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Koch, Lewis, 1949- / Lewis Koch, notes from the stone-paved path : meditations on north India
(2003)

[Notes from Lewis Koch],   pp. 12 and 13-40 and 41


Page 28 and 29

Fosco Maraini. Secret Tibet. 1956. Page 206.
Upper Dharamsala. Himachal Pradesh, 1995.
SECRET TIBET
"A moment ago I had a jug, and now I have it no longer!
This negligible fact throws light
On the whole law of impermanence,
And shows us
What is the condition of man.
The jug, which was my only wealth,
At the moment when it broke
Became a lama
Preaching a marvellous sermon
On the necessary impermanence of things."
While Milarepa was composing this poem some hunters arrived at his cave,
and were astonished at finding a human being in such a state.
"Whence comes the thinness of thy body, oh hermit, and this green colour?"
they asked.  They were full of pity for him, but Milarepa replied:
"In your eyes I may appear excessively wretched.  You are unaware that
no-one in the world is happier than I."  He thereupon composed for the
hunters
"The Song of the Horse":
The horse that is my spirit flies like the wind. . .
Milarepa, always composing and singing and moving from cave to cave,
eventually reached old age.  Every word and action of his remained dramatic,
even to the end.  A famous scholar, who gave him hospitality during a journey,
was offended at the slight worldly respect that the crazy old hermit paid
him, and
gave him poison to drink.  The dialogue between the scholar, who had read
all the
learned treatises and counted for something in the world, and the naked hermit,
who owned no books, illustrates Milarepas's supreme contempt of all worldly
forms and conventions:
I have the superiority of indifference,
My audacity knows no obstacles,
Diseases, evil spirits, sins, wretchedness
Adorn the hermit who I am.
At last, surrounded by disciples, he abandoned "the cycle of transmigrations",
murmuring his last thoughts:
Do if you like that which may seem sinful
But helps living beings,
Because that is truly pious work.
206
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