Rechungpa – Milarepa’s moon-like student.

 Paul Waibl - translated from German into English by Lodrö Sangpo

 

"Essence of the Vajra-mind (Diamond-mind) of all the victorious your face is wonderful.

You keep to the way of life of the Repas

and you sing songs of deep-rooted Dharma in the ten directions,

You who are known as Dorje Drak

To you I pray"

(From the Karma Pakshi - Puja)

Rechungpa was born in the year 1083. His parents gave him the name Dorje Drak (Vajra-Glory) (Glorious Diamond). At the age of five he lost his father and his mother married his father's brother. Rechungpa was a very special and intelligent child who was supported a lot by his mother and his uncle. He had excellent memory and was able to recite many stories and teachings from the Sutras by heart. Because of that he received many gifts and in this way contributed to the living costs of the family. When he was twelve years old he met Milarepa for the first time. Milarepa, shortly before, had had a vision of a Diamond-Pig-Girl (Dorje Pagmo), in which she prophesized that he would get one sun-like, one moon-like, and 23 star-like students. And that in order to meet his moon-like student he should go to the upper part of Gung Tang.

Following the advice of the Dakini he went there and did his practices in a cave. One day Rechungpa while he was herding his oxen in a meadow came close to this cave. He heard somebody singing, left his animals to themselves, and followed the voice until he came upon Milarepa. As soon as he saw him a state of deep contemplation arose in him. He experienced great joy and deep trust in Milarepa. Therefore he offered up all the gifts he had received for his services to Milarepa and stayed with him to receive teachings and to practice.

When he was 15 years old he became ill with leprosy. Therefore he withdrew from the world in order to practice alone.

One day five Indian yogis happened to pass by and he offered some Tsampa (barley-butter-tea) to them. They showed great compassion with Rechungpa and he asked them if they saw a possibility that he might be cured. One of the yogis told him about his Indian teacher Balacandra, who might, probably, be able to help him.

Milarepa consented to his visiting this teacher and so Rechungpa went on his way to India with the yogis. There he met Balacandra, who gave him an initiation into the practice of Vajrapani. After he had been practicing this for some time he was completely cured from his disease. After that he returned to Tibet and to Milarepa and kept practicing right next to him in reclusion.

In order to thank his Indian teacher Balacandra he turned his inheritance and all that he could beg from people into gold; then he went to India and gave all this to him as an offering. On this occasion he also received teachings on the various aspects of Garuda. Balacandra also sent Rechungpa to Tipupa, a very special teacher. This teacher treated Rechungpa like an old friend. The story of Tipupa begins with Marpa's first son Dharma Dode, who was intended to be the line-holder of his father's line. Marpa gave him a special Phowa-initiation that allowed one to transfer one's consciousness into the dead body of another person (thereby reviving it?! - transl. note). Dharma Dode was deadly wounded in a riding accident, and since no suitable freshly deceased human bodies were to be found, he transferred his consciousness into a newly deceased pigeon.

While this was going on many wonders occurred and everyone present saw Dharma Dode in the form of his Yidam/Jidam Hevajra. Then Marpa sent the pigeon to India to a certain cremation-site where they were bringing the body of a 16-year-old boy to be cremated. Dharma Dode transferred his consciousness from the pigeon into the body of the boy and in this way that boy came to life again. "Tipu" means pigeon and the name derives from this incident. Tipupa became a student of Naropa, and as he met him Naropa was dancing in the air and, Tilopa appeared surrounded by rainbow-light. Naropa said to him, "You are Marpa's son, you are Tipupa and you have Naropa's blessing".

After Rechungpa had received teachings from Tipupa he returned to Balacandra. From there he went on to Tibet again. On his way there he met yet another teacher, who was called Mirti, and who gave him teachings about "the fast movement". He learned to master this practice and so he was able to travel from India to Tibet in only 6 days.

When he was back in Tibet again with Milarepa he received teachings about the six teachings of Naropa and he practiced them. Milarepa sang many songs for Rechungpa in order to arouse and deepen his understanding for the 'Nature of the Mind'. Many of them can be found in the Songs of Milarepa 1). Sometimes he developed a certain amount of pride in his practices. Once he experienced a special sinking-state and he thought he had grasped the nature of the mind completely. He wondered whether Milarepa’s realization was really greater than his own and went up to him to tell him about his experiences. Milarepa immediately read Rechungpa's thoughts and told him that his experiences were not at all so special as he thought. In order to demonstrate this he his fist into the empty air and in this produced a sound. Then he left his handprint embedded in the rock. Rechungpa then put himself into the deep meditative state, which he had experienced earlier, and then he also wanted to leave his handprint in the rock, but he only hurt himself. Then he understood the difference between his own and Milarepa’s realization.

Once, Milarepa was challenged to a debate, because they held him to be someone who was only leading the people astray and thus was receiving offerings unjustly. Through his songs and by showing them various wonders they were convinced otherwise, but that did not satisfy Rechungpa. He held the opinion that one ought to defeat the learned ones with their own weapons and wanted to go to India in order to learn the art of debating and logic. Milarepa would hear nothing of it, but after Rechungpa had insisted upon it, that he wanted to go to India in order to receive teachings, Milarepa finally gave his permission.

Actually he didn't send him there to learn logic or debating, but rather to receive special teachings about the formless Dakinis. There are nine of these 2.). Four of them Marpa had got from Naropa and he had prophesied that a student of the Kaguü-line would bring the last five to Tibet. In order to fulfill this prophecy Milarepa sent Rechungpa to India.

Together with Lotsawa and another Lama by the name of Chiton Rechungpa traveled to Nepal, where they gave teachings. There he also met the Nepalese Siddha Mondrol Chungpa, who was a student of Tipupa. Then he traveled on to India in order to meet Tipupa. From him he received many teachings, among these also the teachings on the Formless Dakinis and he practiced these teachings.

One day Rechungpa went into the nearby town. In the middle of the market place he met a very big, thin yogi. He looked directly at Rechungpa and said to him, "What a good-looking young Tibetan you are. A pity you only have seven more days to live." Rechungpa was frightened and went back to Tipupa to get some advice. Tipupa answered, Are you afraid of death?" Rechungpa answered, "No, I have no fear of death. But I have been doing all these things in order to bring the teachings of the Formless Dakinis to Tibet. If I die now, it will all have been to no avail." Then Tipupa sent him to the great yogini Machig Drupä Gyalmo. From her received the initiation into the practice of 'Long Life' by Amitayus. He had to practice this constantly for seven days without sleep. After this time he had a vision of Amitayus giving him teachings. In this way this obstacle was removed from his life. From Machig Drupä Gyalmo he also received initiations and practice in the Almighty Ocean (Gyalwa Gyamtso). In the night after the initiation he dreamt of a pandit (a Buddhist scholar) who was dancing in the sky. A shower of flowers was raining down and in the midst of it all Dakinis appeared saying to him that he had really gotten the initiation now. Then they sang a song to him.

 

On the way home to Tibet Rechungpa also met the Yogini Bharima, who was a very special student of Tilopa and who gave him many teachings. On the way he also received teachings from a non-Buddhist yogi. These teachings, though, became an impediment, because he developed pride. Up till now Milarepa in his Samadhi had seen Rechungpa as a Crystal-Stupa from where light was shining. After having received the teachings about black magic, the light of this stupa became a red whirlwind. In this way Milarepa was made aware of the fact that his favorite student was having problems and he prepared himself for receiving him in Tibet.

As Rechungpa and Milarepa met again in Tibet, Rechungpa thought, since he had received so many special teachings and initiations in India, that he might no longer be the same as before and might be equal to Milarepa. Secretly he expected Milarepa to reciprocate his prostrations when they first met. Milarepa was fully aware of his student's pride and in order to liberate Rechungpa from this obstacle he used very clever methods. Among other things once he let a hailstorm break out just as they were out on a wide plain. As Rechungpa in order to seek protection threw himself down and covered himself with his cotton scarf, he heard the voice of Milarepa who was sitting inside a Yak-horn, which he had picked up shortly before. Milarepa invited him to come inside and join him. He said there was room enough for both of them, and besides it was nice and dry there. Of course Rechungpa was unable to get inside the Yak-horn, and he realized that his abilities were far from being equal to Milarepa's. In this way his pride was stifled (besänftigt), even if it was not completely broken.

That didn't happen until some time later. Once Milarepa sent out Rechungpa to fetch firewood in order to keep him at a distance for some time. Meanwhile he was taking a look at the books that Rechungpa had brought with him from India and found out that among them there were also teachings on black magic and other explanations, which would be of no use to any beings. He asked the Dakinis to take with them all the texts, which would be deep and useful for the good of all beings, and then he burnt the rest. When Rechungpa returned and discovered that Milarepa had burnt his books, he lost his trust and was deeply hurt. He even thought of leaving Milarepa and returning to Tipupa in India.

Milarepa explained to him that the books were useless, but that the practice and the realization of the nature of the mind were the only things that counted, but Rechungpa was not easily convinced.

In order to rekindle his student's trust Milarepa showed him many wonders. Among others he made his body transparent and manifested various Buddha-aspects in the energy-centers of his body. He flew through the air, shattered rocks with his bare fist and much more. But Rechungpa was not impressed. At last Milarepa flew off and away and as he was almost no ore to be seen, it suddenly hit Rechungpa what a serious mistake he had made. Limitless trust in Milarepa burst out in him, and full of despair and with limitless dedication he confessed and regretted the error of his ways to his teacher and asked him for forgiveness.

Then Milarepa gave him the advice of praying to the Dakinis to get those texts back, which really would be beneficial to the beings. This Rechungpa did and in a miraculous way the texts were placed in his hand. Rechungpa was overjoyed and he had no more any doubt that Milarepa was a real Buddha.

Rechungpa stayed with his teacher, serving him and practicing with him in the solitude of the mountains. Shortly after Milarepa’s sun-like student Gampopa appeared. In order to find out who would be able to hold the line Milarepa told his principal students to notice their dreams. The next morning Shiwa Oe was overjoyed by his dream: He had seen a sun rising and melting into his heart. Rechungpa dreamt that he came into three valleys and shouted loudly. Gampopa on the other hand was very unhappy: he had dreamt that he was slaughtering many beings. But Milarepa was particularly fond of Gampopa's dream. This showed him that Gampopa would be able to lead many people to liberation, and he would be able to hold the line. Rechungpa's dream meant that he would be reincarnated in three different valleys, because three times he had not followed his teacher's instructions, and that he would become a great Master and help many beings. Shiwa Oe's dream showed Milarepa that this student, although he would be going to a pure land, would not be working very much for the benefit of all beings.

Some time later Rechungpa dreamt that he was in the pure land of the Dakinis. There, Buddha Akshobya was giving teachings about the life-stories of Tilopa, Naropa, and Marpa. At the end of the lesson the Buddha said that he would tell them about the life of Milarepa next. He said that this would overshadow what they had already heard, since Milarepa had succeeded in attaining full enlightenment in only one lifetime. Rechungpa understood this to be a hint that he should ask his teacher for the story of his life, and in a second dream the Dakinis again encouraged him to do so. The next morning Rechungpa went to see Milarepa and asked him to tell his life-story.

Since Rechungpa had been three times in India and had been given very deep and profound teachings there, there were among Milarepa's benefactors some, who thought that Rechungpa must know more than his teacher did. Therefore it happened that they brought him more offerings than they did Milarepa. This made Rechungpa very embarrassed, for he saw that the people didn't know how unusual Milarepa's realization was. Since he did not wish to compete against his teacher, he intended to leave Milarepa and go to the Central Tibet. He went to Milarepa and asked for permission, but Milarepa didn't like the idea. He was of the opinion that Rechungpa would evolve better close to him. Rechungpa on the other hand held stubbornly to his decision. Besides he would like to visit various pilgrim-goals - Samye, Lhasa, the place where Marpa had lived, and many others.

When Rechungpa didn't relent finally Milarepa let him go, but prophesized that he would be bitten by a bitch (female dog). Before his departure Milarepa gave him further initiations on various aspects of the diamond-pig-girl (Dorje Pagmo) and Rechungpa practiced this for 40 days. Milarepa advised him to also encircle the cave where he had practiced while doing 100 prostrations and mandala offerings before going on his way. But out of sheer joy over being able to begin his journey he forgot these last bits of advice.

  

Part two

Rechungpa in Central Tibet

 

Rechungpa left Milarepa and went on his way to Central Tibet without turning to look back. In order to test his student Milarepa materialized seven robbers who ambushed Rechungpa and threatened to rob him and kill him. Then Rechungpa suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to follow his teacher's instructions correctly: he hadn't done the prostrations and had not encircled his cave. He thought to himself that this was probably why this obstacle appeared. In this threatening situation he couldn't think of anything else to do but to close his eyes, meditate upon Milarepa above his head, and to pray to him. When he opened his eyes again he saw not seven robbers, but seven yogis, who were asking him, "Who are you, where do you come from, who is your teacher and what do you practice?" Rechungpa thought that the yogis must be emanations of Milarepa and answered their questions in a song. Then the yogis turned into Milarepa and he praised Rechungpa for being a student, who was able to hold his books/volumes. After this meeting Rechungpa traveled on to Central Tibet. On his way he meditated a whole week in a cave, where Guru Rinpoche had practiced in order to establish a connection with his blessing. He then went on to Lhasa where he healed a woman from a severe illness. To thank him he was given dried meat as an offering. When people learned that he wanted to pass the meat on to Milarepa, they offered him even more. At the same time Milarepa was staying in Nanyang and was telling his students that Rechungpa would soon be coming back with a great gift for him. After three days Rechungpa cam, offered everything that he had got, and together they celebrated the Tsok Puja.

Shortly after he went on his way again. Milarepa accompanied him a short way and told him to accept teachings from others if they were deep. He also told him when he got to the Yarlung Valley to go to a mountain that looked like rice-leaves. There he would be of benefit to many people. He also prophesied him an obstacle, however.

On the way Rechungpa came to an inn. Full of compassion for the people there, who were totally tied up their problems and their work, he sang a song for them about the precious human body. On this occasion a young man named Rinchen Drak became his student, and he traveled on with Rechungpa. They first went to Lhasa where they received Mahamudra-teachings from a Nepalese Master, and from there they went on into the Yarlung Valley. There they came to the palace of the local ruler, asking for alms. Lachi, the daughter of the house couldn't stand yogi-beggars. She opened the door and would have scolded them. But when she saw the handsome Rechungpa, her anger vanished in a flash and instead of chasing the yogis away, she invited them into her house. Rechungpa introduced himself and Lachi led him to her sick father.

Through Rechungpa’s blessings the father was soon well again and developed a deep gratitude towards him. He asked him to stay and offered him his palace, his power, and his daughter. Rechungpa stayed in this place and was soon very famous. Many people came [ ( "from miles around to hear him play his music when the sun came down"- Johnny B. Goode -- Sorry Gosia - I couldn’t help myself :-}) ] to receive teachings and he received many offerings in return. Together with his student Rinchen Drak he met the Nepalese Master, Asu, and they received Mahamudra-teachings in the tradition of Saraha and Maitripa. From there they went to Lhasa. There he was asked by so many people to give teachings and that led to several monks becoming jealous at him. They were saying, " He doesn't have any monastic vows like we do, therefore people should not accept teachings from him." Rechungpa replied, " This is how folk without vows run" and then he walked over the water. Then he went through house-walls and said, " I am sleeping in a state of total unconsciousness and so I walk in and out of houses." After Rechungpa had showed them this wonder the monks developed strong trust in him and became his students.

While based in Lhasa Rechungpa also visited some especially holy places and practiced there, and many yogis came to receive teachings from him.

After that Rechungpa went to South Tibet and there he also met Tsurton Wangje Dorje who was one of Marpa's four principal students. From him Rechungpa received teachings about the five levels of Guhyasamaja whereby one becomes able to control the subtle energy winds. But Rechungpa was not too impressed with these teachings since he found Milarepa’s teachings more important. Then Tsurton Wangje Dorje asked him about his experiences. To demonstrate his realization of Milarepa’s teachings Rechungpa held the energy-winds and floated in the air. Then he held the earth-winds and sank into the ground up to his chest. While showing these wonders he was singing songs in which he praised Milarepa’s qualities.

Tsurton was deeply impressed and happy about Rechungpa and Rechungpa gave the monks, who were there, teachings about Tummo (the art of generating inner heat). Then he went back to Yarlung. The ruler of Yarlung built a place for Rechungpa, which was called "Rechungpuk", and many people came there to receive teachings.

Once Rechungpa was presented with a very beautiful and precious turquoise-stone by and old couple. Lachi, the daughter of the ruler, saw this and she took an extraordinary fancy to the stone. She was hoping that Rechungpa would give it to her and she developed a great attachment to the stone. Milarepa manifested in the form of a beggar who came to Rechungpa asking him for alms. Rechungpa gave him the stone. When Lachi found out that Rechungpa had given the stone to a beggar, she became furious, spoke harshly to Rechungpa, and treated him very badly. Her behavior made Rechungpa decide to go back to Milarepa. He was saying, "I have made a big mistake. I left the mountains and went into the city. I left my Lama and lived together with a ruler. I took off my cotton robes and started to wear clothes like the wealthy do. I left my Dharma-brothers and -sisters and lived with ministers and executives. I shall not make this mistake again."

As he left he used his Siddhi-of-'fast-movement'. He held his breath and moved at a very high speed down the Yarlung-valley to the place where the Yarlung River joined the Tsangpo River. There he asked a ferryman to take him across the river. But the ferryman didn't want to bother just for one person. But Rechungpa didn't want to wait. He took off his cotton robe, placed it on the water and using his staff as a paddle he rowed across the river. When the ferryman saw this, deep trust arose in him, and he became Rechungpa's student. On the way Rechungpa received dried meat, which he wanted to offer to Milarepa.

Milarepa saw in his clairvoyance that Rechungpa was on his way to him, and he told his students, "Rechungpa is coming soon, and he is bringing such a great gift that it won't fit in the valley."

When Rechungpa arrived he offered all the dried meat to Milarepa and to his Dharma-brethren and they held a Tsok-Puja together. One of Milarepa’s students inquired about the present of which Milarepa had spoken. Milarepa said that he had meant the meat, and that the valley was their stomach. Milarepa then gave an initiation on "Highest Joy" (Khorlo Demtschog) and said that everyone who wanted to participate must bring an offering - except for Rechungpa. He was a bit puzzled by this and thought that he might have done something wrong. But when he came to the initiation he saw, in the middle of the Mandala, the beautiful turquoise that he had given to the beggar earlier on, which in turn led to him leaving Lachi. In a flash he realized that the beggar had been an emanation of Milarepa, who had in this way freed him from an obstacle to his practice.

Huge gratitude and trust arose in him and Milarepa said to him that the turquoise would have been harmful to Rechungpa if he had not offered it up full of compassion. He then went on to sing a song in which he said that it made no difference whether offerings were given to a beggar or to him, Milarepa.

After this incident Rechungpa stayed with Milarepa and went on to practice near him. In his dreams he had many signs telling him that he had reached a high level of realization. Once in a dream he undressed and washed his body with water, then he became a bird and flew away and landed in a tree. Then he saw a mirror and looked into it.

Milarepa interpreted the dream in this way: Taking his clothes off showed that he was free from desires; the washing showed the pureness of the body. And that he became a bird had to do with love and compassion; the two wings relate the two collections of merit and wisdom. The flying up into a tree revealed that Rechungpa would be sitting in the Bodhi-tree, and the mirror was revelation through the Dakinis.

In another dream Rechungpa placed a jewel on his head and wore a beautiful robe. Then he looked into a flawless mirror. In his right hand he held a diamond and in his left a skull-cup filled with blood. He was sitting in full lotus position. From his back light-rays were shining forth and fire burst out from his body. In front of him he saw a well appear, and Sun and Moon were shining from his heart. On his left side there were men and women in equal number. On his right a child was herding a goat-kid which then turned into many more. Milarepa explained to Rechungpa that the jewel meant that he should always think of his Lama. The white robe was an indication of the Kagyu-line. The looking into the mirror had to do with the teachings showing one the pure nature of the mind. The Vajra (diamond) symbolized the destruction of all distracting thoughts, the skull-cup was a symbol of unity of Joy and Emptiness, and the lotus a symbol of the absence of any failings. The crossed legs were a sign that Rechungpa would rest in Samadhi for a long time. The light that radiated from his back expressed his realization. The well in front of him meant that he would be having signs and experiences. The fire was the heat of his Tummo meditation. Sun and Moon were evidence of this enlightenment. The men and women to his left meant that Dakas and Dakinis would bid him welcome. The goat-kid showed that he would protect his students, and the fact that they became many prophesied the growth of the Kagyu-line.

Finally Milarepa said to Rechungpa that his realization was so profound that he should leave him and work for the benefit of all beings. But this time Rechungpa did not want to leave his Lama. Milarepa insisted, however. He gave Rechungpa some additional profound teachings and some gold. Then he prophesied him that he would have many students, who would go directly into the pure lands without leaving their bodies, and that an emanation of Tilopa would come and be his student as well. He advised him to not stay too long in one place and to help the beings by practicing in many sacred places.

Rechungpa first went to Yerpa to a cave, which was called the moon-cave, and where Guru Rinpoche and his students had practiced. Here many students came in order to get the Hevajra-initiation from Rechungpa. During the initiation most of them had very strong experiences. Some saw the mandala directly and also saw flowers fall from the sky. Many people saw Rechungpa in the form of his Yidam and heard music.

With fifteen of his students Rechungpa went to Samye, the first monastery which was built in Tibet. The abbot there, Takdor Yeshe, did not think much of Rechungpa and his entourage and would not let them into his monastery. In order to tame him Rechungpa flew three times around the temple and then landed on the roof. As he was doing this, the doors opened by themselves, and everybody heard music. Rechungpa manifested various forms of himself in the room going in different directions singing songs. Then they all dissolved and rainbows formed a roof over Samye. Then they merged and stretched in the direction of Chimpu. As the people came there, they saw Rechungpa sitting under a tree meditating. Takdor Yeshe asked Rechungpa to forgive him and became his student. From Samye Rechungpa went to Zangri, the seat of Machig Labdrön, where he was asked to give teachings. There he had visions of the three Great Boddhisattvas and of Guru Rinpoche.

Later he went to a solitary place to practice. During this time he had a vision of Dorje Chang surrounded by Indian Mahasiddhas. Through this vision his meditation deepened even more and he experienced huge joy.

In accordance with Milarepa’s prophesy Rechungpa went further into the Yarlung Valley to the mountain Yarla Shampo, which looks like a Kapala. This place is connected with the Buddha-aspect "Great Joy". As Rechungpa was practicing there he had a vision of Tipupa wearing bone-ornaments and being surrounded by Dakinis. Tipupa told him that he should hide certain deeply profound teachings, since nobody right now would be able to understand them. Rechungpa did this in a ravine in South Tibet. While doing that he had a vision of Vajrapani in the form of a Garuda. In this particular place lived a local deity. Rechungpa gave her the task of guarding these teachings for seven generations. Then a yogi by the name of Lorepa would come. He should receive the teachings.

The ruler of Yarlung with whom Rechungpa had been a guest earlier on and whose daughter Lachi had behaved so badly, had at the time punished his daughter by giving her away in marriage to the first, best man she met. Unfortunately this happened to be a leprous beggar. With this man she had to go away. She had a very hard time of it and in the end she was stricken by leprosy herself. When she asked some Lamas for advice they told her, "You must have broken the bond to a very special teacher. The best thing would be to meet him again and to confess and repent everything to him. If that is not possible, then meditate on Vajrapani; if that doesn't work either, then go to a place called Nyalung and encircle the stupa there".

Lachi decided to meet Rechungpa. She also hoped to get an initiation on Vajrapani from him. She heard that he was supposed to be at Yarla Shampo. Rechungpa had already gone on from there. She was very unhappy about not being able to meet him and went to Nyalung and to the Stupa. There she was informed that Rechungpa was staying in Loro and started on the way there. At the same time Rechungpa was giving instructions in a cave and he told his students that a woman, who had broken her vows, was on her way to see him. In order to free her from her bad karma they were to treat her very badly and throw dust and dirt at her. When Lachi arrived she first met Rinchen Drak, who had lived with Rechungpa in her father's palace, and asked him for help. All the others treated her like Rechungpa had told them. But Rinchen Drak pleaded on her behalf with his teacher for an audience. Rechungpa, however, was reluctant to see her. He let her be given a small amount of gold and turquoise. But Lachi would not accept these, and threatened to kill herself if Rechungpa refused to see her so she could not ask him for forgiveness. Rinchen Drak again went to Rechungpa and tried to mediate. Rechungpa said that if she really wanted to purify herself, she should recite "Diamond-Mind-" (Dorje Sempa) -mantras, as well as having a Stupa and a Buddha statue manufactured. Then she would be able to repent. Lachi did as she was told and after she had done all those things she could meet Rechungpa. He gave her of the gold which Milarepa had given him and he told her that she should use it to have many more stupas and Buddha statues built in order to purify the negative actions of the body. She should have mantras written in order to purify her speech, and let tsatsas be made in order to purify her mind. After that was done she could receive teachings. Lachi followed the instructions and she and her husband received from Rechungpa the initiation into "Diamond in hand" (Vajrapani). Through this practice they were both healed, and after some years Lachi attained great realization.

Rechungpa had many more important students who carried on his line. Also the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, received initiations in Lhasa about "Highest Joy" and about the six teachings of Naropa. His principal line-holder was Khyungtsampa, who then passed the line on to the yogini Machig Ongjo.

 

".... went into deep meditation and experienced great joy".

Rechungpa died at the age of 78 (about 1160).

 

1) See: "The 100.000 Songs of Milarepa", Shambhala

"Miraculous Journey", Lotsawa

"Drinking the Mountain Stream", Lotsawa

2) More about this in the Tilopa biography by Situ Rinpoche, Dzalendara Publishing

3) See "The 100.000 Songs of Milarepa" Part 2: "Story of the

Yak-horn" and "Rechungpa’s Repentance".

[---]

From: Kagyu Life Nr. 7, 3. Season (December 1991)

from Kagyü Life Nr. 8, 4. Year (April 1992)

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