The Mahasiddhas

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             Vajradhara with 84 Mahasiddhas (Nyingma)

In the above image, associated with the Nyingma "Long Transmission" lineage, the central figure, Great Vajradhara, is flanked by bodhisattvas Sukhanatha and Ratnamati.

  •  Collection of related images at

  •  Gorakhpur, City of 84 Mahasiddhas: online article at Levenkunst (the art of life)  [please paste into your own Search engine]

  • Historical and social context:  Introduction to Masters of Mahamudra, Keith Dowman, 1984.

Kagyu Transmission

According to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, (Toronto, Aug 2009) the 84 male and female Mahasiddhas are direct emanations of Vajradhara, just as expressed by the Mahamudra lineage prayer.   Some, such as Tilopa, Naropa, Nagarjuna and a few others, are considered of greater accomplishment than the rest.

  • Series of initiation cards (Tib. tsakli) courtesy Shechen Archives at  Taranatha (b. 1575) states that the set had been  produced especially for Takten, later known as Ganden, Monastery.

These Mahasiddhas can be invoked through ritual practice and by recitation of mantra as a group or individually after empowerment and instruction from a lineage master.  Visualized* as a great lotus, they display as sets:





1.   Luipa 9. Goraksha
2.   Lilapa 10. Chaurangipa
3.   Birupa (Virupa) 11. Vinapa
4.   Dombi Heruka 12. Shantipa
5.   Shavaripa 13. Tantipa
6.   Saraha 14. Chamaripa
7.   Kankarepa 15. Khadgapa
8.   Minapa 16. Nagarjuna


17. Kaneha (Krishnacharya)
    18. Kamaripa (Aryadeva)
    19. Taganapa
    20. Naropa
    21. Shyalipa
    22. Tilopa
    23. Chatrapa
    24. Bhadrapa








25. Dukhandipa 45. Kamparipa 65. Manibhadra
  Ajokipa   Jalandhara   Mekhala
  Kalapa   Rahula   Kanakhala
  Dhobipa   Dharmapa (Gharbari)   Kilakilapa
  Kankanapa   Dhokaripa   Kantalipa
  Kambala  (Lavapa)   Medhini   Dhahulipa
  Dengipa   Pankajapa   Udhilipa
  Bhandepa   Ghantapa   Kapalapa
  Tantepa   Jogipa   Kirapalapa
  Kukkuripa   Chelukapa   Sakara
  Kuchipa   Godhuripa   Sarvabhaksa
  Dhamapa   Luchikapa   Nagabodhi
  Mahipa   Nirgunapa   Darikapa
  Achinta   Jayananda   Putalipa
  Babhaha   Pacharipa   Pahanapa
  Nalinapa   Champaka   Kokilipa
  Bhusuku (Shantideva)   Bhikshanapa   Anangapa
  Indrabhuti   Dhilipa   Lakshminkara


  Kotalipa   Charbaripa   Vyalipa


Are There Any More?

Khenpo Tsultrim . . . asked if there were still mahasiddhas in India to[da]y . . .  replied that he thought so.  He told a story about a contemporary Indian man whose wife was sick. He met a yogi and asked him to cure his wife. The yogi cut some flesh from a corpse, wrapped it in a cloth and told the man not to open it until he was at his wife's bedside. When he arrived there, he opened the cloth and inside was a flower with a beautiful scent [which] . . . cured his wife's disease.  ~ Bernie Simon's blog, "The Careless Hand,"  May 28/09 entry. 

*visualized:   This is a higher tantric practice.  It is taught only through direct transmission.  Therefore the stages, steps and details are not revealed here. 


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