Milarepa's Advice


"The Life of Milarepa"

Jetsun Mila sings:

I prostrate myself at the feet of Marpa the Translator.
Those who wish to know and practice the Dharma,
Who merely venerate their lama
Without fully entrusting themselves to him,
Will be but slightly benefited.
Without receiving true initiation
Mere words of Tantra will blind you.
Without being guided the true meaning of the Tantras,
All your practices will lead you astray.
Without meditation according to the profound instruction,
He who practices asceticism only torments himself.

He who does not subdue desire and illusion
Only speaks sterile and empty words
He who does not know profound skillful means
Will fail, however great his effort.
He who does not have the key to the profound meaning of Dharma
Will be long upon the Path, however great his courage.
He who accumulates no merit and seeks only his own liberation, reaps rebirth.

He who does not give up what he has accumulated for the sake of the Dharma
Will not achieve perfection, however much he meditates.
He who is not deeply content with what he has
Sees the wealth he accumulates taken by others.
He who lacks in himself the source of happiness
Finds only pain in outer pleasures.
He who does not subdue his demon of ambition
Finds only ruination and strife in his desire for glory.

Selfish desire stir up the five poisons
Temporal desires separate the dearest of friends.
Self-glorification evokes resentment in others.
Keeping silent about oneself will prevent conflicts.
By maintaining tranquility and avoiding distraction,
In solitude you will find your companion.
Humility leads to the highest goal.
He who works with care will quickly achieve results.
Renunciation brings great fulfillment.

The practice of the secret path is the shortest way.
Realization of emptiness engenders compassion.
Compassion abolishes the difference between oneself and others.
If there is no duality between oneself and others,
One fulfills the aim of all sentient beings.
He who recognizes the need of others will discover me.
He who finds me will achieve Enlightenment.
To me, to the Buddha, and to the disciples
You should pray as one, considering them as one."

Not too long after singing this song, Jetsun Mila passed into nirvana on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month in the year of the Wood Hare (1136 C.E.)

[Quoted from, "The Life of Milarepa," trans. Lobsang P. Lhalungpa (New York: Arkana Books, 1992), pp. 171-73]

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