Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa: A New Translation by Christopher Stagg


Milarepa (ca 1051–ca 1135), Tibet’s great singing yogi, is arguably the most renowned figure in Tibetan culture, the quintessential Tibetan folk hero. Milarepa committed grave crimes at an early age, then later had a radical change of heart. He sought out and followed a spiritual master, finally attaining the ultimate state of awakening within a single lifetime. Though Milarepa’s own practice tradition was the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, followers and practitioners of all the Buddhist lineages in Tibet reflect and meditate upon Milarepa’s life story and songs. Copies of Milarepa’s Life and Songs can be found in nearly every Tibetan-language or dharma library.

The version of Milarepa’s life story and songs most widely read today was compiled by Tsangnyön Heruka (1452–1507) approximately 350 years following the protagonist’s death. Tsangnyön composed the work in two parts intended to be read consecutively. The first is a shorter volume recounting the overall narrative of Milarepa’s life first published with the full title . It now has at least three widely circulated translations in English, the most recent two with the short title . The second part of Tsangnyön’s work is much more extensive and primarily concerns Milarepa’s teachings and songs following his own attainment of, this larger volume was published in English for the first time more than fifty years ago as by the great scholar and practitioner Garma C. C. Change (1920–1988). Although other translations of excerpts from the are available, Chang’s work has been the only complete English translation to be published. While it is now well known that there are mistakes in Chang’s work, given his personal experience in Milarepa’s practice tradition and his command of both Tibetan and English, the translation he produced was a great contribution. The importance of Chang’s groundbreaking work cannot be overstated; it was foundational in the development of this new translation.

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly8 min letti
The Rice Seedling Sutra
The Rice Seedling Sutra is one of the most important Buddhist sutras on the topic of dependent arising, the basic Buddhist doctrine that everything depends on something else for its existence. Spoken by the bodhisattva Maitreya, it recounts a teachin
Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly16 min letti
What If Our Ordinary Experience Is All That Matters?
EACH TIME I sit down on a cushion and pay attention to what is happening, I find myself utterly incapable of putting whatever it is I’m experiencing into words. There’s something about the practice of meditation, be it Seon or any exercise in which w
Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly8 min lettiSelf-Improvement
The Problem with Calling Buddhism a Science
Why I Am Not a Buddhist by Evan Thompson Yale University Press, January 2020 240 pages; $26 WE COULD easily imagine a book today being titled, Why I Am a Buddhist. Such a hypothetical author could claim that he is not religious, nor does he believe i