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Milarepa statue

Jetsün Milarepa ( Tibetan རྗེ་ བཙུན་ མི་ ལ་ རས་ པ Wylie rje btsun mi la ras pa ; * 1040 ; † 1123 ) was a tantric master and founder of the Kagyü schools of Tibetan Buddhism . He was the tantric yogi who the Mahamudra -Übertragungslinie Marpa further led. He is considered one of the greatest yogis and ascetics of Tibet. In addition, he is also considered the greatest poet in Tibet.


Milarepa, tempera on cotton, 21 × 30 cm, Otgonbayar Ershuu

Milarepa was born in Gungthang Province in western Tibet . Tradition has it that his father died when he was seven years old, and Milarepa and his mother came under the care of wicked relatives. There they were treated so badly that his mother sent him away to learn the art of magic and then took revenge on them. Through " black magic " Milarepa initially caused the death of many people, but eventually regretted this and went in search of a master who could instruct him in the teachings of the Buddha , especially in tantric practice.

He first met the Dzogchen master Rangthön Lhaga, but was sent by him to the translator Marpa because the necessary karmic connection from previous lifetimes was missing between them . He became a student of Marpa for years. With him, however, he had to endure a period of hardship. Marpa made him “wear off” his accumulated bad karma through hard work . Only then did Marpa impart to him the special tantric teachings that he himself had received from Naropa and other masters.

Milarepa lived in complete isolation for many years of his life, including a long time at the foot of the Kailash , which according to legend he was the only one to have climbed. He nourished himself in the simplest possible way, practiced meditation and various tantric yoga techniques in order to ultimately realize the Mahamudra (great seal / symbol). From then on he started teaching and instructing students. His hundred thousand chants are famous , in which he presented his path in life and the tantric teaching in verse. He is said to have listened to it as an expression of its realization, and then recorded it verbatim. Milarepa's most famous disciples were Gampopa and Rechungpa .

According to Tibetan Buddhist legend, Milarepa resides in Akshobhya's Pure Land of Abhirati , where he attained full Buddhahood .


In iconography - there are three-dimensional stone and bronze sculptures as well as painted portraits - Milarepa is mostly dressed in a cotton shirt and depicted with green skin. According to the legend, he only wore the cotton shirt in cold Tibet because he mastered the yoga of the inner heat ( tummo ). The green color of the skin is said to come from the fact that he often nourished nettles for long periods of time.





  • Milarepa by Neten Chokling, Bhutan 2005, 95 minutes, first performance at the Berlinale 2006


Web links

Commons : Milarepa  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 12. Vision of the Universe Abhirati and the Tathagata Aksobhya
  2. ^ Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Milarepa , Berlin International Film Festival 2006
Milarepa (alternative names of the lemma)
Jetsüm Milarepa, Milarapa, Milaräpa, chin .: 密勒日巴, Mìlèrìbā