Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Milarepa, a great yogi

Milarepa was a young man that lived a life
that was not virtuous 
he went about lying and stealing and even murdering 
he spared none from his angry tongue 
which sliced his fellow men to the bone with his 
rough words that spoke in low ways 
that sent them to feel ashamed and heated with anger 
he lived like a man that was not in honesty in the least 
and he did not stop for a long time 
this kind of behavior 
even though his world was in ruins and 
a life that could not be rebuilt easily or 
made to be set on a good foundation again 
due to his actions 
he lived this way for many a day and dark night 
and his soul was very consumed with hate and ill feelings 
he did not have a friend on the earth 
he did not have a soul that trusted him
he lived alone in a barren place in the foothills of india
and hid his soul from the light 
because he was a man that was prideful and was not 
to begin to question himself 
until one day when he was walking along and saw a sage 
that was doing siddha yoga with fire 
this fire appeared out of nowhere and lit up the space they 
both sat and Milarepa's eyes grew wide and he thought, 
wow, this is amazing and seems to be out of the ordinary
there must be some other force working that moves things of 
the heavens and earth
and he sat with this awhile and then walked on until he came across
another sage that was sitting in the forest 
this being was absorbed in himself and glowed fully
he did not seem of this world in the way of being 
caught up in thoughts of past and future or of himself 
but empty it seemed 
so Milarepa sat down and stayed a long time by him
until the sage finally came out of it and said
young man you are here because you have done wrong
you have been within evil, destructive ways and now seek 
to know something other
this is very sad that you have been destructive to life 
in the way you have 
you have a great debt to pay to the universe for this rain 
of violence and sorrow you have left in your wake 
you will repay the universe by building a great structure 
for any that want to stay 
this is what you will do, so go and do it 
Milarepa was caught very off guard by this and he said 
you want me to go build a structure with nothing 
no tools, no study, no labor, only me?
this is what i said to you spoke the sage 
now go, and do not say another word or you will be 
made to be out of my sight for all of this life and then some 
Milarepa shook in himself when the sage said he would be 
banished from his presence if he did not obey his words 
he shook terribly inside at the daunting task before him
but he knew in himself that he was in dire straits as far 
as choices now 
for he could return to his former life and be a recluse
sought out by those that he harmed and eventually 
killed or tortured 
or he could do what the sage told him to do 
which seemed to him now equally hard
but maybe there would be a different outcome at the end 
so he stood up with nothing but his body and thin clothes he 
was wearing and walked away into the heat of the afternoon sun
with this great task before him looming heavy and seeming 
he slept on the ground in the hot air with bugs and ants 
and mosquitoes pestering him continuously 
and dreamed of a great gate that was open in the night air
very still looking on the other side 
yet so very dark and unknown to him 
he was compelled to look and go closer and when he did 
he came up to the bars and they were hot to his hands and 
burned him badly and scorched his skin to the bone and he shook 
inside and then he walked thru and found that he was in 
a place of great rest and peace and joy
and he felt like he was not as he was 
just within deep stillness
he looked behind him and the gate was gone from his sight 
and then he woke up to the nightmare of his life 
and said, i wish that i could return there instead 
for i am now a man that is powerless over what is before me to do 
i have no way of understanding what is happening 
nor do i know how i will go about this task 
nor do i know if i will complete it 
nor do i know what will happen if i do complete it 
and i do not know anything at all, thought he 
i am stripped of my understanding of what is to come 
oh dear he said and sat and thought and thought 
when the sun came up 
he walked on into the vast land so hot and dry
so to the bone it set deep in and he was parched with thirst
he found a few sticks and began to build a foundation for a house 
and he found a few more and a few more 
and then he found a few rocks and some earth 
and then he found a bit of water in a sunken place in the earth 
that had contained some rain from a few days back and he soaked his clothes 
and wrung out the water onto the earth
and patted it dry 
and kept on like this 
and kept on 
until there was a little room built that seemed to resemble the 
coming together of a house 
he slept in it and got up and continued 
he ate berries and dry earth and leaves that he found 
he was emaciated and parched and kept going 
then he felt finally that maybe he was done with his task 
and he sat back and looked and yes it did look a bit like a house 
he thought 
okay, so i will go back and tell the sage about it and he will say
good job son, you are now done and on your way
and he returned to the sage that was sitting in quietude and said
dear sir, i have finished the task you gave me, now what am i to do?
would you like to see it?
and the sage did not even open his eyes and said, no -- tear it down now ..
Milarepa was floored and said, what? 
tear it down, said the sage 
and do not speak to me again or i will have you out of my life for all eternity 
i will not want to look upon you ever again, now go...
Milarepa went off on his way, completely floored and exhausted 
looking like skin and bones and dry flesh that was wasting away
he went back to the house he built with his hands and heart 
and tore it down every bit of it ...
he sat on the dry earth and cried and cried with his head in his hands 
he trembled and shook and swore and cursed and everything that could be 
said that made him vent his frustration and sorrow he said...
he was told by his sage later to build another house and tear it down 
and another and another and another 
and then he was sent to live in solitude by himself and sit many, 
many hours in quiet meditation 
in the caves where there was not a soul around but himself 
and he sat and he sat and he sat.....
until milarepa finally broke through his cage of mind 
and entered beautitude and undying perfection
he became a light in the very same life that he took lives
by slaughter and dark ways
and he went on to be a very honored yogi
for humanity with his bright words that rested in stillness
and pointed always to the importance of surrender to Guru
and steady efforts...
he was very much of an example of a man that pulled himself
out of the debris of his  dark past
and rose above it as a light
to be seen then as a blessing for all that came near him..


  1. Namaste, this sounds hopeful, but frightening to ego. Thank you for this. OM

  2. Namaste, thank you for this. Always love reading these stories with great pointings. Om.

  3. Namaste - they are great examples of how to walk the path for sure... glad they resonate... shanti om

  4. Namaste - ego gets put through trials and challenged directly until it falls away .. this is how it is .. shanti om

  5. Namaste - very interesting to read this today... Had some thoughts today about past actions that were not enlightened let’s put it that way... Thank you for this! OM

  6. Namaste, glad it struck a chord -- shanti om

  7. Namaste had heard about Milarepa before this writing really brings the story to life and it resonnates - Thank you
    om shanti

  8. Namaste - thank you, it just flows out spontaneous... glad it resonated... shanti om

  9. Namaste Guru Siddhananda,

    Thank you distilling out that it was Milarepa's devotion to Guru and his steadfast efforts that made him a great yogi. I had seen a movie of Milarepa acted out by Buddhist monks. I felt as if this blog post expressed clearly what Milarepa would have felt through his journey. Thank you for this beautiful piece.


  10. Namaste, thank you for comment and appreciation -- am glad it resonates in a way that is meaningful -- great day and om

  11. Great Post about an inspirational teacher, thank you !!
    Please enjoy my animated introduction to the life and poetry of Milarepa The Yogi -
    Best Wishes ~

  12. namaste, thank you for reading... om shanti

  13. namaste, video of this writing can be found at