Naro Chödrug

11th century
Tib., na-ro-chos-drug

Sometimes known as the Six Dharmas of Mahamudra, this is the Tibetan name for the major teachings and texts by Naropa (1016-1100), the famous Mahasiddhas. His Six Doctrines (or Yogas), belong to the spiritual heritage of Vajrayana, and are disseminated especially by the Shangpa (Kagyud) and Rimed schools.

Some of the teachings in this work are similar or identical with those of the seventh century, Bön-influenced Bardo Thödol, some are gleaned from the Kalachakra Tantra (ca. 750), and again others belong to the Inner Tantras and are thus connected to Dzogchen. The work contains theoretical and practical teachings concerning the following practices and resulting abilities:

  1. Heat Yoga (Skt., candali; Tib., gtum-mo, "fierce, wrathful"); the generation of psychic heat
  2. Illusory Body Yoga (Skt., mayadeha; Tib., sgyu-lus, "illusory body")
  3. Dream Yoga (Skt., svapna; Tib., rmi-lam, "dream")
  4. Bardo Realm Yoga (Skt., antarabhava; Tib., bar-do)
  5. Light Yoga (Skt., prabhasvara; Tib., 'od-gsal, "luminosity")
  6. Transformation Yoga (Skt., samkranti; Tib., pho-ba, "ejection of consciousness"
  7. or "transference of consciousness"); (Tib., 'byung-ba-ro-snyoms, "equalizing the elements"); another term for the practice called "one taste"

See also Four Yogas (of Mahamudra)


Chang, Garma C.C. (trans.). The Six Yogas of Naropa and the Teachings of Mahamudra. Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion, 1986.
Guenther, Herbert (trans.). The Life and Teaching of Naropa. Boston and London: Shambhala, 1986.

Note: A translated Tibetan commentary on Naropa's doctrines, by the Gelugpa reformer Tsongkapa (1357-1419), has been published in Muses, Charles. Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tantra. York Beach, Maine: Weiser, 1982