The following is the text presented along with the statue of Tilopa to Dharma Rajika Buddhist Monastery in Dhaka, Bangladesh today by the Bhutan delegation who participated inthe 136th Inter-parliamentary Union.
Tilopa was one of the greatest Mahasiddhas, who was born in Chativavo (Chittagong) in Bangladesh. His father was Pranyasha and mother, Kazhi. He lived from 988 – 1069 AD. He is also known as Prajna Vadra or Sherub Zangpo.
His teachers included the great masters like Saraha, Nagarjuna and Matangi. But it is said that he received the full mahamudra and vajrayana teachings directly from Buddha Vajradhara or Dorje Chang.
Tilopa’ foremost student was Naropa, who lived from 1016-1110 AD. Naropa’s student was the great Tibetan translator Marpa (1012-1097) and his student, the greatest Tibetan yogi Milarepa (1040-1123 AD). The Kagyu school of Buddhism that Milarepa founded is also known as Marpa Kagyu.
The Kagyu School or more specifically, Drukpa Kagyu School is one of the two popular schools of Buddhism in Bhutan. This school constitutes the State’s monastic community. It traces its origins directly to the Mahasiddha Tilopa through students like Milarepa, Marpa and Naropa.
Tilopa never visited Bhutan. Nor did the great master Atisha Dipankar. But another great Bengali Buddhist master called Drubthob Ngagi Rinchen or Vana Ratna visited Bhutan in the 14th century. He spent sometime in Punakha valley and built the holy temple called Dzongchung as well as the image of Buddha enshrined inside it in 1328.
Hence Mahasiddha Tilopa and Drubthob Ngagi Rinchen provide the most important historical and Buddhist link between Bhutan and Bangladesh. This sacred image of Tilopa is being presented to Dharma Rajika monastery to honour our historical, religious and contemporary relationship. It has been consecrated and blessed by His Holiness The Je Khenpo, Trulku Jigme Choeda, the Supreme Abbot of Bhutan.
Presented by Dr. Sonam Kinga, Chairperson of National Council, Parliament of Bhutan and the Bhutanese Delegation on 8th April 2017.