Other translations:

Yogi's Life

In the six realms' city of confusion
My consciousness wandered like a lost child.
I went through different kinds of confusion—
The confused appearances of my karma.

Sometimes hunger was my main confusion,
So I practiced equal taste as I begged for my food.
And sometimes, when practicing austerity,
I got hungry but I didn't eat—I toughed it out.
And sometimes, I made emptiness my main course,
Sometimes I just had awful food but made do with that.

Sometimes thirst was my main confusion,
So I drank cold blue water up in the mountains,
And sometimes I drank my own urine,
And sometimes I drank the water of compassion's flow,
And sometimes dakinis came to help me,
They gave me their sacred fluids to drink.

Sometimes cold was my main confusion,
But all I ever wore was cotton clothes.
Sometimes tummo's bliss and heat were burning,
And sometimes they weren't, so I just toughed it out.

Sometimes friends were my main confusion,
So I relied on awareness-wisdom as my best friend.
My conduct was the ten pure virtues,
And my practice was the practice of the accurate view.
I ascertained with perfect certainty
That the mind's true nature is self-awareness.

I am a yogi, I'm a great lion,
Down my back flows my turquoise mane of excellent view.
Meditation par excellence is my fangs and claws,
My practice is my lair—my snow mountain.
I hope to attain the fruition of qualities,
I hope to attain the fruition of qualities.

I am a yogi, I'm a tiger from Bengal,
My powerful three energies come from enlightened mind.
Inseparable method and wisdom are the stripes I wear,
And luminosity's the perfect forest I roam.
I hope the fruition of my helping others will come,
I hope the fruition of my helping others will come.

I am a yogi, I'm a great vulture,
Generation stage vivid and clear is my giant wings.
Completion stage that's stable is my feathers, dark and sleek,
And I soar in the sky of their union's dharmata.
I sleep on the cliffs of ultimate reality,
And I hope to accomplish the two purposes.

I am a yogi, I am genuine,
I am the yogi Milarepa.
I live completely in the here and now,
And whatever need be done right now is just what I do.
I'm a yogi and it's never sure where I will be,
I do not fix myself to a plan or a reference point.
I carry no food with me, I'm an alms-seeker,
I wrap no clothes around me, I go bare naked.
I have no possessions, I'm a mendicant,
I make no preparations, I have no future concerns.
I never stay in one place for I have no home
Whatever happens is my path—that's how I act.
I'm completely crazy, I am happy to die,
I have not a thing and not a thing do I need. (x 2)

If you had to supply essential items,
Your mental afflictions would tire you out.
Benefactor, please do not take this trouble,
Kind sir, return home, that's the best thing to do—
I'm a yogi and I do all kinds of strange things.

With an excellent, noble motivation,
Please continue to be generous in deed and in mind.
May you live long and be free of illness,
Enjoy freedom, great resources, and happiness.
Next life, may we meet in the pure realm,
May we always practice Dharma and benefit beings.

Sung by Milarepa in Rag-ma to a benefactor proposing wood, tsampa and woolens to him.Tibetan page 246.
Under the guidance of Dechen Rangdrol (Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche), translated by Ari Goldfield, Guayrapa Asociación Cultural, Tarragona, Spain, May 3, 2003. Translation copyright 2012, Ari Goldfield.