Portrait of The Great Teacher Marpa, early 12th century. Tibet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1995 (1995.176) | Marpa (1012–1096) was one of the seminal figures in early Tibetan Buddhism. He traveled to India several times to study and eventually became the disciple of Naropa, one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas, or great teachers. Marpa had numerous followers and his teachings became the core of the Kagyu (orally transmitted) school.