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Buddhadharma : Winter 2017
in TranslaTion 45 TranslaTIon | mIla gaThers wood Namo Guru Once, while at Chonglung Garuda Fortress, dwelling in a state of luminous Mahamudra, the powerful lord of yogis, Jetsun Milarepa, rose to prepare his provisions and saw that not only was there no tsampa, salt, water, or seasonings, there was not even a bit of wood in the wood bin. There being no water or fire for the stove, Milarepa thought, “It seems my abandonment of provisions has become too intense. I’ll go out to gather some wood.” He then set out. When he had found enough wood to fill the lower part of his robe a strong gust of wind suddenly came up. When he held his robe, the wood blew away. At this, he thought, “Even though I have been in retreat so long, I have not abandoned my self-clinging. What’s the use in dharma and practice without giving up self-clinging?” He said out loud, “If you want my clothes, take them! Then, because of his lack of nourishment, he was overtaken by a wind- condition and fainted. When he came to, his garment was hanging at the top of a tree, waving in the breeze. A feeling of disillusionment overcame him, and he sat and meditated on the flat surface of a rock that was the size of a sheep. From the direction of Drowo Valley in the east, a white cloud began to appear. Milarepa thought, “Under that cloud is the hermit- age of Drowo Valley. It is there that my guru, the translator Marpa Lotswana, lives.” Remembering how in the midst of his guru, his guru’s consort, and their retinue of vajra brothers, sisters, and friends, he had received the explanations of the tantras, abhishekas, and key instructions, he thought, “How nice it would be, if he’s there now, to go and meet him.” Where before he had felt disillu- sionment, powerful memories of his guru brought an immeasurable feeling of sadness. Then, on the point of a cloud stretched out like a banner of five- colored cloth sat Lord Marpa before him, riding on a white lion adorned with many ornaments, and appearing even more splendor- ous than when Milarepa had been with him in the past.