Lawapa or Lavapa (Tibetan: la ba pa; grub chen la ba pa; wa ba pa) was a figure in Tibetan Buddhism who flourished in the 10th century. He was also known as Kambala and Kambalapada (Sanskrit: Kaṃbalapāda). Lawapa, was a mahasiddha, or accomplished yogi, who travelled to Tsari. Lawapa was a progenitor of the Dream Yoga sadhana and it was from Lawapa that the mahasiddha Tilopa received the Dream Yoga practice lineage.
Simmer-Brown (2001: p. 57) when conveying the ambiguity of ḍākinīs in their 'worldy' and 'wisdom' guises conveys a detailed narrative that provides the origin of Lawapa's name:
- ...worldly ḍākinīs are closely related to the māras of India, who haunted the Buddha under the tree of awakening. In this role, they took whatever form might correspond to the vulnerabilities of their target, including beguiling and seductive forms of exquisite beauty. When that ruse failed, they again became vicious ghouls and demonesses. When the yogin Kambala meditated in an isolated cave at Panaba Cliff, the local mamo ḍākinīs plotted to obstruct his meditation. Noticing that he was particularly reliant upon a tattered black woolen blanket that also served as his only robe, they asked to borrow it. Sensing the power of the blanket, they tore it into shreds and devoured it, burning a final scrap in his cooking fire. In anger Kambala magically transformed the mamo ḍākinīs into sheep and sheared them, so that when they returned to their original forms their heads were shaven. Fearing the power of his realization, the mamos vomited up the shreds of blanket, and Kambala collected the pieces and rewove them. From that day, he was called Lvapa, or "master of the blanket".
The Hevajra Tantra, a yoginītantra of the anuttarayogatantra class, is held to have originated between the late eighth century C.E. (Snellgrove), and the "late ninth or early tenth century" (Davidson), in Eastern India, possibly Bengal. Tāranātha lists Saroruha and Kampala (also known as "Lva-va-pā, "Kambhalī", and "Śrī-prabhada") as its "bringers":
- .. the foremost yogi Virūpā meditated on the path of Yamāri and attained siddhi under the blessings of Vajravārāhi,...His disciple Dombi Heruka..understood the essence of the Hevajra Tantra, and composed many śāstras like the Nairātmā-devi-sādhana and the Sahaja-siddhi. He also conferred abhiṣeka on his own disciples. After this, two ācāryas Lva-va-pā and Saroruha brought the Hevajra Tantra. ... Siddha Sarouha was the first to bring the Hevajra-pitṛ-sādhana
A teaching story
In the "Blue Annals (Tibetan: deb ther sngon po): Book 9, The Contemplative Traditions of Kodrakpa and Niguma" it is narrated that Siddha Khyngpo Naljor (khyung po rnal 'byor) went searching for, the sister of Naropa (1016-1100 CE), as she had seen Vajradhara. As Niguma had attained the 'Rainbow Body' (Tibetan: jalus) those with a pure mind might see her Sambhogakaya form where she had performed Ganachakra in Sosa Island, located in East India. When at Sosa Island, Khyungpo Naljor (Tibetan: grub thob khyung po rnal 'byor) (990-1139 CE) had a dream about Niguma in which he received teachings from her:
- He began to doubt that Niguma was a ḍākinī of the flesh eating class, and while he was thinking so, she gazed skywards, and then numerous ḍākinīs gathered, and she created a maṇḍala, and bestowed on him the initiation of the illusory body and the practice of dreams. After that the dakini transported him to a distance of about three yojanas, and deposited him on the summit of a mountain of gold. There in a dream, rdo rje btsun mo bestowed on him the Six Doctrines, and then again personally on three occasions the rdorje tshig rkan and the sgyu ma lam rim. Further, she expounded to him numerous Tantras and sādhanas. Niguma said to him: Except myself and Kambalapada no one else knows the precepts of the Six Doctrines. Till the seventh teacher of the Spiritual Lineage, this teaching should be transmitted down a single line (of teachers). These will be blessed by me, and I shall give them a prophecy.
The Tibetan Buddhism Resource Center (2006) identifies three principal teachers of Lawapa:
- Anangavajra (Sanskrit; Tibetan: yan lag med pa'i rdo rje)
- (Tibetan: Deng ki pa)
- Vajravarahi (Yeshe Tshogyal) (Sanskrit; Tibetan: rdo rje phag mo).
The Tibetan Buddhism Resource Center (2006) identifies two principal students of Lawapa:
- (Tibetan: nag po spyod pa)
- (Tibetan: indra bhu ti)