Tibetan Book of the Dead | Part 17


[Instructions to the Officiant]:

Yet—though this [instruction] be so oft repeated—if recognition be difficult, because of the influence of evil karma, much benefit will come from repeating these settings-face-to-face many times over.

Once more, [then,] call the deceased by name, and speak as follows:

O nobly-born, if thou have been unable to apprehend the above, henceforth the body of the past life will become more and more dim and the body of the future life will become more and more clear.

Saddened at this [thou will think], “O what misery I am undergoing! Now, whatever body I am to get, I shall go and seek [it]”. So thinking, thou will be going hither and thither, ceaselessly and distractedly.

Then there will shine upon thee the lights of the Six Samsaric Lokas. The light of that place wherein thou art to be born, through power of karma, will shine most prominently.

O nobly-born, listen:

If thou desire to know what those six lights are:

there will shine upon thee a dull white light from the Deva-world, a dull green light from the Asura- world, a dull yellow light from the Human-world, a dull blue light from the Brute-world, a dull red light from the Preta- world, and a smoke-coloured light from the Hell-world.

At that time, by the power of karma, thine own body will partake of the colour of the light of the place wherein thou art to be born.

O nobly-born, the special art of these teachings is especially important at this moment:

whichever light shines upon thee now, meditate upon it as being the Compassionate One; from whatever place the light comes, consider that [place] to be [or to exist in] the Compassionate One.

This is an exceedingly profound art; it will prevent birth.

Or whosoever thy tute­lary deity may be, meditate upon the form for much time,— as being apparent yet non-existent in reality, like a form produced by a magician. That is called the pure illusory form.

Then let the [visualization of the] tutelary deity melt away from the extremities, till nothing at all remains visible of it; and put thyself in the state of the Clearness and the Voidness—which thou cannot conceive as something— and abide in that state for a little while.

Again meditate upon the tutelary deity; again meditate upon the Clear Light: do this alternately. Afterwards, allow thine own intellect also to melt away gradually, [beginning] from the extremities.

Wherever the ether pervades, consciousness pervades; wherever consciousness pervades, the Dharma-Kaya pervades. Abide tranquilly in the uncreated state of the Dharmakaya. In that state, birth will be obstructed and Perfect Enlightenment gained.