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

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

INTRINSIC RADIANCE 281

2. Union—The Deities

If you are unable to recognize this as the spontaneous display

of Rigpa, the simple rays and colors then begin to integrate

and coalesce into points or balls of light of different

sizes, called tiklé. Within them the "mandalas of the peaceful

and wrathful deities" appear, as enormous spherical concentrations

of light seeming to occupy the whole of space.

This is the second phase, known as "luminosity dissolving

into union," where the luminosity manifests in the form of

buddhas or deities of various size, color, and form, holding different

attributes. The brilliant light they emanate is blinding

and dazzling, the sound is tremendous, like the roaring of a

thousand thunderclaps, and the rays and beams of light are

like lasers, piercing everything.

These are the "forty-two peaceful and fifty-eight wrathful

deities" depicted in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. They unfold

over a certain period of "days," taking on their own characteristic

mandala pattern of five-fold clusters. This is a vision that

fills the whole of your perception with such intensity that if

you are unable to recognize it for what it is, it appears terrifying

and threatening. Sheer fear and blind panic can consume

you, and you faint.

From yourself and from the deities, very fine shafts of light

stream out, joining your heart with theirs. Countless luminous

spheres appear in their rays, which increase and then "roll up,"

as the deities all dissolve into you.

3. Wisdom

If again you fail to recognize and gain stability, the next

phase unfolds, called "union dissolving into wisdom."

Another fine shaft of light springs out from your heart and

an enormous vision unfolds from it; however, every detail

remains distinct and precise. This is the display of the various

aspects of wisdom, which appear together in a show of unfurled

carpets of light and resplendent spherical luminous tiklés:

First, on a carpet of deep blue light appear shimmering

tiklés of sapphire blue, in patterns of five. Above that, on a

carpet of white light, appear radiant tiklés, white like crystal.

Above, on a carpet of yellow light, appear golden tiklés, and

upon that a carpet of red light supports ruby red tiklés. They

are crowned by a radiant sphere like an outspread canopy

made of peacock feathers.

This brilliant display of light is the manifestation of the five

wisdoms: wisdom of all-encompassing space, mirror-like

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