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Milarepa Wearing the Meditation Belt

Milarepa Wearing the Meditation Belt
Item Code: TU75
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Size of Painted Surface 10.8 inch X 14.4 inch
Size with Brocade 23 inch X 34 inch
Milarepa, the "cotton clad" yogi saint of Tibet is shown here in his Pure Land of the Himalayan mountains, the location of his many ascetic abodes. He is sometimes thought of as the first ordinary Tibetan to become a perfect Buddha in one lifetime. His autobiography is one of the greatest classics of world literature. His father died when Milarepa was young, and he, his mother, and his sister were cheated of their inheritance by a wicked uncle. Through Milarepa's suffering, effort, and eventual triumph, the Tibetan landscape itself became his Pure Land., within which his beloved Tibetans could begin to find their own way to Buddhahood.

Milarepa sits at ease on a splendidly colourful lotus with his robe loosely draped around him. A red meditation belt, used during long sessions of meditation to keep the body upright, is slung across his right shoulder. Milarepa’s right hand cups his ear. This is the most intriguing feature in the portrayals of Milarepa. In a general way, this gesture is appropriate for a Buddhist adept who is a shravaka, or listener. Specifically relevant to Milarepa is the fact that he was a master of the esoteric teachings of Tantra, which were only orally transferred from guru to disciple. This gesture, therefore, signifies Milarepa's capacity to retain those doctrines and teachings in his ear. As he himself said: "Unless the secret teachings be retained within one's ear, what gain is it to suffer sorrow?"

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