Thursday, June 12, 2008

Milarepa:Magician, Murderer, Saint

One of the epic beings and lives I have studied is the life of Milarepa. He was a man born in Tibet in I believe the 1100s somewhat near Mt. Everest in Tibet.

His story inspires Tibetans more than any other, historically. Though born well off his mother and sister and he become enslaved by his uncle who treats them as slaves and steals their inheritance. Milarepa's mother wants revenge and so arranges for young Teenage Milarepa to study with a Magician of the Black Arts to kill the uncle and his family. Milarepa returns home after a couple of years and causes a hailstorm and lightning to descend upon his uncle and a family wedding killing several dozen people. After that the whole village fears Milarepa and leaves his mother to die alone several years later. Milarepa after causing the deaths of all these people as his mother wished feels great remorse after their deaths and leaves to study with a good Master called Marpa. However, Marpa has to have Milrepa work off his bad karma first and makes him build and rebuild a multistory stone house. This takes several years and Milarepa's back is oozing pus from carrying stones and placing them for years. Finally, Marpa's wife takes pity on Milarepa to receive the teachings he so earnestly desires. Marpa is furious but sends Milarepa into a cave on retreat eventually for several years. Most of Milarepa's life is spent Meditating in Mountain caves alone attaining realizations. He is reported to have had the ability to fly among other things. He taught through singing his enlightenment a capella to his students when they visited him.

Because he was rich son, slave, Magician, murderer and then Saint, all Tibetans and all humans who suffer can relate to his story and feel hope for themselves.

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