Milarepa and demons: Aids to spiritual and psychological growth

Citation
R. Berghash et K. Jillson, Milarepa and demons: Aids to spiritual and psychological growth, J RELIG H, 40(3), 2001, pp. 371-382
Citations number
12
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Public Health & Health Care Science","Religion & Tehology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF RELIGION & HEALTH
ISSN journal
0022-4197 → ACNP
Volume
40
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
371 - 382
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-4197(200123)40:3<371:MADATS>2.0.ZU;2-5
Abstract
Milarepa, the Tibetan Buddhist saint of the 11th century, wrote songs that give expression to a methodology of battling internal resistance to spiritu al growth. The songs provide a meticulous description of how a person beset by demons processes and analyzes their behavior, thus enabling him to asse ss them correctly and objectively. At the start Milarepa perceives his demo ns as invaders, thereby disavowing responsibility for them. But later he is able to recognize their presence in his mind, thus avowing responsibility for them and releasing them, and even converting them. Throughout the songs Milarepa is attacked by demons, and he calls on his Gurus and other mental companions to help him battle them. The demons are obvious obstacles, but Milarepa uses them to strengthen himself in his spiritual progress, These p rocesses have psychological equivalents relevant to westerners.