Buddhaguptanatha and the Late Survival of the Siddha Tradition in India
by David Templeman
Note: I'm not sure how I stumbled on this amazing article ....
The late survival of the siddha tradition in India might come as a surprise to some. It is commonly believed that Buddhism was totally eradicated by the end of the 12th century and that nothing of its religious traditions survived in the Indian sub-continent. However, there is an increasing body of evidence to show that this was not the case. In certain areas, Buddhism survived, in fact, at least into the 17th century. This article focuses on the life of one such 'survivor,' Buddhaguptanatha, a siddha-yogi who wandered widely and eventually taught Taranatha, Tibet's greatest historian.
In terms of his wanderings Buddhaguptanatha was remarkable. He travelled on foot to Iran, Balkh in the north of Afghanistan, Kashgar in Central Asia, Multan, Kabul, Khorasan, Badakshan, Qusht and the lands of the Mughals. He travelled by boat to south-east Asia, particularly Indonesia, parts of Burma and possibly Thailand. It is even believed that he reached Madagascar off the coast of east Africa.
In terms of late Indian siddhas such as Buddhaguptanatha, there is very little extant literature or surviving knowledge. The text that I am basing this article on is by the Tibetan historian Taranatha (1575-?), who wrote one of the few existing biographies of such people. Buddhaguptanatha earned more renown as a siddha than anyone else in his era, precisely because of his relationship with Taranatha. He transmitted the dense details about Buddhist history and recent tantric developments that enrich so much of Taranatha's texts
_________________Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche