Just back from my travels in India. Had an extraordinary time. Was in Dharamsala for teachings by His Holiness the Karmapa, and in Mirik for teachings by Khenpo Rinpoche and His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Was very fortunate to get a Milarepa empowerment from His Eminence, which was one of the highlights of my trip in India. So I thought I would do this weeks blog on Milarepa, who I love very much.
Milarepa was one of the most famous and powerful yogis to come out of Tibet. Milarepa has quite a life story. Truly an inspiring story of one who took the wrong path, realized it and sought to redeem himself and attain liberation.
Born in 1052, he was the son of prosperous farmer, who unfortunately died when Milarepa was young. His father had entrusted his estate to his brother and his brother’s wife, and they had promised to care for his family which consisted of Milarepa, his mother and his sister.
Unfortunately, Milarepa’s uncle and aunt decided to ignore their promise to his father and keep his estate for themselves. Milarepa and his Mother and sister were thrown into poverty and left without protection. This drove his mother to despair and when Milarepa was a teen she asked him to go and learn black magic in order to bring disaster to her brother in laws family.
Milarepa, who loved his mother very much, did so and became very powerful in the black arts. He used this power to bring destruction to his uncles family and indeed the whole village by sending huge hailstorms.
He felt terrible remorse afterwards and set out to find a teacher who could help him. After a long search he found Marpa, a great siddha, who brought him through tremendous hardships to burn off his bad karma, by building and rebuilding stone towers over and over again.
After many years of these hardships, Milarepa finally became enlightened and went on to become a great guru. One of the greatest ever. He sang many of his teachings in songs and is depicted with his hand to his ear waiting to hear yours.
His mantra is:
OM AH GURU HASA VAJRA SARVE SIDDHI HUM
Say it 108 times in the morning and at night – and meet the magical being Milarepa who loves to dance and sing.