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

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

284 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGand appear to take on an objective existence. They seem toinhabit the world outside of us. And without the stability ofpractice, we have no knowledge of anything that is non-dual,that is not dependent on our own perception. Once we mistakethe appearances as separate from us, as "external visions,"we respond with fear or hope, which leads us into delusion.Just as in the dawning of the Ground Luminosity recognitionwas the key to liberation, so here in the bardo of dharmatait is also. Only here it is the recognition of theself-radiance of Rigpa, the manifesting energy of the nature ofmind, that makes the difference between liberation or continuingin an uncontrolled cycle of rebirth. Take, for example, theappearances of the hundred peaceful and wrathful deities,which occur in the second phase of this bardo. These consistof the buddhas of the five buddha families, their female counterparts,male and female bodhisattvas, the buddhas of the sixrealms, and a number of wrathful and protective deities. Allemerge amidst the brilliant light of the five wisdoms.How are we to understand these buddhas or deities? "Eachone of these pure forms expresses an enlightened perspective ofa part of our impure experience." 3 The five masculine buddhasare the pure aspect of the five aggregates of ego. Their five wisdomsare the pure aspect of the five negative emotions. Thefive female buddhas are the pure elemental qualities of mind,which we experience as the impure elements of our physicalbody and environment. The eight bodhisattvas are the pureaspect of the different types of consciousness, and their femalecounterparts are the objects of these consciousnesses.Whether the pure vision of the buddha families and theirwisdoms manifests, or the impure vision of the aggregates andnegative emotions arises, they are intrinsically the same intheir fundamental nature. The difference lies in how we recognizethem, and whether we recognize that they emerge fromthe ground of the nature of mind as its enlightened energy.Take, for example, what manifests in our ordinary mind asa thought of desire; if its true nature is recognized, it arises,free of grasping, as the "wisdom of discernment." Hatred andanger, when truly recognized, arise as diamond-like clarity, freeof grasping; this is the "mirror-like wisdom." When ignorance isrecognized, it arises as vast and natural clarity without concepts:the "wisdom of all-encompassing space." Pride, whenrecognized, is realized as non-duality and equality: the "equalizingwisdom." jealousy, when recognized, is freed from partialityand grasping, and arises as the "all-accomplishing wisdom."

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