The story of the spiritual journey of the famous Tibetan yogi Milarepa is often told, but less well known are the stories of his encounters with those he met and taught after his own Enlightenment, eleven of which are the catalyst for volumes 18 and 19 of the Complete Works. The first three were originally published in The Yogi’s Joy, and to these have been added an intriguing fourth, ‘The Shepherd’s Search for Mind’. The other seven stories form a sequence tracing the relationship between Milarepa and his disciple Rechungpa, from their first meeting to their final parting, when Rechungpa is exhorted to go and teach the Dharma himself. As portrayed in The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Rechungpa is a promising disciple, but he has a lot to learn, being sometimes proud, distracted, anxious, desirous of comfort and praise, over-attached to book learning, stubborn, sulky and liable to go to extremes. In other words, he is very human, and surely recognizable to anyone who has embarked on the spiritual path. He all too often takes his teacher’s advice the wrong way, or simply ignores it, and it takes all of Milarepa’s skill, compassion and patience to keep their relationship intact and help his unruly disciple to stay on the path to Enlightenment. Sangharakshita’s commentary is based on seminars he gave to young, enthusiastic but as yet inexperienced Dharma followers, and while much can be gleaned from it about the path of practice of the Kagyu tradition, the main emphasis is simply on how to overcome the difficulties that are sure to befall the would-be spiritual practitioner, how to learn what we need to learn – in short, the art of discipleship.
Foreword Preface 1 Milarepa’s World and Philosophy The Tale of Red Rock Jewel Valley 2. Finding the Sangha The Song of a Yogi’s Joy 3. Beyond Fear The Meeting at Silver Spring 4. A Man of the Beyond 5. Free From Ego 6. Pleasing the Guru 7. Listening to the Teachings 8. Laying Down Your Doubts The Shepherd’s Search for Mind 9. I Have No Need of These Things 10. Observe Your Mind Milarepa's first meeting with Rechungpa 1. No time for that sort of thing 2. Why do you look on our way of life as worthless? 3. Someone singing 4. Is my Guru dead? Rechungpa's Third Journey to India 1. I shall go to India to learn logic and science 2. Never give yourself to studying words! 3. Let me risk my life to fulfil the Guru’s will 4. Think of the meanings of this song The Story of the Yak-Horn 1. I am much more learned than he 2. Did you secure the teachings that you wanted? 3. How could a son ever disrespect his father? 4. It is fine that father and son are in harmony 5. Strong thoughts, full of infidelity 6. I am starving to death right now 7. An experience powerful like a sharp knife 8. Awakened from a great dream 9. Rechungpa’s mind was straightened out 10. Wherever you go, I will go