Mañjuśrīmitra (‘Jam bPal bShes gNyen) was born in a brahman family in the city of Dvikrama to the west of Bodhgaya in India. His father was Sadhushastri, and his mother was Pradipaloka. He became a scholar of all the five scholarly fields.
In a pure vision, Manjushri gave him this prophetic advice: “O son of good family, if you want to attain the result of Buddhahood in this very life, go to the Shitvana charnel ground.” Mañjuśrīmitra went there are received teachings from Prahevajra for seventy-five years. Prehevajra told him:
The nature of mind is Buddha from the beginning.
Mind, like space, has no birth or cessation.
Having perfectly realized the meaning of the oneness of all phenomena,
to remain in it, without seeking, is the meditation.
Mañjuśrīmitra realized the meaning of Prahevajra’s teaching and expressed his realization to him:
I am Mañjuśrīmitra.
I have attained the accomplishment of Yamantaka.
I have realized the great equalness of samsara and nirvana.
All-knowing primordial wisdom is arisen in me.
When Prahevajra attained nirvana in the midst of wondrous signs, Mañjuśrīmitra beheld Prahevajra in the sky in the midst of a mass of light, and he uttered his lament:
Alas, alack, alas! O Vast Expanse!
If the light of the teacher’s lamp is obscured,
Who will dispel the darkness of the world?
From the mass of light with the sound of a thunderclap came a golden casket the size of a thumbnail. In the air the casket circumambulated Mañjuśrīmitra thrice. Then it descended into the palm of his right hand. Upon opening it, he found the testament of Prahevajra, Three Words that Penetrate the Essence, written in blue malachite liquid on a leaf made of five precious substances. Just by seeing it he attained a realization equal to that of Prahevajra. Then Mañjuśrīmitra classified the 6,400,000 verses of Dzogpa Chenpo into the three categories (sDe):
- The teachings that emphasize the way the mind “dwells” he categorized as Semde
- The teachings that emphasize freedom from efforts he categorized as Longde
- The teachings that emphasize the essential points he categorized as Me-ngagde
Manjushrimitra divided Nyingthig, the most extraordinary teachings of Me-ngagde into two groups:
- The teachings of the oral transmission (sNyan rGyud)
- The expository tantras (bShad rGyud)
He noted down in writing the teachings of the oral transmission. But for the expository tantras, he found no worthy disciple to whom he could pass them on, so he concealed them in a boulder marked with a crossed dorje (vajra) to the northeast of Bodhgaya,
He spent one hundred and nine years at the Sosavipa charnel ground west of Bodhgaya, remaining in contemplation, practicing esoteric disciplines with countless dakinis, and giving them teachings. There he transmitted Dzogpa Chenpo teachings to Shrisimha.
At the end of his life, amid wondrous signs, sounds, rays, and lights, he dissolved into the radiant body. Because of the devotional prayers of Shrisimha, the testament of Mañjuśrīmitra, Gom-nyam Trukpa (The Six Experiences of Meditation) descended into the hands of Shrisimha. It includes these lines:
O son of good family! If you wish to see the continuity of the naked absolute awareness,
[a] seek the object of awareness [clear sky]
[b] press the points of the body [by posture],
[c] close the way of going and coming [breathing],
[d] focus on the target [ultimate sphere],
[e] rely on the unmoving [of body, eyes, and awareness], and
[f] hold the vast space [the nature of awareness itself].
Masters Shrisimha and Buddhajnana are the disciples of Mañjuśrīmitra and some even think that they may be the same person.
Later on, Mañjuśrīmitra was reborn by lotus birth at a place called Serkyi Metok Ki Gyenpe Ling (Island Arrayed with Golden Flowers) in western India and became known as “the later Mañjuśrīmitra”. He gave the teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo to Guru Padmasambhava and master Aryadeva.
This biography is from Masters of Meditation and Miracles.