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The Secret Wisdom of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

October 07, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 20   Category: Inspirational Stories    Views: 757

Tibet has been an ancient land on the Himalayan Mountains. It has rich sources of ancient knowledge. Most of its hidden treasures have not yet reached modern world.


Every religion speaks about the transient nature of life on this earth. Birth on this earth assures of life's end. The Tibetan book of wisdom describes the transformation stage of life after death. It says about the duration and experiences of conscience between death and the next stage of rebirth.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Hinduism and Buddhism strongly believe in rebirth which is the effect of one's karma. The Tibetan Book of the Dead describes and guides one through the experiences that the consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and in the next rebirth. This interval is called in Tibetan texts as the "bardo". In addition to that, the text describes about the symptoms of death and also about the rituals to undertake when death is closing in, or has taken place. It is the most internationally famous and widespread work of Tibetan literature called "Nyingma literature". In short, it describes the liberation experience of both body and soul from one birth to another.

The secrets of wisdom in the Tibetan Book of the Dead

It is stated that this book was written by Padma-Sambhava, an Indian mystic who was said to have introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century. Legends say that while he was visiting Tibet, he found that the Tibetans were not mature enough to grasp the teachings of the Sanskrit works he had with him and so Padma-Sambhava thought it was necessary to hide the books he arranged to write for them. That resulted in hiding those spiritual teachings in remote locations, leaving them to be discovered at a later time when their spiritual message could be received by those with an open mind. That is why this book is called secret wisdom.

Discovery of the "secret wisdom"

It was after five centuries that the book of secret wisdom concealed by Padma-Sambhava was discovered by a Buddhist monk called Karma Lingpa who was born in 1350. According to the biography of Karma Lingpa, it is said that he found several hidden texts on top of a mountain in Tibet when he was fifteen years old. He describes in his book that in those texts of Padma-Sambhava, he found a collection of teachings entitled "The Self-Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities from Enlightened Awareness". These teachings describe the secret wisdom which is called, "Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Bardo".

Bardo in three states

The text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks about liberation through an intermediate state which in turn has three bardos between lives.

The moment of death is called "chikhai bardo" which features the experience of the "clear vision of reality". It is the last consciousness of spirituality.

The second state is called "chonyid bardo" or which is the experiencing of reality. This state features the experience of visions of various rebirths or formation of another "Buddha". This is also another kind of spiritual experience.

The third liberation state is "sidpa bardo" which is a state of rebirth. It describes features of hallucinations that occur in rebirth as a result of karma in the out-going or previous incarnation. It is an imagery of men and women, passionately interwoven.

The book describes also about three more bardos of liberation: (1) conscious life, (2) meditation and (3) dreams during that occur during normal sleep.

The secret of Buddhist wisdom revealed in the Tibetan book

Buddhism, introduced into Tibet in the 8th century, flourished there well. Buddhist principles of facing death are described in this Tibetan book. It says that spiritual growth is achieved not by cowering from death, but by confronting it head on and, therefore, to facilitate confrontation with such raw reality, Buddhism offers several detailed meditative strategies. These death meditations help Buddhist practitioners to engage seriously the truth of impermanence and to make use of Buddhist wisdom for liberation.


Author: anil gupta        
Posted Date: 10/10/2011    Points:2    

Yes Tibetan believe in rebirth like hindus. They search their new lama after death of present lama on the basis of this believe that he must be took rebirth.

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