Vajrayana Tibetan Yogis - The Great Maha Siddhas 108

Vajrayana Tibetan Yogis - The Great Maha Siddhas 108

I want to provide brief details on Maha Siddhas and Tibetan Yogis and also share some of their notable sayings. If you're looking for something interesting to read, you should definitely check out the stories of the Himalayan Yogis—they're fascinating!

I read a biography about these Yogis, beginning with Jetsun Milarepa. In the Tibetan language, they are referred to as Maha Siddha or Druptub Chenpo.

1. Guru Rinpoche 

The Tibetans acknowledge the boundless kindness of Maha Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava. Traveling is a fundamental aspect of the Yogis, and one of the earliest to journey to Tibet was the esteemed Indian Master Maha Guru Padmasambhava. The birthplace of Guru Rinpoche was in Lotus, which carries its teaching. Maha Guru Rinpoche significantly contributed to the construction of the Samye monastery, recognized as Tibet's first monastery. Maha Guru Rinpoche holds high esteem amongst the Tibetans as one of the greatest Tibetan Yogis. If you're interested in learning more about Guru Rinpoche, feel free to check out my biography.

2. Milarepa

The majority of Tibetans agree that the biography of Jetsun Milarepa, a famous yogi in Tibet, is highly regarded due to its resemblance to a movie. The biography encompasses a variety of elements, such as comedy, suspense, revenge, regrets, and success. Jetsun Milarepa is also known for his poetic singing abilities, which have captivated the hearts of many individuals, including several wild animals that resided near his meditation cave. If you're interested in learning more about Milarepa, feel free to check out.

3. Sakyapa

The Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its beauty and has produced many great masters, including Sakya Pandita, the first Pandit of Tibet. Today, I want to share some information about one of my favorite Yogis, Jetsun Drakpa Gyeltsen, who taught Sakya Pandita. He was born into a palace like a prince but chose to renounce his wealth and spent many years in retreat. He wrote songs asking questions like, "Did Buddha come first, or did the Dharma? Did the cause come first, or did the effect?" Check out the article if you're interested in learning more about Sakyapa Drakpa Gyeltsen.

4. Atisha

Tibetans have a lot to thank the great Indian master, Maha Guru Atisha, also known as Jowo Je. He left his palace and became ordained, becoming one of the most esteemed masters of his time in India. Despite being warned by Buddha Tara (Jetsun Dolma) that his life would be shorter if he went to Tibet instead of staying in India, he decided that if he could benefit more sentient beings, he was willing to go to Tibet. He went to Tibet and helped many Tibetans, who considered him to be one of their beloved masters.


5. Tsongkhapa

Je Tsongkhapa, a renowned Tibetan Yogi, traveled from Eastern Tibet to Central Tibet, studying Buddhism under over 100 masters and mastering all its teachings. His exceptional wisdom earned him the title of an emanation of Manjushiri, the Wisdom Buddha. This brief account covers the Tibetan Yogis from various schools, such as Nyingma, Kagyu, Kadam, and Geluk. While many great Tibetan Yogis to name and describe in detail. If you're interested in learning more about Tsongkhapa, feel free to check out.

6. A few Great Yogis.

  1. Je Marpa
  2. Je Dromtonpa
  3. Je Kunga Nyingpo 
  4. Je Taranata
  5. Je Dampa Sangay
  6. Je Kandro Yeshi Tsogyal
  7. Je Machik Lapdron
  8. Je Rechungpa
  9. Je Gompapa
  10. Je Tangtong Gyalpo
  11. Je Drukpa Kunley
  12. Je Phakmo Drupa
  13. Je Gho Tsang pa
  14. Je Thogme Sangpo
  15. Je Langri Tangpa
  16. Je Ra Lotsawa
  17. Je Tsang Nyon
  18. Je U Nyon
  19. Je Sakya Pandita
  20. Je Jigme Lingpa
  21. Je Longchenpa
  22. Je Tsangpa Gyare
  23. Je Langri Tangpa
  24. Je Ling Repa
  25. Je Kyopa Jigten Sum Gon

I lack the merit of knowing numerous other great Yogi's names; it's like too many suns are shining that even the brightest stars can't twinkle. May this writing about the Tibetan Yogis bring benefit to all living beings, and may the culture of these remarkable individuals continue to flourish. Don't forget to explore the stories of the 84 Buddhist Maha Siddhas, who are considered legendary figures.

7. Sayings from Tibetan Yogis

I wanted to share some fantastic proverbs from Buddhist Maha Siddha with you. I have a huge admiration and love for my ancestors, who are like priceless jewels and a shining sun in the midst of darkness. Maha Siddha is a Sanskrit term that means excellent and spiritually accomplished. I came across these valuable sayings while reading their biography, and I couldn't resist sharing them with you. Please bear with my translation skills, though! If I have made any mistakes in writing that may cause harm, may I be forgiven by the Dakinis of the Buddha Dharma.

8. Beauties of Vajrayana

Despite being the most superior beings, even the gods of the gods they are but they refer to themselves as wandering beggars, which I deeply admire. The noise made by a small river is much more noticeable than the calmness of the ocean, which highlights the beauty of their compassion and wisdom. May the mention of Maha Siddhas' names inspire the growth of Bodhicitta in our minds.

9. Kagyu School Yogis

Maha Siddha Drukpa Kunley

1. If you haven't let go of attachment, what's the point of leaving your hometown?

2. Don't hurt a woman who follows you her whole life.

3. Don't challenge wisdom with Sakya Pandita and Tsongkhapa.

4. A person who wears Dharma Robes and engages in worldly deeds will dishonor Buddha's Dharma.


Photo: The Great Yogi Tilopa

5. Women are precious; even the highest teachings of Buddha are known as the Great Mother.

6. Wandering in Samsara, again and again, is a sad thing.

7. Harmonize with all, but trust none. 

8. If ignoring the Karmic law of cause and effect, even though it might look like Buddhism, take it as non-Buddhism.

9. Like in a young girl's dream, a son was born, and the son died in the same dream. She was happy when a son was born. She was sad when her son was dead. You should know that all phenomena are just like that. 

10. Your devotion is like closing eyes and joining palms of hands all the time, but, incredibly, your devotion is not in mind; it's so deceitful to cheat Lama.

11. It Needs lots of merits to acquire the name Lama. 

These are the great sayings from Maha Siddha Jetsun Drukpa Kunley's biography.

Maha Siddha Milarepa 

1. If no shame is in mind, what's the point of understanding the Buddha Dharma?

2. Milarepa won't make wealth; if Milarepa makes wealth, renouncing worldly life is meaningless. 

3. Whether I live or die for my faith, I will not regret it.

4. A mind without attachment and hatred is a Buddha Dharma Practitioner.

5. walk slowly, and you will reach faster. Stay at the lowest, and you will get to the highest. Stay alone, and you will meet a friend.

6. In the biography of Jetsun Milarepa, Gold and Stones' values have no difference. 

7. If picking a name can enlighten you, let me call you 'Buddha.' 

8. I am happy because I am practicing Buddha Dharma.

9. Although all pleasure and pain are impermanent,  if you can endure such pain, you will get the permanence of happiness. 

10. Is there a thorn in your mat? Why can't you sit and practice?

11. I was expecting you to become a practitioner who makes holes in the meditation mat; you want to become a practitioner who creates a hole in the shoes.

12. May all action become Buddha Dharma. Practicing compassion is only meaningful if all actions become Buddha's Dharma.

13. Dhamobodhi doesn't want gold; if Yogi Dhamabodhi wants gold, attaining Siddha is meaningless. 

14. Rechungpa does not want profit. If Dorje Drakpa wants to gain profit, following Lama is meaningless. 

15. hardship practice can even achieve rareness. 


Photo: Great Yogi Milarepa.

16. If any thought of eight worldly dharma arises, I will suicide. If any thought of seeking comfort arises, may Dikinis take my life? ( Jetsun Milarepa's commitment when staying at a retreat alone

17. In the strict retreat, where no humans and dogs exist, there is a lamp, a sign of quick success in spiritual practice.

18. My body looks like a skeleton, even my enemies; when they see me, they will shed tears. 

19. Right now, you are rich and famous, and it's a good thing, but did you ever think that when you die, you have nothing? 

20. If mind and body are attached at the time of death, why do the mind and body separate? If mind and body are divided, why does the mind suffer when the body gets sick? 

21. If you don't practice Buddha Dharma, saying I understand is deceiving. 

22. Generally, Lay people's devotion is in the mouth, and Yogi's is in the heart. 

23. To practice Buddha Dharma, you should start washing your mind instead of cleaning your face. 

24. If you want to practice Buddha Dharma,  you have to take all the good qualities of Samsara as a fault. All the obstacles you get in Samsara as a friend on the path to enlightenment.

25. Constantly thinking about Death will conquer laziness. 

26. If not practicing the orally transmitted instructions from Lama, staying in a retreat place is like making unhappiness for your own. 

27. Like that river, practice Dharma continuously. 

28. If you don't realize that everything is a projection of your mind, even conquering the world of Brahma has no happiness. 

Maha Siddha Gotsangpa Gonpo Dorje

1. Devotion is the root of Buddha's Dharma.

2. Let go of this life, stay at the lowest like a beggar, and take everything above your head. 

10. Sakyapa School Yogis

Maha Siddha Sachen Kunga Nyingpo

Maha Siddha Drakpa Gyaltsen 

Maha Siddha Sakya Pandita

1. You must stay alone to attain Siddhi. 

2. What's the point of leaving the hometown and not following an Authentic Lama?

3. Not practicing the teachings of Buddha, what's the point of only hearing the teachings? 

4. At the time of death, other than Buddha's Dharma, nothing can help. 

5. I have heard that attaining a precious human body is complex. I have heard that it's hard to find an Authentic Lama. I have heard that you have to leave everything and go. I have heard that Samsara is suffering. I have heard that Nirvana is happiness. 

6. I am not a person with merits, but having attained the human body and Buddha Dharma prevailed on the world happened simultaneously. The moment I left my hometown and found an Authentic Lama happened at the same time, and the moment I saw the sufferings of Sentient Beings, great compassion arose from my heart, and it occurred at the same time. 

7. Humans are preparing for their whole life, but they haven't prepared for the next life.

8. Seeking your enlightenment is meaningless when all Sentient Beings are our mothers. Mothers are suffering, and it's sad to seek your happiness. 

9. Intoxicants are the source of losing awareness. Meat is the source of losing compassion. Women are the source of losing reputation. 

10. The leading Dharma practice is to let go of worldly deeds; even if you didn't attain Siddhi, there is nothing to regret. 

11. Put your mind on the Buddha Dharma; even if you are born in hell, there is nothing to regret.  

12. Put your whole life on the Buddha Dharma; even if death comes, there is nothing to regret.

13. To acquire merit, you must take the vow; even if your friends are unhappy, there is nothing to regret.

14. You have to do things that are not regretful; even if others talk bad about you, there is nothing to regret. 

15. If you cling to this life, you are not a Buddha Dharma Practitioner. 

16. You have no renunciation if you cling to the three realms.

17. If you cling to self-interest, you are not a Bodhisattva. 

18. If grasping arises, it is not the view.

Jetsun Tsongkhapa

19. Even though there are many stars, the moment the sun comes, they can't shine. Even though there are many scholars, the moment Buddha comes, they can't be known. 

11. Kadampa Gelug School

Maha Siddha Atisha

Maha Siddha Dromtonpa

Maha Siddha Potowa

Maha Siddha Langri Tangpa

Maha Siddha Tsongkhapa

Maha Siddha Lamrinpa

1. If you are looking for enlightenment from the bottom of your heart, you should start following a monk who has taken a vow instead of pursuing a scholar without discipline and a vow. 

Instead of following a scholar who talks about Buddha Dharma all the time, you should start pursuing one who practices Buddha Dharma all the time.

Instead of following a scholar who seats or chooses higher seats, you should pursue a scholar who stays at the lowest. 

Instead of following a scholar with wisdom but no devotion, you should start pursuing a scholar with intense devotion. 

Not understanding the Buddha's Dharma is not the problem; the problem is following a person who does things against the Buddha's Dharma.

2. We are born alone; we will die alone; there is no friend in Samsara. 

3. No desire is a monk. No selfishness is a Bodhisattva. No entertainment is a Siddha.

4. Have no hatred for enemies and no attachment to friends.

5. Having deep trust in Karma is more precious than seeing the face of the Yidam Deity. 

6. Whenever Maha Siddha Atisha meets someone, instead of asking how you are, He will always question, do you have a kind mind today? 

7. When Maha Siddha Atisha once had a headache, he asked his disciple Maha Siddha Dromtonpa to bless him by putting his hand on Maha Siddha Atisha's head. Later, a disciple wondered that there had never been a disciple giving a blessing to Guru; why did Guru ask that of disciple Dromtonpa? After hearing that, Maha Siddha Atisha said: Because Dromtonpa has a kind, compassionate mind, I have requested a blessing. This shows that a kind, compassionate mind is very precious. 

8. If you don't envy worldly achievement, you are a Buddha Dharma Practitioner. 

9. It is essential to let go of this life; I say it three times because the key to practicing the Buddha Dharma is right there. 

10. Take the cause and effect as precious as one's life. 

11. Don't attach to this life; practice Buddha Dharma; there is nothing else you need to do.

12. Don't practice Buddha Dharma for fame.

13. Choose the uncomfortable path. 

14. If something happens to you, and you don't like it, then stop doing such things to others.

15. How happy we are to be practicing Buddha Dharma from our mouths, but how much more wonderful it would be if we were practicing Buddha Dharma from the bottom of our hearts.

16. Whenever I see someone, I think of their suffering, and instead of laughing, I feel like crying.

17. Your problem is your path. 

18. To become a better spiritual person, you need to evolve a person first; that is the key.

19. The reason for us not to get liberated and bound to Samsara is the attachment.

Tibetan Yogis Guru Rinpoche

20. If you have a kind mind, everything will be kind. If you have an unkind mind, everything will be unfriendly. Everything is related to your mind, so do your best to have a kind mind.

12. Nyingmapa School Yogis

Maha Siddha Padmasambhava

Maha Siddha Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal

Maha Siddha Jigme Lingpa 

Maha Siddha Dza Patrul

1. Taking refuge and keeping vows are the roots of Buddha Dharma Practice.

2. My realization is higher than the sky, but my observance of Karma is finer than grains of flour.

3. The eagle flying high in the sky should not forget that it should come down one day to see its shadow.

4. To help others, you should first aid yourself. 

5. When you realize that Samsara is suffering, you should find an authentic Lama for liberation. Knowing that life is impermanent, you should diligently practice Buddha Dharma.

6. The best offering to Guru is the offering of practicing Buddha Dharma. 

7. May I never be deluded by worldly expectations.

8. Je Padmasambhava, Je Garab Dorje, Je Shiri Sing ha, Je Milarepa, Je Rechungpa, and Je Gampopa, all these great Maha Siddha have attained realization because of dwelling in the cave. 

9. I am the child of white Loin; a Fox cannot wander in the snow. 

10. The root of Vajrayana is the Samaya. (Taking vow)

11. The lowest place is the seat of the Maha Siddha's in the past.

Despite lacking merit, I find joy in hearing the names of these Yogis and reading their biographies. I hope that all sentient beings develop bodhicitta through the merit of hearing their precious name.

As someone with limited knowledge, writing about a figure of such mastery intimidates me. 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. Vajradhara Khenno!

Thank you for staying until the end. Also, check out my beginner's guide on becoming a Vajrayana Yogi. If you have any feedback, leave a comment. I would greatly appreciate it.

Written By :Tenzin

Jan 30, 2023


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