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Tibetan: Mar pa | Biographical Details
Marpa Chokyi Lodro, Translator (1012-1096 [P2636]): founder of one of the two schools named Kagyu (the Oral Tradition) in Tibetan Buddhism. Marpa's tradition was called Kagyu and after him was called Marpa Kagyu to differentiate the tradition from the unrelated Shangpa Kagyu founded by Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor.
Marpa's most famous student was Milarepa, but probably his most beloved student was Dharmadode. (See a Milarepa: Teachers & Students Outline).
The Important Questions:
The important questions relating to Marpa Chokyi Lodro are those concerning the meaning of a teacher and student, the concepts of lineage and school/tradition, etc. The most important are listed below. These questions can apply to any Tibetan Buddhist teacher.
1. Who were his teachers?
2. Who were his students?
3. What are his lineages, received & continued?
4. How many lineages are there?
5. What are some examples of his lineages?
6. What are the differences between his lineages and his school/tradition?
7. What are the primary extent lineages today?
8. How do we understand his school/tradition today?
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Jeff Watt [updated 6-2017, 2-2018, 1-2020]