Buddhist Teachers & Lamas

Aśoka | Mauryan Emperor

Aśoka (Ashoka), the 3rd Ruler of the Indian Mauryan Empire, became a model of Kingship for Buddhists everywhere: Aśoka is known today for the Edicts he had inscribed on pillars and rock faces throughout his kingdom, and through the legends told about him in various Buddhist sources. Aśoka is said to purify the teaching by convening the Third Buddhist council, following which he sends missionary-monks

Asanga founder of Yogacara Buddhism

Asaṅga (ca. 320-ca. 390) is regarded as the founder of the Yogācāra tradition of Mahāyāna philosophy. Asaṅga spent many years in serious meditation and often visited Tuṣita Heaven to receive teachings from Maitreya Bodhisattva. At night he went up to the place of Maitreya Bodhisattva in Tuṣita Heaven to learn the Yogācāra-bhūmi-śāstra and other elevated teachings.; in the daytime, he lectured on the marvellous principles

Vasubandhu life & works

Vasubandhu life & works. Vasubandhu was a prominent Buddhist teacher and one of the most important figures in the development of Mahāyāna Buddhism in India. He wrote commentaries on many Śāstras, works on logic, devotional poetry, works on Abhidharma classifications, as well as original and innovative philosophical treatises. He is admired as co-founder of the Yogācāra school, his pre-Yogācāra works, such as the Abhidharmakośa are

Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135 CE)

Outside the land of Tibet where the stories and songs of Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135 CE) are very well-known and loved, far too little is known of this great Buddhist sage. The 60 songs of Milarepa, published here all concern that Dhamma which is common to the whole Buddhist tradition. Everyone who has read some of Lord Buddha's Discourses in the Pali Canon

Gampopa | The founder of Kagyu

Prior to endless aeons when Lord Gampopa was a Bodhisattva, he accumulated the immeasurable merits (accumulation of virtues and accumulation of insight) in the presence of many Buddhas. He received all the definitive teachings from Tathāgata Śākyamuni Buddha. Later then, by the name of the Jīvaka (Bhikṣu Physician) he was known to the people of Tibet. He lived with 500 perfect and imperfect disciples, receiving

Buddha-Carita | Aśvaghoṣa

The Buddha-carita (Buddha’s Life) is a complete biography of Buddha Śākyamuni, from his birth until after his death, when his relics were distributed. The text was composed by Aśvaghoṣa (early second century C.E.), the main author of Kāvya literature (poetic prose or ornate poetry) before Kālidāsa (late fourth–early fifth century C.E.). The author, Aśvaghoṣa, was a Brāhman from Sāketa in Central India who converted to

Life of Buddha Shakyamuni

On the eve of Vesakha in 588 BC, while meditating with mind tranquillized and purified, in the first watch of night (6pm-10pm)Siddhartha Śākyamuni developed that supernormal knowledge which enabled him to remember his past lives. In the second watch (10pm-2am), Buddha developed the clairvoyant supernormal vision, which enabled him to see the death and rebirth of beings. In the last watch (2am-6am), he developed the

Rennyo, his life and work

Rennyo (1415-1499) was a descendant of Shinran and the eighth chief abbot (monshu) of the Hongwanji in Kyoto. In 1457, when he was 43, he became the chief abbot and continued his missionary activity in the Omi region. He started a unique way of transmitting the Dharma through the use of letters, which were widely read among the followers and contributed enormously to the dissemination

Shinran Shonin | The Pure Land Patriarch

Shinran Shonin , the Buddhist Teacher from Japan of 13th century were probably the most significant propounder of the teachings on Buddha Amida and Nembutsu or tradition of chanting Namu Amida Butsu ("Adoration to Buddha Amitāyus"), the founder of Jōdo Shinshū or "True Pure Land School” tradition in Japanese Buddhism. We think of Master Shinran when we think about Buddha Amida (Amitabha) and his Pure

Marpa Lotsawa 1012-1097

Marpa Lotsawa or Marpa Translator - is famous as one of the fathers of Tibetan Buddhism in General and Kagyu tradition in particular. Marpa also known as a teacher of the famous yogi Milarepa. During his lifetime in 11th century he traveled 3 times to India, Nalanda Buddhist University and brought the best Vajrayana teachings and initiations to Tibet, carefully translated many tantric texts and