The Life and Teaching of Naropa
Translated by Herbert Guenther
The Dharma has become a river. Samsara's wave, that dazzling picture of desire, of its own has passed away.Purchase this book
Our universe which is called sTon-gsum mi-mjed (Trisahasrasahalokadhatu), has twenty-five levels, one above the other, and lies in the hands of the primordial Buddha Gans-can mtsho. On its thirteenth level there are four continents of which the best is our human world. Here in the midst of some hundred thousand towns, in the city 'Dzam-bu in Srinagara, a district of Bengal in the East of India, there stood a palace of a king who possessed the means of exquisite enjoyments on earth. Here Naropa was born.
In this country there were many classes: royalty, nobility, Brahmins, citizens, common people and so on. Among them the most excellent man, Naropa, the central pillar of a renowned family - like a tree firmly rooted in the soil - was born in the royal line of the Sakya clan. Long ago, though still in this aeon, the clan was led by Man-pos bkur-ba (Mahasammata). His successors in the direct line were the kings 'Od-mdzes (Roca), dGe-ba (Kalyana), dGe-mchog (Varakalyana), bSo-sbyon-'phags (Uposadha), sPyi-bo skyes (Murdhaja), mDzes-pa-can (Caru), Ne-mdzes-'od (Upacaru), mDzes-Idan-dpal (Carumant), Legs-skyes (Sujata), Goutama, Bu-ram-sin (Iksvaku), bSod-nams skyes (Punyajata), dBan-phyug grags-pa (Isvarakirti), bSod-nam rtse-mo (Punyasikhara), Ye-ses rgyal-stshan (Jnanadhvaja), bSod-nams grub (Punyasiddha), bSod-nams bkra-sis (Punyamanga), blaSod-nams grags-pa (Punyakirti) and Zi-ba go-cha (Santivarman).
Naropa's father was the great king Zi-ba go-cha (Santivarman). He was born with all the major and minor lucky marks, of excellent character, and with great discriminating awareness light shone from his body at times. He married dPal-gyi blo-gros (Srimati), daughter of the great king sKal-ldan grags-pa (Srimatkirti), whose virtues had been earned in former lives. Together they exhorted their subjects to live worthily.