Milarepa – literally, “the cotton-clad yogin of the Mi la family” – was born Thopaga (Thos pa dga’), meaning “joyous hearing” or “good news,” in the region of Gung thang in southwestern Tibet, in the first half of the eleventh century.1 Gampopa and Zhang succinctly describe his family as arguably impoverished.2 Similarly, Gö Lotsāwa recounts how Milarepa’s grandfather had gambled and lost “all of his landed properties and had to leave his native place.”3