The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
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Kushok Bakula Rinpoche (Tibetan: སྐུཤོག་བ་ཀུ་ལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།) is nowadays the head of Pethup Gompa in Spituk, Ladakh, India. He is an emanation of the Buddha Amitabha and was one of the 16 disciples of Buddha (Naytan Chudrug, or the 16 Arhats). His first 19 incarnations have been documented in the Tibetan text Naytan Chagchot (Wylie: gNas hrtan phyag mchod).
There are two different explanations for his name.
According to Tibetan chronicles, he was fond of doing meditation and praying and was very simple. After renouncing all wordly comforts he used pakula grass in his every day life, especially as a sitting and sleeping mat..
The Manorathapurani and the Pali version of Milinda Panha maintain him as being born at Kaushambi in a minister's family and then having been swallowed by a fish in the Yamuna river that was later caught by an angler. The angler sold it to another minister's wife, Upon cutting pen, the child was found unharmed and alive. The minister's wife adopted him. However, a dispute with his natural parents, about who should take care of him was resolved by the king, who judged that both should have custody of him. Thus, he became known as Dva Kula (Two Families).
The second incarnation of Bakula was an Indian Mahasiddha Tilopa (Tibetan: ཏི་ལོ་པ, Wylie: Ti lo pa), or Sherab Zangpo (Tibetan: ཤེས་རབ་བཟང་པོ, Wylie: Shes rab bzang po) (Prajnabhadra). In order to spread the Buddha dharma. The king of Visnunagar offered Tilopa, a learned guru, 500 gold coins a day, if he would live at his court. Tilopa, however, wanted rather to live as a yogi and he quietly departed from the court and retreated near a cemetery to meditate. During that time, Naropa came to serve him. And through the practice of the six famous yoga lams (paths) he attained the mahamudra siddhi. After preaching extensively, he entered the heavenly abode of Amitābha during his lifetime.
The third incarnation of Bakula manifested as the Indian Mahasiddha Luipa (Wylie: Laa wa pa). He abandoned his kingdom in Sri Lanka and journeyed to Ramesvaram, where he became a Bhikkhu. A Dakini at Dorje Dan (Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་གདན, Wylie: rDo rje gdan) (Bodh Gaya) revealed to him an upaya for realising Buddhahood -- and in this way he continued practising for many years in a cemetery. Dakinis at Pataliputra further instructed him to remove his royal pride about the purity of foods, after which he sat in meditation for twelve years near river Ganges, where he lived on the minute guts of fish rejected by the fishermen
Lotsawa Rinchen Sangpo, 954 - 1055.
- Rechung Dorje Drakpa|11th Incarnation of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche – Rechung Dorje Drakpa, 1083/4 – 1161
- 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, 21 May 1917 – 4 November 2003