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

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

SEVENBardos and Other RealitiesBARDO IS A TIBETAN WORD that simply means a"transition" or a gap between the completion of one situationand the onset of another. Bar means "in between," and domeans "suspended" or "thrown." Bardo is a word madefamous by the popularity of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Sinceits first translation into English in 1927, this book has arousedenormous interest among psychologists, writers, and philosophersin the West, and has sold millions of copies.The title Tibetan Book of the Dead was coined by its compilerand editor, the American scholar W. Y. Evans-Wentz, inimitation of the famous (and equally mistitled) Egyptian Bookof the Dead. 1 The actual name of the book is Bardo TödrolChenmo, which means the "Great Liberation Through Hearingin the Bardo." Bardo teachings are extremely ancient andfound in what are called the Dzogchen Tantras. 2 These teachingshave a lineage stretching back beyond human masters tothe Primordial Buddha (called in Sanskrit Samantabhadra, andin Tibetan Kuntuzangpo), who represents the absolute, naked,sky-like primordial purity of the nature of our mind. But theBardo Tödrol Chenmo itself is part of one large cycle of teachingshanded down by the master Padmasambhava andrevealed in the fourteenth century by the Tibetan visionaryKarma Lingpa.The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, the TibetanBook of the Dead, is a unique book of knowledge. It is a kindof guide book or a travelogue of the after-death states, whichis designed to be read by a master or spiritual friend to a personas the person dies, and after death. In Tibet there are saidto be "Five Methods for Attaining Enlightenment WithoutMeditation": on seeing a great master or sacred object; on wearingspecially blessed drawings of mandalas with sacredmantras; on tasting sacred nectars, consecrated by the masters106

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