Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

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Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 3:52 pm

Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

By Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen

Translated by Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and Ane Kunga Chodron

I bow my head at the feet of the holy lamas!

The Lord of Mahasiddhas known as Virupa was born to an Indian royal family. He completely abandoned the kingdom and went to Nalanda University. At that time, Nalanda University had abbots of all four types of Vinaya, but he was ordained in the Sarvativadin school by the abbot Dharma Mitra, known as Nambar Gyalwe Lha in Tibetan. He received the ordination name of Shri Dharmapala from his abbot. The same abbot gave him empowerment and instructions on Chakrasamvara.
Shri Dharmapala intensively studied the complete philosophy of his own and other schools and became an extremely learned monk. After the abbot Dharma Mitra passed away, Shri Dharmapala became the greatest abbot among all the scholars of Nalanda University. He was an extremely learned scholar but he concentrated his practice primarily on Chakrasamvara. Although he practiced for a very long time, no positive signs of attainment arose, and in fact, various unsuitable signs occurred. Discouraged, he resolved that from now on he would only teach Dharma, compose texts, and lead the Sangha and would discontinue practice of tutelary deities.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 4:03 pm

On the twenty-second of the fourth lunar month, known as the month of Vesak, Shri Dharmapala threw his mala in the toilet and relented his activities. That same night, Vajra Nairatmya [consort of Hevajra] appeared in his dream, as an ordinary lady of bluish color. She spoke to him saying, "Son of my race, such an inappropriate act was not well done. Retrieve your mala and wash it with scented water. Confess and commit yourself to right practice. I am the deity with whom you have a karmic connection. I will bless you and you will swiftly reach attainment." Speaking thus she disappeared.

Shri Dharmapala awoke and arose with his mind filled with regret. The next day, on the twenty-third, he retrieved his mala and did as she prophesied. That night he perceived the primordial wisdom emanation body of Vajra Nairatmya with a retinue of fifteen goddesses and they bestowed upon him the complete four empowerments in their mandala. During the empowerment the primordial wisdom of the path of seeing arose in his mind, which is the stage of a first bhumi Bodhisattva. Similarly, his realization advanced successively each night until the night of the twenty ninth when he reached the realization of the sixth bhumi.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 8:31 pm

In this way, through bestowal of the complete four empowerments, the stream of empowerment was unbroken. Through the arising of realization from the first to the sixth bhumi, the lineage of blessings did not decline.

Earlier, when the lack of clear signs of attainment was followed by many inappropriate signs, Shri Dharmapala became discouraged with practice. These were the signs of the heat of meditation, yet he did not recognize them as such due to the lack of certain instructions from holy teachers. He now fully understood these occurrences which shows that the sequence of instructions was unmistaken.

He now attained genuine definitive understanding that his realization was equal to that of the perfect and fully enlightened Buddha, through which his devotion was satisfied. Through these, he was both blessed by the four oral instructions and taught by the four oral instructions.

Shri Dharmapala continued to meditate on his realization and remained in his room. Some people noticed him bringing meat and liquor there and watched through the cracks in the doors. Some perceived him to be sitting with fifteen ladies and others perceived him to be sitting with eight ladies. Some perceived him to be sitting with fifteen burning oil lamps and others perceived him to be sitting with eight burning oil lamps. Due to the various things that had been seen, doubts arose, yet Shri Dharmapala could be neither accused nor expelled because he was the highest abbot among all the scholars.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 8:47 pm

At that time, in order to overcome criticism of the holy doctrine, Shri Dharmapala himself thought, "I should declare that I have been improper." He left his room and offered his begging bowl, Dharma robes, and other monastic possessions before the holy shrine. He declared, "AME VIRWA!" [I AM WICKED] and naked, departed directly.

Virupa begged some flowers from flower sellers, fashioned them into garlands, and wore them around his head. He begged some leaves and radishes, put some in his mouth, and carried the rest in his hands. He went to bars and houses of prostitution and astonished everyone by his behavior.

The Sangha were summoned by beating gongs and drums. They proceeded to expel him from the monastery and passed a resolution that he would not be allowed to return. The songs of religious experience that Virupa sang at that time should be learned from other texts.

To perform the benefit of Lord Buddha's doctrine, to avert the disrespect of the worldly toward himself, and to show a symbol of his improper actions, when Virupa approached the Ganges River on his journey toward Varanasi, he said, "I am an improper person, so give me a path by which to cross." At that moment the river stopped flowing and the great stream parted, providing a path to cross. Then Virupa sang a song of his religious experience.

Through this the Sangha realized that Virupa had achieved high attainment. They did prostrations to his feet, begged his forgiveness, offered their apologies, and requested him to remain at the university. He accepted their apology but did not accept their request to stay.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:25 pm

Virupa traveled around in the forests of Varanasi and remained there without clothing and other possessions for a long time. Due to exposure to the sun and air his body became very terrifying. Some believed that he was a Hindu yogi and others believed that he was a Buddhist yogi.

Meanwhile the king of Varanasi declared "If that yogi is Hindu, he has endured many hardships so we should invite him to the palace. If he is Buddhist he may harm the people of Varanasi. Everyone should try to find out what his religion is." The people watched him but could not find any signs that indicated to which religion he belonged.

Finally the king summoned Virupa before him. Virupa came according to the summons, along the way catching flies and moths and putting them in his mouth. The people told him, "You are improper" so he revived the flies and moths but still they complained "You are improper." Then the great master said "If I kill sentient beings you say that I am improper. If I revive them you say I am improper. I don't know how to behave."

Virupa came before the king. The king asked him again and again "Who are you?" but Virupa made no reply whatsoever. Finally the king said "There is no sign of any qualities that this man is a follower of Shiva. Chain his arms and legs and throw him in the river." The people did as the king instructed but the great yogi returned to the palace and again appeared before the king. Again and again they tried but were completely unsuccessful. Through these acts the local people were converted to the Vajrayana path.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Biography of the Mahasiddha Virupa

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:49 pm

Then Virupa went south to tame Bimisara. On the way, when Virupa reached the Ganges River, he asked a sailor to ferry him to the other side. The sailor asked for the fare, but the great master replied "I will satisfy you. If I give you the river will that be sufficient?" First the sailor answered that he wanted more than the river. Then he said he wanted less than that. The master said "I will give you the river itself" and pointed at the river with a threatening mudra. The Ganges River reversed and many people who lived in huts on the banks were terrified that they would be carried by the flood. The sailor told the people "That man caused this."

Everyone was terrified and some people brought jewels, others brought gold, others brought silver, others brought cattle, others brought piles of grain and still others brought flower garlands requesting Virupa to let the water flow. Virupa snapped his fingers and the water flowed as normal. Then he sang a song of his religious experience. The great yogi gave all of the offerings to the sailor saying "This is your fare." The sailor clutched the master's feet and begged "I don't want any of these things. Please let me follow you and accept me as your disciple." The great yogi accepted his request and the sailor followed him. They returned all of the offerings to the people who had given them.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4501
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD


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