king himself went in search of enough gold to meet the expenses of
inviting this master from India."
Dalai Lama, The Way to Freedom,
Realizing that India was the source of the practice of sutra and tantra,
the king sent twenty intelligent students from Tibet to study in India
with the idea that they would return and clarify the teachings for
Tibetans. Many of them died on the way, but two returned and reported to
the king that in India the practice of sutra and tantra was undertaken
without any difficulties between them. They found the great master, Atisha,
at the monastery of Vikramashila in Bengal. Atisha, these students felt,
was the one who could help Tibet.
The king himself went in search of enough gold to meet the expenses of
inviting this master from India, but he was captured by a king who was
hostile to Buddhism. He was given the choice between his life and his
search for the Dharma. When he refused to give up his search, he was
imprisoned. His nephew tried to rescue him, but the king said, "You
should not bother about me. Do not waste a single gold coin on my ransom.
Use all the gold to invite Atisha from India."
The nephew did not obey his uncle and eventually offered the king’s
weight in gold as ransom. But the kidnapper refused it, saying the nephew
had brought gold equal only to the weight of his uncle’s body, but not
enough for his head. He refused to release the prisoner until he had
brought more gold. The nephew then told his uncle what had happened.
"If I wage a war to rescue you," the nephew explained,
"there will be great bloodshed. So I will try to collect the gold for
your head. Please pray that I will be successful."
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