Thaganapa was born in eastern India and since an early age, he showed criminal tendencies and depended on exploitation and deception. One day while sitting on a log ad the edge of a town plotting a con job, a wise monk passed by and asked why he was in such deep thoughts. Thaganapa was about to tell a lie when the monk interrupted and told him if he’s about to tell a lie and create a habit out of it, when the karma matures he will be reborn in hell. Thaganapa turned pale, and the monk continued to educate him about the physical effects of lying.
Listening to the monk speak of the doctrine of karma made complete sense to Thaganapa, so when the monk asked if he is capable of practicing a sadhanas, he agreed. The monk began to give Thaganapa instruction in the yoga called “removing water in the ear by means of water”. Next he gave him the initiation that matures the immature mindstream, and then he was taught these precepts: “All that you see, hear, tough, think you perceive with the six senses, indeed, all that you experience, is nothing but a lie.”
For 7 years Thaganapa meditated and gained the understanding that all experience of the phenomenal world is a fiction. Gaining detachment, he acquired the qualities of clarity, control, and equanimity. He then searched for his guru for confirmation, and the monk said, “Experience is neither deception nor truth. Reality is uncreated, indeterminate. Now you must meditate upon your experience of all things as emptiness rendered empty by its very nature.”