Mila Thöpaga became Milarepa
Mila Thöpaga

His hair swirled around his face
as he summoned the keepers of black magic
calling them to bring storm and hail
down upon the vale at the behest of his mother
where the crops were pregnant with yield
where the cattle grazed in meadows
where the trees in the orchard bent with fruits
where a house was jubilant with newlyweds
that was the time for revenge
that was the moment to inflict pain
to hear the cries of agony
to avenge the poverty his uncle and aunt
thrust upon his family after his father’s death
the hail storm raged down
portraying the fury of nature and of a wronged soul
a satisfying roar from his heart echoed in the vales
but the aftermath of the destruction
took away the evil smirk from his face
filling his heart with remorse uncontrollable
rage-filled heart searched for repentance
for years the master Marpa tested him
made him build three towers
and with the same hands demolish them
meditating and surviving on nettle tea
the sorcerer Mila Thöpaga became Milarepa
a great Buddhist teacher
the first one to attain enlightenment
in one body, in one life time
who calmed a frightened deer
subdued the ferocious dog that chased it
and turned the hunter into a believer
with songs of the wisdom of the world

[Like every religion, I have been fascinated by the religion I was born into, though I am not religious the stories of religion amuse me. This is my first try at writing poems based on religious stories. The story of Milarepa is very close to my childhood like most Bhutanese of my generation and before, because we heard the story around the hearth passed to us in the traditional way, orally. There are many stories surrounding this yogi but the ones I narrated here are the ones I heard and saw enacted.]

This poem is entered for Monday Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry and the theme for this week is magic and miracle, wizardry and wonder.

15 thoughts on “Mila Thöpaga became Milarepa

  1. So nice story dear. I’m sure if Mila Thopaga reads about himself “satisfying roar from his heart echoed in the vales” would be the least he would do! Thanks for sharing

  2. Ir reminds me of my childhood experience,
    there are wizardry, magic going on in town…

    vivid description,
    awesome entry .
    Happy Potluck!

  3. Ah! Greetings Milarepa…did not expect to cross paths in this moment. Truly an auspicious meeting!

    I’m excited that you connect with Milarepa…what a gift to stumble upon this morning.

    perfect for potluck them!


  4. Retelling the old stories is retelling the old truths. I really appreciate your clear and nuanced approach here, and the details that were familiar to you from childhood speak out with your own perspective. Enjoyed it very much–thank you for a very different and interesting piece.

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