Tibetan Book of the Dead - Visualising rebirth 3
Type of Spiritual Experience
This is part of a very long description which constitutes an exercise in understanding what rebirth can entail. It has been interpreted by some I think as a description of what happens on death, but the only way the sages would have known this was to have assumed that what happens on rebirth happens on death and I am afraid that logically we cannot assume this. So this is not death, it is a description of a rebirth experience.
A description of the experience
OM AH HUM
At this time when we dwell within the intermediate state of living,
The assembly of the sixty blood-drinking deities
Is radiantly present within the celestial palace of the skull, at the crown-centre, within one's brain -
Embodied in the form of a cluster of five-coloured lights.
Yet, as soon as we die and begin to transmigrate,
This assembly of blood-drinking deities will emerge from the brain,
And appear [before us], filling the entire trichiliocosm.
[Each of] the central and peripheral [forms]
Will be endowed with fearsome ornaments and attire.
[Resounding] within an immense space,
Vibrant with sounds, lights and rays,
The bodily demeanour of these wrathful deities
Will be elegant, heroic and terrifying,
Their roar wild, murderous and awesome,
Each blazing with compassion, wrath and fierce aversion,
Adorned by face markings of human ash, blood, and grease
Dressed in skirts of moist hide and flayed tiger skin;
Decorated with skull garlands and wreaths of snakes;
Resplendent in a blazing mass of fire which pounds
With the cries of HA HA HUM PHAT strike! Slay!',
Reverberating like a thousand peals of thunder.
Fully arrayed with hand-emblems and multifarious faces,
Displaying the arts of transformation,
They will pulverise and rock the infinite trichiliocosm.
At that very moment when the fierce sounds, lights and rays
Dawn before us in terrifying manifestation,
O you, the compassionate assembly of wrathful blood-drinking deities,
O Beings of Compassion, do not withhold your compassion at that [time]!
As we roam [alone] in cyclic existence [driven] by deep-seated habitual tendencies,
May the assembly of wrathful blood-drinking [deities] draw us forward,
Leading us on the path of [radiant] light,
Which is free of fear and terrifying perceptions!
May tbe assembly of wrathful female deities, Queens of the
Expanse, support us from behind!
May the assembly of the Matarahu, Pisaci, and Female
Gatekeepers support us from the perimeter!
May the Eight Great Projectresses [who propel beings to exalted rebirths],
Propel us from our [mundane] states [into higher rebirth]!
May the diverse animal-headed lsvart eliminate all obstacles!
May the four supreme Female Gatekeepers obstruct the entrance to [mundane] births;
And thus [encircled], may we be rescued
From the fearsome passageway of the intermediate state
And be escorted to the level of the utterly perfected buddha