Tibetan Book of the Dead | Part 15



[Instructions to the Officiant]:

Yet, again, it may be possible that because of the influence of bad karma one will not recognize even thus.

Therefore, call the deceased by name, and speak as follows:

O nobly-born, (so-and-so), listen:

That thou art suffering so comes from thine own karma; it is not due to anyone else’s: it is by thine own karma.

Accordingly, pray earnestly to the Precious Trinity; that will protect thee.

If thou neither pray nor know how to meditate upon the Great Symbol nor upon any tutelary deity,

the Good Genius, who was born simultaneously with thee, will come now and count out thy good deeds [with] white pebbles, and the Evil Genius, who was born simultaneously with thee, will come and count out thy evil deeds [with] black pebbles.

Thereupon, thou will be greatly frightened, awed, and terrified, and will tremble; and thou will attempt to tell lies, saying, “I have not committed any evil deed”.

Then the Lord of Death will say, “I will consult the Mirror of Karma”.

So saying, he will look in the Mirror, wherein every good and evil act is vividly reflected. Lying will be of no avail.

Then [one of the Executive Furies of] the Lord of Death will place round thy neck a rope and drag thee along;

he will cut off thy head, extract thy heart, pull out thy intestines, lick up thy brain, drink thy blood, eat thy flesh, and gnaw thy bones; but thou will be incapable of dying.

Although thy body be hacked to pieces, it will revive again. The re­peated hacking will cause intense pain and torture.

Even at the time that the pebbles are being counted out, be not frightened, nor terrified; tell no lies; and fear not the Lord of Death.

Thy body being a mental body is incapable of dying even though beheaded and quartered. In reality, thy body is of the nature of voidness; thou need not be afraid.

The Lords of Death are thine own hallucinations. Thy desire- body is a body of propensities, and void. Voidness cannot injure voidness; the qualityless cannot injure the qualityless.

Apart from one’s own hallucinations, in reality there are no such things existing outside oneself as Lord of Death, or god, or demon, or the Bull-headed Spirit of Death. Act so as to recognize this.

At this time, act so as to recognize that thou art in the Bardo. Meditate upon the Samādhi of the Great Symbol.

If thou dost not know how to meditate, then merely analyse with care the real nature of that which is frightening thee. In reality it is not formed into anything, but is a Voidness which is the Dharma-Kaya.

That Voidness is not of the nature of the voidness of nothingness, but a Voidness at the true nature of which thou feel awed, and before which thine intellect shines clearly and more lucidly: that is the [state of] mind of the Sambhogakaya.

In that state wherein thou art existing, there is being experienced by thee, in an unbearable intensity, Voidness and Brightness inseparable,—the Voidness bright by nature and the Brightness by nature void, and the Brightness in­separable from the Voidness,—a state of the primordial [or unmodified] intellect, which is the Ādi-Kaya.

And the power of this, shining unobstructedly, will radiate every­where; it is the Nirmanakaya.

O nobly-born, listen unto me undistractedly:

By merely recognizing the Four Kayas, thou art certain to obtain perfect Emancipation in any of Them. Be not distracted.

The line of demarcation between Buddhas and sentient beings lies herein. This moment is one of great importance; if thou should be distracted now, it will require innumerable aeons of time for thee to come out of the Quagmire of Misery.

A saying, the truth of which is applicable, is:

“In a moment of time, a marked differentiation is created;
In a moment of time, Perfect Enlightenment is obtained.”

Till the moment which has just passed, all this Bardo has been dawning upon thee and yet thou have not re­cognized, because of being distracted. On this account, thou have experienced all the fear and terror.

Should thou be­come distracted now, the chords of divine compassion of the Compassionate Eyes will break, and thou will go into the place from which there is no [immediate] liberation.

There­fore, be careful. Even though thou have not recognized ere this—despite thus being set face to face—thou will recognize and obtain liberation here.

[Instructions to the Officiant]:

If it be an illiterate boor who knows not how to meditate, then say this:

O nobly-born, if thou know not how thus to meditate, act so as to remember the Compassionate One, and the Sangha, the Dharma, and the Buddha, and pray.

Think of all these fears and terrifying apparitions as being thine own tutelary deity, or as the Compassionate One.

Bring to thy recollec­tion the mystic name that has been given thee at the time of thy sacred initiation when thou were a human being, and the name of thy guru, and tell them to the Righteous King of the Lord[s] of Death.

Even though thou fall down preci­pices, thou will not be hurt. Avoid awe and terror.