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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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Mila Comes Alive!

(p.184) Epilogue
The Yogin and the Madman

Andrew Quintman

Columbia University Press

This epilogue reflects on the nature of Tsangnyön Heruka's biography of Jetsun Milarepa and suggests that the yogin remains a presence for the multitude of individuals who read his life story. What is unnatural about the Life and Songs of Milarepa is precisely that it appears so natural, so real. It seems so close to its subject, to the point of being its subject, even if it was composed centuries after the yogin's death. Milarepa's life now serves as a component of children's Tibetan-language textbooks in contemporary Tibet, sanctioned by the Chinese authorities. For centuries after his death, authors have reimagined and rewritten versions of the yogin's life story; those stories form the corpus of narratives that embody his life both as an individual who traversed the Buddhist path to enlightenment and as an exemplar of how that might be accomplished. The Milarepa corpus embodied in Tsangnyön's work certainly lives on.

Keywords:   life story, Tsangnyön Heruka, biography, Jetsun Milarepa, Life and Songs of Milarepa, Tibet, yogin

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