- This article is about the Air Nomad guru who discovered the secret to weightlessness. For other similar uses, see Guru (disambiguation).
|"New growth cannot exist without first the destruction of the old."|
|— A quote from Guru Laghima which formed the basis of the Red Lotus' goals.|
Laghima was an Air Nomad guru and renowned poet who lived at the Northern Air Temple around 3,829 BG. He discovered the secret to weightlessness, which allowed him to unlock the airbending ability of flight. This essentially allowed Laghima to become untethered from the earth and live the last forty years of his life without ever touching the ground. His writings and philosophy were very influential and continued to be studied for thousands of years, including by Zaheer, the leader of the anarchical group known as the Red Lotus.
Guru Laghima grew up at the Northern Air Temple, at a time when the four nations had not yet been formed. He began writing poetry about subjects such as instinct and illusion, and had at least one contemporary philosophical rival, Guru Shoken. Although the details of Laghima's life have become unclear in the face of the disappearance of Air Nomad culture from public knowledge, it is known that he discovered the secret to weightlessness forty years prior to his death. By relinquishing his earthly attachments, Laghima achieved flight and was able to live the last portion of his life untethered from the earth.
Guru Laghima's poetry and writing were extremely influential and were later grouped together in at least one collection known as Poems of Laghima. He remained well known not just among the Air Nomads but also in the Earth Kingdom, and his philosophy remained much more popular than that of his rival. Avatar Yangchen was among those who studied Guru Laghima's writings, in addition to the works of Shoken.
Laghima's poetry survived the Hundred Year War, which ended nearly four thousand years after his death. A mountaintop near the Northern Air Temple was named Laghima's Peak in his honor, and several caves located two miles from the Northern Air Temple are adorned with statues of Laghima, along with other influential monks. Over time, however, the truth about his achievements was lost and his abilities were dismissed as children's stories and legends. Even Tenzin, himself a renowned airbending master, did not believe in Laghima's ability to fly.
Nevertheless, Laghima's literature profoundly impacted Zaheer, who used his poem about the false nature of instinct to realize that basing expectations of reality on what was immediately observable blinded oneself from the possibilities of something new coming to light. Consequently, he believed that the guru had truly discovered the ability of flight, and after gaining airbending, Zaheer attempted to obtain the ability himself.
Zaheer also recited excerpts from Laghima's poems several times, such as to several White Lotus sentries outside his cell prior to his escape, and to Ikki while on Air Temple Island after finding a locket bearing Laghima's image. While presenting the mission of the Red Lotus to Avatar Korra in Xai Bau's Grove, Zaheer quoted Guru Laghima and stated that new growth cannot exist without the destruction of the old.
Following P'Li's death, Zaheer was able to let go of his final earthly tether, unlocking the ability of flight on top of Laghima's Peak. As a result, the guru's abilities were no longer dismissed as legends.
- Instinct is a lie, told by a fearful body, hoping to be wrong.
- Let go your earthly tether. Enter the void. Empty and become wind.
- New growth cannot exist without first the destruction of the old.
- Laghima is one of two known airbenders to have achieved flight, the other being Zaheer.
- Laghima is the first and only Air Nomad from the Northern Air Temple ever introduced in either series.
- In yoga, "laghima" is a supernatural power attained through spiritual practice known as a siddhi. It specifically deals with becoming almost weightless, which corresponds to Guru Laghima's character as he attained weightlessness prior to his death.
- Laghima was the earliest known user of a specialized bending technique, having unlocked the airbending sub-skill of flight around 3,829 BG.
- The locket found by Zaheer that bore Laghima's image resembles a Thai Buddha amulet.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (August 1, 2014). "The Stakeout". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 9. Nick.com.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (August 22, 2014). "Enter the Void". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 12. Nick.com.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hedrick, Tim, Hamilton, Joshua (writers) & Heck, Colin, Zwyer, Melchior (directors). (June 27, 2014). "A Breath of Fresh Air". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-One, "Preparations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ Hamilton, Joshua and Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director). (August 22, 2014). "Venom of the Red Lotus". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 13. Nick.com.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (July 11, 2014). "The Metal Clan". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.