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á¡kyamuni   - An Exhibition of Rare Thankas

Thanka No. 12



Collection: Hemis Monastery

Achool of art: Sman-bris

18th century


He was a wood seller from eastern India. He used to bring wood from jungles and sell it in the market. During that period, Mah¡siddha Tilipa lived in that area whose fame had spread far and wide. Naropa was attracted by Tilipa's fame and he started off to find out Tilipa. It was very difficult to find and identify him as he lived in disguise. At last, he met with Tilipa and begged him to offer Tantric initiation. Tilipa totally refused to do so.

Naropa, nevertheless, served him most faithfully. He provided everything that Tilipa required. In return, he received nothing from Tilipa, except abusive words and physical torture. Still he did not lose his devotion and served him continuously for 12 years.

Judging him for twelve years, Tilipa was fully satisfied with the unfailing devotion of Naropa. He realised that Naropa had become fully qualified to receive Tantric initiation. Tilipa conferred on him the Tantric initiation and taught him the secret doctrine propounded by Vajradhara. Naropa thereafter constantly meditated and attained the perfection within six months. He emancipated many people by conferring initiation during his life time. Maropa Lotsa was one of his chief spiritual disciples. Maropa introduced the six Tantric systems of Naropa in Tibet.

The central figure is Naropa. Two women are depicted offering him water and food on right and left respectively.


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