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Sunday, 23 December 2012

On the samapradAya of nIla paTa-s - 2

"Fortunately, another description of this cult from the nikAya samgraha of simhala (Ceylon) has been recovered by sri Rahul Sankrityayan. This story too is from a period slightly earlier to that of bhoja. It is said that during rAjA matabalasena's  reign (846-866 CE), a bhikshu from parvata nikAya came to simhala and settled down in vIrAnkura vihAra. Under his influence, the king accepted vajriya (vajrAyana) mata. This led to the propagation of grantha-s like ratnakUTa etc in lankA. After this, the king did display strictness towards vajriya-s but due to these sidhantA-s remaining secretive, they survived. Rahul-ji says that the reason for the blue colored jacket like clothing, seen below the chIvara of Indian bhikshu-s such as AtishA (dIpankara shrIgyAna), in the colored photographs from Tibet, is mentioned in nikAya samgraha as -- during the reign of kumAradAsa in simhala, a king named shrI harsha ruled in southern mathurA. It was then, when a robed bhikshu of sammitIya nikAya, wearing a blue cloth, visited a veshyA's house. In the morning, he returned late. When the shiShya-s of vihAra asked him about the cloth, he elaborated on the mahimA of that nIla vastra. Since then, his shiShya-s adopted the blue cloth. It is said in nIlapaTadArshana that only veshyA, surA and kAma are the real gems, all else are pieces of glass. Clearly the mata of nIlapaTadarshani-s, which is elaborated in purAtana prabandha, is similar to this. If one pays attention to the description of Rahul-ji, one would discover that they were releated to vajrayAni-s. It is worth noting that the bhikshu-s of sammitIya nikAya which are discussed above, have had major contribution in the establishment of mahAyAna mata (gangA puratatvAnka). This nIla paTa sampradAya, if at all it was related to vajrayAna, was surely very powerful and its literature can't exactly be termed as lost."

-translated from madhyakAlIn dharma sAdhnA by sri hazAri prasAda dwivedI.

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