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The Saga of Milarepa and a Journey to Truth through Compassion

Milarepa Saint Compassion

There’s Always Hope

Seeking truth seems like an endless endeavor.  Yet it is one that offers great spiritual rewards to the seeker especially as time progresses, and we are willing to put in the effort.  In many religions, practices and philosophical thoughts, realizing truth has no end and what distinguishes truth from worldly pursuit is the goal of enlightenment.  But how do we get to attain this? Buddhism teaches us “how” in an number of ways through practice, insight and experience as illustrated through stories, parables and so much more.

One such story, that of Tibetan Buddhism- the Saint, Milarepa, speaks of this realization and can be a great source of inspiration for those on their way to experiencing truth and the path we often must take to really get there.  A story of finding strength in weakness, suffering and losing everything, ultimately ends in attaining everything the fullness of our body, minds and souls need.

According to legend, the Milarepa and his mother lost everything his father worked hard for upon his father’s death.  His aunt and uncle, father’s siblings, ultimately took everything leaving the young boy and his mother desolate and unhappy.  When he was a teen, Milarepa sought out to become an apprentice to a black art’s Lama known in the region.  He would use his new skills to curse his father’s siblings and restore what was lost to his mother and siblings.  Bent toward revenge and using his new found sorcery, Milarepa caused a house to collapse on a wedding party killing many people inside  and created a storm to lay waste to all the land’s harvest.  He sought refuge in a cave in order to hide from the community who soon found out that it was him who was creating the sudden havoc.

He soon returned to the black magic lama feeling deep remorse and grief for what he had done.  He tearfully begged for repentance and wanted to seek forgiveness for what had transpired.  The lama soon sent him to another Lama, Marpa the Translator, for new teachings and spiritual renewal.  It was during this time that Milarepa experienced a lot of self realization and his life would dramatically change, until he eventually attained full enlightenment through arduous, disciplined, solitary retreat in a cave, eating only nettles. He was a master poet, and still widely revered today.  This story suggests that no matter how dark our past actions were, everyone is redeemable.

The Milarepa saga teaches us about the greater things we can achieve outside of worldly possessions.  If we allow ourselves to heal over the pain of loss and embrace what is good we can learn much about ourselves and be that much closer to truth.  It was the Milarepa who once said in an enlightened state while speaking on universal compassion and forgiveness

“There is a need of mentally praying and wishing for blessings for others so earnestly that one’s mind processes also transcend thought.”

Please use our mala beads to inspire your own meditation practice, we can always start fresh!