Thursday, February 20, 2020

The 10th Mahasiddha Manibhadra, one of the famous 84 Mahasiddhas

Manibhadra was the daughter of a wealthy family in Agarce. As was their custom, she was engaged at the age of 13 to a man of her own caste, but lived with her parents until old enough to take up her wifely duties. 

One day, while in her mother’s kitchen, the guru Kukkuripa came to her house begging for food. She welcomed him and served him with her own hands, then asked why he chose to be as he is now and not lead a comfortable life with a family. At that, the yogin laughed and explained the preciousness of a human birth as an opportunity to make spiritual progress and to free himself from the wheel of rebirth. Manibhadra’s faith was kindled and her trust of the yogin made her beg for him to show her the way to liberation. The yogin told her she could find him in the cremation grounds if she wanted more information, which was what she did that night.

Although she had never gone out alone at night, she walked fearlessly through the streets to the cremation ground, and when she came upon the yogin’s hut, he welcomed her in. Recognizing the maturity of her mind and her sincerity, he gave her initiation and empowerment. Then he instructed her in the practice of creative and fulfillment meditation. She remained in his hut alone for 7 days while she established herself in the practice of her sadhanas. 

However, when she was nowhere to be found, her family grew frantic, and when she finally returned, her parents beat her. With great calm, she defended herself stating that pure bloodline and fine reputation would not free her from samsara, and she had been with her guru, who taught her how to practice a sadhana of liberation. At that, her parents were so impressed that they didn’t argue any further; on top of that, they allowed her to practice her sadhanas one-pointedly.

A year passed and it was time for her fiancé to claim his bride. The family was worried she would not fulfill her obligations, but she accompanied her husband to her new home with no complaint or resistance. She became a model wife, doing all and more than what was expected of her with a good attitude. In time, she gave birth to a son, and later, a daughter.

Twelve years passed in perfect harmony, and on the 13th anniversary of meeting with her guru, a tree root tripped her, causing her to break the water pitcher she was carrying. For the rest of the day, she was nowhere to be seen. Her family searched for her and eventually found her at the place she fell. When her husband spoke to her, she seemed totally unaware of his presence; she only had her eyes fixed on the broken bits of the pitcher.

Manibhadra remained immobile and silent until nightfall. Then she looked up, surprised to see so many people gathered around her. She then sang a song of realization:

From the beginning of time, sentient beings
Have broken their vessels, and their lives end.
But why do they then return home?
Today, I have broken my vessel.
But I am abandoning my samsara home
For the realms of pure pleasure.
How wonderful is the guru
If you desire happiness, rely on him.

Manibhadra ascended into the sky and remained there for 21 days, giving instruction to the people of Agarce. Then she bid farewell to her family and friends, and was assumed bodily into the Paradise of the Dakinis.