Was Milarepa a Buddhist

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Was Milarepa a Buddhist

Postby ananda » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:52 am

I was reading through a book titled 'A Buddhist Bible' and while reading a chapter on the life of Milarepa I read about how he entered into 'Dagkar Taso' cave where he performed austerities causing his body to become very emaciated. Concerned relatives would try to get him to refrain from the strenuous austerities but failed to do so.I recall that Shakyamuni Buddha exhorted his followers to refrain from excessive austerity and to instead follow a 'Middle Path'. Was Milarepa Buddhist ?
Perhaps the author of the book didn't provide an accurate excerpt of the story.
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin
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Re: Was Milarepa a Buddhist

Postby Paul » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:19 am

ananda wrote:Was Milarepa Buddhist ?


Milarepa was a buddha.

His austerities etc. were a means to an end, not the end in itself. There are some spiritual traditions that think pain and suffering are good and necessary, but this wasn't Marpa or Milarepa's view.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

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Re: Was Milarepa a Buddhist

Postby Jinzang » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:53 am

Milarepa took a vow to remain in retreat in the mountains until enlightenment. He wasn't fasting or performing austerities for their own sake. It's just that there were very few sources of food and clothing in his isolated retreat. He took the little that was offered to him gratefully and did not spurn it.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Was Milarepa a Buddhist

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:28 pm

ananda wrote:I was reading through a book titled 'A Buddhist Bible' and while reading a chapter on the life of Milarepa I read about how he entered into 'Dagkar Taso' cave where he performed austerities causing his body to become very emaciated. Concerned relatives would try to get him to refrain from the strenuous austerities but failed to do so.I recall that Shakyamuni Buddha exhorted his followers to refrain from excessive austerity and to instead follow a 'Middle Path'. Was Milarepa Buddhist ?
Perhaps the author of the book didn't provide an accurate excerpt of the story.


You may need to read the Life of Milarepa to clarify your doubt. His life story is very inspiring and enjoyable to be read.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Was Milarepa a Buddhist

Postby Chaz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:14 pm

ananda wrote:I was reading through a book titled 'A Buddhist Bible' and while reading a chapter on the life of Milarepa I read about how he entered into 'Dagkar Taso' cave where he performed austerities causing his body to become very emaciated.


That was because he didn't always have a lot of food to eat, especially in winter. He was not emaciated because of an imposed fast. Tradition holds that he ate a lot of nettle soup. This gave his skin a greenish color (perhaps because of the Chlorophyl in the nettles). He's often depicted that way in Thangkas


Concerned relatives would try to get him to refrain from the strenuous austerities but failed to do so.I recall that Shakyamuni Buddha exhorted his followers to refrain from excessive austerity and to instead follow a 'Middle Path'. Was Milarepa Buddhist ?
Perhaps the author of the book didn't provide an accurate excerpt of the story.


Milarepa was a Yogin. He's often referred to as "Lord of the Yogins" because of his extended retreat practice. The austerities, as another pointed out were not the purpose of Milarepa's retreat. The austerities were a side-effect. He was also a Buddhist.

You should read Thrangu Rinpoche's biography of Milarepa. You should also read and meditate on the 100,000 songs of realization that Milarepa composed. This would be especially good to do if you have any interest in the Kagyu lineage or Mahamudra practice.
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