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The Eight Doha TreasuresA text that clearly teaches the Mahmudr instructionsContentsIntroduction... iThe Mahmudr Instructions entitled The Doha TreasureAuthor: Saraha [or Savara?]Translator: Vairocanaraksita 1The Doha TreasureAuthor: VirupaTranslator: Vairocanaraksita 14The Doha TreasureAuthor: TilopaTranslator: Vairocanaraksita 23The Doha TreasureAuthor: KrsnapaTranslator: Vairocanaraksita 26The Doha Song of the View Meditation Conduct and ResultAuthor: Maitripa [or Saraha?]Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros 30Mahmudr InstructionsAuthor: TilopaTranslator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros 31Summary of the ViewAuthor: Naropa (Janasiddhi)Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros 40Mahmudr in BriefAuthor: MaitripaTranslator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros 47Colophon and notes. 50iIntroductionThe DohaPoetry written in Sanskrit and related languages in India, employ various kinds ofverse and meter. Unlike Tibetan, which only counts the number of syllables per line,Sanskrit uses a meter based on patterns of long and short syllables. The Doha verse is aform, based on two lines, a couplet; its most famous example being the poetry of Kabir inwhich each doha, or couplet, was an independent separate work. This is a form of verseassociated with the later centuries of the first millennium, and is used in the late middleIndic and early late Indic languages that have Vedic Sanskrit as their ancestor. Do meanstwo and is derived from the Sanskrit dva. Tibetan pronunciation of Sanskrit reflects northIndian dialects from the beginning of the second millennium. The word dva in a mantrawould be pronounced do. Indian languages were written in a form that reflected thephonetics. In this case the Tibetan has left doha untranslated, as there is no Tibetanequivalent for the word. However, the general word for a spiritual song in Tibetan ismgur, and as these songs are generally referred to in Tibetan as being mgur, there hasbeen an inaccurate back translation of all instances of mgur as doha.The textThis is a compilation of eight mahmudr songs that are to be found within thebsTan-gyur, with a minimal commentary that divides some of the songs into themedparts. This edition was made at Rumtek, during the sixties or seventies, under theauspices of the sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpay Dorje (1924-1981),whose seat inexile it was. It is based on an earlier block, of un as yet unknown date. There are someerrors in this text, in the succession of subdivisions and possibly in the attribution ofauthorship, which may not be in the original blockprint, which was carved by oneLethang Tshedon; Lethang is surely synonymous with Lithang, the province withinKham; this degree of variation in place-names is quite common as they were not asstandardised as they are at present. This was carved within the mobile tent monastery of aKarmapa. This large nomadic monastery, complete with its own army was a distinctiveiifeature of the Karmapas, and even gave rise to one of the principal traditions of Tibetanpainting Karma Gardri Karma-camp art. If he is an important figure in the KarmaKagyu, it should be possible to identify him.The TBRC has another edition of this text, which was published by the KargyuSungrab Nyamso Khang in Darjeeling, either in the late seventies or early eighties. It is areproduction of the rTsib-ri edition, an important centre for publication in the first half ofthe twentieth century, and its productions were usually of a higher quality. The rTsib-riblock was carved between 1934 and 1958. Apparently its colophon identifies the originalcompiler of this text as La-dwags Khrid-dpon Khrul-zhig Padma Chos-rgyal.I am awaiting critical editions of the dohas as they appear in the various editionsof the bstan-gyur. None f these works appear under these titles in the bsTan-gyur.The AuthorsSarahaVirupaTilopaTilopa (also written as Telopa, Tailopa and Tillipa), whose formal name wasPrajabhadra, is viewed as the initial source for the lineages of all the bKa-brgyudschools. He was from the Bengal region of India and lived during the tenth century. Histraditional dates as given in the Tibetan sixty-year cycle, are earth-ox to earth-bird,which would have to be 928-1009. However, dates given for the earlier masters in thebKa-brgyud lineage are uncertain. Tilopa was an eclecticist who taught a number oftantric traditions that had emerged in the latter centuries of the first millennium, such asCakrasamvara and Hevajra. , traditionally, Tilopa is described as a solitary dark-skinnedwanderer with bulging eyes and long-matted hair, who frequented the charnel-grounds.He is said to have been a monk who gave up the monastic life to live an overt tantric lifeiiduring which he is said to have chained himself into the meditation posture for twelveyears. Iconographically, he is portrayed wearing the charnel ground costume ofjewellery made of human-bone, as do the deities in his practices. His songs are in anearly form of Bengali.KapaNropa/ JnasiddhiTilopas successor in the bKa-brgyud lineage is said to be Naropa from Kasmir,who is the receppient and transmitter of of his dohas.. His traditional dates are given asfire-dragon to iron dragon, which would be 956-1040. Atisa arrived in Tibet in 1042,bringing with him relics from the recent cremation of Naropa. The stupa containing theserelics still survives in Nethang Temple south of Lhasa. He is said to have undergone aseries of twelve gruelling hardships under Tilopa, such as jumping off a building, fromwhich he would have died if not for Tilopas miraculous healing powers. Fllowing thisperiod in his life, he became a great scholar and author at Nalanda monastery, beforeeventually retiring to his hermitage of Pulahari to the north of Nalanda. Later versions ofhis life, make him a scholar first and a pupil of Tilopa afterwards, reflecting a view thatmaintains the supremacy of meditation over scholarship.The colophon of the Naropa song calls it a summary of Naropas views, givesJanasiddhi in transliteration as the name of the author and makes no attempt to makeclear that this is in fact Naropas Dharma name. There are songs attributed ti Mar-pa inwhich he addresses Naropa solely by this name. There is no other Buddhist master whocould be identified as the author.MatiripaAccording to the tradition of his pupil Vajrapani, he was brn in the year of thedog, while the tradition drevied from Vajrapanis pupil Asu says that he was born in theyear of the sheep. Roerich in The Blue Annals, decided these years were 1107 or 1110,iiiand these dates have been repeated in other works. However, these dates seem to be toolate. His most important pupil in the transmission of Mahamudra to Tibet was the abovementioned Vajrapani, whose birth year is more specifically recorded as being the fire-snake, which wuld have to be 1017. He was brought to Maitripa by his elder brother whowas already a pupil of Maitripa as an established master, and he already defeated Santipain debate. The years of his birth may therefore be 1083 or 1086, 1071 or 1074. He is saidto have died in his seventy-eighth year. However, he outlived Naropa, who had died in1040. Therefore we are looking at 1083-1060 or 1086-1063 (1071- 1048 and 1074-1051are probably too early).Maitripa holder of the lineage of Savaripa; he was a great scholar and had manyimportant pupils and a wide range of mahmudr instructions. A number of lineagesderived from Maitripas pupils entered Tibet, particularly those of Vajrapani (born 1017)Atisa, Tipupa, Marpa, Vairocanaraksita, Karopa (who was previously a pupil of Santipaand Krsnapa and had been a scholar monk at Vikramasla, and was ).The TranslatorsVairocanarakitaHe was a twelfth century Pandita, originally from south India, who studied innorth India under a number of masters, the most famous being Abhayakaragupta thegreatest Buddhist master of his time.His principal teacher for mahamudra wasthe great scholar and yogin Surapala atNalanda, who taught him The Twenty-six teachings of Amanasi (no mental activity)[amanasi skor nyer-drug, all twenty-six texts are in the bstan-gyur), the mahamudradohas, four of which are compiled in this text as translated by him, and Maitripastradition of Mahamudra.Vairocanaraksita was a master of mahmudra as well as other tantras, and hevisited Tibet a number of times and died there. He made these translations on his own at aplace named rGyal in the Phen-yul district of central Tibet. There is a mahamudra text byhim in the bstan-gyur: Shes-rab Ye-shes gsal-ba Praja-jana-prakasa.ivHis pupils in Tibet are said to have included Bla-ma Zhang (1123-93) and Gyi-joZla-bai O-zer (1123-82), who was the son of Khon-pu-ba (1069-1144) and therefore anephew of Ma-cig Zhwa-ma.1He also taught sKor-Nirupa in sNye-thang (the site of Atisas temple and Narpasstupa just suth f lHa-sa) (see below), from whm comes the later traditin of mahamudraMarpa Chos-kyi Blo-gros.The famous source of the bKa-brgyud lineage, his life is primarily known fromlegendary versions. The dates for his life are uncertain. However, he was born towardsthe beginning of the eleventh century, probably around 1110. He went to Nepal and Indiain his mid-teens, and spent many years there with Naropa on his first visit. On his secondvisit, made in his late twenties, Naropa had given up teaching and maintained a completesilence, and therefore he was unable to receive any more instructions from him during theyear he spent in his community. He subsequently studied with other masters, such asMaitripa, and received mahmudr instruction from him, so that th