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Milarepa - Red Rock Jewel Valley - Unchecked

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked, and may contain mistakes and mishearings.

by Sangharakshita

... Experience and Realisation, I wish to compare mine with theirs. Though in my
deepest faith and veneration I have never been apart from you,
I am now tortured by my need to see you. This fervent longing agonizes me, This great
torment suffocates me.
Pray, my gracious Guru, relieve me from this torment."
S: So what does this song tell us about Milarepa's state of mind?
________ He is very sentimental at the moment.
S: But is he just sentimental?
______ No. It's the relationship with the Guru.
S: You notice though it is called 'Thoughts~of my Guru' but he seems to feel a separation
from his brothers, his vajra brothers, more than the separation from the Guru. Do you see
that? Because he says with regard to the fellow disciples, 'I am now tortured by my need to
see you, this fervent longing agonises me, this torment suffocates me,' which is strong
language indeed. Whereas in the case of the Guru he says, 'The more I meditate the more I
long for my Guru, the more I meditate, the more I think of my Guru.' which is comparatively
mild. So why do you think he misses his brother disciples even more than he misses the
Padmapani; Because the Guru is above the level that he sees his brothers at and can relate to
S: Yes. No doubt he does miss the Guru, but even more he misses the companionship of the
fellow disciples, and no doubt for that reason. It Is not lack of devotion to the Guru, but the
disciples are much more on his own level. (Pause). You also notice he says, 'Though in my
deepest faith and veneration I have never been apart from you, I am now tortured by my need
to see you. Speaking of his vajra brothers. So what does-this suggest? Is this true to life?
_______ It could be.
S: It could be yes. So what sort of situation does it represent?
Sagaramati; Half in the spiritual world, half in the human.
S: Yes.
Spiritually speaking he feels he is at one with his brother disciples and not
But at the same time the human side of him does feel the separation, does feel
the need of more direct contact. So we see that Milarepa is still on the path as it were. So he
is praying to the Guru to relieve him from the torment 6f the suffering created by this
separation from his fellow disciples.
Dharmarati; Could this echo his state over losing the wood and the robe be coming aware of
his ----ego. He still has ego-clinging.
S: Could be. (Pause) There is also the fact that in the course of his practice, in the course of
his meditation, he was doing some kind of Guru Yoga. So that could explain the feeling of
closeness with his Guru. But as far as I know there is no corresponding practice for disciples.
You do the Guru Yoga, you visualise the Guru, but I don't remember any practice where you
visualise your brother disciples, unless you do the metta in the way that we do it, and there is
no reference to that at least. But even so, if we were very well up on the path that still would
not be enough. You would still have that human vehicle, the tangible, personal, even physical
contact. To see them with your own eyes,
hear them with your ewnears, actually talk, actually communicate with them in the flesh. You
would have to be on a very very high level of spirituality before the purely spiritual content
arises.--- Perhaps Milarepa and the disciples are not sufficiently advanced to be able to make
that spiritual contact.- Perhaps he can make it with the Guru, because it is not a question of
him being only able to make that contact with the Guru, but the Guru being in contact with
him, as we shall see. He can't make spiritual contact with the disciples but they can't make
spiritual contact with him. So in a way he is more cut off from the fellow disciples, even
though he needs U~em even more. He is less cut off than from the Guru as in a sense, he
needs the Guru less. The Guru, as we shall see can appear to him in a vision, he knows what
is going on, but the disciples do not appear in any visiori They really do not know what is
going on.
Let's read on.
"No sooner h~d Milarepa finished than the Revered Ofle, the Jetsun Marpa,
appeared on a cluster of rainbow clouds resembling a robe of five colours. With an
ever-increasing celestial radiance suffusing his countenance, and riding a lion with rich
trappings. he approached Milarepa."
S: Why do you think he was riding a lion?
Peter Cowen: The lion represents the teaching of the Buddhas.
S: Yes. He says riding a lion who would be supported by eight lions. A lion. So who rides a
lion usually?
_________ Manjusri.
S: Manjusri. So it suggests that he is a manifestation of ManjuSri, the wisdom aspect of the
Dharma. Then what does he say. ...
"Great Sorcerer. mv son whv with such deep emotion." he asked, 'did you call
me so desperately? Why-do-you struggle so? Have you not an abiding faith in your Guru
and Patron Buddha? Does the outer world attract you with disturbing thoughts? Do the Eight
Worldly Winds howl in your cave? Do fear and longing sap your strength'? Have you not
continuously offered service to the Guru and to the Three Precious Ones above? Have you
not dedicated your merits to sentient beings-in the Six Realms? Have not you yourself
reached that state of grace in which you can purify your sins and achieve merits? No matter
what the cause, you may be certain that we will never part. Thus, for the sake of the Dharma
and the welfare of ~entient beings continue your meditation."
Inspired by this sublimely joyous vision Milarepa san~ in-reply:
When I see my Guru's countenance and hear his words, I the mendicant, am sttrred by the
Prana in my heart. In remembrance of the teachings of my Gflru Res~ect and reverence arise
in mv heart.
His com~assionate blessings enter me;
All destructive 'thoughts are banished.
My earnest song called, 'Thoughts of my Guru', Must surely have been heard by you, my
teacher; Yet I am still in darkness.
Pray, pity me and grant me your protection!
Indomitable perseverance
Is the highest offering to my Guru. The best way to please him Is to endure the hardship of
meditation! Abiding in this cave alone, Is the noblest service to the Dakinis! To
devote~myself to the Holy Dharma Is the best service to Buddhism To devote my life to
meditation, thus To aid my~helpless, sentie;~t fell~w beings! To love death and sickness is a
blessing Through which to cleanse one's sins; To refuse forbidden food helps one to attain
Realisation and Enlightenment; To repay my Father Guru's bounties I meditate and meditate
Guru - m1r~~e~, pray -- grant me - your protection!' Help this mendicant to stay ever in his
Ray Chipps; What is a mendicant?
S: Mendicant means a bhikkhu strictly, one who lives on alms. But looking at the~-who1e
episode, and leaving aside Milarepa's spirtual need for his fellow disciples his need for
spiritual fellowship, it is almost as though Milarepa, thinking of the Guru and his wife and the
happy band of di~ciples all there in the temple together underneath the cloud, almost like a
sort of religious group. Do you see what I mean? He is sent up into the mountains to
meditate on his own, he wasn't with all the others, he was not joining in whatever was going
on. He was by himself. So it suggests, as it were, that at this stage he was not seeing the
spiritual communitr as a spiritual community, he was seeing it more as a religious group and
he himse1~ ~rvp-st cast out of that - sent away - he had not been alowed to join in. It seems
to b~ that feeling of melancholy, not really wanting to be on his own. In other words, not
really wanting to be a spiritual individual. In a sense of course he did. That was his
conscious aim:~and aspiration but there was still some sort of lingering linging for
membership of the group, albeit the religious group. So no doubt that we are quite familiar
with that sort of sifficulty. You might imagine
someone going away on solitary retreat, maybe not being all that happy about it', maybe
being just sent there and then thinking, 'Here am I, all by myself. Back at Pundarika,I bet they
are having a happy time. Today it is Sunday, oh yes there will be so and so there, this person
there probably listening to a tape, and having a good chat together after it. Here am I all by
myself all alone, having to do my meditation, I don't really feel like it.' Maybe it is In that
sort of situation, on a much more sublime level. After all Milarepa has been getting on with
his meditation and no doubt Marpa and his disciples are not just a religious group, they are a
spiritual community. But perhaps at this stage Milarepa just can't always see them in that
light. He is still longing for the warmth and companionship of the relogious group, at least to
some extent occasionally in his weaker moments. This is incidentally the first section of the
'Hundred Thousand Songs', so perhaps he has not been meditating on his own for very long,
not for many many years at any.rate. Therefore it is significant that he ends by saying, 'Guru
mine pray grant me your protection! Help this mendicant to stay ever in this hermitage.' In
Other words not to succumb to the longing for, not spirtual companionship so much as
warmth and fellow ...

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