Known for: 'The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa'
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MahaSiddha Yogi - Jetsun Milarepa - Tibetan Buddhism - Tibet
Known for: 'The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa' The above gives a vivid picture of the powerful Yogi and Siddha that Milarepa was.
In summary while younger, and obeying his mother, he mastered black magic and did great damage to the region crops with hailstorms and possibly caused the deaths of many perceived enemies.
He eventually repented and found guidance in the great Master Marpa. Marpa first tested him - for example had him built clay and rock temples and then destroy most of them (teaching him transiency) until his hands were full of sores. Marpa knew Mila was destined for greatness, as he had a vision of Mila becoming a sun of light for the entire universe.
Mila then retreated to solitary cave mediation for many years, and his compassion and light as Marpa foresaw extended the entire universe - past - present and future. There are many Tibetan teachers today that can expound his teachings.
He remained for many years in arduous meditation in remote caves. With nothing but wild nettles to eat, his body grew weak and his flesh turned pale green. He later traveled widely across the Himalayan borderlands of southern Tibet and northern Nepal.
Milarepa spent the rest of his adult life practicing meditation in seclusion and teaching groups of disciples mainly through spontaneous songs of realization (mgur).
Marpa himself was a disciple of Naropa, Narop aa disciple of Tilopa, all remarkable masters and its very instructive to read about them and their teachings. He also is related to the eight-century Indian master Padmasambhava.
There are very many resources about Mila and we can not cover them here.
But the best one is to read his songs. Below in the 1st (free) reference Mila himself tells his story on page 9 - his poetic style and unique way of speaking and sincerity become clear.
Authors note - Raul: Do not be misled the by huge volume of songs by Milarepa and even more by commentaries on his life. Better read a few songs and keep what makes sense to you - his teachings and lessons are forever direct to the heart! We can also note that many of his images show Mila in the cave with a hand in his ear - this points that in the Silence of the caves he was accustomed to using the inner sound current - Om or Shabda - as a means of concentration very similar to teachers like Kirpal Singh. The images of his masters show the deep respect and devotion he had for Marpa, Tilopa and Naropa.
To show this here we quote his
'Song of the Five Happiness's':
I bow at the feet of Lord Marpa most kind. Bless me to give up concerns for this life. In Drakar Taso Üma Dzong, At the summit of Üma Dzong Fortress I, the Tibetan cotton-clad yogin Sacrificed clothing and food of this life And then worked to become a perfected Buddha. A small rigid cushion beneath me: happiness. A soft cotton robe around me: happiness. A meditation belt wrapped around me: happiness. Illusory body neither hungry nor full: happiness. Mind that gives up examination: happiness. I am not unhappy. Happy is what I am. If I seem happy, so happy, do all I have done. If you don’t have the fortune to practice the dharma, Spare me your mistaken pity. The one who accomplishes lasting contentment For myself and all sentient beings. The sun’s rays have set on the mountain pass, You should return to your homes. Life is short and death strikes without warning— While I work to become a perfected buddha I have no time to waste on such meaningless talk. Therefore, in evenness now I rest.
To understand the songs context - he was visited by hungry hunters but he had nothing but nettles to offer them: https://buddhaweekly.com/milarepa-explains-happiness-story-nettles-small-rigid-cushion-beneath-happiness-mind-gives-examination-happiness/