Tibetan Book of the Dead | Part 8

[THE SEVENTH DAY]

On the Seventh Day, the Knowledge-Holding Deities, from the holy paradise realms, come to receive one.

Simultaneously, the pathway to the brute world, produced by the obscuring passion, stupidity, also comes to receive one.

The setting- face-to-face at that time is, calling the deceased by name, thus:

O nobly-born, listen undistractedly:

On the Seventh Day the multi-coloured radiance of the purified propensities will come to shine.

Simultaneously, the Knowledge-Holding Deities, from the holy paradise realms, will come to receive one.

From the centre of the Circle [or Mandala], enhaloed in radiance of rainbow light, the supreme Knowledge-Holding [Deity],

the Lotus Lord of Dance, the Supreme Knowledge- Holder Who Ripens Karmic Fruits, radiant with all the five colours, embraced by the [Divine] Mother,

the Red Dakini, [he] holding a crescent knife and a skull [filled] with blood, dancing and making the mudra of fascination, [with his right hand held] aloft,

will come to shine.

To the east of that Circle, the deity called the Earth-Abid­ing Knowledge-Holder, white of colour, with radiant smiling countenance,

embraced by the White Dakini, the [Divine] Mother, [he] holding a crescent knife and a skull [filled] with blood, dancing and making the mudra of fascination, [with his right hand held] aloft,

will come to shine.

To the south of that Circle, the Knowledge-Holding Deity called [He] Having Power Over Duration of Life, yellow in colour, smiling and radiant,

embraced by the Yellow Dakini, the [Divine] Mother, [he] holding a crescent knife and a skull [filled] with blood, dancing and making the mudra of fascina­tion, [with his right hand held] aloft,

will come to shine.

To the west of that Circle, the deity called the Knowledge- Holding Deity of the Great Symbol, red of colour, smiling and radiant,

embraced by the Red Dakini, the [Divine] Mother, [he] holding a crescent-knife and a skull [filled] with blood, dancing and making the mudra of fascination, [with his right hand held] aloft,

will come to shine.

To the north of that Circle, the deity called the Self­-Evolved Knowledge-Holder, green of colour, with a half- angry, half-smiling radiant countenance,

embraced by the Green Dakini, the [Divine] Mother, [he] holding a crescent- knife and a skull [filled] with blood, dancing and making the mudra of fascination, [with his right hand held] aloft,

will come to shine.

In the Outer Circle, round about these Knowledge-Holders, innumerable bands of dakinis,

dakinis of the eight places of cremation, dakinis of the four classes, dakinis of the three abodes, dakinis of the thirty holy-places and of the twenty- four places of pilgrimage,—heroes, heroines, celestial warriors, and faith-protecting deities, male and female,

each bedecked with the six bone-ornaments, having drums and thigh-bone trumpets, skull-timbrels, banners of gigantic human[-like] hides, human-hide canopies, human-hide bannerettes, fumes of human-fat incense, and innumerable [other] kinds of musical instruments,

filling [with music] the whole world-systems and causing them to vibrate, to quake and tremble with sounds so mighty as to daze one’s brain, and dancing various measures, will come to receive the faithful and punish the unfaithful.

O nobly-born, five-coloured radiances, of the Wisdom of the Simultaneously-Born, which are the purified propensities,

vibrating and dazzling like coloured threads, flashing, radiant, and transparent, glorious and awe-inspiring,

will issue from the hearts of the five chief Knowledge-Holding Deities and strike against thy heart, so bright that the eye cannot bear to look upon them.

At the same time, a dull blue light from the brute world will come to shine along with the Radiances of Wisdom.

Then, through the influence of the illusions of thy propensities, thou wilt feel afraid of the radiance of the five colours; and [wishing to] flee from it, thou will feel attracted towards the dull light from the brute-world.

Thereupon, be not afraid of that brilliant radiance of five colours, nor terrified; but know the Wisdom to be thine own.

Within those radiances, the natural sound of the Truth will reverberate like a thousand thunders:

The sound will come with a rolling reverberation, [amidst which] will be heard, “Slay! Slay!“ and awe-inspiring mantras. Fear not. Flee not. Be not terrified. Know them [i. e. these sounds] to be [of] the intellectual faculties of thine own [inner] light.

Be not attracted towards the dull blue light of the brute-world; be not weak:

If thou art attracted, thou will fall into the brute-world, wherein stupidity predominates, and suffer the illimitable miseries of slavery and dumbness and stupidness; and it will be a very long time ere thou canst get out. Be not attracted towards it.

Put thy faith in the bright, dazzling, five-coloured radiance:

Direct thy mind one-pointedly towards the deities, the Knowledge-Holding Conquerors. Think, one- pointedly, thus:

“These Knowledge-Holding Deities, the Heroes, and the Dakinis have come from the holy paradise realms to receive me; I supplicate them all:

up to this day, although the Five Orders of the Buddhas of the Three Times have all exerted the rays of their grace and compassion, yet have I not been rescued by them. Alas, for a being like me!

May the Knowledge-Holding Deities not let me go downwards further than this, but hold me with the hook of their com­passion, and lead me to the holy paradises.”

Thinking in that manner, one-pointedly, pray thus:

“O ye Knowledge-Holding Deities, pray hearken unto me ;
Lead me on the Path, out of your great love.
When [I am] wandering in the Samsara, because of intensi¬fied propensities,
On the bright light-path of the Simultaneously-born Wisdom
May the bands of Heroes, the Knowledge-Holders, lead me;
May the bands of the Mothers, the Dakinis, be [my] rear¬-guard;
May they save me from the fearful ambuscades of the Bardo,
And place me in the pure Paradise Realms.”

Praying thus, in deep faith and humility, there is no doubt that one will be born within the pure Paradise Realms, after being merged, in rainbow-light, into the heart of the Knowledge-Holding Deities.

All the pandit classes, too, coming to recognize at this stage, obtain liberation; even those of evil propensities being sure to be liberated here.

Here ends the part of the Great Thödol concerned with the setting-face-to-face of the Peaceful [Deities] of the Chönyid Bardo and the setting-face-to-face of the Clear Light of the Chikhai Bardo.