THE LIFE OF MILAREPA
Part I Chapter 3 - The Practicing of the Black Arts
Then Retchung said, 'Master, you told us that at first you had done evil deeds. How, may I ask, did you commit them?
'I accumulated sins through casting spells and causing hailstorms.'
'Master, what circumstances led you to cast spells and cause hailstorms?'
Then the Master continued:
While studying at Mithogekha, one day I accompanied my tutor to the lower valley of Tsa, where he was invited to preside at a wedding feast. Drinking much beer, not only what I poured for him but also what all the others poured for him, my tutor became drunk. He sent me ahead with the presents he had received. I also was drunk. Hearing the singers, I too had a desire to sing, and having a good voice, sang as I went along. The road passed in front of my house and I was still singing when I arrived at the door. In the house my mother was roasting barley(1) and heard me.
What is this?' she said to herself. 'That sounds like the voice of my son. But how could he be singing while we are so miserable?' And not believing what she heard, she looked outside. As soon as she recognized me she cried out in surprise. Her right hand dropped the tongs; her left hand dropped the whisk; and, leaving the barley to burn, she took a stick in one hand and a handful of ashes in the other. She ran down the big steps, leaped over the little ones, and was outside. She threw the ashes in my face, struck me several times on the head, and shouted, 'Father Mila Banner of Wisdom, is this the son that you have begotten? He is not worthy of you. Look at our fate, mother and son! And with this she fainted.
At this moment my sister came running up and said, Elder brother, what are you doing? What has happened to mother?' And her weeping brought me to my senses. Then I too shed many tears. We rubbed our mother's hands and called her name. After a moment she came to herself and got up. Then, fixing her tear-filled eyes on me, she said, Since we are the most unfortunate people on earth, is it proper to sing? When I think of it, I, your old mother, am consumed by despair and can only cry.' Then, lamenting loudly, all three of us began to weep. I said to her, 'Mother, you are right. Do not be so distressed. I will do whatever you wish.'
'I wish you were dressed in the mantle of a man and mounted on a horse, so that your stirrups would rip the necks of our detested enemies. That is not possible. But you could do them harm by guileful means. I would that, having thoroughly learned magic together with the destructive spell, you first destroy your uncle and aunt, then the villagers and neighbors who have treated us so cruelly. I want you to curse them and their descendants down to the ninth generation. Now, see if you can do it.'
I replied, 'Mother, I will try. Prepare provisions and a gift for the lama.'
So that I might learn magic, my mother sold half the field, called Little Fur Carpet. With the money she bought a turquoise called Great Sparkling Star, a white horse, well-loved in that area, named Senge Submey (Unbridled Lion), two bundles of dye, and two packs of raw Sugar, which were soon used up. Thus she finished the preparations for my departure.
First I went to stay a few days in a caravanserai called Lhundup in Gungthang(2). Five amiable young men arrived saying they came from Ngari Dol and were going to the region of U and Tsang to study religion and magic. I proposed that they let me join them since I also was going to learn magic. They agreed. I brought them to my mother's house in Gungthang and treated them as guests for several days.
My mother secretly told them, 'This son of mine has no will power. So you, his companions, should exhort him and spur him on to become deeply skilled in magic. When that time comes I shall offer you hospitality and generous rewards.' Then, loading the two sacks of dye onto the horse, and carrying the turquoise on my person, we went on our way. My mother accompanied us for some distance.
While my companions were drinking a cup of farewell wine, my mother offered them much advice. Hardly able to separate herself from me, her only son, she held my hand tightly and took me aside. With her face bathed in tears and her voice choking with sobs, she said to me, 'Above all, remember our misfortune and let the signs of your magic be manifested in our village. Then come back. The magic of your companions and ours is not the same. Their magic is that of well-loved children, who want it only for pleasure. Ours is that of people who have suffered tragedy. That is why an unyielding will is needed. If you return without having shown signs of your magic in our village, I, your old mother, will kill myself before your eyes.'
This I promised, and so we parted. I assured my mother of my love. I looked back continuously, and shed many tears. And my mother, who loved me dearly, watched us with tears in her eyes until we disappeared from view. In the ardor of my tender feelings, I asked myself if I should return to my mother for a moment. I had the feeling that I would never see her again. Finally, when we were out of sight, she went back to her village, weeping.
Some days later, it was rumored that the son of White Jewel had gone away to learn magic.
We took the road to U and Tsang and arrived at Yakde in the valley of Tsangrong. There I sold my horse and the dye to a very rich man. In payment I received gold, which I carried on my person.
After crossing the Tsang Po, we turned toward U. In a place named Tuhnlok Rakha (Sheepfold Of Tuhn) we met many venerable monks. I asked them if they knew of a master in the U region who was skilled in magic, spells, and hailstorms. One of the monks answered, 'At Kyorpo, it Yarlung, lives a lama named Yungton Trogyel (Terrifying Conqueror) of Nyag. He has great power in charms, spells and terrible incantations.' This monk was his disciple. So we set out to find Lama Yungton and arrived at Kyorpo it Yarlung.
When we presented ourselves before the lama, my companions offered him only insignificant gifts, but I gave him everything, gold and turquoise. And I said, 'I further offer you my body, speech, and mind. My neighbors and certain people in my village cannot bear the happiness of others. Have Compassion and grant me the most powerful spell that can be cast upon my village. Meanwhile, mercifully grant me food and clothing.' The lama smiled and answered, I shall think about what you have told me.' But he did not teach us the real secrets of magic.
About a year passed, and all he had given us were a few incantations to make heaven and earth clash, and a smattering of various formulas and useful practices. All my companions were getting ready to leave. The lama gave each of them a well-sewn garment of broadcloth from Lhasa. But I was not satisfied. These practices were not powerful enough to produce any effect in my village. Thinking that my mother would kill herself if I returned without my spells having been effective, I resolved not to go. Seeing that I was not preparing to leave, my companions asked me, 'Good News, are you not leaving?' I answered, 'I have not yet learned enough magic.' They replied, 'These formulas are supremely magical if only we can strive to master them. The lama himself said that he had no others. We no longer have any doubts about it. Just go and see if the lama will give you others!' After thanking the lama and bidding him goodbye, they left. I too donned the clothing given by the lama and accompanied them for half a day on their journey. After we had wished each other good health, they set out for their homeland.
On the way back to the lama I filled the front of my garment with horse and donkey manure, cow dung, and dog droppings for the lama's field. Digging a hole in his fertile and life-giving field, I buried them there. The lama, who was on the terrace of his house, saw me and said to some of his disciples, 'Of the many disciples who have come to me, none is more loving than Good News, and there will never be another like him. The proof is that this morning he did not say farewell and now he has come back. When he came here for the first time, he told me that the people of his village and his neighbors could not endure the happiness of others. He asked me for magic and offered me his body, speech, and mind. Such persistence! If the story he told is true, it would be a pity not to give him the secrets of black magic.
One of the monks repeated these words to me. I said to myself joyfully, 'At last it is settled, I will get the real secrets of magic.' And so I went to the lama. He said to me, 'Good News, why did you not go home?' Then I returned the garment the lama had given me. I put my head down at his feet and told him, 'Precious lama, there are three of us, my mother, my sister, and myself. My uncle and aunt, a few neighbors, and some villagers have become our enemies. Through treatment we did not deserve, they reduced us to misery. I did not have the strength to defend myself. That is why my mother sent me to learn magic. If I return home without a single sign of magic having resulted from my efforts, my mother will kill herself before my eyes. It is to keep her from destroying herself that I have not left. That is why I am asking you for the real secrets of magic.'
Having said this, I wept. The lama asked, 'In what way have the people of your village harmed you?'
Sobbing, I told how my father, Mila Banner of Wisdom, had died and how, after his death, the uncle and aunt had crushed us with misery. Then tears fell one by one from the lama's eyes. He said, 'If what you say is true, it is a sad case. The magic that I practice will do. But we must not hurry. For this same magic I have been offered fortunes in gold and turquoise from Ngari Korsum in the west; vast quantities of tea, silk, and clothing from the three mountain regions of Kham in the east; horses, yaks, and sheep by the hundreds and thousands from Jyayul, Dakpo, and Kongpo in the South. But you alone have given me your body, speech, and mind. I am going to verify what you have told me right away.'
Living with the lama at that time was a monk who was swifter than a horse and stronger than an elephant. The lama sent him to my village to verify my story. The monk quickly returned(3) and said, 'Precious lama, Good News has told the truth. He needs to be taught much magic.'
The lama said to me, 'If I had taught you such magic right away, I fear that you, with your stubbornness, would have made me regret it. But now, since you are sincere, you must go to another master for further instruction. I have an incantation from the cult of the Maroon-faced Dza(4), whose powerful mantra Hum(5) causes death, while the mantra Paht(6) causes unconsciousness.
'In the region called Nub Khulung in the Tsangrong lives a lama named Yonten Gyatso (Ocean of Virtues) of Khulung, who is a great doctor and magician. I gave him my secret formula. And in return he taught me how to call down hailstorms with the tip of one finger. After he had taught me this, we became friends and associates. Now those who come to me to learm magic, I must send to him. Those who go to him to learn how to cause hailstorms, he must send to me. Go with my son and find him.
The elder son of the lama was called Darma Ouangchuk (Powerful Youth). In addition to provisions for the journey, the lama gave us a length of broadcloth and serge from Lhasa, a few small gifts, and a letter. Having arrived at Nub Khulung, we met the young lama of Nub. We offered him some pieces of wool and serge as well as the gifts and the letter from the lama. I carefulIy told him all the circumstances of the story and earnestly begged him to teach me magic. The lama answered, 'My friend is a loyal friend and true to his word. I shall teach you all sorts of magic. For this purpose construct a cell on the ridge of this mountain which will put you beyond human reach.'
We built a house above ground, which was made of solid beams laid side by side. We surrounded it with a continuous enclosure of stone blocks as big as yaks, without leaving any openings, so that no one else could see a door to the house or discover a means of attacking it. Then the lama gave us the magic incantation.
After we had performed the spell, seven days passed. Then the lama came and said, 'Formerly seven days were enough, and that should still suffice.' I replied, 'As my magic must work at a distance, I ask to continue for seven more days.' The lama answered, 'Very well, continue.' And so I did.
On the evening of the fourteenth day, the lama returned and said, 'Tonight there will be a sign around the mandala that magic has taken place.' And that same evening the loyal deities, guardians of the Order, brought us what we had asked for: the heads and the bleeding hearts of thirty-five people. They said, 'For several days you have repeatedly been invoking us. Here is what you wanted.' And they piled the heads all around the mandala. The next morning the lama returned and said, 'Of those to be destroyed, two people remain. Should they be destroyed or spared?' Full of joy, I said, 'I beg you to let them live so they may know my vengeance and my justice.'
Thus it was that the uncle and aunt were unharmed.
We offered the loyal guardian deities a sacrifice of thanksgiving and we left our retreat. Today, our cell can still be seen at Khulung.
Meanwhile I wondered how the spell had manifested itself in my village of Kya-Ngatsa. There had been a wedding feast for my uncle's eldest son. My uncle's sons and daughters-in-law arrived first with the men who hated us, thirty-five in all.
The other guests, who were friendly toward us, were talking on the way to the house, saying, 'When the false master becomes master, the true master is thrown to the dogs, just as the proverb says and as these pitiless people prove. If the magic of Good News has not yet taken effect against them, the power of the guardian deities of the Dharma will make itself felt.' Together they walked toward the house.
The uncle and aunt had gone out to discuss the meal to be served and the speech to be given. At this moment a former servant of ours who was now with my uncle had gone to draw water. She did not see the many horses tied up in the stable, but instead she saw scorpions, spiders, snakes, toads, and tadpoles. She saw a scorpion as big as a yak which grasped the pillars between its claws and tore them out. At this sight, the servant fled, terrified. Hardly was she outside when the stallions in the stable began mounting the mares and the mares began kicking tile stallions. All the rearing, kicking horses struck against the pillars of the house, which then collapsed. Under the debris of the fallen house, my uncle's sons, his daughters-in-law, and the other guests, thirty-five in all, lay dead. The inside of the house was filled with corpses buried in a cloud of dust.
My sister Peta, seeing everyone weeping, ran quickly to get our mother. 'Mother! Mother! Uncle's house has collapsed and many people are dead. Come and see.'
My mother gave a cry of joy, and got up and went to look. She saw my uncle's house reduced to a cloud of dust and heard the shrieks of the villagers. As happy as she was astonished, she fastened a scrap of cloth to a long stick and, wavinig it in the air, cried in a loud voice, 'Glory to you, gods, lamas, and the Triple Refuge!(7) Well, villagers and neighbors, does Mila Banner of Wisdom have a son? I, White Jewel, am clothed in rags and eat bad food. Do you see that it was to nourish my son? In the past the uncle and aunt said to us, "Mother and children, if you are many, then make war on us; if you are few, cast spells." So this is how we, few in number, have obtained more by magic than, had we been many, we would have obtained by war. Think of the people who were upstairs in the house, think of the treasures which were in their midstand think of the livestock in the stable. I have lived long enough to see and revel in this spectacle brought about by my son. Imagine what my happiness will be from today onward!'
Even those who were in their houses heard my mother's cry of vengeance. Some of them said, 'She is right.' Others said, 'She may be right, but her vengeance is too brutal.'
Hearing by what power these people had been killed, the villagers gathered together and said, 'Not satisfied with provoking this disaster, she now rejoices in it. It is going too far. Torture her and then rip the living heart from her brest.' The elders said, 'What is the use of killing her? What has happened to us is really her son's doing. You must first of all find her son and kill him. Afterward it will be easier to kill the mother.' Speaking thus, they came to an agreement.
The uncle heard this remark and said, 'Now that my sons and daughters are dead, I am not afraid to die.' And he set out to kill my mother. But the villagers stopped him, saying, 'It is because you did not keep yourword in the past that this misfortune has befallen us. If you kill the mother before killing the son, we will oppose you.' They did not give my uncle a chance to act. Then the villagers conspired to kill me.
My maternal uncle went to my mother and said, After your words and conduct yesterday, the neighbors are ready to kill you and your son. Why did you shout out your vengeance? Was it not enough that the spell worked?' And he rebuked her strongly. My mother replied, 'Ill-fortune has not fallen on you. I understand what you are saying, but after the way they stole my goods it is difficult to keep silent.' And without saying another word, she wept. Her brother continued, 'It is true. You are right. But assassins may come, so lock yourself in.' Having spoken, he went away. And my mother, locking herself in, began to plan and scheme.
Meanwhile my uncle's servant, who had formerly been in my service, heard the people plotting together. Because of her attachment to my family she could not tolerate this and went secretly to tell my mother what had been decided by the council, advising her to look out for her son's life. My mother thought to herself, 'This decision, for the moment, clouds my joy.' She sold the remaining half of the field, Little Fur Carpet, for seven ounces of gold. As there was no man from the neighborhood that she could send to me, and as no courier had arrived from elsewhere, my mother thought of coming herself to bring provisions and give me advice.
At this particular moment a yogin from U province, who was returning from a pilgrimage to Nepal, came to the door begging, and my mother asked him his story. As he was suitable to be a messenger, she said to him, 'Stay here a few days. I have a son who is in U and Tsang and I have to send him some news. Be good enough to take it to him.'
In the meantime my mother offered him abundant hospitality. Then having lit a butter lamp, she invoked help. 'If my wish is granted, may my son's lama and the protecting deities cause the lamp to burn a long time. If it is not to be granted, let the lamp die quickly.' The lamp lasted a day and a night. My mother, believing that her wish would be fulfilled, said to the pilgrim, 'Yogin, to journey across the country, clothing and boots are of great importance.' And she gave him leather and thread to mend his boots. She herself patched his worn cloak. Without telling the yogin, she sewed seven ounces of gold inside the lining of his cloak, over which she placed a square piece of black cloth. She embroidered this piece with stars of coarse white thread representing the constellation of the Pleiades in such a way that it could not be seen from the outside. Then she paid the yogin well, entrusted him with a sealed letter in secret writing, and dismissed him.
Afterward, my mother thought, 'As I do not know what the neighbors have decided to do, I must adopt a menacing it.' She then told Peta, 'Announce to everybody that this yogin has brought a letter from your brother.'
Here is the letter which my mother wrote as though it came from me:
'Doubtless my mother and sister are in good health and have seen signs of the magic that has taken place. If certain neighbors persist in their hatred of you, send me their names and the names of their families. By means of spells, it will be as easy for me to kill them as to throw a pinch of food(8) into the air. Thus I will destroy them to the ninth generation. Mother and sister, if the people of the village are still hostile to you, come and join me here. I will destroy every trace of this village. Although I am in seclusion, I have wealth and provisions beyond measure. Do not worry about me.'
Having written this, my mother folded the letter. She showed it first to her brother and his friends. Then she left it with her brother so that everyone would see it. As a result, they all changed their minds and gave up the idea of killing us. They took back the field, Fertile Triangle, from my uncle and gave it to my mother.
Meanwhile, the yogin came looking for me. Learning that I was in Nub Khulung, he sought me out. He gave me the letter and I stepped aside to read it.
'I hope, Good News, that you are in good health. Your old mother's wish to have a son is realized and the lineage of your father, Mila Banner of Wisdom, has been assured. Signs of your magic have appeared in the village and thirty-five people have been killed in the house that collapsed. As a result of this, the local people have ill-will toward us both, mother and daughter, so that is why you must make hail fall as high as the ninth course of bricks.(9) Then the last wishes of your old mother will be realized. The people of the neighborhood say they will seek you out and that, after having killed you, they will kill me. For both our sakes, mother and son, let us guard our lives with the greatest care. If your provisions are exhausted, look in the region facing north where, against a black cloud, the constellation of the Pleiades will appear. Beneath it are the seven houses of your cousins. There you will find all the provisions you could wish for. Take them. If you do not understand, ask no one else but this yogin who lives in that region.
I did not understand the meaning of this letter. I missed my homeland and my mother. As I was in great need of provisions, being ignorant of the region and knowing no relatives there, I shed many tears. I asked the yogin, 'Since you know the country, where do my cousins live?' The yogin answered, 'In the Central plain of Ngari.'
'Do you not know any other regions? Which is yours?'
'I know many other regions, but I do not know any others where your cousins live. I am from U province.'
'Now then, stay here a moment, I will be right back.'
I went to show the letter to the lama and asked him for the explanation. The lama scanned the letter and said to me, 'Good News, your mother is full of hatred. Even after the death of so many people she now wants you to send hailstorms. Who are your cousins in the north?' I answered, I have never heard of them. It is the letter that mentions them. I asked the yogin but he does not know.'
The wife of the lama, who was marked with the sign of the great dakinis, read the letter aloud and said to me, Send for the yogin.'
When the yogin came, the lama's wife made a big fire and gave him some excellent beer. Then, removing the cloak from the yogin's back, she put it on herself and said, This is a nice cloak for traveling from place to place.' Having spoken, she walked up and down. Then she went up to the terrace of the house. There she removed the gold from the cloak, resewed the piece as before, and returning, placed the cloak on the yogin's back.
After having served the yogin the evening meal, she led him to his room and said, 'Go and tell Good News to come before the lama.' I arrived and she gave me the seven ounces of gold. I asked, 'Where did this gold come from?' The lama's wife answered, 'It was in the yogin's cloak. Good News, you have a prudent mother. The region facing north where the Sun does not shine means the cloak of the yogin that the sun does not penetrate. The black hanging cloud means the square of black cloth which is patched on it. The constellation of the Pleiades which will appear means the stars sewn with white thread. And underneath, the seven houses of your cousins means the seven ounces of gold. If you do not understand, since the yogin lives in that region, ask no one else. That means, if you do not understand, since the gold is in the yogin's cloak, do not look elsewhere.'
Thus spoke the lama's wife. And the lama said, 'You women! They say that you are full of guile. And it is very true.' And he laughed.
After that I gave a tenth of an ounce of gold to the yogin and he was satisfied. To the mistress of the house I offered seven-tenths of an ounce. Then I offered the lama three ounces of gold and said to him, 'You see that my old mother is also asking for a hailstorm. Please find it in your heart to teach me.'
The lama answered, 'If you want hailstorms, go and find Yungton Trogyel (Tenifying Conqueror) of Nyag.' And he gave me a letter and some gifts.
I left for the village of Kyorpo in the Yarlung. When I arrived before the lama, I laid at his feet three ounces of gold, the letter, and the gifts. I told him why I wished to send hailstorms. He asked me, 'Have you succeeded in making magic?'
I answered, 'I have been completely successful, and through magic thirty-five people have been killed. Now, in addition, this letter asks for hailstorms. Please find it in your heart to teach me.'
'Very well, so be it,' said the lama. And he gave me the secret formula. I went to perform the rites in my old cell.
Beginning with the seventh day, a cloud invaded the magic cell. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and the voice of the Maroon-faced Dza was heard. This led me to believe that I could call forth hail with my fingertip.
Every now and then the lama asked me, 'So as to know when to send the hail, how high is the harvest now, in your village?'
And I replied, 'It is hardly sprouting.'
And some time later, 'It is hardly high enough to hide the wood-pigeons.'
The lama said, 'And now where is it?'
I replied, 'The wheat is just beginning to bend.'
'Then it is time to send the hailstorm,' said the lama.
He gave me as a companion the messenger who had already been to my village. Disguised as wandering monks, we set out.
In the country, the old people could not remember such a good year. They had made a harvesting law, forbidding anyone to harvest when he pleased. When we arrived, the harvest was to be reaped the following day and the day after. I established myself in the high country.
After I had repeated the incantations, a little cloud hardly as big as a sparrow drifted by. I was disappointed. I invoked the guardian deities by name. My pleas were based on the terrible treatment I had received from the villagers. I threw off my cloak and began to cry. Then, inconceivably huge black clouds suddenly gathered in the sky. They swept down in a single mass and in an instant the hailstones burst upon the harvest and covered the whole valley up to a height of three courses of brick. Deep gorges were cut into the mountins. Seeing the loss of the harvest, the villagers wept.
Suddenly there was a great wind mixed with rain. As my companion and I were cold, we went into a cave whose entrance faced north. There we made a fire of tamarisk and there we stayed.
Some men of the village were hunting for sacrificial meat for the harvest thanksgiving. And they said, 'This Good News has sent us a misfortune that no other could have sent. He has already slain so many men! Now, through his art, we no longer see anything of our magnificent harvest. If he fell into our hands we would tear out his still beating heart. And each of us would eat a piece of his flesh and drink a drop of his blood.'
They spoke thus because the wound in their hearts was incurable. As they talked in this way, coming back down the mountain, they happened to pass in front of the cave. An old man said, 'Silence! Silence! Speak softly! Smoke is coming out of the cave. Who can that be?'
'It is surely Good News. He has not seen us. If we men of the village do not kill him soon, he will surely succed in destroying the whole region.' So saying they turned back.
My companion said to me, 'Leave ahead of me. I will pretend that I am you. I will tell them when leaving that this is my revenge. We will meet again four days' journey to the west at the caravanserai of Dingri.'
As he was conscious of his strength, he remained alone and without fear. At this moment, I longed to see my mother one more time, but, frightened of my enemies, I fled quickly and ran to Nyalang. Having been bitten in the leg by a dog, I could not arrive on time at the meeting place.
My companion, even though he was surrounded by villagers, broke through their circle and escaped. The more they gained on him, the faster he ran but when they were outdistanced he slackened his pace. They were shooting at him with their weapons, and he returned blow for blow by hurling large stones.
He shouted at them, 'I will lay a curse on whoever ventures against me. How many men have I not already killed for revenge? And now what about your beautiful harvest which has disappeared? Is this not also my revenge? That being so, if you are not good to my mother and my sister, I will lay a curse on your whole region from the top of the valley to the bottom. Those who are not killed will see their line destroyed to the ninth generation. If death and desolation do not strike this country, it will not be my fault. Wait and see! Wait and see!'
Speaking thus, he moved away. And in fear they began to accuse one another, 'It was all your fault, it was all your fault.'
Quarreling among themselves, they tumed back.
My companion reached Dingri ahead of me. He asked the keeper of the caravanserai if someone resembling a yogin had arrived. The keeper answered, 'He has not come. But all you so-called yogins are very fond of drinking. In the next village there is a beer banquet. Go there. If you have no cup, I can lend you one.' And he loaned him a wooden cup as deep and gray as the face of Yama, Lord of Death.
Having taken the cup with him, my companion went into the banquet hall and, since I was there at the end of the row of guests, he came and sat down beside me. He said to me, 'Why were you not at the meeting place yesterday?'
'Yesterday I went to beg. A dog bit my leg and I could not walk very fast. But there is nothing to worry about.'
Setting out again from the banquet, we arrived at Kyorpo in Yarlung.
The lama said to us, 'Well, you two, you have done good work!'
'No one has been here before us. Who told you of it?'
The lama answered, 'Guardian deities have come, their faces beaming like the full moon. I have thanked them.'
And speaking thus, the lama showed great joy.
This is the way I accumulated black deeds out of vengeance against my enemies.
Thus spoke the Master. This is the third chapter, that of the destruction of enemies. Such was the work of Milarepa in the world.
1. Tsampa, the principal food of Tibetans, is made by roasting grains of barley as we roast coffee. It is roasted a little at a time in iron basins with rounded bottoms. To prevent the grain from burning it is stirred constantly with a whisk, twig, or spatula. When ground, this roaster barley is tsampa.
2. Gungthang. Evans-Wentz erroneously translates this name as Central Plain. Actually, there are several meanings for the Tibetan term Gung high or systematic order are two; it is also a term meaning a kind of Himalayan leopard. Perhaps the best rendering of Gungthang is High Ground.
3. The monk quickly returned. This journey from Yarlung to Mangyul and back would represent, for a good Tibetan courier, a minimum of forty days.
4. Maroon-faced Dza refers to one of the three principal guardian deities of the Nyingmapa Order.
5. Hum. This is part of a mantra.
6. Paht is the last syllable of this mantra.
7. Triple Refuge. The Triple Refuge common to all Buddhists is comprised of the Buddha, the supreme guide to liberation and full enlightenment; Dharma, the path leading to cessation of samsaric conditions and causes, and thereby to realization of the truth; Sangha, the assembly of arhats and Bodhisattvas who support devotees of the Dharma.
8. Throw a pinch of food into the air. A habitual gesture among pious Tibetans who throw bits of food into the air as an offering to the gods.
9. Ninth course of bricks. Tibetan houses are built of earth stamped into molds or wooden forms. The marks of these stacked molds remain visible on the walls. Tibetans use these marks to measure the height of the snow. One gyang-rim measures about two feet.
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