Main CategoriesTibetan BuddhismTilopa and the Kagyu School Life of Milarepa, The

Life of Milarepa, The

Product no.: 0-394-72696-0
The Life of Milarepa is one of the most beloved stories of the Tibetan people and a great literary example of the contemplative life.

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Publisher's Synopsis
It can be read on several levels: as the biography of a mystic, it presents a quest for spiritual perfection, a piece of inspirational literature tracing the path of a great sinner who became a great saint. It is also a personal and moving introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time it is also a powerful and graphic folk tale, full of magic, disaster, feuds, deceptions, and humor. Milarepa is a holy but captivatingly, human figure who developed from an avenging black magician to a supremely powerful yogi, pointing the way to spiritual liberation and complete self-knowledge.

"The beauty and power of the autobiography of Milarepa, the beloved Tibetan saint of the 12th century, are splendidly manifest in this new English translation, the first to appear in more than 50 years. Though finding its sources in the magic and mystery of Tibet and in the precise psycho-spiritual teachings of Buddhism, particularly the Vajrayana, The Life of Milarepa cuts across all regional and doctrinal boundaries in its celebration of the search for 'indestructible truth,' establishing itself as one of the great classics of world literature."      ~The San Francisco Review of Books, June 1977

"The mastermind directing vengeance against these usurpers is Milarepa's mother, who in no way conceals her desire to see them destroyed. The negative power of her will, and the resourcefulness and shrewdness she possessed help to fulfill her plan. In the youthful Mila she finds a very devoted son and a ready instrument. Out of deep love for his mother and the bitterest resentment against the uncle and aunt, he strives single-mindedly toward his mission to destroy the relatives 'down to the ninth generation.' The lamas, masters of sorcery, sympathize with him and, after he has shown them his extraordinary determination and need, they teach him the secret magic of destruction and guide him in his practice until he is able to accomplish all that his mother had wished - and more.

At a wedding feast for the uncle's eldest son, Milarepa's art brings down the home of the uncle and aunt, killing all the wedding guests. Soon after, the mother sends word to her son that the people of the village seek to take their own vengeance against this slaughter. She demands that he now cause fierce hailstorms to destroy all their crops. 'This is the way I accumulated black deeds out of vengeance against my enemies' - so ends the First Part of The Life."

Lobsang P. Lhalungpa was born in Lhasa, Tibet, and has passed through the disciplines of the major branches of Tibetan Buddhism under many of its greatest living masters. His life has drawn him into all aspects of the effort to maintain the Tibetan tradition while bearing in mind Western needs.

Author Milarepa
Coauthor Tsangnyön Heruka
Translator Lhalungpa, Lobsang
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 220 pp.
Publisher Shambhala Publications 1985
Browse these categories as well: Tilopa and the Kagyu School, Vajrayana and Crazy Wisdom Masters, Mythology, Folk and Fairy Tales, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography

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