder during the night she moved into the hut. Saying she was cold, she got closer and closer until eventually their bodies touched and thus the two came together in tantric union.

Ghantapa and the young woman became yogin and yogini and in one years time a child was born. Believing they had successfully corrupted Ghantapa, king Devapala and the whore set out to expose him. Aware they were approaching, Ghantapa consulted his consort and she told him that she was scared and wanted to flee. He quickly hid their child in his robe and grabbed a container of liquor and then left, but as they were on the road the king caught up to them on his mighty elephant. The angry Devapala screamed at them, proclaiming that although Ghantapa once called him a sinful man it was he who was evil, for now he had a wife and child. The yogin replied that he had done nothing wrong and was faultless and warned Devapala not to insult him. The furious king repeated the accusation more viciously and without warning, Ghantapa flung his child and jar of liquor to the ground. When he did this, the earth goddess became frightened and let forth a flood that burst upward from a great crack in the ground. Floating in the rising water, the child and the jug magically transformed into a vajra and bell. Ghantapa and his consort then turned into the deities Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi in union and rose into the sky. The frightened king and his entourage were being overtaken by the flood, the whole time praying to be saved. Ghantapa remained in the Samadhi of immutable wrath. Just as the men
were about to drown, Avalokiteshvara appeared and with his foot stopped the flood of water by sealing the crack. The kingdom was saved. Bowing down and begging for forgiveness, the men were given instructions and teachings on wholesome spiritual practice by Ghantapa. It is believed to this day that at that moment a large stone statue of Avalokiteshvara instantly appeared in Pataliputra and water still springs up
from under the foot.

The king and his people pledged to change their sinful ways. The entire royal court over time shed their prejudice and bias and found faith. Ghantapa continued to illuminate the path for multitudes of students. It is said that in six previous incarnations the young girl had caused Ghantapa to break his vows, but in this lifetime, because he had a more developed mind-stream and had completely conquered his dualistic mental constructs, he was able to maintain the true path. Their child was named Vajrapani, meaning 'Vajra in hand'.
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The Life of Kukkuripa

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:32 pm

While begging his way to Lumbini he came across a dog, a sick starving bitch. Feeling pity and compassion for the animal, he carried her with him until he found a cave where the two took up residence. Kukkuripa would beg during the day and each night bring the sick dog whatever food he acquired.

After twelve years of continuous meditation he achieved the magical powers of prescience and divine insight. Gaining the attention of the gods of the Thirty-three Sensual Heavens, Kukkuripa was invited to feast with them and enjoyed the infinite pleasures of their heavenly realm. Yet no matter how blissful the indulgences of the heavens, Kukkuripa never forgot about the dog. When he told the gods of his companion they tried to convince him to stay in heaven, saying that one dog does not matter and is not worth leaving the luxury and comfort of paradise. Although the gods did succeed in keeping Kukkuripa there longer than he had planned, his love for the dog never ceased and he eventually retuned to her.

When he greeted the dog and caressed her head, the bitch suddenly became a Dakini and spoke to him, telling him that he had proven his worth by overcoming heavenly temptation. He obtained supreme realization, an attainment far greater than the pleasures of the gods. He lived the rest of his life as a great teacher and was revered by the people of Lumbini and Kapilavastu until he entered the Dakini's paradise.
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The Life of Lawapa

Postby phantom59 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:38 pm

Despite his great accumulation of wealth, the young king was troubled by the absence of his mother of whom he had not seen since his father died. When he asked his courtiers where she was they explained that she was in mourning. Finally, after two years, she returned to the royal court and although her son was overjoyed to see her, she was crying uncontrollably and he was concerned. When he asked what was troubling her she responded that she did not want to see him engaged in the wretched business of government and that he should renounce his throne.

The king agreed and abdicated his throne to his brother. He took up residence in a monastery with a retinue of three hundred monks. Never the less, his mother once again approached him in tears and stated that even though he was now living as an ascetic, he still had far too much comfort and support for a holy man. She instructed him to give up all his possessions and wander the lands. Continuing to do as his mother wished, he gave away his silver bath basin, discarded his fine robes, and began to wander. Before he had gotten far, his mother appeared in the sky above him and he recognized for the first time that she was a powerful Dakini. She gave him Chakrasamvara initiation and taught him how to meditate. Upon completion of this instruction she promptly disappeared and he continued on his path. He wandered from town to town for twelve years, sleeping in cremation grounds and practicing meditation. He became a great master.

The master eventually took residence in a cave in the area of Karabir. The local Dakini witches of this region became aware of his presence and were displeased, immediately forming plans to distract him from his meditation practice. One day while walking to a nearby town wearing only a woolen blanket, the Dakini witches accosted him. They asked him to entrust them with his blanket while he was in the town and he could not refuse.

The Dakini witches took the blanket back to their dwelling and formed a council. They concluded that since all of a master's possessions hold power that they should eat the blanket. They divided it up and each swallowed one piece, throwing one remaining fragment into their fire. When he returned from the town and the witches refused to give him back his property, he became angry and resolved to take the matter to the king in protest. He asked the king why he was not able to protect his subjects from thieving witches and in turn the king summoned the witches and demanded that they give the blanket back. They Dakini's simply pleaded that it was no longer in their possession.

The master returned to his cave and continued to meditate but his conflict with the Dakini-witches continued. On one occasion they tried to dry up the spring in his cave but the master commanded an earth goddess to send him water. He finally saw an opportunity to stop the witches when he found out that their equally mean-spirited sisters were coming into the region to visit them. Upon their arrival, the master magically turned them all into sheep and when their leader pleaded for him to restore them to their original form, he shaved their fleeces so that when they became human again their heads were shaved. Despite being upset and shamed, this did not curb the witches devious plotting. They attempted to kill the master by rolling a large boulder onto his head. The master threatened that if they did not vow to cease their evil ways that he would turn them permanently into horses. Fearful of his power, the Dakini-witches took refuge in the Buddha and vowed to protect his word. Upon taking their vows, every one of them were instantly purified and they each vomited up the piece of the blanket that they had swallowed. The master sewed the pieces back together but when he was done, the blanket was slightly smaller. He became known as Lawapa, master of the blanket
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