Milarepa and the Demons

Milarepa and the Demons

Once upon a time there lived a great sage and yogi. His name was Milarepa. He had spent many years studying meditation with great teachers. Now he split his time between traveling the lands, helping people develop awareness and compassion, and meditating in his cave in the mountains.

One day, after a long period of teaching, he returned to his cave. Entering in, Milarepa was surprised to find the place filled with demons. Most people would have turned and fled right away, but not Milarepa. He took a breath, felt his feet on the earth, and calmed his mind.

“Welcome,” he said, “I bid you all welcome. Please take a tea with me.” Milarepa was renowned for his love of nettle tea. So much did he love it that his skin was said to have taken on a green colour, resembling the leaf. As soon as he had welcomed the hoard of demons, most of them vanished. Only a half dozen remained.

“Well,” Mila continued, seating him self to prepare the tea, “there must be a good reason for you to be here. Come lets drink and find out why you are here.” At these words all but one of the demons disappeared. The remaining beast: the most terrifying of all.

Taking another few calming breaths, Milarepa stood up and approached the fearsome creature. It snarled. It breathed fire. It stamped and threatened him in all manner of ways. Milarepa kept approaching till finally he stood close before it, face­to­face, eye­to­eye.

“You are my teacher,” he said and he bowed. A moment later he was alone.

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