The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

264 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

Padmasambhava describes the luminosity:

This self-originated Clear Light, which from the very beginning

was never bom,

Is the child of Rigpa, which is itself without any parents—how

amazing!

This self-originated wisdom has not been created by anyone—how

amazing!

It has never experienced birth and has nothing in it that could

cause it to die—how amazing!

Although it is evidently visible, yet there is no one there who sees

it—how amazing!

Although it has wandered through samsara, no harm has come to

it—how amazing}.

Although it has seen buddhahood itself no good has come to it—

how amazing!

Although it exists in everyone everywhere, it has gone unrecognized—how

amazing!

And yet you go on hoping to attain some other fruit than this elsewhere—how

amazing!

Even though it is the thing that is most essentially yours, you seek

for it elsewhere—how amazing!

Why is it that this state is called "luminosity" or Clear

Light? The masters have different ways of explaining this.

Some say that it expresses the radiant clarity of the nature of

mind, its total freedom from darkness or obscuration: "free

from the darkness of unknowing and endowed with the ability

to cognize." Another master describes the luminosity or

Clear Light as "a state of minimum distraction," because all

the elements, senses, and sense-objects are dissolved. What is

important is not to confuse it with the physical light that we

know, nor with the experiences of light that will unfold

presently in the next bardo; the luminosity that arises at death

is the natural radiance of the wisdom of our own Rigpa, "the

uncompounded nature present throughout all of samsara and

nirvana."

The dawning of the Ground Luminosity, or Clear Light, at

the moment of death is the great opportunity for liberation.

But it is essential to realize on what terms this opportunity is

given. Some modern writers and researchers on death have

underestimated the profundity of this moment. Because they

have read and interpreted the Tibetan Book of the Dead without

the benefit of the oral instructions and training that fully

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