Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa
A Biography from the Tibetan
or Biographical History of Jetsün-Milarepa,
according to the late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English
Edited with Introduction and Annotations by
W. Y. Evans-Wentz
M.A., D.LItr., B.SC.
Jesus College, Oxford
Oxford University Press
London, Oxford, New York
First published by Oxford University Press, London, 1928
Second edition, 1951
First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback,
Printed in the United States of America
This reprint, 1980
“I am Milarepa, great in fame,
The direct offspring of Memory and Wisdom;
Yet an old man am I, forlorn and naked.
From my lips springeth forth a little song,
For all Nature, at which I look,
Serveth me for a book.
The iron staff, that my hands hold,
Guideth me over the Ocean of Changing Life.
Master am I of Mind and Light;
And, in showing feats and miracles,
Depend not on earthly deities.”
Milarepa, from the Gur-Bum
(after G. Sandberg’s Translation).
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIONS
I. The Importance of the Jetsün-Kahbum
II. Historical Value of the Narrative
III. Tibetan Schools of Buddhist Philosophy
IV. The Kargyütpa Apostolic Succession
V. The Modern Successors of Milarepa
VI. Kargyütpas Compared with Christian Gnostics
VII. Dissenting Sects
VIII. Genealogical Tree of Lamaist Sects
IX. The Defence of the Hermit Ideal
X. The Arhant Problem
XI. The Text and its Translation
XII. The Place of the Jetsün-Kahbum in the Literature
XIII. Milarepa as one of Humanity’s Heroes
RECHUNG’S TIBETAN INTRODUCTION .
THE PATH OF DARKNESS
CHAPTER I: THE LINEAGE AND BIRTH
Telling of Rechung’s Dreams, which led to the Writing
of this Biography; and of Milarepa’s Ancestry and Birth
CHAPTER II: THE TASTING OF SORROW
Telling of the Death and Last Will of Milarepa’s Father;
the Misappropriation of the Estate by the Paternal Uncle and Aunt; and
the Resulting Sorrows which Milarepa and his Mother and Sister endured
CHAPTER III: THE PRACTISING OF THE BLACK ART
Telling of Jetsün’s Guru and Mastery of the Black
Art; and of how Jetsün destroyed Thirty-Five of his Enemies and the
Rich Barley Harvest of the Others, by Magic
THE PATH OF LIGHT
CHAPTER IV: THE SEEKING OF THE HOLY DHARMA
Telling of how Jetsün departed from his Guru of
the Black Art; and of how Jetsün found his Guru of the True Doctrine,
Marpa the Translator
CHAPTER V: THE PROBATION AND PENANCE
Telling of how Jetsün Obeyed the Commands of his
Guru Marpa, thereby Suffering Strange Trials and Great Tribulations; and
of how, in Despondency, he Thrice Deserted Marpa and Sought another Guru,
and then returned to Marpa.
CHAPTER VI: THE INITIATION
Telling of the Completion of Jetsün’s Probation;
of Jetsün’s Initiation; and of Marpa’s Predictions concerning Jetsün.
CHAPTER VII: THE PERSONAL GUIDANCE BY THE GURU
Telling of the Fruits of Jetsün’s Meditation and
Study; of Marpa’s Last Journey to India; of Jetsün’s Prophetic Dream
and its Interpretation by Marpa; and of Marpa’s special charge to each
of his Four Chief Disciples.
CHAPTER VIII: THE PARTING FROM THE GURU
Telling of how Jetsün, led by a Dream, left his
Hermitage, and, going to his Guru, secured permission to visit Tsa, Jetsün’s
Birthplace; of the Guru’s Final Instructions and Admonitions; of the Sorrowful
Parting; and of how Jetsün reached Tsa.
CHAPTER IX: THE RENUNCIATION
Telling of the Disillusionment which Jetsün met
when he had reached his Home; and of his Vows to Live the Ascetic Life
and Practise Meditation in Solitude.
CHAPTER X: THE MEDITATION IN SOLITUDE
Telling of how Jetsün entered into Solitary Meditation
in the Mountain Solitudes; of the Outer Experiences, and of the Psycho-Physical
Results which Ensued; and of his Songs Recording each Event.
CHAPTER XI: THE HERMITAGES AND SERVICE RENDERED TO SENTIENT
Telling of Jetsün’s Disciples and Places of Meditation;
and of the Recorded Writings concerning Jetsün.
CHAPTER XII: THE NIRVANA
Telling of how Jetsün came to take Poisoned Curds
from Tsaphuwa’s Concubine; of the Last Assembly of Jetsün’s Followers,
and the Attendant Marvels; of Jetsün’s Discourse on Illness and Death;
of His Final Testamentary Teachings; of the Conversion of Tsaphuwa; of
the Last Will; of the Passing Away in Samadhi, and the Resultant Super-normal
Phenomena; of Rechung’s Late Arrival and Prayer to Jetsün, and the
Answer; of the Marvellous Events Connected with the Cremation and the Reliques;
of the Execution of Jetsün’s Last Will; and concerning his Disciples.