Saraha is known for being a wandering yogi who lived around 8th century and later became one of the 84 Great Siddhas of India.

Saraha’s teacher and consort is often called the Radish Curry Girl or the Radish Curry Dakini. Saraha met her when she was just 15 years old and it is likely she had been working as a servant. The story that provides this accomplished dakini with the epithet Radish Curry Girl also has several versions. One of the more well known ones states that one day Saraha asked this young woman to make him a radish curry. While she was doing this, Saraha fell into meditation. His meditative absorption was so complete that he remained in samadhi for twelve years.

When he emerged from mediation, twelve long years later, he asked the young woman if he could have some of the radish curry. Her direct replies to him are the teachings. She said: “You sit in samadhi for twelve years and the first thing you ask for is radish curry?”

Saraha noted her wisdom and realized his own faults in meditative practice. He decided that the only way for him to make any progress on the spiritual path would be to move into an isolated mountain location, away from all distractions.

Again, the Radish Curry Dakini offered pith instructions to Saraha: “If you awaken from samadhi with an undiminished desire for radish curry, what do you think the isolation of the mountains will do for you? The purest solitude,” she counseled, “is one that allows you to escape from the preconceptions and prejudices, from the labels and concepts of a narrow, inflexible mind.”

Saraha was wise enough to listen carefully to the wisdom of this dakini in front of him, realizing that she was indeed not just his consort but also his teacher. From that moment forward, his meditative practices changed and he eventually attained the supreme realization of mahamudra. At the time of his death, both Saraha and his consort ascended to Dakini Pure Lands.

Source: Keith Dowman, Masters of Enchantment: The Lives and Legends of the Mahasiddhas.

Image of Saraha by Ben Christian.