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

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

HELPING AFTER DEATH 307

sponsor works of art related to spiritual practice. Another

method of helping the dead, especially favored in Tibet and

the Himalayas, is to save the lives of animals due to be

slaughtered, and release them again into freedom.

It is important to dedicate all the merit and well-being that

spring from any such acts of kindness and generosity to the

dead person, and in fact to all those who have died, so that

everyone who has died may obtain a better rebirth and favorable

circumstances in their next life.

THE CLAIRVOYANCE OF THE DEAD PERSON

Remember, the clairvoyant consciousness of the person in

the bardo of becoming is seven times clearer than in life. This

can bring them either great suffering or great benefit.

So it is essential that after someone you love has died, you

are as aware as possible in all your behavior, so as not to disturb

or hurt them. For when the dead person returns to those

left behind, or those invited to practice on their behalf, they are

able, in their new state of being, not only to see what is going

on but to read minds directly. If relatives are only scheming

and quarreling about how to divide up their possessions, only

talking and thinking of attachment and aversion, with no real

love for the dead person, this can cause them intense anger and

hurt or disillusion, and they will then be drawn by these turbulent

emotions into an unfortunate rebirth.

For example, imagine if a dead person saw spiritual practitioners

supposedly practicing for him but with no sincere

thought in their minds for his benefit, and with their minds

preoccupied with trivial distractions; the dead person could

lose any faith he might ever have had. Imagine too if a dead

person had to watch her loved ones distraught and helpless

with grief; it could plunge her into deep grief also. And if a

dead person were to discover, for example, that relatives only

made a show of loving her because of her money, she could

become so painfully disillusioned that she returned as a ghost

to haunt the inheritor of her wealth. You can see now that

what you do and how you think and how you behave after

people have died can be of crucial importance, and have a far

greater impact on their future than you can possibly imagine. 2

You will see now why it is absolutely essential for the

peace of mind of the dead person that those who are left

behind should be harmonious. This is why, in Tibet, when all

the friends and relatives of the dead person assembled, they

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