The name Maitripa was given to the College (originally Maitripa Institute) by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the founder (with Lama Thubten Yeshe) and Spiritual Director of FPMT.
Maitripa, whose name means “He Whose Protection Is Lovingkindness,” lived in the 11th century. He was the guru of the famed saint Marpa the Translator, and counted the eminent Naropa among his contemporaries and teachers. Maitripa spent time at Nalanda during the time of the great Atisha, and at Vikramashila University at the height of its fame in India.
Maitripa was renowned as a great scholar and yogin, but was eventually expelled from the monastic community of Vikrasmashila when his yogic practice began to cause confusion among the monks. He continued his practice as a mahasiddha, and is particularly famed for his transmission of the mahamudra teachings and his teaching of the Uttaratantra Shastra. Maitripa was also well known for his spontaneous songs of spiritual realization.