Seven. Again Rechungpa asked, “Where did Jetsun first practice austerities and meditation?” [Milarepa continued.] There was a cave in the mountain behind our house, and I stayed there and meditated. Because I was stingy with food and water, most of my physical strength was consumed, although my practiced improved; I lasted for several months. Then, my food and water ran out and with nothing to eat, I couldn’t bear it for long. I went to beg from the nomads, and blocked by a tent, I called,
Aunt carried her tent poles and beat me many times, saying, “A disgrace to your good father!” I ran away, but because I had been poorly nourished, my physical strength had deteriorated, and my feet hit a rock and I fell into a well, and I nearly died. I got up however [I could], and supporting my body on a stick, I sang a song to my aunt, with a tearful voice. A girl who was standing behind Aunt broke into long sobs, and even Aunt was ashamed. Then they both went inside. She came back carrying a ball of butter and a half of a sweet cake that looked rotten. Again I was begging alms of farmers in the upper valley of Tsa, and my Uncle recognized me, and although he was old like a corpse, he threw a stone [at me] nearly hitting me. I also recognized him, and I went to run away, so he came out carrying a bow and arrow and started shooting. A few young men from the region there also threw stones. I was terribly afraid due to the remorse of having cast magic [in the region] previously. I decided to threaten them with magic. I said, “Father Kagyu lamas, ocean of oath-bound blood drinkers! This yogin, a dharma practitioner, is beset by enemies. Help me, and destroy them. Though I may die, the dharma protectors are immortal.” They were scared, and they all seized my uncle. People who were good to me intervened. Those men who threw stones begged forgiveness. Uncle refused to give me alms, but the other countrymen each gave excellent alms, which I carried off. Because I would stimulate their anger staying in this region now, I decided I must go. That night in a dream a sign appeared that it would be good if I stayed a few days in that place where I had previous lived.
I asked her, “Why are you still not married after so long?” She said, “[People] were afraid of your dharma protectors, and so no one emerged to say he wanted me. Even if one had, I wouldn’t have gone. Your dharma practice is really wonderful. I have never seen a dharma practitioner like this, your clothes worse than a beggar’s. What kind of religious tradition’s dress is this?” I said, “It is the dress of the most excellent of all traditions, the tradition that is called ‘casting the eight worldly concerns to the wind in order to attain buddhahood in this life’.” I said to her, “You should also practice dharma if you can. If you can’t, take my house and fields as I have already said, and go.” She said, “I will practice dharma but I can’t do it like you.”