Milarepa's life-story is famous in Tibetan culture, and retold many times. The best-known biography, The Life of Milarepa, written by Tsangnyön Heruka (1452–1507) in the fifteenth century and drawing from older biographies, is still very popular. According to The Life of Milarepa, Milarepa was born in western Tibet to a prosperous family. When his father died, his family was deprived of their wealth by his aunt and uncle. At his mother's request, Milarepa left home and studied sorcery to take revenge, killing many people. Later he felt sorrow about his deeds, and became a student of Marpa the Translator. Before Marpa would teach Milarepa, he had him undergo abuse and trials, such as letting him build and then demolish three towers in turn.... Eventually, Marpa accepted him, explaining that the trials were a means to purify Milarepa's negative karma. Marpa transmitted Tantric initiations and instructions to Milarepa, including tummo ("yogic heat"), the "aural transmissions" (Wylie: snyan rgyud), and mahamudra. Marpa told Milarepa to practice solitary meditation in caves and mountain retreats, which, according to the biography, after many years of practice resulted in "a deep experiential realization about the true nature of reality. ~ wiki
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