Friday, February 7, 2020

3) Mahasiddha Vyalipa: “The Courtesan’s Alchemist” (one of the 84 mahasiddhas (Duthop Gabchu Ja Zhi)

Vyali was a very wealthy Brahmin, obsessed with immortality. He began to practice alchemy to discover the secret to eternal life, and at much material expense, he bought a rare alchemical manual and all the needed ingredients listed. He prepared the elixir carefully, however, he was still lacking one ingredient of which, without it the potion is useless. In fury and now penniless after 13 years of worthless pursue, he throw the manual into Mother Ganga, and became a wandering beggar.

One day, while begging, he met a courtesan and a conversation formed. She told him that she found a book while she was bathing in the river. When she showed the book to Vyali, he laughed uncontrollably as it was the very book he threw away and he told her of his tale. The courtesan, desperate to preserve her beauty, begged the yogin to continue his research and offered him 30 pounds of gold as an incentive. He accepted her offer and began formulating the potion once again, but still lack the one crucial ingredient, the red myrobalan.

Another miraculous event took place again while the courtesan bathed in Mother Ganga. A beautiful red flower floating down the river wrapped itself around one of her fingers. She didn’t notice it until she went hopefully to check Vyali’s progress and when she shook the flower off her finger, a drop of nectar fell into the potion and the air was filled with miraculous signs – a wheel of 8 auspicious symbols spinning clockwise appeared in the sky over their heads.

Out of greed, they both agreed to never tell anyone of the potion, and after conducting tests on the potion’s safety; they toasted each other’s eternal life and drank the potion. Instantly they achieved mundane siddhi and the power of deathlessness. 

However, they were still selfish and when they ascended into the heavens the gods rejected them. So the two immortals went to live in the land of Kilampara where they made their home in the shade of a lone tree on top of a rock one mile high.

Possessing the power of flight, Arya Nagarjuna vowed to recover the secret of immortality, which was stolen from all mankind. Cleverly, he removed one of his shoes before taking to the air. When he arrived at the top rock, he prostrated himself to the mortal pair. They were startled to see him and desired his power of flight. When they questioned Nagarjuna on his remarkable gift, he told them it was the power of the one shoe he was wearing. Vyali then offered to trade him the recipe of the elixir of life for the remarkable shoe. The barter done, Nagarjuna returned to India with the precious formula. However, the secret of flight is still unknown to Vyali and the courtesan.

To this very day, he continues his practice for the sake of all sentient beings on top of Sri Parvata Mountain. And to those who find the path to realization, he grants the secret of the magic elixir of life.

Continue to 4 Mahasiddha

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