The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa -

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jv1ilarepa Volume I

The life'story and teaching of the greatest Poet' Saint ever to appear in the history of Buddhism.





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Qarma C. C. Chang

SHAMBHALA PUBLICATIONS, INC. 1123 Spruce Street Boulder, Colorado 80302

© 1962 Oriental Studies Foundation Originally published in cloth by University Books, New Hyde Park, N.Y. First complete paperback edition published 1977 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87773-095-4 LCC 76-55120 Distributed in the United States by Random House and in Canada by Random House of Canada Ltd. Distributed in the Commonwealth by Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London and Henley-on-Thames Printed in the United States of America

To the memory of My

His Holiness, Lama Kong Ka To my wife Hsiang-hsiang and To my Brother-in-the-Dharma Peter Gruber without whom the publication of this book would not have been possible

FOREWORD with the translator of this book goes back to M the year meeting 1947. We met in Darjeeling, a resort town in the footY FIRST

hills of the Himalaya Mountains. He had just come from Tibet, a distance which, though not far from Darjeeling, has to be measured in the number of days' travel by horses and yaks. Tibet was then a great mystery and source of curiosity to most people; the country was still closed to foreigners and only a few Europeans had been there. The barrier, however, was less stringent on the Chinese side. With this advantage, Mr. Chang had left China for Tibet in the late 1930's to search for Dharma and Enlightenment. He traveled extensively in the Kham region of Tibet and studied Buddhism in various monasteries for more than eight years. His fascinating and inspiring adventures in this "innermost part of Tibet" are a matter for another book. Because of his long years of study and practice in Tibet, his personal devotion and committment to Buddhism, and his first-hand experience of the lives of the Tibetan people, he is best qualified to translate this great Tibetan classic, The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, which, up to the present, has not appeared in complete translation in any Western language. But what contribution has this book to make to a modern man, with no time to read, who has already been swamped in a flood of books? To answer this question, some relevant facts should first be reviewed. If the average modern man is asked what he is living for, and what is the aim of his striving, he will probably tell you, with some embarrassment, that he lives "to enjoy life," "to support his family," "to have fun," "to make money," or "to achieve something meaningful and worthwhile." But in reality, we are all aware that no one seems to know exactly what he is living for. If he broods over the things surrounding him and the kind of world he is living in, he will soon become skeptical about the relevance of raising these questions. He cannot help but ask honestly, "Can we really know the right answers, do we have any choice over these matters, and after all, what difference will it make?" In spite of the unavoidable resignation and bewilderment that the modem man feels, sooner or later he finds himself compelled to choose between two alternatives: he can either turn to religion with blind IX



faith and hope, or turn to the world and "make the best of it." It is certain that men choose the former, not always because they are convinced of the truth of religion, but rather because doubt and despair have made their lives unbearable. On the other hand, they choose the latter, not because they have proved the untruth of religion, but because, in all likelihood, their spirits are deadened by pessimism and indifference. One fact, however, remains clear: in both cases