The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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While Santipa was practicing discursive contemplation, Kotalipa was absorbed in the essential nature of reality, and his nondiscursive, thought-free meditation led directly to mahamudra-siddhi. In time, Santipa returned from his retreat and was much acclaimed by his students.
But the yogin can only think of his guru and refused the invitation. In his invisible awareness body, Kotalipa transported himself into the presence of Santipa, and prostrated himself before his guru, but no one could see him, not even his guru, so he materialized his physical body and repeated his homage.
A great realization dawned upon Santipa. He realized that during all those years of teaching he had neglected true spiritual discipline. He said that he have never experienced the perfect reality he taught all those years and asked his student to demonstrate the results of the meditation.
Thus it was that student become teacher, and teacher become student. Kotalipa took Santipa to a retreat and revealed to him the many qualities of the dharmakaya, thus returning the gift of instruction.
Santipa spent another 12 years in meditation, and then, he attained mahamudra-siddhi. With the attainment of true bliss, he realized that all his book learning and all the gifts he received were hollow.