Average: 3 (69 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Mila Thopaga (which means "delightful to hear"), Jetsun Milarepa
Bhudhhism, Mahayana Buddhism
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
A.D. 1052
Place of Birth: 
Kya Ngatsa (Tsa), Gungthang province, Western Tibet
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
A.D. 1135
Ancestor Gurus: 
Descendant Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Marpa Lotsawa - the master of Milarepa


Milarepa is one of the most famous yogis of Tibet. He was born to a rich family in the first autumn month, on the twenty-fifth day of A.D. 1052 under the influence of an auspicious star. His father gave him the name Mila Thopaga (which means "delightful to hear").

When Milarepa reached the age of seven, his father died. His uncle was in charge of the estate of Milarepa. He deceived Milarepa and his mother and ill-treated them. At his mother's request, Milarepa left home and studied black magic. While his aunt and uncle were having a party to celebrate the impending marriage of their son, he took his revenge by summoning a giant hail storm to demolish their house, killing 35 people, although the uncle and aunt are supposed to have survived. The villagers were angry and set off to look for Milarepa, but his mother got word to him and he sent a hailstorm to destroy their crops.

Knowing that his revenge was wrong, Milarepa set out to find a lama and was led to Marpa the translator. Marpa proved a hard task master. Before Marpa would teach Milarepa he had him build and then demolish three towers in turn.

When Marpa still refused to teach Milarepa he went to Marpa's wife, who took pity on him. She forged a letter of introduction to another teacher, Lama Ngogdun Chudor, under whom he began to practice meditation.

However when he was making no progress, he confessed the forgery and Ngogdun Chudor said that it was for vain to hope for spiritual growth without the guru Marpa's approval. Milarepa returned to Marpa, and after practicing very diligently for twelve years Milarepa attained the state of Vajradhara (complete enlightenment). He is said to be the first to achieve this state within one lifetime.

He then became known as Milarepa, which means the "Mila, the cotton clad one" (the suffix "repa" is given to many tantric yogis since they wear white robes).

At the age of forty-five, he started to practice at Drakar Taso (White Rock Horse Tooth) cave - 'Milarepa's Cave', as well as becoming a wandering teacher. In the cave, he lived on nettle tea, making his skin green, hence the greenish color he is often depicted as having in paintings and sculpture.

Milarepa had many disciples, which include Rechung Dorje Drakpa (Ras-chung Rdo-rje Grags-pa), Gampopa (Sgam-po-pa) or Dhakpo Lhaje. It was Gampopa who became his spiritual successor who continued his lineage and became one of the main lineage masters in Milarepa's tradition.


Milarepa is famous for many of his songs and poems, in which he expresses the profundity of his realization of the dharma with extraordinary clarity and beauty.

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

The Hundred Thousand Songs Of Milarepa


This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Teachings on Milarepa


"Milarepa s fame came from no other reason than his sincerity and honesty in looking at the truth, even the bitter truth, and transforming that into a universal truth, the truth of all beings, the ultimate truth." -Khandro Rinpoche Lama and director Neten Chokling s Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint brings the tale of Tibet s greatest yogi to the big screen in a dramatic plot of greed, revenge, remorse and awakening. Chokling hopes that his film of conscience for a troubled age will cause viewers to reflect. If this film inspires just a single person to become more compassionate, tolerant, and patient towards others, I will be more than happy, he says. TEACHINGS ON MILAREPA makes a wonderful accompaniment to Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint as Buddhist luminaries such as His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje, Khandro Rinpoche and Ani Pema Chodron give commentaries and insights about the great yogi s life. Ideally suited for Western viewers interested in knowing more about Milarepa s significance for Buddhism as a whole, these teachings also show how we can incorporate Milarepa's determination, honesty, clarity, and compassion into our lives.

Pro Opinions

Great enlightened poems

johnd's picture

His great divine poems are an inspiration a and celebration for any Buddhist.

Con Opinions

the monk


HE was a monk who had many many disciples and also had lineage for descendants.he practiced magical fetes and got also benefits from such fetes for the happiness of his mother.positive aspect of his p

madan_gautam's picture

Is this pro or con ? Do you

Is this pro or con ?
Do you know him personally?
I think the pro/con are for the Gurus to whom you know personally, so that the other seekers can get tips about that Guru.
You are here posting unnecessary cons and pros about the Gurus who are no more in this world in physical bodies and also not having any personal experiences with them.
Do you think it is relevant to post comments?

madan_gautam | Wed, 09/09/2009 - 04:08


It is contrary. It is viewed from the point of view of self-realization. He was found engaged in ephemeral fetes and showed magics etc. All the persons having been whether gurus or non-gurus, either alive or dead will be viewed from the point of view of self-realization in order to expose them before public.
Certainly, it is very relevant; because each one has one's own separate eyes of understanding.

NIDHI PARKASH | Sat, 10/03/2009 - 18:21
madan_gautam's picture

So you think that only you

So you think that only you have the ability to judge a Guru in right way and thats why you are here to spoil the profiles of all gurus with your useless comments.

madan_gautam | Sun, 10/04/2009 - 08:19


O k, It is yours judgment reflecting. Reflecting your worrying to save the the guru profile from spoiling from so and so.
You ask whether it is pro or con; hence, answer was submitted as con which was already stated as con when posting the comments so what was there that you was unnecessarily prompted to ask again whether it has been pro or con.
Infuriating you are because you desire to see pro only which may be yours pleasure. If you desire to seek pleasure through seeing the pro comments only then why the provision of con kept.
Now there is available one solution to save the profiles of gurus from spoiling from me that is to debar me/stop me writing comments on guru profile which will mean that you cannot respect others independence of expression of thoughts. However, you have already stopped me up-to 60-70% approximately my answering to quarries up to 3 sometimes 6 numbers so many of the questions asked from me remained unanswerable and also you have limited God names writing 5 to 10 numbers particularly to me when others are served with such limitations.
Freedom to Expression of thoughts is our fundamental right under constitution of India; and you are infuriating on this right of mine.
You have not still given responses to my previously questions and the same yet awaited.

NIDHI PARKASH | Sun, 10/04/2009 - 19:09
madan_gautam's picture

No need to blame me,but see inside yourself

Freedom to Expression of thoughts is our fundamental right under constitution of India; and you are infuriating on this right of mine.
You have not still given responses to my previously questions and the same yet awaited.
Freedom does not mean misuse and abuse.
I do not reply to useless questions.
Second I am not admn. here to limit you at any step.
Yes if so,I would have already debarred you for your nonsense activities.
My request you to only be creative with good massages and contribution for you.
No need to shout at me,just mind your funny business

madan_gautam | Mon, 10/05/2009 - 04:03


When you ask questions from others that is called useful questions when myself the same kind of platform was used for questioning from you then that questions become useless questions; which means you have no understanding of to respect of others questions as the case having been of mine.
If you cannot desire to answer my questions in view of your understanding as useless questions; so in the point of your such kind of thinking I have become useless for you then why you ask asking from such a debarred, useless, non-sense-activists and uncreative person whether it is pro or con.
When you a very high profile person ask a question from a useless person; so it is Okay for response; so has been done only on your behest by a uncreative, useless, debarred person.
If you have debarred me then why you are uselessly again speaking to be creative with good messages; certainly you desire to show your kalayaana bhavanaa to useless, debarred, uncreative and also to non-sense fellows because dictating to others/just-like me uncreative fellows have been your sacred big faithful duty towards the gurufeet.
Each kind of criticism is welcome from me because my mother see all; I don't think because my mother thinks; I do not do any thing because my Mother does each thing; I do not shout because my Mother Mahaakaali has been eternally roaring,thundering. I see only my Mother in me that's my business. I am the small instrument of my mother and she operates me as she likes.

NIDHI PARKASH | Mon, 10/05/2009 - 05:15