Milarepa (1052-1135), a major figure in the
history of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and known as one of
Tibet’s greatest lamas and poets, continues to inspire Buddhist
practitioners worldwide to the present day. Liberation in One Lifetime
explores the history and spirituality of the Kagyu lineage in
relationship to the narratives and teachings attributed to Milarepa by
studying some of the earliest versions of these materials. Offering a
detailed analysis of the biographical material that has been written
about Milarepa (who was also a student of Marpa, a major figure in the
development of the Bka’-brgyud-pa school of Tibetan Buddhism), author,
theologian, and well-respected Tibetan Buddhist scholar, Francis V.
Tiso, describes the historical context of the tradition of hagiography
(biography) in Buddhism and other spiritual traditions, and provides a
history of Milarepa’s influence in Tibet.
Part One explains the
tradition of composing stories about Milarepa’s life and teachings
(there have been many throughout the centuries) and includes outlines of
the contents of some of them as well as an explanation of the oral
versions that have been transmitted via oral epic songs and poems that
Milarepa composed. Describing the spiritual components of
Bka’-brgyud-pa, Part Two includes tantric practices, an outline for the
path of liberation, definitions of “voidness,” and the characteristics
of fully enlightened Buddhahood. Part Three includes translated
biographies and oral teachings of Milarepa (in poetic form) that are
considered sacred texts. The book also includes a foreword by Roberto
Vitali, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist scholar as well as an extensive
bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
411 pages. Paperback.