By Chogyam Trungpa, Nalanda Translation Committee

Marpa the Translator, the eleventh-century farmer, student, and instructor, is among the most famous saints in Tibetan Buddhist historical past. within the West, Marpa is better recognized via his instructor, the Indian yogin Nâropa, and during his closest disciple, Milarepa. This lucid and relocating translation of a textual content composed via the writer of The lifetime of Milarepa and The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa documents the attention-grabbing lifetime of Marpa, who, in contrast to many different Tibetan masters, used to be a layman, a skillful businessman who raised a relatives whereas education his disciples.

As a adolescence, Marpa used to be encouraged to shuttle to India to check the Buddhist teachings, for at the moment in Tibet, Buddhism has waned significantly via ruthless suppression by way of an evil king. the writer paints a bright photo of Marpa's 3 trips to India: precarious mountain passes, desolate plains teeming with bandits, grasping customs-tax creditors. Marpa persevered many hardships, yet not anything to check with the pains that ensued together with his guru Nâropa and different academics. but Marpa succeeded in getting to know the tantric teachings, translating and bringing them to Tibet, and constructing the perform Lineage of the Kagyüs, which maintains to at the present time.

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Marpa was made to work hard to obtain these teachings and so came to appreciate their preciousness and did not regard them as spiritual trophies to collect. Nyo, Marpa's antagonist, did not possess this attitude; hence, he later lacked the merit and karmic connection to find Kukkuripa and receive teaching from him. MarpfJ Meets MaitripfJ, His Other Main Guru Mter returning from Kukkuripa, Marpa received Naropa's permission to go and study with Maitripa, who became Marpa's second main guru, almost as imponant as Naropa.

And T. Schmid's The Eighty-fit~e SiP· riht11 (Stockholm: Statcns Emografiska Museum, 1958). *The stories of Tilopa's life as well as of the other mahasiddhas arc aU quite shon in both Abhayadatta's and Ttranttha's works (sec note above). XXXll Introduction meditation at Somapuri. Mter this, he actualized his path by engaging in the everyday world completely. For another twelve years, he continued his meditation practice as he pounded sesame seeds by day, and by night acted as the procurer for a prostitute.

At home in Illotrak, Marpa seemingly did not have much time to practice meditation. Cenainly, he did not spend most of his time in intensive retreat, as did Milarepa and later disciples. riizable as a spiritual person since he did not wear the robes of a monk or a yogin. Even his neighbors and relatives had doubts at times about him being a spiritual teacher. However, through his ability to completely unify his practice and realization of mahamudra. with his ordinary life, Marpa's vision and activity were vast and precise, beyond what one would expect of an ordinary farmer or businessman.

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