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Atisha was a Indian teacher of Buddhism who re-established Buddhism in Tibet.

Decline of Dharma in Tibet

Prior to Atisha's arrival in Tibet, there were majors problems with the people of Tibet receiving pure Dharma. King Langdarma had fearlessly suppressed Dharma in Tibet. There were conflicts between students of the Vinaya and students of Tantra. Many subscribed to the name of Vinaya or Tantra but few knew more than the basic teachings.

Lha Lama Yeshi Yod's Precious Gift

King Lha Lama, a student of the Dharma, was saddened by the lack of pure Dharma in Tibet. He sent Gyatsundru Singhe to India to find the best Teacher for Tibet. Gyatsundru Singhe found no teacher who could surpass Atisha but he was unable to bring Atisha to Tibet.

The King of Garlog did not want Buddhism in Tibet and he realized that King Lha Lama's perseverance was strong and that the Dharma would once again flourish in Tibet. The King of Garlog decided that unless King Lha Lama was imprisoned he would succeed. The King of Garlog sent out the request for King Lha Lama's capture. King Lha Lama was captured.

Jangchub Yod, Lha Lama's nephew, heard of his uncle's capture and gathered a hundred horsemen in order to free his uncle. Jangchub Yob quickly realized that many men would die if he fought for his uncle's freedom. Jangchub Yod had to pay a ransom for his uncle's freedom. The King of Garlog demanded Lha Lama's weight in gold. However when Jangchub offered Lha Lama's weight in gold, the King of Garlog refused.

Jangchub Yod cried to his uncle through the prison gates. He asked his uncle what should he do. His uncle said that it was better for him to die in the prison than to sacrifice bringing Dharma back to Tibet. Lha Lama told his nephew to take all the gold to India and bring Atisha to Tibet. Lha Lama later died in his prison.


[Biography of Atisha]

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