Saraha, Saraha poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry,  poetry,  poetry,  poetry Saraha
India (8th Century) Timeline

Poems by Saraha
Books - Links

Saraha was born to a Brahmin family in Bengal when Buddhism was strongly supported by the court of the region. Saraha became a Buddhist monk and a noted scholar. However, he was expelled from his monastic order, some stories say for drinking alcohol.

He took to the life of a mendicant, a solitary spiritual wanderer. He became the disciple of a Buddhist master of Tantra and Kundalini practices.

Eventually Saraha met a young woman. She was of the low arrowsmith caste. He watched her intently forming each arrow, her gaze steady and not wandering to the left or the right. Saraha saw these actions symbolic of nondual awareness.

This woman shared similar spiritual aspirations, and the two were married. The couple travelled to holy locations, and cemeteries (considered good places for meditation and confronting the reality of death in the Tantric tradition). Since he could no longer support himself as a begging holy man, Saraha took up the trade of his wife's caste -- an arrowsmith. The name Saraha, in fact, refers to the making of arrows (or, more esoterically, it can be translated as "one who aims through the heart of duality").

The couple meditated deeply together and, it is said, they attained enlightenment together.

As a "fallen" monk, however, Saraha was denounced before the royal court. In his defense, Saraha recited a series of spontaneous realization songs, The Three Cycles of Doha. These songs became famous throughout Bengal, and he was widely acclaimed to be a legitimately realized sage.

Saraha began the Buddhist lineage that led to Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa.

Poems by Saraha

Recommended Books: Saraha

Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha The Tantra Experience: Discourses on the Royal Song of Saraha Ecstatic Spontaneity: Saraha's Three Cycles of Doha

Related Links

Dharma Fellowship: The Great Yogi Saraha

A good biography of Saraha online.

Metahistory - Alignment

A brief look at Saraha the arrowsmith as a metaphor for alignment in spiritual practice.

Saraha's Dohakosa'sDohakosa.htm

A translation of Saraha's masterpiece of Buddhist Tantra yoga, The Dohakosa.

Saraha's Royal Song

Another good translation of Saraha's Dohakosa. Requires signup.

Tantra Vision of the Royal Song of Saraha

Osho's commentary on Saraha's Royal Song and Tantra.