Marpa




[ above courtesy drikung.org
]



[ detail from a thangka painted by Karshu Gonpo Dorje,
Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India;
photo courtesy the late His
Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rikpe Dorje
]

Marpa

(the Translator)

(Marpa Lotsawa, Marpa Chökyi Lodrö)

( 1012 – 1097 ) ( 1012 – 1099 )

 

links

Trial by Tower Building:

Milarepa meets Marpa

Marpa

from Karma
Triyana Dharmachakra

Drikung
Kagyu Lineage

Naropa’s Guru was Naropa

Naropa was Guru to Milarepa

Above woodcut from Derge district in Eastern Tibet, circa
1950s (?).


It “places Marpa (central figure), the first of the Tibetan
gurus (“Teachers”)


of the Kargyütpas School of Northern Buddhism, in
his apostolic line.

The line begins (top center) with “Dorje-Chang, the ‘Holder
of the Dorje’ (the Spiritual Thunderbolt of the Gods), in Whom the Esoteric
Lore of the Kargyutpas has its origin.

He is regarded as an Emanation of the Buddha Shakya Muni”
(top left corner). It also “venerates Him, as the Kargyütpas do, as
the Chief of the Celestial Buddhas, analogous to the Adi, or Primordial,
Buddha of the Old School of Padma Sambhava.”

On the right of the Celestial Buddha is Tilopa,
the first of the human gurus, an Indian yogi, who received direct guidance
and teaching from the Celestial Buddha. Tilopa holds aloft in his right
hand a golden fish, symbolizing “sentient beings immersed in the Ocean
of Worldly Existence”; and in his left hand a blood-filled skull, symbolizing
his ability to confer occult powers pertaining to the world.

Opposite Tilopa is his favored disciple, Naropa,
the second of the human gurus. He is blowing a trumpet made of a ram’s
horn, proclaiming the glory of his Order. Naropa was a professor of philosophy
in the celebrated Buddhist University of Nalanda, in northwest India, the
principal center of learning of that epoch. It was there that Marpa, on
one of his manuscript-collecting journeys to India, met Naropa and became
one of his disciples. Marpa made a number of journeys to India for manuscripts,
which he translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan, thus becoming known in
Tibet, his native land, as Marpa the Translator.

In India, Marpa also met Atisha (top right corner), an
Indian Buddhist monk, from whom he obtained special teaching. Atisha went
to Tibet in A.D.1038 and became the first of the Reformers of Lamaism,
introducing celibacy and “higher morality” among the priesthood.

Milarepa (lower left corner),
A.D. 1052-1135, Marpa’s uniquely great disciple, sits, supposedly, in a
cave on an antelope skin.

Gampopa (lower right corner), A.D. 1077-1152, Dvagpo-Lharje—
that is, Physician of the Dvagpo Province (in Eastern Tibet)—was Milarepa’s
most spiritually gifted disciple, from whom “onwards to our own day the
Kargyütpa Dynasty of Teachers has continued with out a break.”

[ from Thirteen Tibetan Tankas, by Edna Bryner, pp. 10-11, ©1956
Falcon Wing Press and Evans-Wentz’s Tibet’s Great
Yogi Milarepa
]

 

bibliography  (and excerpts)

The Life of Marpa the Translator:

Seeing Accomplishes All

Tsag Nyön Heruka ( 1452 – 1507 )

Nalanda Translation Committee (Translator),

under the direction of Chögyam Trungpa

Shambhala
Publications


Paperback / Published 1995

information and order from:

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and noble
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1st Shambhala ed. 1986:

information and order from:

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1983 ed.:

Gtsan-Smyon He-Ru-Ka

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The Great Kagyu Masters

The Golden Lineage Treasury

Translated by Khenpo Könchog Gyaltsen

Edited by Victoria Huckenpahler

Snow Lion Publications
/ 1990


information and order from:

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and noble
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The Rain of Wisdom:

The Essence of the Ocean of True Meaning

Nalanda Translation Committee, trans.

Hardcover / January 1989

information and order from:

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and noble
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The Rain of Wisdom:

The Essence of the Ocean of True Meaning

Paperback / Shambhala, 1985.

information and order from:

amazon.com
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and noble
| * | powells
| * | ABE


 

[ see also Naropa and Milarepa
]


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