K a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n

Milarepa (1052-1135)

Excerpts from The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa by Tsang Nyon Heruka

Milarepa was born in the Gungthang province of Western Tibet. His father died when he was only seven years old, and the family property was left in the care of relatives who mistreated him and his family. His mother became very bitter and sent her son off to learn magic in order to avenge these wrongdoings.
Milarepa learned quickly how to use these dark forces of destruction and caused the death of many people. However, he came to regret his misdeeds and set out to find a master who could help him counteract the negative karma he had accumulated. He became the student of a Nyingmapa called Lama Rongton who, seeing that Milarepa had an affinity with Marpa, sent him to the translator in Lhodrag.
Marpa put Milarepa through years of hardship in order to prepare him for later instructions and teachings. During this period Milarepa single-handedly built a nine-storied tower according to the specifications of Marpa. At the end of these trials Marpa imparted all the teachings he had received from Naropa and other masters to him.
Milarepa practised for many years in total isolation in high mountain caves and mastered the transmissions that he had received. He attained the enlightened state in one life-time, began to teach and became famous for his poetic songs. He had many well-known disciples. Among these, Gampopa became the next lineage holder. Milarepa passed away at the age of eighty-four.

Gampopa (1079-1135)




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