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The Milarepa way

Spiritual aspirants can learn a lot from the life of Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi and a realised master of Mahayan Buddhism. His adamant aspiration, tenacity and absolute surrender to the guru leading to supreme realisation can lighten our own spiritual pilgrimage.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2010 02:38 IST
M. N. Kundu

Spiritual aspirants can learn a lot from the life of Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi and a realised master of Mahayan Buddhism. His adamant aspiration, tenacity and absolute surrender to the guru leading to supreme realisation can lighten our own spiritual pilgrimage.

In early life, with terrible spirit of revenge, he acquired occult powers to teach befitting lesson to his inimical relatives who had impoverished his helpless widowed mother with two kids. But very soon he realised that revenge is a kind of wild justice and it invariably fails to generate peace or requisite learning.

The sunlit path of compassion and enlightenment propagated by the Buddha instead can offer permanent peace and solution to all problems in this impermanent world of constant flux. Exercise of supernatural powers over natural phenomenon has its equal opposite reaction. He started frantic search for great guru Marpa for initiation into Buddhist meditation for realisation.

Marpa was ready for his great arrival. But he demanded absolute surrender from the most eligible disciple. Milarepa agreed to follow his instructions. Then followed the rigorous test of his austerity and true surrender.

Marpa ordered him to build a house for him with stones taking bare minimum food. When the enormous task was complete, instead of being happy, Marpa was angry. The house was not built as per his orders. Hence it had to be destroyed and built anew. Milarepa obeyed the guru’s dictates without any objection. Same thing was repeated, again and again. Thus, the whimsical orders of the guru made him built seven houses. Still the guru was not satisfied. Rigorous and humiliating tests were inflicted on him. But Milarepa, with his goal ever shining before him, could convince himself that he had come for supreme realisation and not for any accomplishment or ego satisfaction. This attitude, ultimately, led him to become a Buddha, an enlightened one.