Indian Adept: Avadhutipa

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The Indian mahasiddha Avadhutipa was a non-Buddhist King that was subdued and converted by the mahasiddha Damarupa. Animal sacrifice in the kingdom was stopped and the king took up the practice of the Buddhist religiopn. He renounced his kingdom and practiced a path free from extremes and became known as Avadhutipa; spending his time playing in the streets with the children of the kingdom. He is famous for transmitting the Margapala (Path Together with the Result) teachings to the Indian Pandita Gayadhara. Avadhutipa is 6th in the list of lineage teachers. The Margapala is known in Tibetan as the 'Lamdre' and primarily but not exclusively associated with the Hevajra Tantra and Vajra Verse commentary by the Mahasiddha Virupa.

Avadhutipa is not typically ever depicted alone. All sculpture and paintings of the mahasiddha belong to much larger sets of figures depicting all of the Lineage teachers of the Lamdre Tradition. There are verses of praise directed to Avadhutipa but there are no Guruyoga practices or rituals focused directly on him as the central subject.

The term 'avadhutipa' or 'awadhutipa' refers to a mendicant, someone who has given up all worldly goods and concerns. It is intended as a title but come to also be used as a name by a number of different Indian mahasiddhas. (See the glossary of Titles & Honorifics).

Lamdre Lineage List:
1. Vajradhara
2. Vajra Nairatmya
3. Virupa (837-909 approx.)
4. Kanhapa
5. Damarupa
6. Avadhutipa
7. Gayadhara (994-1043)
8. Drogmi Lotsawa (992-1072)
9. Others.....

Iconography: Avadhutipa is typically shown in 'siddha appearance', in a seated posture with the legs loose, sometimes with one knee raised. He often has the right arm extended across the knee and the hand in a slight gesture of pointing with the fingers. The left hand can hold a skull bowl. Alternately the posture can be reversed and the skull bowl absent. He can wear either bone ornaments, jewelry or flowers, or any combination of the three depending on the skill and preference of the artist. In the Hevajra Tradition, and based on descriptions of 'heruka' appearance in the Hevajra Tantra text, flowers are stipulated as appropriate adornment to indicate an anti-social, anti-caste system behaviour.

Jeff Watt 8-2001 [updated 12-2012]