Marpa the Translator, the eleventh-century farmer, scholar, and
teacher, is one of the most renowned saints in Tibetan Buddhist history.
In the West, Marpa is best known through his teacher, the Indian yogin
Nâropa, and through his closest disciple, Milarepa. This lucid and
moving translation of a text composed by the author of The Life of Milarepa and The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa documents
the fascinating life of Marpa, who, unlike many other Tibetan masters,
was a layman, a skillful businessman who raised a family while training
As a youth, Marpa was inspired to travel to
India to study the Buddhist teachings, for at that time in Tibet,
Buddhism has waned considerably through ruthless suppression by an evil
king. The author paints a vivid picture of Marpa's three journeys to
India: precarious mountain passes, desolate plains teeming with bandits,
greedy customs-tax collectors. Marpa endured many hardships, but
nothing to compare with the trials that ensued with his guru Nâropa and
other teachers. Yet Marpa succeeded in mastering the tantric teachings,
translating and bringing them to Tibet, and establishing the Practice
Lineage of the Kagyüs, which continues to this day.
Translated by The Nalanda Translation Committee under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
320 pages. Paperback.