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Chapter 30: Accept Life in Its Totality

It is reported of Milarepa that he went to a master and he surrendered. Milarepa was a very faithful man, very trusting, so when the master said, “You will have to surrender to me, only then can I help,” he said, “Okay, I surrender.” But many persons were jealous. The old followers of that master were jealous of Milarepa because Milarepa was such a different type of man. He was a very magnetic force. They became afraid that if this man remained there he would become the chief disciple, the next master. So they said to their master, “This man seems to be false, so first check whether his surrender is real.”

The master said, “How should we examine him?” They said, “Tell him to jump from this hill” - they were sitting on a hill. So the master said, “Milarepa, if you have really surrendered, jump from this hill.” So he did not wait even to say yes, he jumped. The disciples thought he would be dead; then they went down. It took hours for them to go to the valley. He was just sitting under a tree meditating, and he was happy - as happy as he had never been.

So they gathered, and the disciples thought that it must be a coincidence. The master was also surprised. how could this happen? So he asked Milarepa privately, “What did you do? How did it happen?” He said, “When I surrendered, there was no question of my doing. You have done something.”

The master knew well that he had not done anything, so he tried again. One house was on fire, so he told Milarepa to go in and sit there and only to come out when the whole house had become ashes. Milarepa went in. He stayed there for hours, then the house was just ashes. When they reached there he was just buried in the ashes - but as alive and as blissful as ever. Milarepa touched his master’s feet and said, “You are doing miracles.”

So the master said, “It is difficult to think that it is again a coincidence.” But the followers said, “This is nothing but a coincidence. Try again. At least three trials are needed.”

They were passing through a village and the master said, “Milarepa, the boat has not yet come and the ferryman has not kept his promise, so you go - walk on the water, go to the other bank and tell the ferryman to come.” Milarepa walked, and then the master really thought it was a miracle. He walked and went to the other bank and brought the ferry.

The master said, “Milarepa, how are you doing it?” He said, “I just take your name and go on. It is your name, master, that helps me.”

So the master thought, “If my name helps so much. “ He tried to walk on the water also, but he drowned - and no one has ever heard about him again.

How did it happen? Surrender is the thing - not the master, not the thing to which you surrender. The statue, the temple, the tree, the stone - anything will do. If you surrender, you become vulnerable to the existence. Then the whole existence takes you into its arms.

This story may be just a parable, but the meaning is that when you surrender, the whole existence is for you. The fire, the hill, the river, the valley - nothing is against you because you are not against anything. The enmity is lost.