Tibetan Book of the Dead | Part 10

[THE EIGHTH DAY]

Again, calling the deceased by name, [address him] thus:

O nobly-born, listen undistractedly:

Not having been able to recognize when the Peaceful [Deities] shone upon thee in the Bardo above, thou hast come wandering thus far.

Now, on the Eighth Day, the blood-drinking Wrathful Deities will come to shine. Act so as to recognize them without being distracted.

O nobly-born, the Great Glorious Buddha-Heruka, dark- brown of colour; with three heads, six hands, and four feet firmly postured;

the right [face] being white, the left, red, the central, dark-brown; the body emitting flames of radiance; the nine eyes widely opened, in terrifying gaze ;

the eyebrows quivering like lightning; the protruding teeth glistening and set over one another; giving vent to sonorous utterances of ‘a-la-la’ and ‘ha-ha’, and piercing whistling sounds;

the hair of a reddish-yellow colour, standing on end, and emitting radiance; the heads adorned with dried [human] skulls, and the [symbols of the] sun and moon; black serpents and raw [human] heads forming a garland for the body;

the first of the right hands holding a wheel, the middle one, a sword, the last one, a battle-axe; the first of the left hands, a bell, the middle one, a skull-bowl, the last one, a plough­share;

his body embraced by the Mother, Buddha-Kroti- shaurima, her right hand clinging to his neck and her left putting to his mouth a red shell [filled with blood], [making] a palatal sound like a crackling [and] a clashing sound, and a rumbling sound as loud as thunder;

[emanating from the two deities] radiant flames of wisdom, blazing from every hair-pore [of the body] and each containing a flaming dorje;

[the two deities together thus], standing with [one] leg bent and [the other] straight and tense, on a dais supported by horned eagles, will come forth from within thine own brain and shine vividly upon thee.

Fear that not. Be not awed. Know it to be the embodiment of thine own intellect. As it is thine own tutelary deity, be not terrified. Be not afraid, for in reality it is the Bhagavan Vairochana, the Father-Mother.

Simultaneously with the recognition, liberation will be ob­tained: if they be recognized, merging [thyself], in atonement, into the tutelary deity, Buddhahood in the Sambhogakaya will be won.

[THE NINTH DAY]

But if one flee from them, through awe and terror being begotten, then, on the Ninth Day, the blood-drinking [deities] of the Vajra Order will come to receive one.

Thereupon, the setting-face-to-face is, calling the deceased by name, thus:

O nobly-born, listen undistractedly:

[He] of the blood- drinking Vajra Order named the Bhagavan Vajra-Heruka, dark-blue in colour; with three faces, six hands, and four feet firmly postured;

in the first right hand [holding] a dorje, in the middle [one], a skull-bowl, in the last [one], a battle- axe ; in the first of the left, a bell, in the middle [one], a skull-bowl, in the last [one], a ploughshare:

his body embraced by the Mother Vajra-Kroti-shaurima, her right [hand] clinging to his neck, her left offering to his mouth a red shell [filled with blood], will issue from the eastern quarter of thy brain and come to shine upon thee.

Fear it not. Be not terrified. Be not awed. Know it to be the embodiment of thine own intellect. As it is thine own tutelary deity, be not terrified. In reality [they are] the Bhagavān Vajrasattva, the Father and Mother. Believe in them.

Recogniz­ing them, liberation will be obtained at once. By so pro­claiming [them], knowing them to be tutelary deities, merging [in them] in atonement, Buddhahood will be obtained.

[THE TENTH DAY]

Yet, if one do not recognize them, the obscurations of evil deeds being too great, and flee from them through terror and awe, then, on the Tenth Day, the blood-drinking [deities] of the [Precious]-Gem Order will come to receive one.

There­upon the setting-face-to-face is, calling the deceased by name, thus:

O nobly-born, listen:

On the Tenth Day, the blood-drink­ing [deity] of the [Precious]-Gem Order named Ratna-Heruka, yellow of colour; [having] three faces, six hands, four feet firmly postured; the right [face] white, the left, red, the central, darkish yellow; enhaloed in flames;

in the first of the six hands holding a gem, in the middle [one], a trident - staff, in the last [one], a baton; in the first of the left [hands], a bell, in the middle [one], a skull-bowl, in the last [one], a trident-staff;

his body embraced by the Mother Ratna- Kroti-shaurima, her right [hand] clinging to his neck, her left offering to his mouth a red shell [filled with blood], will issue from the southern quarter of thy brain and come to shine upon thee.

Fear not. Be not terrified. Be not awed. Know them to be the embodiment of thine own intellect. [They] being thine own tutelary deity, be not terrified. In reality [they are] the Father-Mother Bhagavan Ratna-Sambhava.

Believe in them. Recognition [of them] and the obtaining of liberation will be simultaneous.

By so proclaiming [them], knowing them to be tutelary deities, merging in them in atonement, Buddhahood will be obtained.

[THE ELEVENTH DAY]

Yet, though set face-to-face thus, if, through power of evil propensities, terror and awe being produced, not recognizing them to be tutelary deities, one flee from them, then, on the Eleventh Day, the blood-drinking Lotus Order will come to receive one.

Thereupon the setting-face-to-face is, calling the deceased by name, thus:

O nobly-born, on the Eleventh Day, the blood-drinking [deity] of the Lotus Order, called the Bhagavan Padma- Heruka, of reddish-black colour; [having] three faces, six hands, and four feet firmly postured;

the right [face] white, the left, blue, the central, darkish red; in the first of the right of the six hands holding a lotus, in the middle [one], a trident- staff, in the last, a club; in the first of the left [hands], a bell, in the middle [one], a skull-bowl filled with blood, in the last, a small drum;

his body embraced by the Mother Padma- Kroti-shaurima, her right hand clinging to his neck, her left offering to his mouth a red shell [full of blood]; the Father and Mother in union; will issue from the western quarter of thy brain and come to shine upon thee.

Fear that not. Be not terrified. Be not awed. Rejoice. Recognize [them] to be the product of thine own intellect; as [they are] thine own tutelary deity, be not afraid. In reality they are the Father- Mother Bhagavan Amitabha.

Believe in them. Concomitantly with recognition, liberation will come.

Through such acknow­ledging, recognizing them to be tutelary deities, in atonement thou wilt merge [into them], and obtain Buddhahood.

[THE TWELFTH DAY]

Despite such setting-face-to-face, being still led backwards by evil propensities, terror and awe arising, it may be that one recognize not and flee.

Thereupon, on the Twelfth Day, the blood-drinking deities of the Karmic Order, accompanied by the Kerima, Htamenma, and Wang-chugma, will come to receive one.

Not recognizing, terror may be produced.

Whereupon, the setting-face-to-face is, calling the deceased by name, thus:

O nobly-born, on the Twelfth Day, the blood-drinking deity of the Karmic Order, named Karma-Heruka, dark green of colour; [having] three faces, six hands, [and] four feet firmly postured; the right [face] white, the left, red, the middle, dark green; majestic [of appearance];

in the first of the right of the six hands, holding a sword, in the middle [one], a trident- staff, in the last, a club; in the first of the left [hands], a bell, in the middle [one], a skull-bowl, in the last, a plough­share;

his body embraced by the Mother Karma-Kroti-shaurima, her right [hand] clinging to his neck, the left offering to his mouth a red shell; the Father and Mother in union, issuing from the northern quarter of thy brain, will come to shine upon thee.

Fear that not. Be not terrified. Be not awed. Recognize them to be the embodiment of thine own intellect. [They] being thine own tutelary deity, be not afraid. In reality they are the Father-Mother Bhagavan Amoghasiddhi.

Believe; and be humble; and be fond [of them]. Concomitantly with recognition, liberation will come.

Through such acknowledging, recognizing them to be tutelary deities, in atonement thou wilt merge [into them], and obtain Buddhahood.

Through guru's select teaching, one comes to recognize them to be the thought-forms issuing from one's own intellectual faculties:

For instance, a person, upon recog­nizing a lion-skin [to be a lion-skin], is freed [from fear]; for though it be only a stuffed lion-skin, if one do not know it to be so actually, fear arises, but, upon being told by some person that it is a lion-skin only, one is freed from fear.

Similarly here, too, when the bands of blood-drinking deities, huge of proportions, with very thick-set limbs, dawn as big as the skies, awe and terror are naturally produced in one.

[But] as soon as the setting-face-to-face is heard [one] recognizes them to be one’s own tutelary deities and one’s own thought- forms.

Then, when upon the Mother Clear-Light—which one had been accustomed to formerly—a secondary Clear-Light, the Offspring Clear-Light, is produced,

and the Mother and Offspring Clear-Light, coming together like two intimate acquaintances, blend inseparably, and [therefrom] a self-eman­cipating radiance dawns upon one, through self-enlighten­ment and self-knowledge one is liberated.