Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Carpe Diem #1210 Tibetan Book Of Dead (Bardo Thodol)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This wonderful journey through Tibet is almost over and i think we have had a really wonderful and magical experience here. So it is with sadness that I am creating this penultimate (regular) episode. Today I love to inspire you through the Tibetan Book of Dead, not that one we had for our first Theme Week last year, but that original one in which the rituals are described to give peace to the dying and in which the soul is guided to the right realm were it will wait to be reborn.

Earlier this week I wrote an episode about Shambhala, that magical kingdom somewhere in the Himalayans. Shambhala isn't a physical place in my opinion it is the place were our souls are waiting to become reborn. Another episode was about reincarnation and those two prompts are interconnected with our prompt for today ... the Tibetan Book Of Dead. (Downloadable  HERE)

Tibetan Book Of The Dead

Let me tell you a little bit more about The Tibetan Book Of Dead:

It is meant to be a guide for those who have died as they transition from their former life to a new destination. The work has been traditionally attributed to Padma-Sambhava, an Indian mystic who was said to have introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century. Legend has it that while visiting Tibet, Padma-Sambhava found it necessary to conceal sanskrit works he had arranged to be written.The Tibetans of that time were not ready for the spiritual teachings contained therein, so he hid his texts in strange and remote locations, leaving them to be discovered at a later time when their spiritual message could be received by those with an open mind.

The most famous of those that discovered and revealed Padma-Sambhava's writings was Karma Lingpa who was born around 1350 CE. According to his biography, Karma Lingpa found several hidden texts on top of a mountain in Tibet when he was fifteen years old. Within those texts, he found a collection of teachings entitled: The Self-Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities from Enlightened Awareness. These teachings contained the texts of the now famous Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Bardo. The Tibetan Book of the Dead was first published in 1927 by Oxford University Press, London. (Source: holybooks.com)

Tibetan Book Of The Dead (original)
The above image shows  the part of The Tibetan Book Of The Dead in which the passed away man or woman will be facing the demons to challenge him / her to be "weighted". I think this phase is similar with what in other religions is called "judgement" or "limbo", but that I don't know for sure.

Here is a "quote" from this part of The Tibetan Book Of The Dead:

[...] "O nobly-born, listen undistractedly. Not having been able to recognize when the Peaceful [Deities] shone upon thee in the Bardo above, thou hast come wandering thus far. Now, on the Eighth Day, the blood-drinking Wrathful Deities will come to shine. Act so as to recognize them without being distracted." [...]

life weighted by the gods
to be reborn

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... it is not an easy task I think this time, but I am looking forward to your responses on this prompt.

By the way ... next month we will have all kigo for summer for prompts, classical and non-classical. So that will be another great month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I hope to publish our new prompt-list later this week.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Dalai Lama, later on. For now .... have fun!

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