Over the years many great lamas have done retreat in the cave, and their life hindrances have been expelled. Kyabje Trulzhig Rinpoche has visited every year since he came into exile to perform life prayers for His Holiness.
The lower cave, ten-minutes walk down the hillside, is the Cave of the Eight Means of Attainment. This is where Guru Rinpoche slew a demon. Inside the entrace is the stone emanation of the flesh and blodd of the demon. To the left of the entrance is a white conch shell that comes out from the rock; Ven. Kunkyen and Ven. Jinpa took turns to blow through the hole. It is said that with hearing this sound the evil states of cyclic existence are shattered. Guru Rinpoche flew through the root of this case, leaving a large hole through which the sky is visible — this is called the sky door. Five hundred Arhats are said to have visited this place, and many people come here to practice Chöd.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered tsog at the Dakini gathering place and at the secret cave, wihch is an arrow’s distance away from the main cave, and is accessed by climbing a precarious bamboo ladder. Here we saw many crystals formed from the rock. On top of the tree-covered hill, Rinpoche and the Maritika Lama, accompanied by the small tulku, performed incense puja. Close by is Guru Rinpoche’s toilet in the form of a rock with a deep slit from which warm vapor is emitted from deep within the earth, and which is said to have curative properties. Nearby you look down through the sky door into the Cave of the Eight Means of Attainment far below.
There are other hills surrounding the caves: Manjushri Hill to the south-east and Vajrapani Hill to hte south-west. There is a Garuda cave nearby that we did not visit; Lama Zopa Rinpoche said this would be a good place to go to for people with cancer. A few hours walk away is the cave of Mandarava. On several occasions Rinpoche pointed out auspicious places for possible retreat hutshttp://www.mandalamagazine.org/archives ... -maratika/