Sunday, June 18, 2017

Carpe Diem's Theme Week: The Songs Of Milarepa (1) Introduction

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this month's Theme Week. This month while we are discovering magical and spiritual Tibet I have included a nice Theme Week. This Theme Week it's all about Tibet's renown poet and yogi Milarepa and is titled "The Songs of Milarepa".

Maybe you can remember our first Theme Week in which we explored the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In the e-book that followed after that Theme Week I included a "song by Milarepa". In this Theme Week that starts today I have gathered a few wonderful "songs" by Milarepa to inspire you. So let's go!

Let me first introduce to you Milarepa:

Milarepa is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints. In a superhuman effort, he rose above the miseries of his younger life and with the help of his Guru, Marpa the Translator, took to a solitary life of meditation until he had achieved the pinnacle of the enlightened state, never to be born again into the Samsara (whirlpool of life and death) of worldly existence. Out of compassion for humanity, he undertook the most rigid asceticism to reach the Buddhic state of enlightenment and to pass his accomplishments on to the rest of humanity. His spiritual lineage was passed along to his chief disciples, Gambopa and Rechung. It was Rechung who recorded in detail the incidents of Milarepa's life for posterity. The narrative of his life has thus been passed down through almost a millennium of time and has become an integral part of Tibetan culture.
Milarepa extemporaneously composed innumerable songs throughout his life relevant to the dramatic turns of events of himself and his disciples in accordance with an art form that was in practice at the time. These songs have been widely sung and studied in Tibet ever since and have been recorded as the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. His faithful devotion, boundless religious zeal, monumental forbearance, superhuman perseverance, and ultimate final attainment are a great inspiration today for all. His auspicious life illumined the Buddhist faith and brought the light of wisdom to sentient beings everywhere. (Source: Cosmic Harmony)

Red Rock Jewel Valley (Tibet/India)
Milarepa was not only a poet, but also a yogi who sang his teachings for his followers. These songs are gathered in "Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa", of course he didn't compose that much songs, but he composed a lot of them.

The song I love to share here for your inspiration is part of "The Tale of Red Rock Jewel Valley" in which Milarepa has to conquer demons. Here is the song to inspire you:

This lonely spot where stands my hut 
Is a place pleasing to the Buddhas, 
A place where accomplished beings dwell, 
A refuge where I dwell alone. 

Above Red Rock Jewel Valley 
White clouds are gliding; 
Below, the Tsang River gently flows; 
Wild vultures wheel between. 

Bees are humming among the flowers, 
Intoxicated by their fragrance; 
In the trees birds swoop and dart, 
Filling the air with their song. 

Image source
In Red Rock Jewel Valley 
Young sparrows learn to fly, 
Monkeys love to leap and swing, 
And beasts to run and race, 
While I practice the Two Bodhi-Minds
and love to meditate. 

Ye local demons, ghosts and gods, 
All friends of Milarepa, 
Drink the nectar of kindness and compassion, 
Then return to your abode

© Milarepa (Tr.: Garma C. C. Chang; Shambhala Publications, 1977)

And here is my inspired haiku. I hope you like it:

deep silence
inhaling the sounds of nature -
white clouds dance

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope I have inspired you. This was our introductory episode of this Theme Week: "Songs Of Milarepa". I am looking forward to the upcoming days and your responses of course.

PS.: More reading? Follow this link and find out more about Milarepa.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 23rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our nex Theme Week episode, later on. For now ... have fun

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