By Tsangnyön Heruka
Translated by Andrew Quintman
Read by William Hope
The Life of Milarepa is one of the most beloved stories of the Tibetan people and a great literary example of the contemplative life. Jetsun Milarepa, the 11th century Buddhist yogin and poet, started life as a Black Magician, gaining revenge for loss of heritage by casting terrible hailstorms and committing multiple murder. Distraught with remorse, he sought to expiate his crimes and, with the fiercely compassionate help of his lama Marpa, devoted himself to unremitting practice – meditation in caves, existing only on nettles and turning green as a result. And he gained liberation in one lifetime. Milarepa’s remarkable story is told in this equally remarkable 15th century biography which is dramatic, humorous, moving and wise. Andrew Quintman’s new translation, vibrant and immediate, brings this great classic to life. Joyful, enriching and unexpectedly entertaining, it is a spiritual biography without compare.
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Andrew Quintman is assistant professor of religious studies at Yale University. He specialises in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalayas,