Vajrayana (Devanagari: वज्रयान; Oriya: ବଜ୍ରଯାନ, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐེག་པ་, rdo rje theg pa; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön, Chinese: 密宗, mì zōng) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. Vajrayana is a complex and multifaceted system of Buddhist thought and practice which evolved over several centuries.

According to Vajrayana scriptures Vajrayana refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Theravada and Mahayana.

Its main scriptures are called TantrasA d. istinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the use of rituals, which are Skillful Means (Upaya). They are being used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations.

Final Defeat of All Enemies

( Dalai Lama // A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, September 3, 2012 )

“Overcoming anger alone is equal to vanquishing all foes.”

The Mahamudra Transmission from Tilopa to Naropa

The Mahamudra Upadesa of Tilopa
(Translated by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche)

Homage to the Co-emergent Wisdom!

Mahamudra cannot be shown;
But for you who are devoted to the guru, who have mastered the ascetic practices
And are forbearant in suffering, intelligent Naropa,
Take this to heart, my fortunate student.


Look at the nature of the world,
Impermanent like a mirage or dream;
Even the mirage or dream does not exist.
Therefore, develop renunciation and abandon worldly activities.

Renounce servants and kin, causes of passion and aggression.
Meditate alone in the forest, in retreats, in solitary places.
Remain in the state of non-meditation.
If you attain non-attainment, then you have attained mahamudra.

The dharma of samsara is petty, causing passion and aggression.
The things we have created have no substance; therefore, seek the substance of the ultimate.
The dharma of mind cannot see the meaning of transcendent mind.
The dharma of action cannot discover the meaning of non-action.

If you would attain the realization of transcendent mind and non-action,
Then cut the root of mind and let consciousness remain naked.
Let the polluted waters of mental activities clear.
Do not seek to stop projections, but let them come to rest of themselves.
If there is no rejection or accepting, then you are liberated in the mahamudra.

When trees grow leaves and branches,
If you cut the roots, the many leaves and branches wither.
Likewise, if you cut the root of mind,
The various mental activities will subside.

The darkness that has collected in thousands of kalpas
One torch will dispel.
Likewise, one moment’s experience of luminous mind
Will dissolve the veil of karmic impurities.

Men of lesser intelligence who cannot grasp this,
Concentrate your awareness and focus on the breath.
Through different eye-gazes and concentration practices,
Discipline your mind until it rests naturally.

If you perceive space,
The fixed ideas of center and boundary dissolve.
Likewise, if mind perceives mind,
All mental activities will cease, you will remain in a state of non-thought,
And you will realize the supreme bodhi-citta.

Vapors arising from the earth become clouds and then vanish into the sky;
It is not known where the clouds go when they have dissolved.
Likewise, the waves of thoughts derived from the mind
Dissolve when mind perceives mind.

Space has neither color nor shape;
It is changeless, it is not tinged by black or white.
Likewise, luminous mind has neither color nor shape;
It is not tinged by black or white, virtue or vice.

The sun’s pure and brilliant essence
Cannot be dimmed by the darkness that endures for a thousand kalpas.
Likewise, the luminous essence of mind
Cannot be dimmed by the long kalpas of samsara.

Though it may be said that space is empty,
Space cannot be described.
Likewise, though it may be said that mind is luminous,
Naming it does not prove that is exists.
Space is completely without locality.
Likewise, mahamudra mind dwells nowhere.

Without change, rest loose in the primordial state;
There is no doubt that your bonds will loosen.
The essence of mind is like space;
Therefore, there is nothing which it does not encompass.

Let the movements of the body ease into genuineness,
Cease your idle chatter, let your speech become an echo,
Have no mind, but see the dharma of the leap.

The body, like a hollow bamboo, has no substance.
Mind is like the essence of space, having no place for thoughts.
Rest loose your mind; neither hold it nor permit it to wander.
If mind has no aim, it is mahamudra.
Accomplishing this is the attainment of supreme enlightenment.

The nature of mind is luminous, without object of perception.
You will discover the path of Buddha when there is no path of meditation.
By meditating on non-meditation you will attain the supreme bodhi.

This is the king of views-it transcends fixing and holding.
This is the king of meditations-without wandering mind.
This is the king of actions-without effort.
When there is no hope or fear, you have realized the goal.

The unborn alaya is without habits and veils.
Rest mind in the unborn essence; make no distinctions between meditation and post-meditation.
When projections exhaust the dharma of mind,
One attains the king of views, free from all limitations.

Boundless and deep is the supreme king of meditations.
Effortless self-existence is the supreme king of actions.
Hopeless self-existence is the supreme king of the fruition.

In the beginning mind is like a turbulent river.
In the middle it is like the River Ganges, flowing slowly.
In the end it is like the confluence of all rivers, like the meeting of mother and son.

The followers of Tantra, the Prajnaparamita,
The Vinaya, the Sutras, and other religions-
All these, by their texts and philosophical dogmas,
Will not see the luminous mahamudra.

Having no mind, without desires,
Self-quieted, self-existing,
It is like a wave of water.
Luminosity is veiled only by the rising of desire.

The real vow of samaya is broken by thinking in terms of precepts.
If you neither dwell, perceive, nor stray from the ultimate,
Then you are a holy practitioner, the torch which illuminates darkness.

If you are without desire, if you do not dwell in extremes,
You will see the dharmas of all the teachings.

If you strive in this endeavor, you will free yourself from samsaric imprisonment.
If you meditate in this way, you will burn the veil of karmic impurities.
Therefore, you are known as “The Torch of the Doctrine.”

Even ignorant people who are not devoted to this teaching
Could be saved by you from constantly drowning in the river of samsara.

It is a pity that beings endure such suffering in the lower realms.
Those who would free themselves from suffering should seek a wise guru.
Being possessed by the adhishthana [blessing], one’s mind will be freed.

If you seek a karma mudra, then the wisdom of the joy of union and emptiness will arise.
The union of skillful means and knowledge brings blessings.
Bring it down and give rise to the mandala.
Deliver it to the places and distribute it throughout the body.
If there is no desire involved, then the union of joy and emptiness will arise.

Gain long life, without white hairs, and you will wax like the moon.
Become radiant, and your strength will be perfect.
Having speedily achieved the relative siddhis, one should seek the absolute siddhis.
May this pointed instruction in mahamudra remain in the hearts of fortunate beings.
Oral instructions on mahamudra given by Sri Tilopa to Naropa at the banks of the Ganges River.
Translated from the Sanskrit into Tibetan by Chokyi Lodro Marpa the Translator.
English translation by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in
The Myth of Freedom.

Sand Castles

( The Buddha // Rādasamyutta )
Suppose some little boys or girls are playing with sand castles. So long as they are not devoid of lust, desire, thirst and craving for those sand castles, they cherish them, play with them, treasure them, and treat them possessively. But when those little boys or girls lose their lust, desire, thirst and craving for those sand castles then they scatter them with their hands and feet, demolish them, shatter them, and put them out of play.
So too, wise ones, scatter all illusion, demolish it, shatter it, put it out of play; practice for the destruction of craving. For with the destruction of all craving is Enlightenment.

The Gyalwang Karmapa Gave a talk at the Root Institute

( March 2012, Bodhgaya )

I am very happy to be at the Root Institute once again and I am delighted to see everyone come here to listen to the dharma with such faith and devotion. I have come to the Root Institute many times and every time I get a very warm welcome and I would like to thank you all very much for this. I did not make any particular preparations for what I am going to say today, nor am I quite sure what I should say to you, but perhaps I will share my feelings about the Kadampa Lineage.

When we talk about the Kadampa Lineage, we are referring to the lineage of those who are able to engage in the entire thought of the Buddha, and all of the Buddha’s speech without leaving anything out and to bring all of that onto the path to enlightenment. And this is a particular feature of the Kadampa lineage. So within their presentation of the Buddha’s teachings, their discussion of the three types of individuals, and so forth, what I think is most important for our time is the example they set of being able to practice and understand all the Buddha’s teachings, and to be able to take them onto the path. I think this is the most important and impressive thing about the Kadampa Lineage.

It is also a way of practicing where you do not have any bias between the different philosophical schools or between the different vehicles of Buddhism. Sometimes there is some bias between the levels of the Mahayana and the Foundation Vehicle, but the difference between these is actually nothing other than differences in the capacities of our own minds. It is a question of the extent of our resolve, or the amount of responsibility or burden that we are able to take upon ourselves. Even if we belong to the family of the Mahayana, in order to be able to really develop the capacity of our minds, then in the Kadampa tradition, we would start by studying the teachings of the sravakas and the pratyekabuddhas without casting any of it away.

Similarly, in terms of the different philosophical schools, it is well known that there are the four main schools from India. These are philosophical schools that we progress through like going up a staircase. After you understand the manner of explanation of the lower philosophical schools, then you are gradually able to understand the upper vehicles. For this reason then, the practices of the lower philosophical vehicles become companions or helpers to the practices of higher vehicles. And so for the Kadampas there is a way of practicing these without the lower becoming false in terms of the upper vehicles or without them being adversaries to the upper vehicles.

So this is a way that a single individual can practice all the different vehicles or philosophical schools of Buddhism without discriminating against any of them. It is the way to come to the essence of one’s practice within a single human lifetime.

Therefore, we look at the examples of the Kadampa masters and their teachings–the really vast, profound, and very extensive presentations–as a sort of foundation or commonality between all the different lineages that developed in Tibet. I think that all of the masters of the current lineages of Tibetan Buddhism cite the masters of the Kadampa lineage. Of course they have their own particular explanation and instructions but I feel that the basis of all of them is the Kadampa tradition. And this is because the Kadampa tradition contains all the different teachings of the Buddha within one package.

And then there are the old and new Kadampa traditions. After the appearance of Lord Tsongkhapa there emerged what is called the new Kadampa tradition. And we can talk about the difference between the old and new Kadampa but the main point to remember is that the Kadampa tradition is the basis for all of the later Tibetan dharma traditions. Therefore, it seems to me that as long as all of the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism are still extant, then the Kadampa tradition will also be present without weakening. It is as if the essence of the Kadampa tradition has completely permeated all of the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. So these are my basic feelings about the Kadampa tradition.

Does anybody have any questions?

1.) What is enlightenment?

There are many different explanations of what enlightenment is–the state of buddhahood and all of that. If we talk about it in terms of ground, path, and fruition, there are many different presentations of this and there is really no time to describe them all in detail. But actually when we think about the word buddha, in Tibetan it is translated as sangye, which means purified and developed. And the example that is given for this is a lotus that is fully in bloom.

But if we talk about what buddha means in ordinary language, it means understanding, and not just any old understanding, but great understanding. And we can also talk about the difference between consciousness and wisdom. The word for wisdom in Tibetan is yeshe and the word for consciousness in Tibetan is namshe. “Ye” in the word yeshe means primordial or from the very beginning. It is like knowing what the nature of all things has been from the very beginning. Understanding the nature of things and the way that they abide is what we call wisdom or yeshe.

Consciousness or namshe is knowing the outer appearance or the external way things are and then clinging to that. That is what we call consciousness. And so buddha means someone who understands the nature of all things as it has been from the very beginning. As ordinary individuals, when we see phenomena, we see the external appearance and do not understand that this is not their true nature. We cling to this as if it were their nature. Actually all we are seeing is the temporary way that things appear to be and then we grasp at this as if it were the actual nature of how things are.

There is a story about the Buddha that illustrates this. The Buddha was going on his alms round one day and he came to the house of someone who started criticizing him by saying, “You lazy monks are always going around and begging all the time. You should be working for your own food.” He was criticizing and using a lot of really harsh and nasty language. The Buddha just stood there and listened to him and finally when he slowed down, the Buddha said, “Have you finished with what you have to say?” And the man said, “Yes I have finished.” And then the Buddha said, “If you give someone something that they do not want, what should they do with it? Should they give it back to you and would you take it?” And the man said, “Yes I suppose I would take it.” And then the Buddha said, “Well, all of these mean and nasty things that you have just said, and all of your criticism I do not need, so I would like to give it back to you.”

What this story illustrates is that the Buddha understands the nature of how things are. He realizes that there is absolutely no point to him getting angry in any way. He realizes that the other person was speaking out of a motivation of hatred or anger but that is not a reason for the Buddha himself to get angry. So normally we would think of this as something we should get angry about. We think of this as something true and we grasp at what appears as being the nature of the actual way things are. Because of that our minds are disturbed. We take things way too seriously because we do not understand the true nature things but instead are mistaken or confused by the appearance of things. I think this is one way to explain the difference.

2.) When I see the suffering of other sentient beings, I take it very seriously. And sometimes I want to try to do something to help but it does not always work out. So is it better to wait until enlightenment to act?

Of course it is wonderful to have the interest in achieving enlightenment. This interest is primarily in order to bring benefit to sentient beings. But as it says in Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, those people who do not have clairvoyance should not work for the sake of other beings. The reason it says this is that if we do not have a little bit of clairvoyance, we will not be able to know the minds of other sentient beings. We will not really be able to know their capacities, their inclinations, or their interests. And if we do not know that then we will not be able to teach them the dharma that is in accord with their own level. We will not be able to help them as much. For instance, we would not know if it is appropriate to teach someone emptiness or not. If we do not have clairvoyance, it is not easy to help them. So for that reason it says in the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment that without clairvoyance, you should not teach the dharma.

But also when ordinary individuals try to do things for the benefit of other sentient beings, it is said that most of the things we do enst do not. During the phase when one is a bodhisattva, then most activities we do d up not having much effect or benefit. Of course some of the things we do have benefit but mofor the benefit of others are meaningful, but it is possible of course that there would be some that would not be meaningful. And then when one achieves the state of buddhahood, all of one’s activities are meaningful. There are not any that end up being pointless. So for that reason we need to achieve the state of buddhahood. Some people might think it is in order to be able to achieve some high benefit for oneself, but in fact buddhahood is just being able to work for the benefit other sentient beings, and not just a few hundred or a few thousand sentient beings, but to be able to help all those beings who have consciousness by bringing them to the point of buddhahood and omniscience. To bring beings to the state of complete enlightenment is something that only a buddha can do and this is why we need to achieve the state of buddhahood. And so once we achieve the state of buddhahood, our activities for the benefit of others will be effortless.

However, while we are still on the path, there are some small things we can do for the benefit of others even though they may not be as vast as the infinite activity of the Buddha. And we should do as much as we are capable of doing. So this does not mean just thinking to ourselves, “Oh I can’t do that.” We need to test ourselves. We need to try it out. If we try something out and find we are not able to help, well there is nothing wrong with that. And if we were not able to do anything, then we can make the aspiration, “In the future, may I be able to help sentient beings in this way.”

In any case, we should do the things we can actually accomplish now. It is not a question of waiting until we achieve enlightenment. Since the state of buddhahood is working for the benefit of sentient beings, then the path that brings this to fruition is also bringing benefit to sentient beings. The vast activity of the children of the bodhisattvas is the activity of helping other sentient beings and if we do not practice it now then it would be difficult for us to effortlessly bring benefit to sentient beings in the future.

And so we need to train on this path and gradually go through the stages of a bodhisattva in order to achieve the state of buddhahood. And this comes out of working for the benefit of others and out of our resolve and aspiration. And it is through this that we are able to actualize the effortless activity of a buddha.

3.) Why should we aspire to be born in a pure land? Why not aspire to be born again in this realm where the dharma is so desperately needed.

The reason to make aspirations to be born in a pure realm is that there are all the harmonious conditions for practicing the dharma without any impediments. You have everything you need to practice dharma and that is the reason to be born in a pure realm. To speak in business language, there is a profit to being born in a pure land. But this does not mean that you must make prayers to be born there or that you should be born anywhere else. It is up to you what aspiration you want to make. It is your choice.

If we do what we can to be born in the happy states of the gods or humans, if we gather all the causes and conditions for being born with a precious human body, then after death we can take rebirth as someone who can do great things for the benefit of the teachings and for beings. It is possible that we can do this. If you have the resolve to do this, that is wonderful. But it is not necessarily very easy to do so. As humans in this world, we have a lot of experiences and when we try to practice the dharma, it is not easy. There are a lot of things that get in the way. We have to put a lot of effort into our dharma practice. In the pure realms, it is not like this. We do not have to put a lot of effort into it. Whether it is the power of the realm or because of Amitabha’s aspirations, you have everything that you need to practice the dharma. And there are no impediments to the practice, so there is a great profit to being born there. But it depends upon your own interest and courage. If you have the courage to make the aspiration to be born in a degenerate age such as this one, this is extremely praiseworthy. It is like the Bhagavan Buddha who made the aspiration to become a buddha at a time when the lifespan was 100 years, and because of this he was proclaimed as being the greatest of all the white lotuses of the thousand buddhas of this time. So that is also wonderful.

4.) How can we keep the heart open, be mindful, and not follow our disturbing emotions while living an active, ordinary life?

The main thing is that we need to have carefulness, mindfulness, and awareness of what we are doing. We have the habitual tendency to do unvirtuous things and for that reason we need to really apply our mindfulness and awareness. This is something that we need to understand: we have a lot of disturbing emotions and afflictions and because of that we need to be careful and aware and to apply mindfulness. And this is because from innumerable lifetimes since beginningless time we have been habituated to the afflictions and disturbing emotions. We have a very old habit for this. And so we need to replace this old habit with a new habit and we need to use our mindfulness to create this new habit within our mind.

It is similar to when we meditate upon loving kindness as an antidote for hatred. We need to meditate upon it and use it and then we need to be careful and aware in order to make it into a new habit. So we meditate on loving kindness over and over again, and when we meditate upon it, we need to protect it with our mindfulness, awareness, and carefulness. If we do not protect it, we will just lose it. So it is very important for us to protect our new habits and the most important thing is that we have a deep resolve within our hearts and minds.

Sometimes it is as if there are two people within our minds. There is one person on the side of disturbing emotions and one person on the side of virtue. And it is like we are stuck in the middle between the two of them. Sometimes we support one or the other and it is never definite which side we will support. We should take all of the power of our body, speech, and mind and decide which side we are going to support: the virtuous side or the unvirtuous side. We need to contemplate the nature of the disturbing emotions and when we have the experience where we can recognize the problems and faults, from that point onwards we should have the resolve not to be overcome by the enemy of the afflictions.

So this concludes our short session this afternoon. I would like to thank all of the people who keep the Root Institute going, all the lamas and sangha, and all the Indian staff and Bihari people who are here, and even the elephant they have outside. Whenever I come to Bodhgaya, the Root Institute offers me an invitation. I am especially grateful for this opportunity. And I would like to thank you very much for making such wonderful arrangements and preparations out of such pure motivation and I hope that I can come again and again in the future. I would also like to pray from the bottom of my heart that all of you have great auspiciousness, happiness, and wellbeing.

OM AH HUNG Meaning

OM AH HUNG Meaning – from the mantra :


OM AH HUNG are the sublime, essence of the principles of enlightened body, speech, and mind
VAJRA is the sublime essence of the indestructible family
GURU is the sublime essence of the jewel family
PEMA is the sublime essence of the lotus family
SIDDHI is the sublime essence of the activity family
HUNG is the sublime essence of the transcendent family

is the perfect splendor and richness of sambhoghakaya
AH is the total unchanging perfection of dharmakaya, the manifest body of absolute reality
HUNG perfects the presence of Guru Padmasambhava as the nirmanakaya, the manifest body of emanation
VAJRA perfects all the heruka deities of the mandalas
GURU refers to the root and transmission gurus and the holders of intrinsic awareness
PEMA perfects the assembly of dakas and dakinis
SIDDHI is the life force of all the wealth deities and the guardians of the treasure teachings
HUNG is the life force of the dharmapalas, the protective deities


OM AH HUNG are the life force of the three classes of tantra
VAJRA is the life force of the monastic discipline and the sutra class of teachings
GURU is the life force of abhidharma and kriya (action) yoga, the first level of tantra
PEMA is the life force of the charya (conduct) yoga, the second class of tantra, and yoga (joining) tantra, the third class of tantra
SIDDHI is the life force of the mahayoga and anuyoga classes of teachings
HUNG is the life force of the ati yoga, the Natural Great Perfection (Dzogchen)


OM AH HUNG purify obscurations arising from the three mental poisons: desire/attachment, aversion, and ignorance
VAJRA purifies obscurations which stem from anger
GURU purifies obscurations which stem from pride
PEMA purifies obscurations which stem from desire/attachment
SIDDHI purifies obscurations which stem from envy/jealousy
HUNG in a general way purifies obscurations which stem from all emotional afflictions


Through OM AH HUNG one attains the three kayas
Through VAJRA one realizes mirror-like pristine awareness
Through GURU one realizes the pristine awareness of equalness
Through PEMA one realizes the pristine awareness of discernment
Through SIDDHI one realizes the all-accomplishing pristine awareness
Through HUNG one realizes the pristine awareness of basic space


Through OM AH HUNG gods, demons, and humans are subdued
Through VAJRA one gains power over malevolent forces of certain gods and demons
Through GURU one gains control over the malevolent forces of the Lord of Death and the cannibal demons
Through PEMA one gains control over the malevolent influences of the water and wind elements
Through SIDDHI one gains control over the malevolent influences of non-human forces and spirits bringing harm and exerting negative control over one’s life
Through HUNG one gains control of the malevolent influences of planetary configurations and earth spirits


OM AH HUNG accomplishes the six spiritual virtues
VAJRA accomplishes pacifying activity
GURU accomplishes enriching activity
PEMA accomplishes magnetizing activity
SIDDHI accomplishes enlightened activity in general
HUNG accomplishes wrathful enlightened activity


OM AH HUNG avert all imprecations and curses
VAJRA averts the negative consequences of breaking one’s samaya with the deities of pristine awareness
GURU averts the negative influences of the eight classes of gods and demons in samsara
PEMA averts the negative influences of nagas and earth spirits
HUNG averts the negative influences of gods, demons, humans, samsaric gods


OM AH HUNG defeats the army of the five mental poisons
VAJRA defeats anger
GURU defeats pride
PEMA defeats desire/attachment
SIDDHI defeats envy and jealousy
HUNG defeats the armies of gods, demons and humans


OM AH HUNG brings about the spiritual accomplishments or siddhis
VAJRA brings about the siddhi of peaceful and wrathful deities
GURU brings about the siddhi of the awareness-holders and the lineage gurus
PEMA brings about the siddhi of the dakas and dakinis and dharma protectors
SIDDHI brings about the mundane and supreme siddhis
HUNG brings about the siddhi of accomplishing whatever one wishes


OM AH HUNG transfers consciousness to the pure realms of experience
VAJRA transfers consciousness to the eastern pure realm of Manifest Joy
GURU transfers consciousness to the southern pure realm of Glory & Splendor
PEMA transfers consciousness to the western pure realm of Great Bliss
SIDDHI transfers consciousness to the northern pure realm of Excellent Activity
HUNG transfers consciousness to the central pure realm of Unwavering

Tibetan Book of The Dead – The Great Liberation

Interview with the 16 Karmapa – 1976

Amazing and very unique recording of HH 16 Karmapa Interview which took place during His Holiness Karmapa visit in USA in 1976.

The Karmapa (officially His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa) is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyupa (Tibetan Bka’ brgyud), itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

16th Karmapa on Obstacles

16th Karmapa and 14th Dalai Lama

( H.H. 16th Karmapa
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje )

“When you do things, then obstacles will come and you can go through them.
Obstacles are a sign of success”




( Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche )

“Look. This is your world! You can’t not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don’t hesitate – look! Open your eyes. Don’t blink, and look, look – look further.”


Milarepa (often referred to as Jetsun Milarepa, meaning Milarepa the Revered One) is the central figure of early Tibetan Buddhism. He was a Buddhist saint, a yogi, a sorceror, a trickster, a wanderer, and a poet. He is both folk hero and cultural preceptor, the embodiment of the ideal in Tibetan Buddhism.

The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, an extensive collection of stories and poetry from the life of Milarepa, is a central text of popular Tibetan Buddhism, in some ways comparable to the Bhagavad Gita in Hinduism and the New Testament within Christianity. His life stories and poetry are read devoutly even today to inspire determination in meditation and spiritual practice.

Milarepa’s father died when he was still a boy, and the land that should have passed to him was seized by relatives who treated the young Milarepa and his mother and sister as slaves. After several years of this cruelty and hard labor, Milarepa’s mother convinced the teenaged boy to study magic with a local sorceror in order to take revenge on their relatives. Milarepa was so successful in this purpose that, it is said, a great hailstorm occurred, destroying the house during a wedding ceremony, killing several members of the family. In the aftermath of this incident, Milarepa felt such guilt for his actions that he vowed to cleanse himself of the evil karma he had accumulated.

In his search for a pure spiritual teacher, Milarepa eventually met his guru, the Buddhist yogi and translator, Marpa, who was himself a disciple of the famous Indian Buddhist master Naropa. Marpa, seeing Milarepa’s great potential mixed with dark karma, put Milarepa through many years of severe trials and tests before he would formally accept Milarepa as a student.

Milarepa then spent several years meditating in seclusion in remote mountain caves, struggling, at times, against the demonic forces of the mind, until he achieved the ultimate enlightenment.

Rejecting the formalism of religious position and the endless squabbles of theological discourse, he adopted the life of a mendicant, traveling from village to village, speaking directly with the people he met, ›› singing spontaneous songs of enlightenment and wisdom.