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Notes from the Bardo Thodol (The Tibetian Book of the Dead)

Page Contents



"As men think, so they are, both here and hereafter,

thoughts being things, the parents of all actions,

good and bad alike; and as the sowing has been

so will the harvest be. "


There is good and bad in everyone.

The deities (or spiritual beings) in the Bardo (after death plane) have no real individual existence any more than human beings have. They are merely the consciousness - content visualized by karmic agency, as apparitional appearances in the Intermediate state - airy nothings woven into dreams.

The complete recognition of this psychology by the deceased sets him free into Reality.

Rationally considered, each persons's after-death experiences are entirely dependent upon his or her own mental content.

Those born of the hallucinatory karmic thought forms constituting his/her personality - which is an impermanent product arising from thirst for existence and the will to live and to believe.

Man does not degenerate into anything but savage man

Given ages of continual retrogression, the life flux which is now human may cease to be human, the human constituents of it becoming latent through lack of exercise.

Intellects able to grasp the truth do not fall into the lower conditions of existence.


"Most curious, he said, was the spectacle - sad, laughable and strange; for the choice of the souls was in most cases based upon their own experience of a previous life."

Plato Republic.


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The 3 original buddhist sins

1. The ignorance of stupidity dominated by lust.

2. The excessive sexuality or sensuality and jealousy.

3. Anger.


Drinking of the rivers of forgetfulness, he enters the door of the womb and is reborn, direct from the desire world called the Bardo.

The subconscious mind is the storehouse of all latent memories, not just of this life time.

Our character - this moral and intellectual essence of a man - does veritably pass over from one fleshy tabernacle to another. The Indian philosophers called this character karma.

Character (karma) is latent in the child, and the ego is little more than a bundle of potentialities.

A yearning or thirsting after sensation, after the unstable sansaric existence.

Unless Enlightenment be won, rebirth is the human world, directly from the Bardo-world or from any other world or from any paradise or hell to which karma has led is inevitable.

Enlightenment results from realizing the unreality of the sangsara of existence.

The goal is emancipation from sangsara.


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The Ending of Sorrow.

" For that which clingeth to another there is fall.

But unto that which clingeth not no fall can come.

Where no fall cometh, there is rest

And where rest is, there is no keen desire

Where keen desire is not

Naught cometh or goeth

There is no death, nor birth

Where there is neither death or birth

There neither is this world nor that nor in between

It is the ending of sorrow. "


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In the Chonyid Bardo

Alas! When the uncertain experiencing of reality is dawning upon me here

With every thought of fear or terror or awe for all apparitional appearances set aside

May I recognize whatever visions appear as the reflections of mine own consciousness

May I know them to be of the nature of apparitions in the Bardot.

When at this all important moment of opportunity of achieving a great end

May I not fear the bands of Peaceful and Wrathful deities mine own thought forms


Because of the power of bad karma

The glorious blue light of the wisdom of the Dharma-Dhatu

Will produce in thee fear and terror

And thou will wish to flee from it

Thou will beget a fondness for the dull white light of the devas


Be not awed or startled

Put thy faith in it

Believe in it firmly

And pray unto it


Be not fond of the dull white light of the devas


Act then so that thou wilt not fear

That bright white light

Think with faith

I will take refuge in it


ALAS! When wandering in the sangsara

Because of the power of violent anger

On the radiant light path of the mirror of wisdom

May I be led by the Bhagavan Vajra-Sattva

May the divine Mother Mamaki be my rearguard

May I be led safely across the fearful ambush of the Bardos

May I be placed in a state of the all perfect Buddhahood


O nobly born, along with the radiances of Wisdom

The impure illusory lights of the six lokas will also come to shine

If it be asked, 'What are they?' [they are]:

A dull white light from the devas

A dull green light from the asuras

A dull yellow light from the human beings

A dull blue light from the brutes

A dull reddish light from the pretas

A dull smoke-coloured light from hell


If thou art frightened by the pure radiances of Wisdom

And attracted by the impure lights of the Six lokas

Then thou wilt assume a body in any of the six lokas

And suffer sangsaric miseries


Being thus frightened thou will be attracted towards the impure sangsaric objects.


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The Five Virulent Poisons:

  • Lust
  • Hatred
  • Stupidity
  • Pride and egoism
  • and jealousy.


There is no reality behind any of the phenomena of the Bardo plane, save the illusions stored up in one's own mind as accretions from sangsaric experiences. Recognition of this automatically gives liberation.

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