Our Guru Milarepa statue is fully gilded in 24k gold and it is an honorable depiction of the venerable master of the Kagyu school. This Guru Milarepa statue is true to form and it shows him with his hand raised to his ear. This is because he used songs and poetry as primary teaching tools.
In his left hand he holds the kapala skull cup. The use of a real skull for the kapala is a tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Devotees use a real skull as a reminder of the impermanence of human existence. Although this practice has been reduced in modern times.
Additionally, he sits on an animal skin in the Indian ascetic tradition. Guru Milarepa spent much of his time meditating in mountain caves. As a result, this Guru Milarepa statue is a very accurate depiction of him.
There is a controversial side to Guru Milarepa. After the death of his father, his mother instructed him to study sorcery. As a result, he was able to use black magic to seek revenge on those who had stolen his inheritance. However, he later sought out Guru Marpa in order to correct his evil deeds. Marpa put him through many trials and tribulations before he would agree to teach him. These trials have become legendary. Indeed, the third and final multi story tower he built for Marpa in the 11th century still stands today.
After his redemption, he would inherit the Kagyu lineage from Marpa after the death of Marpa’s son. Guru Milarepa lived out his life as an ascetic teacher and would then pass on the Kagyu lineage to Guru Gampopa.