Crazy wisdom, also known as holy madness, is a manifestation of certain spiritual adepts where they behave in unconventional, outrageous, or unexpected fashion. It is considered to be a universal aspect of spiritual communication, in which the adept employs esoteric and seemingly unspiritual methods to awaken an observer's consciousness.[1]

Though associated mainly with Buddhism and Hinduism, it has parallels in others religions, such as the Fools for Christ in Christianity, and the Sufis in Islam.[2][3]

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition it is known as yeshe chölwa, and is held to be one of the manifestations of a siddha[4] or a mahasiddha. Teachers such as the eighty four mahasiddhas, Marpa, Milarepa and Drukpa Kunley (also known as the Divine Madman) are associated with this type of behavior.[5]


  1. The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice By Georg Feuerstein; p25
  2. Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality By John Horgan; p53
  3. The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 By Melvin McLeod; p158-165
  4. "Chögyam Trungpa as a Siddha" by Reginald Ray, in Recalling Chögyam Trungpa By Fabrice Midal; p204
  5. Mad and Divine: Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World By Sudhir Kakar; p41

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