Lives Made Flesh
This chapter examines a comprehensive form of life writing: the biographical compendia, which takes on the finely grained, lifelike quality that would later appear in the standard version by Tsangnyön Heruka. The compendia stand as the mature versions of the proto-works on Jetsun Milarepa's life story mentioned in the previous chapter; they combine structured and well-crafted biographical narratives from the early life with extensive song collections, and conclude with elaborate descriptions of the yogin's death. The chapter begins with a discussion of the text known as The Twelve Great Disciples before turning to the mysterious tradition of extended biographical works known as The Black Treasury. These materials flowed directly from The Twelve Great Disciples and were closely connected to the influential Karma Kagyu hierarchs known as the Karmapas.
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