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Naropa and His Sadang yoga

This year the world across the millennial birth anniversary of Naropa will be celebrated.
Naropa is one of the eighty-four Mahasiddha , who is held in high esteem by the Drukpa
Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Naropa was born in a royal family of Bengal. His father,
Shantivarman and mother, Srimati were expecting their precocious child to be an able
successor to the throne. They provided him with the best of the education and
encouragement. While he was eight years old, he was sent to Kashmir to study under the
best of the teachers at that time. Kashmir was the cross-road of knowledge with new thought
currents from all directions finding fertile ground. Naropa went to study under one of the
leading Buddhist master of the time, Gaganakirti. There he was ordained as a novice monk
(sramanera) in the Sarvastivada order of Buddhism and engaged himself in scholastic studies
for the next three years. Kashmir, at this time in history, was famous as a place of great
learning and science.

Three years after his return from Kashmir, Naropa was forced by his parents to marry a
lovely Brahmin girl, Vimaladipi (also known by her caste name, Niguma). Later, Niguma
became one of Naropa's most advanced disciples and a devoted spiritual companion; she
served Naropa when he lived in Pullahari, Kashmir.
He then went to Pullahari and stayed there for six years. []
After his prolonged stay in Pullahari, Naropa went to Nalanda University, where his wisdom,
skills in debate and teaching, as well as his deep spiritual understanding earned him the
chancellorship of the university. fter the divorce, Naropa went to the hermitage of
Anandarama, where he was ordained as a novice by Abbot Buddhasarana and the guru
Jnanaprabha, with whom he stayed for three years, mastering various Mahayana and
Tantrayana philosophies. He then stayed in Pullahari for six years and wrote several
commentaries on Guhyasamajatantra, Abhidharma-uttaratantra, Samvara-udbhava and
Hevajratantra and composed many other works based on the Buddha's teachings.
At the age of 28, now a fully ordained monk (bhikkshu), Naropa graduated to Nalanda
University in the heart of India
With time, Naropa rose through the ranks and eventually became one of these four
professors. At this time in his life he was known as Mahapandita Abhayakirti. His fame
spread far and wide, and for eight years he taught at this great institution of learning.
One day, so it is said, when Naropa was sitting in the shade of a large banyan tree, studying
his books, an ugly old woman come up to him. She asked him if he could understand the
words which he was reading. "Yes, of course," he replied, thinking that she was just some old
illiterate peasant woman. At this she cackled with laughter. Then she asked him if he
experienced the meaning of what he was reading. Again, he replied, "Of course." The old hag
burst into tears.
How can I realize Enlightenment," he asked. "My brother is the great yogi Tilopa," she
explained, "and he can guide you on the path of direct mystical experience."

As with many tales in the lives of an initiate, the legend of Naropa describes how he went
through twelve painful trials, to receive the mystical teachings of the "Way of the Yogi" from
Tilopa. Each trial that Naropa had to undergo demonstrated some aspect of the teaching and
also broke through Naropa's pride. Though he suffered tremendously during these trials,
Naropa persevered to the end and won through to Enlightenment in only a few years. By now,
Naropa had renounced the life of a monk and become a white clad yogi in Tilopa's tradition.
He wandered through Bengal.
After his Enlightenment, Naropa returned to Pullahari. It is said that his former wife became
a great Yogini there, while following Naropa's guidance. She is famous as the Yogini Niguma
and in many treatises is referred to as Naropa's sister. A lineage of instruction has come down
from her to this day.
Naropa eventually passed away, resurrected into light, leaving no physical remains. 1100
After attaining this magnificent realization, Naropa taught in many places and had numerous
disciples, especially in Kashmir and Zanskar where he established many monasteries.
According to His Holiness the present Gyalwang Drukpa, Sani is also the place where
Naropa flew up into the sky upon attaining enlightenment whilst wearing the renowned Six
Bone Ornaments. Naropa meditated in a small hut facing the Kanishka stupa and taught the
people of Sani for a number of years. When it was time for Naropa to leave, the local people
sincerely begged him to stay.

Lokesh Chandra after extensive study of Tibetan catalogues, writes that the Kalacakra was
introduced into India from Shambhala sixty years before its arrival in Tibet. The records
suggest that it entered Tibet in the year 1026. Naropa was born in 1016 A.D. As per available
records, Naropa was the first to receive the Kalacakra instructions in India from the original
representative in India from Shambhala. According to the Tibetan historian Padma Karpo,
Tsilupa is the Great Kalacakrapada and Naropa(Skt. Nadapada) is the lesser Kalacakrapada.
Padma Karpo also writes that Naropa was initiated by Tsilupa into Kalacakra tradition at the
Pullahari monastery, near Biharsharif in Bihar where Naropa met Marpa and prophecy about
Milarepa was made. Naropa initiated Atisha into Kalacakra tradition
George Roerich notes that modern Tibetan pilgrims believe the location of Pullahari to be in
Kashmir near Srinagar. And more interestingly, the colophon to Tilopas Esoteric Instructions
on the Six Yogas (Chos drug gi man ngag) states that it was translated by Naropa and Marpa
in Pulihpahari in the place of the Moslems (kha chei gnas), again referring to Kashmir ."
Atisha(980-1054) was a disciple of Naropa and tantras very similar to those taught by

Naropa Vajrayogini practise

o vajrayogin h pha svh

Mahamudra tradition
Kagyu( spoken Path)
LamRim- stages of the Path
Lojong- transforming suffering into compassion
There are currently two main traditions of Kalachakra, the Ra lineage (Tib. Rva-lugs) and the
Dro lineage (Tib.'Bro-lugs). Although there were many translations of the Kalachakra texts
from Sanskrit into Tibetan, the Ra and Dro translations are considered to be the most reliable
(more about the two lineages below). The two lineages offer slightly differing accounts of
how the Kalachakra teachings returned to India from Shambhala.
The Dro lineage was established in Tibet by a Kashmiri disciple of Nalandapa named Pandita
Somanatha, who traveled to Tibet in 1027 (or 1064CE, depending on the calendar used), and
his translator Droton Sherab Drak Lotsawa, from which it takes its name. The Ra lineage was
brought to Tibet by another Kashmiri disciple of Nadapada named Samantashri, and
translated by RaChoerab Lotsawa (or Ra Dorje Drakpa). Today Kalachakra is practiced by all
four Tibetan schools of Buddhism, although it appears most prominently in the Gelug
lineage. It is the main tantric practice for the Jonang school.
The teachings of Tilopa(988-1069 CE) are the earliest known work on the six yogas. Tilopa
is said to have received the teachings directly from Cakrasamvara. Nropa learned the
techniques from Tilopa. N
Apart from the Kalacakratantra and its commentary Vimalprabha, there are 47 ttexts in the
Tangyur on various aspects of the Kalacakra as per Lokesh Chandra.
Kalacakrapada the Great or Cilupa has written sadangayopadesa. Tilopa also first to write on
Six Yogas.
Kalacakrapada or Naropa has 10 work in his name including Kalacakrahomavidhi,
Kalacakraganacakravidhi, Kalacakrapratishthavidhi.
Nadapada s sekoddesatika on the seka-section of Kalacakratantra.
Official date of introduction into Tibet is accepted to be 1026 A.D.

It must have peneterated in india in 966A.D.

ALSO IN PAGAN Burma practised. Pagan inscriptions of 1442 A.D. Naropa first master to
receive kalacakra from the first master of the system in India.
Padma dkarpo..
Naro choe Druk (Tib Na ror chos drug) translates literally as Naros six Doctrines.
Mahamudra- If reality is one, we can only know it when we merge with it, when we cease to
separate and to step beyond what reality offers, losing all contact with reality.
Beyond doubt, fear and hope
Seal- act of Mudra- act of sealing with Shunyata and Ananda freedom in all limitations
Body as vesselNal
Five Tatahagats- five senses- Vairocana- corporeality
Ratnasambhava- feeling
Amitabh- sensation
Amoghasiddhi- motivation
Mahamudra- know;edge devoid of habit-forming thoughts,which cause belief in things is the
Akshobhaya Midra.
Mahamudra samsara is Nirvana

Phyag-advait jnana
Authentic- no bewilderment
Drje Chan-Vajradhara
Non-duality of Samsara and Nirvana

The Six Yoga of NaropaTo arouse the inner heat at the navel centre(wheel of emanation-Nirmankaya) and then
through cpntrolling the life energy by Ah- seed syllable, to draw the coiled energy into the
Avadhuti-central channel.
Appartition- Maya Kaya or Hologram
Non- material corporeality like the Rainbow
Samkhya25 tattvas -5x5
Sadang Yoga-24-6x4
(Four- Chaturmudra, chatursatya, . chaturpita, chaturbrahma,
Rasna- fire, burning sensation right sun Ratnasambhava Prajna Karuna

Lalna- left, Moon, shunya, upaya, cold

Time- Past, Present, future
Three channels- rasna, Lalna, Avadhuti correspond to the three... Rasna- futureeffort
Lalna-Past, cold, no effort
Avadhuti- avatara- avato descend.. dhutvidyut, lightening
Avadhuti-through which light descends
Rasnafire(r) Avadhuti(water) va
Lalna(earth) la
Heaviness drowsiness
La- earthcohesiveness
Amitabh-subject polarity
Rasna- object polarity.. flow
wordsAh, H, O, Haat the four respective centers of navel, heart,
throat and head that are knotted

Six Yoga of Naropa is a synthesis

According to the classification of the Six Yogas of Naropa, the yogas are: Heat
Yoga, Yoga of Illusory Body, Light Yoga, Transformation Yoga, Yoga of Entrance
and Bardo Yoga. Both the Dream Yoga and Bardo Yoga are ramifications of the
Yoga of Illusory Body.

The Practice of the Visualization of the Stong-ra

(the Empty Body)The Yogi should visualize the image of the patron Buddha as before, but
now he should especially visualize the interior of the body as clear and transparent, like
crystal, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. In this manner, the yogi should try to
stabilize the visualization. The practice of mental visualization and the physical exercises
should be carried out alternatively.
The Stong-ra practice is to visualize the body without the slightest shadow or obstruction as if
one were seeing a clear rainbow.
The section "Dharma links [with] the six gates" (sgo drug chos 'bref) contains instructions
that Drogmi Lotsava obtained from the "masters of the six gates" (mkhas pa sgo drug), i.e. the
gate keepers of Nalendra: Shantipa, Prajiiakaragupta, JiianaSrI, Ratnavajra, Naropa and
VagIsvarakIrti. Their teachings pertain to the practice of blending sutra and mantra (mdo rgyud
bsre ba 'i nyams len), the elimination of the three impediments (bar chad gsum sef), the bodymaI).
Q.ala (lus dkyif), and the mahamudra that is the removal of the threefold suffering (phyag

rgya chen po sdug bsngal gsum sef).

Nalanda-Nalendra (Nal +Indra) Nal + ananada

Sapan Kiinga Nyingpo (1092-1158) onwards

the mahamudra that is the removal of the threefold suffering (phyag

rgya chen po sdug bsngal gsum sef).

3 sufferings- adhidaivik, adhibahutik, adhikarmic

In these contexts, possible translations

for dngos po'i gnas lugs include the nature of things, the nature of
mind, and the nature of
reality. To
This is Dngos poi gnas lugs bsgom pa
(Mlaprakistha-bhvan),152 by the Indian Paita Sukhavajra (
Mlapraki, the first part of
this compound, is a key term found in early Skhya philosophy, a school
of thought with
intimate ties to Indic tantric traditions.154 In Skhya sources, mlapraki
means an
undifferentiated essence, or nature, that underlies praki.155 The meaning
of praki, in Skhya
philosophy, is specific to its context, but includes a dimension of meaning
related to nature or
essence (similar to the word gnas lugs, in some Tibetan contexts) and also
a meaning related to
the material, or substantial156 (similar to the word dngos po, which in
Buddhist canonical sources
tends to be aligned with the substantial or material aspects of existence).
The meaning of mla in
Skhya literature is root, base, or bottom. In the compound
mlapraki, the mla
implies an underlying essence or basis to prak
In this passage, the term dngos poi gnas lugs comes up in the context of
expressing Asaga's
argument for the existence of only two kyas: the svbhvikakya
(essence body, ngo bo nyid
sku) and the dharmakya (dharma body, chos sku). Here dngos poi gnas
lugs turns out to be the
essence (ngo bo) of the essence bodyand that very essence of the
essence body is the gnosis
that realizes the nature (gnas lugs) of dharmakya.
We find it in Saraha's Treasure of the Body:
Song of the Immortal Vajra (Sku'i mdzod 'chi med rdo rje'i glu), where
dngos po'i gnas lugs is a
synonym for mahmudr and appears to be referring to a state of being:
Saraha's wording here indicates that dngos po'i
gnas lugs does not refer to the nature of things, but rather to a state of
being. As a state of being,
it seems as if Saraha, as with the usage of the term by Atia, is clearly
employing the term in an
epistemic mode, rather than an ontological mode. However, we have to
ask why Saraha chooses
to use the term dngos poi gnas lugs in his Treasure of Body collection of
verses (not in his

Treasure of Speech song or his Treasure of Mind verses). Could it be that

the term, even in these
early sources, already indicated a way of being connected to the body; not
a disembodied mind,
but one that is related to the way of being (gnas lugs) of its real human
form (dngos po)?
The next few lines of text describe Nropas unique bifurcation of dngos
po'i gnas
lugs into the dngos po'i gnas lugs of body and that of mind. He begins
with the body. In a few
lines, he describes the human body as an entity that is stratified (a body
of layers) rather than
monolithic, and dynamic (emergent) rather than static:
To present the nature of the body, there is coarse, subtle, and very subtle.
These are
inseparable from the ordinary, and one should know the stages: From
luminosity comes
the great emptiness. From that come the varieties of method and
knowledge, the five
manifest awakenings, and channels, winds, and bodhicitta.
First, it is important to note here that these few lines comprise the entire
section on the dngos po'i
gnas lugs of the body (lus kyi dngos po'i gnas lugs) in this particular work,
The body is stratified. Just as there is not one dngos po'i gnas lugs, there
not one body, either. Rather, there are three: a coarse body, a subtle
body, and a very subtle
body, coexisting in one person.233 Nropa does not elaborate on the layers
of the body here,
perhaps indicating he meant these points to act as the basis for
pedagogical elaboration. But he
also may not have felt that extensive elucidation was needed, given that
the concept of a subtle
body (skma arra)which dates back in Indian literary culture to the
pervasive in India at the time that Nropa lived.
In the third stanza, Nropa states that the layers of the body are
inseparable from the
ordinary. This perspective echoes a theme found in many tantras: the
subtle underpinnings of
the body, sometime labeled by Nropa and the exegetes of his lineage as
the vajra body (rdo rje
lus) are simultaneously both divinebecause of their potential to liberate
a person from
sasraand ordinary. Statements that align exalted bodies with ordinary
bodies are common
in the tantras, reinforcing the notion that the exalted subtle body has
always been inseparable

from the ordinary body. We find this viewpoint in the Non-dual Victory
enlightened three kyas are, in reality, ordinary body, speech, and mind
The presentation of the nature of mind: It is the nature of method and
knowledge. Ewam,
it rests at the bodys navel. That essential point of body gives rise to great
gnosis. Giving
up all thought, accomplish only that. Free from the maala cakras,
activities, and the
thoughts that stifle gnosis, do not reflect, do not think, do not analyze, do
not meditate,
and do not ruminate. Instead, rest at ease. As is the seed, so is the tree.
As is the tree, so is
the fruit. Seeing the whole world like this, auspicious connections will

Blending of Three Kayas with Three bardos-



(ONCE EVERY 12 YEARS) On the millennial birth anniversary of Naropa, His Holiness the
Gyalwang Drukpa would don the Six Ornaments of Naropa to grant blessing, and this only
happens once every 12 years.
Naropa (1016 1100 CE), an Indian Scholar-Saint, heralded the beginning of a rich tradition
in Buddhist philosophy. His legacy and lessons traversed the Himalayas and shaped the
identity and culture of many peoples and continues to have a lasting impact in the modern
world. His life is upheld as an example of determination, perseverance and endurance. His
teachings of the Six Yogas of Naropa are one of the fundamental pillars of Vajrayana
Buddhist tradition. His legacy of experiential learning and active compassion helped
At the turn of the first millennium, Naropa was born into a long line of kings and noblemen.
He embraced a spiritual life at an early age and became Chancellor of Nalanda University.
Because of his intellectual agility and fierce oratory skills, he became the Northern
Gatekeeper of Nalanda a moniker of great distinction. Despite his worldly success, Naropa
encountered Varja Yogini, appearing as an old ugly woman, who humbled him by pointing
out his spiritual misconceptions and urged him to find his destined guru, Tilopa. Upon finding
Tilopa, Naropa underwent twelve major and twelve lesser hardships to purify his karma and
test his determination. Each of these legendary hardships broke down Naropas
misconceptions and furthered his understanding of the universe which ultimately led to the
state of Varjradhara and Perfect Enlightenment. Upon the moment of enlightenment, Naropa
was offered the Six Bone Ornaments by Dakinis and flew into the sky. Today, these
ornaments are one of the most revered relics of Buddhism and historic symbols of a great
After attaining enlightenment, Naropa taught throughout the region emphasizing a tradition
of experiential wisdom, the Six Yogas of Naropa which include milam (dream
yoga), tummo (the yoga of inner heat), bardo (the yoga of the intermediate stage), gyulu (the
yoga of illusory body), osel (the yoga of clear light), phowa (the yoga of transference of
consciousness), and devotional practice. Today these teachings are considered core tenets of
Buddhism. From Naropa, several Buddhist traditions flourished throughout India, Central
Asia and beyond. His life and teaching marked the beginning of a new era of Buddhism that
continues to thrive in all corners of the Himalayas and the world.
The Karma Kagyu lineage of tibetan buddhism traces its origins to Shakyamuni Buddha
through Marpa the Great Translator, who three times traveled to India to bring back authentic
Buddhist teachings to Tibet. His teacher, Naropa, received the lineage transmission from
Tilopa and so on, back to the Buddha himself. Marpas most famous student was the greatest
yogi in all of Tibet, the renowned Jetsun Milarepa, who passed the teachings on to Gampopa,
who in turn transmitted the teachings to the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. Since then, the
Kagyu Lineage has been headed by a succession of reincarnations of the Gyalwa Karmapa.

The Kagyu lineage practices the quintessential points of both sutra and tantra teachings, with
a special focus on the tantric teachings of the Vajrayana and Mahamudra teachings. In this
tradition, there are two major paths: (1) the path of skilful means and (2) the path of liberation

1) The Path Of Skilful Means (thabs lam) is the path of tantra or vajrayana that is rich in
methods or skilful means. This path includes the journey on the four levels of tantras
1. Kiryatantra, activity or action tantra, 2. Charyatantra, engagement or
performance tantra, 3. Yogatantra, intensive spiritual practice, 4. Anuttarayogatantra,
unsurpassed or unexcelled yoga tantra. The last tantra has three main parts, the father
tantra (pha rgyud), the mother tantra (ma rgyud), and the non dual tantra (gnyis med
rgyud). The Kagyu lineage emphasizes these three tantras in general and the mother
and the nondual tantra in specific. All tantric practices are basically comprised of two
main elements training in the Development Stage (bskyed rim or Utpattikrama), the
visualization practices, and training in the Completion Stage (rdzogs rim or
Sampannakrama), the fulfillment, perfection, or dissolving stage practices. The
Development Stage of the Tantric Yidams (yi dam enlightened mind manifesting in
different forms of the deity) practice in the Kagyu lineage is taught through a variety
of Tantras and Yidam practices. The three main Tantric Yidam practices that are
unique to the Kagyu School are Vajrayogini (rdo rje phag mo), Cakrasambhava (khor
lo sde mchog), and Gyalwa Gyamtso (rgyal ba rgya mtsho). There are also some
tantric protector practices such as the different forms of Mahakalas, and others. The
Completion Stage of the innermost tantric practice is taught to be the most sacred and
profound of all levels of tantric practice. This includes the practices of Prana (rlung),
Nadi (rtsa), and Bindu (thig le). One of the heart essences of Kagyu lineage practices
is the Completion Stage (rdzogs rim / Sampanakrama) practice of the Anuttarayoga
Mother tantra, which is known as the Six Dharmas Of Naropa (nA ro chos drug),
widely known in the west as the Six Yogas Of Naropa. This lineage of tantra
continues in the present day in all schools of Kagyu and especially in the Karma
Kagyu lineage.
2) The Path Of Liberation (grol lam) is the practice of the most renowned Mahamudra
(phyag rgya chen po), or The Great Seal, which is the highest meditation training and
the unique feature of the Kagyu tradition. In Gampopas lineage, there are three ways
of giving the Mahamudra instructions or the three types of Mahamudra. These three
types of Mahamudra traditions are 1. the Sutra (mdo lugs) Mahamudra, 2. the Mantra
(sngags lugs) Mahamudra, 3. and the Essence (snying po lugs) 459 Mahamudra.
Gampopa, whose coming was prophesied by the Buddha, taught Mahamudra in these
three different ways and this has become a tradition in the Kagyu lineage.
Both aspects of Tantra and Mahamudra teachings are connected to the direct understanding
and realization of the nature of the mind, known in this tradition as the ordinary
mind (thamal gyi shepa) and the vajra mind (sems kyi rdo rje).

From Naropa, Marpa received the lineage of tantric teachings called the Four Special
Transmissions (bKababsbzhi): the yogas of 1) illusory body and transference of
consciousness, 2) dream, 3) luminosity, and 4) inner heat. Naropa obtained these teachings

directly from Tilopa (9881069), who in turn had received them from two original sources,
called the direct and indirect lineage. The direct lineage and original source of the teachings
was Buddha Vajradhara. The indirect lineage comes from four main teachers of Tilopa called
the four special transmission lineages. Both Tilopa and Naropa are some of the greatest
panditas, scholars, and siddhas, accomplished saints, of Nalanda

Bardothe intermediate stage between death and rebirth.

Bindu (lit.: "drop" or "dot"; T.T.: Thig.Le.)-In Tibetan Tantrism, Bindu or Tig Le usually
refers to the essence of the vital energy of the body, especially male semen. Tig Le in "Tantric
physiology" seems to refer to the secretions of the endocrine system.
Dharmakayathe "Body of Truth," or the "Real" Body c Buddha, which is formless,
omnipresent, ultimate, void, and ye all-embracing.
Dumo (T.T.: gTum.Mo.)the "mystic fire" produced in th Navel Center through the practice
of Heat Yoga.
Mahamudra (lit., the Great Symbol)a teaching that leads to the realization of the Primordial
Mind, or the Dharmakaya; th practical instructions on how to meditate on Sunyata (Voidness)
2 Nirmanakayathe Transformation Body of Buddha, which incarnates in numerous forms
in the various worlds.

Sambhogakayathe glorious and divine body of Buddha, manifested in the Pure Land and
visible only to enlightened Bodh:- sattvas
Trikayathe Three Bodies of Buddhahood, i.e., the Dharmakaya. the Body of Truth; the
Sambhogakaya, the Divine Body, or the Body of Enjoyment; Nirmanakaya, the
Transformation or Incarnated Body.

yogi should know the construction of the Vajra Body, made of the Six Elements13its
creation, existence, and decay. The Six Elements: earth, water, fire, air, space, and
The main practice of the Six Yogas is set forth as follows: 1. Instructions on the Heat, or
Dumo Yogathe Foundation of the Path. 2. Instructions on the Illusory-Body Yogathe
Reliance of the Path. 3. Instructions on the Dream Yogathe Yardstick of the Path. 4.
Instructions on the Light Yogathe Essence of the Path. 5. Instructions on the Bardo Yoga
that which is met on the Path. 6. Instructions on the Transformation Yogathe Core of the