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The Yogin and the MadmanReading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet's Great Saint Milarepa$
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Andrew Quintman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164153

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164153.001.0001

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The Yogin and the Madman

The Yogin and the Madman

A Life Brought to Life

(p.155) 5 The Yogin and the Madman
The Yogin and the Madman

Andrew Quintman

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the ascendance of Tsangnyön Heruka's standard version of Jetsun Milarepa's life story, with particular emphasis on his relationship to the yogin. It suggests that Tsangnyön maintained a close relationship with the yogin throughout his life, and on several occasions explicitly claimed to be Milarepa's reembodiment. Tsangnyön's early biography uses the madman's own words to recognize explicitly his status as Milarepa's incarnation. Tsangnyön's followers continued to promote actively this association after his death. The chapter discusses the changes this brings to the authorial voice of Tsangnyön's work as well as the reasons for the ascendance and continued popularity of his literary works. It also examines how the madman shifted the Life and Songs of Milarepa's perspective from third to first person, effectively creating a fictionalized autobiography.

Keywords:   life story, Tsangnyön Heruka, Jetsun Milarepa, yogin, biography, autobiography, incarnation, authorial voice, Life and Songs of Milarepa

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