(Tibetan; Sanskrit: Nadaprada, 1016-1100) was an Indian Buddhist mystic and monk, the pupil of Tilopa and brother, or some sources say partner, of Niguma. Naropa was the main teacher of Marpa.

Naropa is part of the Golden Garland, meaning a lineage holder of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu lineage, and was considered an accomplished scholar. A great meditator, he is best known for having enumerated and developed the six yogas of Naropa. These practices were designed to help achieve a more rapid attainment of enlightenment.

Naropa was born a Brahmin and from an early age showed an independent streak, hoping to follow a career of study and meditation. Succumbing to his parents wishes, he agreed to an arranged marriage with a young brahmin girl. After 8 years they both agreed to dissolve their marriage and become ordained.

At the age of 28 Naropa entered the famous Buddhist University Nalanda where he studied both Sutra and Tantra. He gained the reputation as a great scholar and faultless debater, essential at that time as the tradition of debate was such that the loser automatically became a student of the winner. He eventually become Gatekeeper of the North; engaged in many debates, taught and won many students.

One day whilst studying, a dakini appeared and asked if he understood the words. He replied that he did and when she seemed so happy with his response, he added that he also understood their meaning. At this point the dakini burst into tears, stating that he was a great scholar, but also a liar, as the only one who understood the teachings was her brother Tilopa. On hearing the name Tilopa, he experienced an intense feeling of devotion, and realized he needed to find the teacher in order to achieve full realization. He abandoned his studies and position at the university and set out to find Tilopa.

Naropa underwent what is known as the 12 minor hardships in his quest to find his teacher, all hidden teachings on his path to enlightenment. When he finally met Tilopa, he was given the 4 complete transmission lineages which he then began to practice. While studying and meditating with Tilopa, he had to undergo a further 12 major hardships, trainings to overcome all obstacles on his path, culminating in his full realization of Mahamudra.

He stayed in Pulahari where he taught his students and at the age of 85 he passed out of this life. Naropa spent a total of twelve years with Tilopa. He is remembered for his trust and devotion to his teacher, which enabled him to attain enlightenment in one lifetime.

He is considered one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas, the ‘saints’ of tantric Buddhism. Naropa University was named in his honor.