Narrative painting of the life of Milarepa (Part I)
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 2
Wall object 9

ABP 033

 Code: ABP 033

  Country: Tibet (east)


  Date: 1800

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 50 x 65

  Materials: Glue distemper on cotton

Narrative painting of the life of Milarepa (Part I)

This painting is the first of a set of five thangkas illustrating the life of Milarepa (1040-1123). In the center, his master Marpa is surrounded by his wife and main disciples with the lineage masters above him. Beginning at the top left, a clockwise arrangement of episodes of Milarepa’s youth appear, from his birth to solitary meditation.

In his childhood, after the premature death of his father, he endured severe betrayal by his uncle and aunt. As a result, his early life was marked by hatred and revenge, leading him to the murder of a part of his family through witchcraft. Filled with remorse and terrified by his actions, he sought for redemption and came to Marpa the Translator for teachings and initiations. After enduring a series of ordeals meant to purify him from his crimes, he was finally accepted and trained. He then became a wondering yogin dressed only in cotton, hence his name of Milarepa, “cotton-clad Mila”. After he attained spiritual liberation, he was joined by numerous disciples, and became a very famous master. Teaching others through spiritual songs, the story of his life and collection of teachings are called “The Hundred thousand Songs”. A most beloved religious figure of Tibet, Milarepa is considered the yogin “par excellence”.