Mongolian (Mongolian)
Circa 1900-1940
Ink and pigments on paper
Sheet : 11 5/8 x 8 1/2 in. (29.53 x 21.59 cm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Credit Line
Purchased with funds donated by Ronald (1962) and Gerri Vander Molen
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Milarepa (ca. 1040-1123) was a Tibetan holy man who is said to have studied black magic as a young man so that he could take revenge on the wicked relatives who forced him into a life of poverty and servitude after his father died. When retaliation failed to bring him solace, Milarepa began to study Buddhism with the great master Marpa Chökyi Lodrö (1012-1097). Marpa first subjected Milarepa to years of back-breaking work to purify him of his sins. Once he was satisfied with Milarepa’s repentance, Marpa then transmitted his secret knowledge and wisdom to him. After leaving Marpa, Milarepa became a recluse and spent many years meditating in the mountains, eating only nettles and composing thousands of poems and songs. He gradually attracted his own students and eventually became a leading master of the Kagyu School. This drawing depicts Milarepa as an older ascetic, sitting in a rocky cave with one hand cupped to his ear as he chants one of his most famous poems about a hunter and a deer.

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