Kagyu

From Academic Kids

The Kagyu (Wylie transliteration: Bka' brgyud/Bka'-brgyud) school (known as the Oral Lineage and the Spotless Practice Lineage school) is one of four major schools (Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug) of tibetan buddhism (vajrayana).

Contents

Origins

The Kagyu school traces its origins to the teachings of the Indian mystics Tilopa (988-1089) and Naropa (1016-1100), whose lineage was transmitted in Tibet by the great translator Marpa (1012-1097). He took over the mahamudra (great seal)-transmissionlineage from Naropa. Moreover Marpa studied with the Indian Masters Maitripa and Kukuripa. On his third journey to India he met Atisha (982-1054) and studied the teachings of the early Kadampa-masters. Marpa spend 17 years in India and is known as one of the great translators of the second translation-periode. Marpas principal disciple was Milarepa (1052-1135), arguably one of Tibet's best known religious poets and meditators. Among Milarepa's many students was Gampopa (1079-1153), a great scholar, who can be recognized as the real founder of Kagyu as a distinct School of Tibetan Buddhism and Rechungpa, a later known Terton who spread the lifestory of Milarepa. Following Gampopa's teachings, there evolved the so-called "Four Major" and from Gampopas disciple Phagmogrupa the "Eight Minor" lineages of the Kagyu School.

Four Major Schools

  • Barom Kagyu, founded by Barompa Darma Wangtschug
  • Pagru Kagyu, founded by Pagmo Drupa Dorje Gyalpo
  • Karma Kagyu(Kamtsang-Kagyu), founded by the first Karmapa Je Dusum Khyenpa
  • Tsalpa Kagyu, founded by Zangyu Dragpa Darma Drag (Shang Rinpoche) (1121-1193)

Eight Minor Schools

  • Drikung Kagyu
  • Drukpa Kagyu
  • Hugreb Kagyu
  • Krophu Kagyu
  • Taklung Kagyu
  • Trubo Kagyu
  • Yabzang Kagyu
  • Yelpa Kagyu

Some of these "minor schools" are not wide spread today.

Another Kagyu-Lineage is the lineage called

  • Shangpa Kagyu which traces its origins back to Niguma, a relative of Naropa.

Teachings

The central teaching of Kagyu is the doctrine of Mahamudra, or "the Great Seal", as elucidated by Gampopa in his various works. This doctrine focuses on four principal stages of meditative practice (the Four Yogas of Mahamudra), namely:

  • The development of single-pointedness of mind,
  • The transcendence of all conceptual elaboration,
  • The cultivation of the perspective that all phenomena are of a "single taste",
  • The fruition of the path, which is beyond any contrived acts of meditation.

It is through these four stages of development that the practitioner is said to attain the perfect realization of Mahamudra. Important practices in all kagyu-schools are the tantric practices of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi.

See also

fr:Lignée Kagyupa pl:Kagyu

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