Great Tibetan Buddhist Poetic Saint Jetsun Milarepa

According to a blessing Milarepa uttered towards the end of his life, anyone who but hears the name Milarepa even once attracts an instant blessing and will not take rebirth in a lower state of existence during seven consecutive lifetimes. This was prophesied by Saints and Buddhas of the past even before his lifetime.

Milarepa_statue
Milarepa statue made by root student Rechungpa

Rare statue of Jetsun Milarepa (1052— 1135 CE) made during his lifetime by his heart-disciple Rechungpa Dorje Drakpa.

‘Mila’ is Tibetan for; ‘great man’, and ‘repa’ means; ‘cotton clad one.’ At the age of 45, he started to practice at Drakar Taso (White Rock Horse Tooth) cave – “Milarepa’s Cave“, as well as becoming a wandering teacher. Here, he subsisted on nettle tea, leading his skin to turn green with a waxy covering, hence the greenish color he is often depicted as having, in paintings and sculpture.

Milarepa’s Initial Realizations
I have understood this body of mine to be the product of ignorance, composed of flesh and blood and lit up by the perceptive power of consciousness. To those fortunate ones who long for emancipation it may be the great vessel by which they may procure Freedom. But to the unfortunates who only sin, it may be the guide to lower and miserable states of existence. This our life is the boundary mark whence one may take an upward or downward path. Our present time is a most precious time, wherein each of us must decide, in one way or other, for lasting good or lasting ill.
One who aims only at his own individual peace and happiness adopts the lower path (Hinayana), but he who devotes the merits of his love and compassion to the cause of others belongs to the higher path (Mahayana).
In meditating on the Final Goal, one has to discover the non-existence of the personal Ego, and therefore the fallacy that it exists (i.e. because everything in the universe with name and form is basically illusory in nature)
To realize the state of non-existence of the personal ego, the mind must be kept in quiescence. In that state, thoughts, ideas, and cognition cease and the mind (awareness) passes into a state of perfect tranquility so that days, months, and years may pass without the person perceiving it; thus the passage of time has to be marked for him by others.
The visions of the forms of the Deities which appear in meditation are merely signs attending the perseverance in meditation. They have no intrinsic worth or value in themselves.
All the efforts put forth during this path must be made in a spirit of compassion with the aim of dedicating the merit of one’s efforts to the Universal Good. There is a need of mentally praying and wishing for blessings on others so earnestly that one’s mind processes also transcend thought.
Just as the mere name of food does not satisfy the appetite of a hungry person but he must eat food, so also a man who would learn about the Voidness (i.e. Universal Awareness) must meditate so as to realize it, not just learn of its definition.

The Dog Star that causes the blooming of the Lotus of devotional lines offered to the Saint Mila Shepa Dorje, Chief among the Siddhas (the Accomplished Ones) of the Snowy Land.by Kashimey Geshe Ngawang Jinpa

Although having already achieved long, long ago,
The Perfect State of Enlightenment,
O Noble Mila, you intentionally took birth,
Amidst ominous signs in a prosperous family,
In the village of Gung Thang Kya-nga Tsa in Mangyul district.

At the age of seven, fate separated your father from you,
Your house and family property were forcefully taken by your uncle,
And, having suffered the unbearable miseries of a hell-like life,
O Noble Mila, you laid open the nature of samsara.

At fifteen, you began your scholarly pursuits,
And perfected in the line of Mitho Gakha,
By composing and singing beautiful songs,
O Noble Mila, you became known by the name Tho-pa-go.

But the ever evil-minded kinsfolk rose against you,
And caused the flow of incessant tears on the face of your mother dear,
By methods torturous and inhuman.
This made you, O Noble Mila, take a pledge to get even with them.

At a retreat secluded from the clamor of human habitation,
You conjured black magic assiduously for three days.
As a result, thirty-five heads (men and animal) were killed together.
Thenceforth, O Noble Mila, you came to be known as the Great Conjurer.

O Noble Mila, you took the firm pledge,
To practice the Holy Dharma,
In order to atone for the sins of taking the lives of others,
And to work for your own liberation in this very lifetime.

What an inexpressible joy was born in you, O Noble Mila!
On hearing the very name of Marpa, the great Translator,
Who, as a Kalyan Mitra (Spiritual Friend) in many of his former births,
Had taught others discreetly both by mental ability and physical actions.

When you offered (your Master) a high-priced wide vessel,
That was fitted with four beautiful handles,
He saw in you, O Noble Mila, a genuine aspirant after the Truth,
And reacted by foretelling that you would be a son to him.

Following the orders of your Master, you constructed the Retreat several times,
But each time, upon completion, he made you pull down the structure.
As the earth and stone chips had to be carried by you yourself,
Your body turned into a heap of sores and eruptions,
Yet, Noble Mila, you remained firm in your determination.

Though of tender age and the body sunk deep in muddy water,
The strength of your faith was not feeble.
Moreover there was Dhak-me-ma, who was more than a mother,
Whose love and tenderness kept you, Noble Mila, in good stead.

Driven by unimpeachable trust in the Lord Marpa,
You presented yourself before the Master several times,
But instead of the initiation and instructions,
You were greeted by a volley of threats and abuse.
This shows how you, Noble Mila, underwent trials for the expiation of your sins.

In the solitude of Jumthul caves, away from the din of samsara,
You, Noble Mila, trod the various stages successively,
And ultimately realizing the Vajra Body in this life,
You, Noble Mila, became a Mahasiddha (the Accomplished One).

One can get rid of the dread of purgatory simply by hearing your name,
Or be placed on the path to Eternal Bliss simply by seeking refuge in you.
You, the Noble Mila, are the Peerless One,
Among all the highly accomplished Masters of the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma Orders.

You are the Crown Ornament of all the Masters of the Dharma,
The Six Ornaments and the Two Excellents,
And the most excellent myriads of Jinas,
Beat the sweetly tuned drum of eulogy in all directions in honor of you.

Being weary of the din of earthly life,
And having concentrated on meditation,
You were able to release your Vajra Songs,
Turning the image of the chaotic and meaningless world,
Into instructions of grave religious fervor,
And thereby shaking the firmness of other Path finders.

From this life onwards, in every future birth,
Pray that I may have you as my Protector,
And in the process, let me obtain the highest state of Kushi,
Where the mind and body mingle into one,
And obtain the Omniscient Knowledge of guiding all kinds of sentient beings.

For more concise readings on Jetsun Milarepa:

http://www.thranguhk.org/buddhism/en_milarepa.html

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