Milarepa recounts a true story based on centuries-old oral traditions about the man who was to become Tibet's greatest yogi and spiritual warrior. A youthful Milarepa is propelled into a world of sorrow and betrayal after his father's sudden death. Destitute and hopeless, he sets out to learn black magic – and exact revenge on his enemies – encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confrontation with the consequences of his anger that he learns the most.
On his quest to learn black magic, Milarepa encounters the renowned sorcerer Yungton Trogyel and proves to be an exceptional student. Once he acquires the magical powers, he returns to his village and conjures a monstrous lightning and hail storm that kills most of the family of his aunt and uncle, who had betrayed him and his mother. He finds no pleasure in the vengeance and soon is overcome with great remorse. The remorse becomes the catalyst that propels Milarepa on his spiritual journey to find a teacher who can teach him how to purify his actions and guide him on a path towards realization.