Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | July 21, 2010

Statue on a grave

Statue on a grave, Cities of the Dead, New Orleans, Louisiana
We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don’t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.

–Sogyal Rinpoche

First of all there will appear to you, swifter than lightning, the luminous splendor of the colorless light of Emptiness, and that will surround you on all sides. …Try to submerge yourself in that light, giving up all belief in a separate self, all attachment to your illusory ego.

… Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will for seven days appear to you in their benign and peaceful aspect. Their light will shine upon you, … Wonderful and delightful though they are, The Buddhas may nevertheless frighten you. Do not give in to your fright! Do not run away! Serenely contemplate the spectacle before you! Overcome your fear, and feel no desire! Realize that these are the rays of the grace of the Buddhas, who come to receive you into their Buddha-realms. Pray to them with intense faith and humility, …

But if you miss it, you will next be confronted with the angry deities, … threatening you and barring your passage … because you turned a deaf ear to the saving truths of religion. All these forms are strange to you, … they terrify you, … and yet it is you who have created them. Do not give in to your fright, … flee them not! They are but … the contents of your own mind… If at this point you should manage to understand that, … and you will find yourself in a paradise among the angels.

The judgment: You are now before Yama, King of the Dead. In vain will you try to…deny or conceal the evil deeds you have done. … the mirror in which Yama seems to read your past is your own memory, and also his judgment is your own. It is you yourself who pronounce your own judgment, …

–fragments from “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”


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