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The land of Immortality
The land of Immortality
The sacred cave of Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava
Tashi Deleg! Maratika cave, in eastern Nepal, is the sacred place where Guru Padmasambhava and princess Mandarava accomplished the state of immortal awareness holder (chimey rigzin).
In the wisdom tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Maratika is counted among the six most holy places of our world.
Introduction and Historical Background
Maratika or ‘Chi ba mthar byed’ in Tibetan means “eliminates from death”, and is known as Halesi or “literally astonishing”. The place is rich in history, mythology and sacred geology despite its great isolation, it is a major holy place for both Buddhists and Hindus. For Tibetan Buddhists in particular, it is the site of immortality, one of the six supreme pilgrimage sites in the world. It is the place where the great master, the second Buddha Padmasambhava and Dakini Mandarava obtained the realization of immortal life. Maratika was also blessed by the family of three protectors Manjushri, Vajrapani and Avalokitesavara. For many years the sacred caves of Maratika have been a very important pilgrimage destination for Buddhist seeking to engage in the long life practices. Due to its historical connection with Padmasambhava the Lotus Born Guru, and the family of the three protectors, it is particularly sacred within the Rime or Non Sectarian movement in Tibetan Buddhism in general and within the Vajrajana vehicle in particular.
Maratika Chimey Takten Choling monastery belong to the Nyingmapa sect of the Tibetan Buddhism.
The Nyingma school, also called Nyingmapa, is the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It was established in Tibet during the reign of the Emperor Trisong Detsen (742-797 CE), who brought the Tantric masters Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava to Tibet to teach and to found the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet.
Buddhism had been introduced to Tibet in 641 CE, when the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng became the bride of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The princess brought with her a statue of the Buddha, the first in Tibet, which today is enshrined in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Venerable Ngawang Chophel Gyatso was born in the Water Dog year of the fourteen cycle 1922, on the tenth day of the fourth month, to Tsering Dorje from the Salaka Clan of the Thimipa Lineage in Solokhumbu, Nepal.
He entered Buddhism from childhood and studied with many great masters including Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Kyabje Rongphu Sangye Rinpoche, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, and Kyabje Dungse Thin Lhen Norbu Rinpoche.
He spent more than twenty one years in solitary retreats in Nepal, Tibet and India. He became one of the great practitioners of Buddhism of this century and later was one of the main disciples of Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche.