Jetsun Milarepa is a human figure who developed from a vindictive black magician into a powerful and magical yogi, pointing the way to spiritual liberation and self-knowledge.
What initially drove Milarepa to mountain retreats was an intense desire to overcome his past devastating actions, which included his participation in revenge and murder, with the help of black magic.
“Only when Jetsun Milarepa realizes that he needs to find the way to liberation ‘in one body and one lifetime’ in order to avoid the post mortem results of his evil actions does he go in search of a spiritual teacher who can show him the virtuous way of Buddhist practice.” – Francis Tiso, a Catholic priest and Buddhist scholar.
Among all main sects of Tibetan Buddhism, all unite in holding him in the highest esteem. Revered as an exemplar of the religious life, he nevertheless avoided the monastic institutions of his time and their traditional systems of scholastic training.
The essence of the teaching of Jetsun lies in his advanced writings rather than the legends that have grown up around him.
These interesting writings, frequently referred to as ”the Songs of Milarepa,” are canonical Mahayana Buddhist sacred texts and in particular, highlights the temporary nature of the physical body and the need for non-attachment.
Moreover, Rechungpa and Gampopa were two of his most renowned disciples, the former was likened to the moon, and the latter, to the sun. Gampopa was the chosen one to continue the lineage after Jetsun Milarepa.
Milarepa’s life represented the ideal bodhisattva life and is a testament to the interdependence and unity of all profound Buddhist teachings – Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana. In addition, he showed that poverty is not a deprivation, but somewhat a component of emancipating oneself from the constrictions of material possessions.
He is commonly illustrated sitting on a yogi’s antelope skin in a cave and wears a single white cotton robe and a red meditation belt around his body.
His left-hand holds a skull cup and his right-hand presses his ear forward in the attitude of singing his songs of realization. His skin is either flesh-colored or has a light green hue on account of the years he spent eating only nettle soup.
Jetsun Milarepa mantra complete lyrics:
”Om Ah Guru Hasa Vajra Hung.”
“Mental activity in the daytime creates a latent form of habitual thought which again transforms itself at night into different delusory visions sensed by the semi-consciousness. This is called the deceptive and magic-like Bardo of Dream.” – Jetsun Milarepa