In the new edition the story expands into the interaction of Milarepa with ‘the monk from Dagpo’
The chief among Milarepa’s disciples became the sun-like heart son Gampopa. In the new edition the story expands into the interaction of Milarepa with ‘the monk from Dagpo’ And relates some of the teachings that Milarepa imparted upon him.
Ultimately Milarepa chose Gampopa over his longtime disciple Rechungpa to be the upholder of the entire body of teachings, and Gampopa was trusted with the task of guiding the order.
During Eva van Dam‘s first journey to Tibet in May 1987, she was appalled to see the oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese occupants, and wanted to make a statement about the quality of the Tibetan people and culture. The life of the great buddhist yogi Milarepa is a perfect example of that heroic nature.
Eva began work on the drawings in 1988 and it took about two years to finish the book.
The Magic Life of Milarepa portrays the legendary exploits of Tibetan Buddhism’s most renowned saint. Full of intrique, disaster and amazing feats, it is the story of a man who transforms from an avenging black magician into heroic a supremely powerfull yogi, pointing the way to self-knowledge and liberation. It is the year 1050, and Milarepa is seeking vengeance on unscrupulous relatives for mistreating his mother and sister, trained in sorcery.
He commands a rain of scorpions, snakes and lizzards to attack the villains. But when his teacher rebukes him for his evil deeds, Milarepa renounces black magic to seek mystic truth. He retreats to a cave where, after years of intense meditation, he acquires the power to change his body into a shape and to fly across the sky like a bird. But most important, he achieves the greatest victory of all – mastery over his own self.
Gutbucket’s world première at the Rubin Museum, New York Friday April 13, 2012
The comic is originally published in 1991 by Shambhala publications, Boston, U.S.A. It has been translated into Japanese, Hindi, Tibetan, French and Dutch. It is currently being prepared for a new updated version in French, German, Spanish and Chinese.
Eva van Dam