Ra Lotsawa - The Influential Yogi 1016

Ra Lotsawa - The Influential Yogi 1016

Ra Lotsawa, recognized as one of the most influential figures in the history of Tantric Buddhism, was known for his humility. Despite criticism from other masters who deemed his deity, Yamantaka with a bullhead, as non-Buddhist, he transformed from a humble seeker of relations to a formidable adept. Engaging in spiritual trials, he bested around 13 masters. Before delving further, let's explore the background of Lama Ra Lotsawa.

1. Ra Lotsawa History

Ra Lotsawa was born in 1016 near the town of Nyalam, 30km from the Zhangmu border with Nepal and 150km from Tingri. Legend has it that shortly after his birth, he was taken by a Dakini who revealed diverse realms to him. His father, a Ngakpa practicing Tantrayana Buddhism, imparted Buddhist teachings to Ra Lotsawa. Subsequently, driven by a vision and dream, he pursued additional teachings in Nepal.

2. Traveling to Nepal to seek Dharma.

Located approximately 30 km from Nepal is the town of Nyilam, the hometown of Lama Ra Lotsawa. During this period, Tibetan masters would often travel to Nepal or India to gain Knowledge and understanding of Buddhism.

3. Heated Dispute with a master and lost.

One such master, Lama Ra Lotsawa, journeyed to Nepal, where he had the opportunity to meet the renowned Master Baro. From him, Lama Ra Lotsawa received a plethora of teachings, which he took back with him to Tibet. Upon returning to Tibet, he engaged in a heated dispute with a master from the area and dared to question his spiritual abilities, leading to an unfortunate defeat.

4. Vision from a Tara Buddha Jetsun Drolma.

After some time, he had a special vision of Buddha Tara, a female deity, who encouraged him to seek more advanced teachings from his guru, Baro. Excited to learn more, he traveled back to Nepal to receive further guidance on the teachings of Yamantaka Buddha from his guru. This particular Buddha is known for his ferocity and represents the ultimate wisdom of Manjushri Buddha. Yamantaka Buddha is said to have defeated the lord of the dead, Yama.

Caution Reminder: We must receive an initiation from a lineage Guru before chanting this precious mantra. After receiving initiation from the Guru and cultivating compassion and wisdom, it is recommended to chant this mantra for the benefit of sentient beings.

If you're interested, the mantra for Yamantaka Buddha is Om Yamantaka Hum Phat.

Yamantaka by Dakinis Art

Image: Yamantaka Diety, Yidam Dorje Jige Jey by Dakinis Art

5. The second Heated Dispute with a master and defeated.

The text states that Lama Ra Lotsawa came back with the Yamantaka Diety. On this occasion, the other master was not able to compete with him. Lama Ra Lotsawa defeated the other master by bestowing a blessing upon him to the realm of Buddha Jamphelyang Manjushiri.

6. A Gentle man who is both Humble and Powerful.

Upon reading a biography about Lama Je Ra Lotsawa, for me it is evident that he is a gracious individual who consistently pays visits to other masters while remaining humble and offering gifts. Certain masters expressed their disapproval towards his Yidam, the bullhead Buddha Yamantaka, claiming that it is not a Buddhist deity. Eventually, they attempted to conquer and bestow blessings upon him; it was Lama Ra Lotsawa who blessed them.

7. Passing away of 13 Bodhisattva Masters.

During the time of Lama Ra Lotsawa, it was written that some masters focused on using black magic. Unfortunately, thirteen masters, including Lama Je Marpa's son Je Dama Dhode, passed away while challenging Lama Ra Lotsawa. These thirteen masters were said to be all bodhisattvas, which is an infrequent occurrence in Buddhism history. To fully understand why this happened, we need to achieve the spiritual attainment of the Lama Ra Lotsawa. That is why Lama Je Ra Lotsawa is one of the most influential masters in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. The masters who passed away are believed to be in the realm of Jamphelyang Manjushiri Buddha.

8. Yamantaka Buddha Statue with Heat in the Heart.

Je Tsongkhapa and his disciples constructed two magnificent statues of Yamantaka in Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery Tantric College using pea-sized mud. They chanted the Yamantaka Buddha Mantra more than 100 thousand times on each piece of mud. According to some, the statue in Sera Monastery is believed to be blessed as it is said to emit heat from the heart.

9. Whose emanation is Ra Lotsawa?

Some claim he is a manifestation of Buddha Manjushri because the Yamantaka Deity is the emanation of Manjushri Jamphelyang Buddha conquering the lord of Yama in a furious form. In contrast, others assert that he is a manifestation of Guru Rinpoche, as he devoted his later years to renovating the entire Samye monastery.


Image: Yogini

10. Day trip to Nyima Tang Monastery.

Nyingma Tang is a small village around 30 km away from Lhasa. The name "Nyingma Tang" means "sun on the ground."

One day, a local Doctor approached Je Ra Lotsawa for blessings and requested to see a spiritual act that he had never witnessed before. In response, Je Ra Lotsawa presented the sun on the ground, and the village and monastery were named accordingly. The main chapel in the monastery is dedicated to the Medicine Buddha, as it was once a medical college.

11. Diety Yamantaka.

Yamantaka, also known as the Conqueror or Destroyer of Death, is a significant deity in Vajrayana Buddhism. Lama Ra Lotsawa brought the teachings of the Yamantaka deity to Tibet from a master named Baro in Nepal. These teachings are considered highly advanced in Tantra. One Yamantaka practice involves 13 deities, including Yamantaka and his consort, Vajra Bhairava. This deity is known to be an emanation of Manjushri Buddha Jamphelyang, conquering the lord of death, Yama.

12. The significance of practicing Bodhichitta is immense.

Centuries ago, a monk would recite countless Yamantaka Mantras but miss practicing Bodhicitta. Despite his power, even the dogs would whimper and flee from him. His teachers advised him to halt the chanting and prioritize the cultivation of Bodhichitta since all tantric practices depend on it for success. Without bodhicitta, these practices can be harmful and similar to a snake entering a pipe in only two directions. Reading Lama Ra Lotsawa is inspiring, but cultivating Bodhichitta is crucial for optimal results in Tantra.

13. Conclusion.

The legacy of Lama Ra Lotsawa persists, and by simply hearing his name, may all beings achieve enlightenment. It is not a matter of Yamantaka Diety being the supreme force. Each deity holds immense power, and it is all about how one practices with this deity. This is why it is essential to honor the memory of the remarkable master, Lama Ra Lotsawa. "The Humble yet the Powerful master."

Thank you so much for reading! Writing about a figure of such mastery intimidates me as someone with limited knowledge. However, I have written this article to gain merit by mentioning this great master's name. If there are any mistakes in my writing, I humbly request forgiveness from the Dakinis. Ra Lotsawa Khenno!

Feel free to engage in friendly discussions about Lama Ra Lotsawa on Quora. Also, leave a comment if you have any suggestions for improving the article. Additionally, check out my other article on Yogi Milarepa and his final teachings of a great value.

Written By :Tenzin

Feb 13, 2023


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