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

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

THE BARDO OF BECOMING 299

This is the dividing line where buddhas and sentient beings are

separated...

"In an instant they are separated, in an instant complete enlightenment."

REBIRTH

As, in the bardo of becoming, the time for rebirth gets

closer, you crave more and more the support of a material

body, and you search for any one that might be available in

which to be reborn. Different signs begin to appear, warning

you of the realm in which you are likely to take rebirth.

Lights of various colors shine from the six realms of existence,

and you will feel drawn toward one or another, depending on

the negative emotion that is predominant in your mind. Once

you have been drawn into one of these lights, it is very difficult

to turn back.

Then images and visions will arise, linked to the different

realms. As you become more familiar with the teachings, you

will become more alert to what they really mean. The signs

vary slightly according to different teachings. Some say that if

you are to be reborn as a god, you will have a vision of entering

a heavenly palace with many stories. If you are to be

reborn as a demigod, you will feel you are amidst spinning circular

weapons of fire, or going onto a battlefield. If you are to

be reborn as an animal, you find yourself in a cave, a hole in

the ground, or a nest made of straw. If you have a vision of a

tree stump, a deep forest, or a woven cloth, you are to be

reborn as a hungry ghost. And if you are to be reborn in hell,

you will feel you are being led, powerless, into a black pit,

down a black road, into a somber land with black or red

houses, or toward a city of iron.

There are many other signs, such as the way in which your

gaze or movement is aligned, which indicate the realm for

which you are heading. If you are to be reborn in a god or

human realm, your gaze will be directed upward; if in an animal

realm, you will look straight ahead, as do birds; and if in

a hungry ghost or hell realm, you will be facing downward, as

though you were diving.

If any of these signs appear, you should be on guard not to

fall into any of these unfortunate rebirths.

At the same time, you will have an intense desire and longing

for certain realms, and you are drawn toward them all too

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