Tantric Practices: The Six Yogas of Naropa
The Indian Mahasiddha Naropa said: 
Before any guru existed 
Even the name of Buddha was not heard. 
All Buddhas of thousand kalpas [eons] 
Only come about because of the guru 

Who is Naropa? 

Naropa also known as a "Great Mahasiddha," is one of Tibet's eighty-four Mahasiddhas. He was a prominent Buddhist master of his time, and his life journey was seen as a mirror of Buddha's in Tibet. He left his previous life behind, hoping to find a more moral awakening, and became a monk-like Buddha. He went through great tribulations and, like Buddha, attained enlightenment at the end of his sadhana. 

The early life of Naropa: 

Naropa was born in Bengal to a Buddhist family (India). He was a great student who studied with many great Buddhist Masters. He received his education in Kashmir after moving from his birthplace of Bengal. After his extraordinary efforts, he became a well-known Buddhist master, eventually ascending to the position of Monastery Head in Nalanda (a renowned Buddhist monastic university during the Gupta Empire, Now Nalanda University).

During his fourteenth year at university, he encountered many human hardships. In one of his encounters with an old lady, she asked if he understood what he was reading, to which he responded by saying yes to her questions. The old lady left crying, remarking that he was lying and scolding Naropa, which left Naropa in deep thought, and he couldn't figure out what he should do; consequently, he left Nadala University searching for a tantric master.

Naropa's Tantric Journey on becoming Mahasiddha in Tibet 

Naropa, student of Tilopa Mahasiddha and Teacher of Tibetan Translator Yogi Marpa 

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In his search for a guru, Naropa later met with Masiddha Tilopa, whose name was widely known. But, Tilopa was disguised at the time, making it difficult for Naropa to locate. Once he recognized Tilopa, the first guru of the Kagyu Lineage, Naropa begged him to be his student. After numerous hardships of trying to persuade Tilopa, he was eventually persuaded, and Naropa devoted an intense twelve-year training. Tilopa tested his human endurance, but he persevered, eventually attaining full enlightenment, and becoming a Mahasiddha. 

Naropa passed most of his knowledge to Tibetan translator and yogi Marpha Lotsawa. Marpha brought lineage teaching to Tibet, which became one of the most important in Kagyu literature. He also transformed "A Book of Three Inspirations" into "Six Yogas of Naropa" or "Six Dharmas of Naropa."


"The 6 Yogas of Naropa” or “6 Dharma Practices of Naropa" 
  • Tummo- Candali | Mystic Heat: the teaching of Chandali and Tummo means "fierce" and "Wrathful." This meditation on inner heat serves as the path's foundation. It is said that without some tummo practice, various experiences such as bliss, clarity, and absence of thought will not arise.
  • Gyulü | Illusory body: the illusory body is divided into three paths 1) Mundane illusory body, 2) Immaculate illusory body, and 3) the most Immaculate illusory body. To understand the illusory body, one must meditate to cut off the mundane attachments/thoughts and realize the ultimate truth. The universe becomes the mandala of deities and beliefs to transcend wisdom. However, religion has no substance, which is why it is illusory.
  • Milam | Dream: during this dream stage, practice and recognize the dream. Practicing this yoga of Milam (dream) will have a significant effect on waking hours as well as death.
  • Ösel | Luminosity: The practice of luminosity is the path's essence. It is the tantra of enlightened buddha nature self-illuminating even if a brief illuminating stage appears when unconsciousness is not recognized as luminosity. As a result, even while sleeping, the yogin is engaged in meditation. 
  • Bardo | Intermediate state: This state is classified into many different forms, of which Marpha's classification is the most famous. Which are classified into three stages: 
    • The intermediate state between birth and death 
    • The intermediate state of the dream 
    • The intermediate state of becoming (between death and rebirth)  

      The three practices are recommended at this stage so that the luminosity when it's experienced during unconsciousness and at the time of death. On the next step is practiced when the mind-body is separated from the dead physical body.  

      • Phoba | Transference of Consciousness: Pho-ba or Phowa is also recognized as the teaching to achieving Buddhahood without meditation. When in an unfavorable situation, this teaching teaches us to avoid being reborn after death. This practice is also divided into three stages. 
        • To transform into illusory. 
        • To realize the divine nature and accomplish the illusory body.
        • To transfer mind-body into the wisdom mind of Guru, Yidam, or Buddha. 

      These stages are practiced throughout one's lifetime and used when a sign of death arises. 


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