Milarepa     26 posts


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Even a strong wind is empty by nature.
Even a great wave is just ocean itself.
Even thick southern clouds are insubstantial as sky.
Even the dense mind is naturally birthless.

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The maiden who had expressed pity said, "He is the one called Milarepa. Filled with self-importance, we said all sorts of meaningless things. Now we must acknowledge our wrong-doing." I urged the maiden who had offered this prayer to do so. She gave me seven couch-shell bracelets and they all ofered prostrations and confessed their misdeeds. Then they requested a Dharma instruction, and in response I sang this song:

" To the Lord Compassionate one I address my prayers.
I shall teach authentic Dharma in a brief verse.

Above, in the divine palace the Joyous Provisional dharma is prized, the definitive, ignored.

Below, in the palace of the nagas
Material dharma is prized, the profound , ignored.

In between in this human realm of ours
Liar's dharma is prized, the Master's, ignored.

In the four regions of U and Tsang
Pedant's dharma is prized, the meditator's, ignored.

In the dark period of the degenerate age
The wicked are prized, the righteous, ignored.

In the eyes of such elegant maidens
A fine man is prized, the yogin, ignored.

In the ears of such youthful maidens
A brief verse sounds pleasing, a bit of dharma, off-pitch.

This is my oral instructions set forth in song,
My repayment for the seven conch shells,
A celebration for completing your confession. "

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Then i sang this song about distinguishing the ways of feeling shame:

" I pay homage to the lord lamas.
Bless this beggar to understand shame.

Peta dear, bound by your shame,
Listen for a while to your brother's song.

You who feels shame out of ignorance and conventional thinking
Are ashamed of what carries no shame.
I, a yogin who knows the meaning of shame,
Lives with my three gates relaxed --
How could I overstate or understand shame?

Everyone knows that our bodies are born male or female,
And that we have organs to prove it.

Those who guard against embarrassing and shameful activity
Are not found among common people of the world.
The girl who is shameful is bought for a price.
The child who is shameful is had through a man in your lap.

The results of craving, malice, and perverted views
Are immoral conduct, hypocrisy, theft,
And the betrayal of trustworthy friends.
These are embarrassing and shameful, although few avoid them.\

All meditators who renounce this life --
Through profound secret vajra behavior,
The practice of supreme quintessential instruction --
Bring their human life into the Dharma
And see no point in feeling phony shame.
So Peta, do not create your own misery,
But rest in this knowledge as it is. "

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I have stayed in this place a long time and have bragged about the Dharma to everyone who has shown up. More importantly, people have also seen me flying, a feat I gained through my experience and realization. Now I fear that if I stay here, my practice will face obstacles caused by people asking me to avert their worldly misfortunes and obtain things they want, just like the Son of the Gods Demon*, as well as by the eight worldly concerns. I should go to meditate at Chubar, which was prophesied by the Lama.

* - (devaputramara) One of the four traditional forms of demon, here the personification of attachment and craving.

Placing on my back the clay pot in which I cooked nettles, I set out from Drakar Taso. My inferior food and clothing during this long period of practice caused my feet to become callused. I slipped on a stone at the entrance of my cave and fell. The handle of the pot fell off and the vessel rolled down the mountainside. I ran to catch it but the pot cracked and from within appeared a single mass of green nettle residue shaped just like the pot itself. This demonstrated that all composite things are impermanent and, reflecting on it, I understood it as an exhortation to practice. Feeling a sense of amazement and renunciation, I sang this song:

' I once had a pot, now I do not.
This case illustrates every composite thing.
It exemplifies human bodies of leisure and opportunity.
This being so, I Mila the yogin
Will press on in my practice without distraction.
This clay pot so important, the whole of my wealth,
Becomes my Lama in the moment it breaks,
Teaching impermanence, how amazing ! '

Translation by Andrew Quintman


...Feeling the whole occurrence to be very wonderful, I sang the following hymn in a spirit of deep faith :

" Even the earthen pot, by having once existed, and now by existing not,
Demonstrates the nature of all beings [component];
But more especially human life it symbolizes.
Therefore do I, Mila the Devotee,
Resolve to persevere unwaveringly.
The earthen pot, which constituted my sole wealth,
By breaking, has now become a Guru,
For it preaches unto me a wondrous sermon on Impermanence."

Translation by W.Y. Evans-Wentz

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"SONG TO MY SISTER"

'I pay homage to the lord lamas.
Bless this beggar to stay in mountain retreat.

Dear sister, a being tormented inside by life's round,
In general, all pleasure and pain are ephemeral.
But since you are feeling such pain in this way
Be certain that lasting contentment exists.
Listen, therefore, to your own brother's song.
To repay the kindness of beings, my parents,
Thus do I practice the Dharma.

Look at my home, like an animal's den.
Were another to see it, he'd feel sick to his stomach.

Look at my body, like a skeletal frame.
Were an enemy to see it, even he would shed tears.

Look at my conduct, like that of a madman.
My sister is filled with embarrassment.

Look at my mind, an actual Buddha.
Were the Victors to see it, they'd be filled with delight.

Steadfast I kept until flesh and bone numbed,
Set on the cold stone seat beneath me.

My body is just like a nettle all through,
Turned green, and will never go back.

In a rock cave with no one around
There is no time to cure melancholy.

I am never bereft of my heartfelt longing
For my Lama, the Buddhas of the three times.

The force of such perseverance in meditation
Will no doubt bring experience and realization.
When experience and realization are born,
Happiness is gained on the way in this life,
And perfect complete Buddhahood in the next.

Therefore Peta, my sister dear,
Without further misery and despair,
Push on for the sake of the Dharma.'

Translation by Andrew Quintman




"SONG ON PETA'S VISIT"


'Obeisance to my Lords, the Gurus!
Grant that this Yogi may hold fast to soltitude.

O sisterm thou art filled with worldly sentiments and feelings;
[Know thou that worldly] joys and griefs are all impermanent.
But I, alone by taking on myself these hardships,
Am sure to win Eternal Happiness;
So hear your brother's song:

To repay the kindness of all sentient beings,
They having been our parents, to the life religious I did give myself.

Behold my lodgings; like those of jungle beasts are they;
Any other person would be timid in them.

Behold my food; it is like the food of dogs and pigs;
It would excite in others nausea.

Behold my body; it is like a skeleton;
Even an enemy would weep on seeing it.

In my behavior, I am like a madman;
O sister, thou art moved thereby to disappointment and to sorrow;
Yet if thou could observe my mind, it is the Bodhi Mind itself;
The Conquerors rejoice at seeing it.

Sitting upon this cold rock underneath me, I meditate with zeal,
Enough to bear the tearing of my skin off or my flesh from off its bones;
My body, both inside and out, like nettles has become;
A greenish hue, which changes not, it has assumed.

Here in this solitary rocky cave,
Though with no chance of driving melancholy from my mind,
Unchangedly I ever hold adoration and affection
For the Guru, True-Embodiment of the Eternal Buddhas.

Thus persevering in my meditation,
I doubtlessly shall gain Transcendent Knowledge and Experience.
And if, in this, I can succeed,
Prosperity and happiness is won within this lifetime, as I go along;
And, in my next birth, Buddhahood I'll win.

Therefore, my sister, Peta dear,
To woeful sorrows give not way,
But also give thyself to penances, for religion's sake.


Translation by W.Y. Evans-Wentz

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Two Translated Versions of "Song of the Five Happinesses" or "Song of Yogic Comforts"



"SONG OF THE FIVE HAPPINESSES"

I bow at the feet of Lord Marpa most kind.
Bless me to give up concerns for this life.

In Drakar Taso Uma Dzong,
At the summit of Uma Dzong Fortress
I, the Tibetan cotton-clad yogin
Sacrificed clothing and food for this life
And then worked to become a perfected Buddha.

A small rigid cushion beneath me: happiness.
A soft cotton robe around me: happiness.
A meditation belt wrapped around me: happiness.
Illusory body neither hungry nor full: happiness.
Mind that gives up examination: happiness.
I am not unhappy. Happy is what I am.

If I seem happy, so happy, do all I have done.
If you don't have the fortune to practice the Dharma,
Spare me your mistaken pity.
The one who accomplishes lasting contentment
For myself and all sentient beings.

The sun's rays have set on the mountain pass,
You should return to your homes,
Life is short and death strikes without warning---
While I work to become a perfected Buddha
I have no time to waste on such meaningless talk.
Therefore, in evenness now I rest.

Translation by Andrew Quintman



"SONG ON YOGIC COMFORTS"

Lord ! Gracious Marpa ! I bow down at Thy Feet !
Enable me to give up worldly aims.

Here in the Dragkar-Taso's Middle Cave,
I, the Yogi Tibetan called Repa,
Relinquishing all thoughts of what to eat or wear, and this life's aims,
Have settled down to win the perfect Buddhahood.

Comfortable is the hard mattress underneath me,
Comfortable is the Nepalese cotton-padded quilt above me,
Comfortable is the single meditation-band which holds up my knee,
Comfortable is the body, to a diet temperate inured,
Comfortable is the Lucid Mind which discerns present clingings and the Final Goal;
Nothing is there uncomfortable; everything is comfortable.

If all of ye can do so, try to imitate me;
But if inspired ye be not with the aim of the ascetic life,
And to the error of the Ego Doctrine will hold fast,
I pray that ye spare me your misplaced pity;
For I a Yogi am, upon the Path of the Acquirement of Eternal Bliss.

The sun's last rays are passing over the mountain tops;
Return ye to your own abodes.
And as for me, who soon must die, uncertain of the hour of death,
With self-set task of winning perfect Buddhahood,
No time have I to waste on useless talk;
Therefore shall I into the State Quiescent of Samadhi enter now.

Translation by W.Y. Evans-Wentz

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Those who've seen or heard me,
Those who contemplate my story,
Those who hear of my name and activities,
May we meet in the Buddha's Pure Land,

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Veiled by ignorance, the minds of man and Buddha appear to be different; yet in the realm of mind essence they are both of one taste. Sometimes they will meet each other in the great Dharmadhatu.

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Comprehending beyond good and evil opens the way to perfect skill. Experiencing the dissolution of duality, you embrace the highest view.

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There’s no point of view or theory in reality itself.

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In the monastery of your heart and body, you have a temple where all buddhas unite.

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FIVE WAYS OF RESTING

Rest in a natural way like a small child.
Rest like an ocean without waves.
Rest within clarity like a candle flame.
Rest without self-concerns like a human corpse.
Rest unmoving like a mountain.

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Realisation of Dreams and Mind
by Marpa (Marpa Lotsawa) --- Guru of Milarepa




Lord Paindapa, you who practice yogic discipline!
Your name has been prophesied by the devas; what a great wonder!
Under the hand of glorious Advayalalita
Are the vajra brothers and sisters whose minds do not differ.
Headed by Sri Gunamati,
Dakas who are sitting in the right hand row, listen to me!
After them, the secret yoginis,
Headed by the consort Sukhavajri,
Dakinis who are sitting in the left hand row, listen to me!
Generally, all Dharmas are illusion.
Dreams are exalted as special illusion.
Early in the night, dreams arise born from habitual patterns.
There is nothing whatsoever to rely on there.
At midnight, the deceptions of Mara appear.
One should not trust in these.
At dawn, there are prophecies by the devas.
How wondrous, how great indeed!
At the break of dawn this morning,
The great lord master appeared
And taught the Dharma which revealed the ultimate.
This is the unforgettable memory of what Maitripa said:
"In general, all Dharmas are mind.
The Guru arises from mind.
The Guru is nothing other than mind.
Everything that appears is the nature of mind.
This mind itself is primordially non-existent.
In the natural state, unborn and innate,
There is nothing to abandon by discursive effort.
Rest at ease, naturally, without restriction.
This can be shown by signs:
A human corpse, an outcast, a dog, a pig,
An infant, a madman, an elephant,
A precious jewel, a blue lotus,
Quicksilver, a deer, a lion,
A Brahman, and a black antelope; did you see them?" Maitripa asked.
The realization of the truth was shown by these signs:
Not fixated on either samsara or Nirvana,
Not holding acceptance or rejection in one's being,
Not hoping for fruition from others,
Mind free from occupation and complexity,
Not falling into the four extremes,
Nonmeditation and nonwandering,
Free from thought and speech,
Beyond any analogy whatsoever.
Through the kindness of the Guru, I realised these.
Since the experience of these realisations has dawned,
Mind and mental events have ceased,
And space and insight are inseparable.
Faults and virtues neither increase nor decrease.
Bliss, emptiness, and luminosity are unceasing.
Therefore, luminosity dawns beyond coming or going.
This transmission of the innate, the pith of the view
Through the sign meanings which reveal the unborn,
I heard from the great lord master.
The reason why I sing these words
Is the insistent request of the honourable lords.
I could not refuse the Dharma brothers and sisters.
Dakinis, do not be jealous!

Thus, this song was sung for the Dharma brothers and sisters headed by Paindapa at the Rinchen Tsul monastery in Nepal to show the meaning of the signs of mahamudra as revealed by Maitripa's appearance in a dream.

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MILAREPA'S MEDITATIONS

Having meditated on love and compassion,
I forgot the difference between myself and others.
Having meditated on my lama,
I forgot those who are influential and powerful.
Having meditated on the yidam,
I forgot the coarse world of the senses.
Having meditated on the instruction of the secret tradition,
I forgot the books of dialectic.
Having tasted the joys of solitude,
I forgot the need to please my relatives and friends.
Having assimilated the teaching in the stream of my consciousness,
I forgot to engage in doctrinal polemics.
Having lived in humility in body and mind,
I forgot the disdain and arrogance of the great,
Having made a monastery within my body,
I forgot the monastery outside.
Having embraced the spirit rather than the letter,
I forgot how to play with words.

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When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.

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“The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation... Know that the world of appearances are illusory, and have compassion for those who don't understand."

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How senseless to disregard one's life by fighting foes
Who are but trail flowers.

How foolish to spend your lifetime without meaning
When a precious human body is so rare a gift.


From "Songs of Milarepa, - Song of the Snow Range"

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I have no desire for wealth or possessions, and so I have nothing. I do not experience the initial suffering of having to accumulate possessions, the intermediate suffering of having to guard and keep up possessions, nor the final suffering of losing the possessions.

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"I have no desire for wealth or possessions, and so I have nothing. I do not experience the initial suffering of having to accumulate possessions, the intermediate suffering of having to guard and keep up possessions, nor the final suffering of loosing the possessions."

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When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick; every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once

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The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.

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All worldly pursuits have but one unavoidable and inevitable end, which is sorrow; acquisitions end in dispersion; buildings in destruction; meetings in separation; births in death. Knowing this, one should, from the very first, renounce acquisitions and storing-up, and building, and meeting; and, faithful to the commands of an eminent Guru, set about realizing the Truth. That alone is the best of religious observances.

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Strong and healthy, who thinks of sickness until it strikes like lightning?
Preoccupied with the world, who thinks of death, until it arrives like thunder?

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