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A translation of the biography of the mahasiddha Indrabhuti with notes

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By Nathan Katz


I. As for the account of Guru Indrabhuti:

2. In the country of Urgyan., there were five hundred thousand cities.

3. Two kings ruled them.

+. Indrabhuti ruled the two hundred fifty thousand cities of Sam. bhola.

5'. A t the same time, King Jalandra ruled the two hundred fifty thousand cities of Langkaburi.

6. To the king of Sambhola, Indrabhuti, there- was a sister. Lakshmi kara so-called, who was seven years old.

7. (Lakshmikara) was given to the son of the king of Langkaburi Jalandra, because of the asking ( for her hand).

8. King Indrabhuti gathered all of his ministers, and while they were advising (him) (they z;aid):

9. "Jalandra does not practice Dharma. Except for that, all other things are equal," and, so saying, it was promised to give (Wshmik ara ).

10. To a messenger they said: "There is a difference between one who parctices Dharma and one who does not practice Dharma. (Nevertheless) we will join families." And they sent him back.

II. After that, in the following year, the son (of Jalandra) came to Sambhola.

12. He met with Lakshmikara, and then departed to his own country.

13. Indrabhuti bestowed and sent many presents of gold, silver, horses, cows, and the like.

14. He (the .I:rince) set out towards his own country. and his father said: "Where is your wife 1"

15'. "Because the daughter Was young. they wouldn't let her go." he said.

I 6. (The father) said: "That's proper".

17. At that time, Indrabhuti had many wives.

18. Because they all had nothing but frith in the Dharma, the nobility, together with the queens, after requesting from Lama Wabapa 25 initiation and spiritual instruction, were striving for attainment.

19. When the lady had attained the age of sixteen years, Jalandra sent a message about the method of giving the lady (into marriage).

20. Since the lady's mind was deprei>~ed towalds the world, (she) did her siddhi.

2 I. While attaining the siddhi of 'earth-di~coverir:g', (~he) welcomed sweepers and the like.

22. Those who had gone to heaven are made clear in the lady's own biography.

13. After that. King Jalandra gave a message to King Indrabhuti with news about the way the lady was doing: "The 'earth discovering' which has tought about the veneration of t.he lady
is proper. (But) making oneself peaceful and blissful is not proper." he said .
. 2+. After that, Indrabhuti's thought: "The u~dul:re's of my ~iHn's being born is piling up. To the fact that I am of little berdit to the kingdom, there is great retribution. It is niece Mary that I give it up and practice Dharma," he thought.

2.r. He entrusted the kingdom to his own son and made him attain a good house. 11>. . After twelve years, he attained to Mahamudra.

27. Since the letinue didn't know (about this), the son and the retinue of subjects set oUt to see (him).

28. They commenced to open the door of that one (srhouse). From the sky, (they heard) :
29. "Do not open the d()or. I am here," he (Indrabhu1i) said. l(). Hearing (his, (they) looked to the sky and they saw that he was dwelling (there).

31. Then there was horn the joy of having attained ll.S much as the first bhumi.

32. Saluting according to their faith, they sat down to one side.

33. Having stayed in the sky for seVen days, the royal father, to the son and the retinue of subjects, said: H. "Thought cannot penetrate the depth aLd ext(nliv{uu of the Dharma."
3,). Together with the etinue of seven hundred people, he went to heaven with this very body.

36. The account of Guru It1drabhuti is complete.
2. Urgyan: Skt. Uddyana. Presently Swat State in the Pakistan Himlayas; aho the home of Guru Rinpoche.

4. Spelling resembles Shambhala, a mythic Tibetan paradise-realm. All hough Sham.bhaJa. is mually said to. be in the north, is to the west.

9. "does not practice Dharma": is not a Buddhist. r 3. Indrabhuti sends gifts as dowry. It is cUHomary in marlY Eestern countries to h>.ve a t wo-st<:ge marriage: a betrotlucl, at which time dowries are paid and the union is often conwmmated; and a wedding held some time later.

18. "nothing but f""ith in the Dharma" : This implies faith as opposed to experience and direct knowledge. Because of this lack, the wives are seeking the teachings.
I 8. Lama Literally. the one with a goitre.

19. We assume that the wedding took place at this time. This would account for Lakshmikara's depressed state as described in line twenty.

20. "mind was depressed toward the world": Tib. yid. <byud. This may also be translated as "to renounce". 2 I. "earth-discovering" siddhi: We do not know just what this
siddhi is. However the im<:lge of gettir:g in touch with the bade fact of the world is carried through in her acquaintance with the sweepers, who occupy a very low caste po:,ition.

22. This topic is discussed in the biography of Lakshmikara, who is is also one of the 84 Mahasiddhas. This story now returns to Indrabhuti.

23. Probably Jalandra is upset with L'.k~hmikara's unorthodox bEhavior. although he does respect her spiritual accomplishments. In his Hindu kingdom, the idea of a princess (of hatriya caHe) a~EOciating with sweepers is quite outrageous.

24. This is the turning-point of Indrabhuti's life, and is a common motif in the lives of the Mahasiddhas. We find similar inspirations in the lives of,, and others. 2 S. "attain a good house": Probably an idiom referring to Indrabhuti's getting the affairs of state in order for the transferrance of power to his son.

27 3 I. "the first bhumi": Tib. sa.dang.po.

32. "sat down to one side" : A way of showing respect to an exalted person. "went to heaven in this very body": This refers either to imortality or, mOre likely, to the siddhi of 'skywalking', which is spontaneously attained in many- of these biographies. (Mircea Eliade, in his studies on Shamanism, concludes that rderences to flying are a way of speaking about ecstacy).

// Lndra.bhu.ti'i. 10. rgyus. nL/ yul. u.rgyan. na. grong. khyer.
'bum. tsho. Inga. yod. de. lao rgyal. po. gnyis. kyis. dbang. byed. de.
sam. bho. lao grong. khyer. 'bum. tsho. phyed. dang. gsum. i. ndra.
bhu. tis. dbang. byed./langka. bu.ri. grong. kher. 'bum. pa. tsho.
phyed. dang. gsum. lao rgyal. po. dza.landra. dbang. byed. pa. nat
sam.bho.1ai'i rgyal.po. indra.bhu.ti. la. lakshmikara.
bya. ba. 10. bdun. shig. yod. dL/langka.bu.ri.'i. rgyal.po.
dzalandra. bu. la. srong. du. las./ rgyal.po inrdabhu.tis.
blon. po. kun. bsdus. nas. chos. mi.
tsam. mao gtogs. gshan. yin. zero nas. nas.
/pho.nya,. lao chos. dang./mt'i. khyad. bar. yod. de.
gnyen. bya. yis. zero nas. bzlog.pas./ de'L phyi. 10. de'L sras. sam. bho.
lar. 'ongs. nas./lakfhikara. dang. Fhrad. nas. rgya1.bu.gL yu1. duo la./ inndrabhutis. rat. dang. dang. gser. dngul. la.
sogs. ba'i. bEkur. nas. btang. ngo.// des. rang. gi. yul.
duo dang./ phas. chung.
bas. mao bskrur. byas.bas. de. legs. zero teo de. tsa. na. rgyal.po. indra.bhu.
tL la., thams.cad. chos. lao sha.
stag. yod.pas./lcam. dral. dang. beas.pas.
la, dbang. dang. shus. nas. lao brtson.par.
1a. lean. gyis. 10. bew.drug. Ion. nas. dzalandra.'i. rgyal.pos.
pho.nya. btang. nas. clam. byin. tsul. dang) leam. gyis. ' yid.
'byud. nas. mdzad. de. / thob.pas. sa.brnyes. nas
phyag.dar. pa. sogs. bzung. nas. mkha'. spyod. duo gshigs. pa.
rnams.leam. rnam. thar. duo g~al./de.nas. rgyal.po.dzalandras.
rgyal.po. indrabhutL la. leam. gyis. ji.ltar. ll1dzad. tshul. kyi. phyin.
dang. pho.nya. btang./ nga'i. Icam.mos. grub. ba'i. sa. brnyes. pa.
nLlegs. teo rang. nyi~ bde. nL rna. legs. de. nas.
Lndra.bhu.ti'i. nga'i. de. don yod.par.
so. 'dug.// nga. yang. rgyal.srod. don. chung. la. nyes. dmigs.
'dL spangs. ngas. lao ehos. byed. dgos. snyam. nas. rang. gi. sras. lao
rgyal. srid. gtad. de. khang. bzang. gcig. tu. sgrub. pa. mdzad.pas. 10.
beu. gnyis. nas. phyag. rgya. chen. po'i. dngos. grub. 'khor.
rnams. kyis. ma. shes. nas. sras. dang. 'khor 'bangs. rnams. kyis. bItar.
phyin. nas. de'Lsgo. dang./ nam.mkha'~ nas. sgo.
ma. dbye./nga. 'de. na. yod. thos. nas. nam. mkha. 'lao bltas. pas.
de. rnams. kyis. nam.mkha' . .la. bshugs.par. mthong. nas. sa. tsam. kyi. dga'.ba. skyes. teo dad. bshin. duo phyag. byas. nas. phy
bshin. duo phyag. byas. nas. phyogs. gcig. duo ' dang. yab. rgyal.po.
nam.mkha'. la. shag. bdun. duo b:,hugs. naS. sras. dang. 'khor. 'bangs.
rnams. lao dang. rgya. eha. ba'j, ehos. bfam. gyis. mi. phrab. pa.
gsugs. nas./ 'bhor. bdun. brgya. dang. beas. pa.lus. 'di. nyid. kyis. mkha.
spyod. duo gshigs. so.// gu.ruLndra.bhu.ti'i. 10. rgyus. rdzogs. J.o./I