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Death intermediate state and rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism

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Lati Rinbochay & Jeffrey Hopkins / , Foreword by

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (drawn from lectures in 1972 on Tsong-ka-pa's Middling Exposition of the Stages of the Path}1 Through the afflictions of desire, hatred and ignorance, contaminated karma {actions} are performed, which establish potencies in the mind in the form of predispositions. When a lifetime finishes, a person who has such predispositions is born again in cyclic existence with a n1ind and body appropriated through these contaminated causes.

Some persons die upon the full exhaustion of the impetus of that action which, in another lifetime, laid the foundation for this one. Others die without having used up their allotted time, through the in completion of the causes of sustaining life,· such as lack of necessities. This is called untimely death, or death upon the consumption of merit; for the impetus of the action that established this life remains, but external concordant circumstances that are achieved through other meritorious actions in previous lives do not. A person dies within a virtuous, non-virtuous or neutral mind. In the first case, the dying person might take to mind a virtuous object - such as the Three Jewels (Buddha, his Doctrine and the Spiritual Community) or his own lama - thereby generating a

mind of faith. Or he or she might cultivate immeasurable equanimity, becoming free frmn desire and hatred toward any sentient being, or meditate on emptiness or cultivate compassion. This can be done either through one's own remembering to do such or through others' urging. If such attitudes arc cultivated at the point of death, one dies within a virtuous mind, through which one's rebirth is improved. It is good to die in this way. Sometimes, however, it happens that others, even though not purposely seeking to arouse anger, annoy the dying person with their nervousness, thereby making h..itn or her angry. Sometimes, also, friends and relatives gather around the bed lamenting in such a manner that they arouse manifest desire. Whether it be desire or hatred, if one dies within a sinful attitude to which one is well accustomed, it is very dangerous.

Some die within a neutral attitude, neither taking a virtuous object to mind nor generating desire or hatred. These three attitudes- virtuous, non-virtuous and neutral- occur until the point of the subtle mind of death. According to the sutra system, this final subtle mind is necessarily neutral; for, unlike Highest Yoga Tantra, sutra docs not describe techniques for transforming subtle minds into virtuous states, only for treating coarse ones. A qualified Mantrika [[[practitioner of tantra]]], however, can convert the subtle minds associated with death into a virtuous path consciousness.· At that point one's practice is very profound. In any case, the attitude just before death is very important; for, if even a moderately developed practitioner is disturbed at that time, manifest desire or hatred will be generated. This is because we all have predispositions established by former non-virtuous actions, which are ready to be activated upon meeting with disadvantageous circumstances. It is these predispositions that provide the impetus for lifetimes as animals, and so forth. Similarly, we have predispositions established by former virtuous actions, which, upon meeting with advantageous circumstances, will provide the impetus for lifetimes in happy migrations as humans and so forth. These capacities that are already in our mental continuum arc nourished by attachment and grasping, leading to a bad or good rebirth. Thus, if the predisposition left by a bad karma is activated, a life as an animal, hungry ghost or hell-being will result. Similarly, if a person who usually behaves sinfully dies within a

virtuous attitude, he or she will probably be reborn in a good situation. Therefore, it is very important for both the dying person and those around him or her to avoid creating situations of desire or hatred and instead to foster virtuous states of mind. W c need to know this.

Those who die within a virtuous attitude have a sense of passing from darkness into light, arc free of anxiety and sec pleasant appearances. There arc many cases of very ill persons who, ncar the time of death, speak of being in great comfort despite their illness. Others with little illness f.11l into great fright, with laboured breathing. These latter arc sunk in non-virtuous thoughts, have a sense of going from light to darkness and sec unpleasant forms. Some whose physical \varmth has diminished through illness become desirous of heat, thereby fortifying predispositions for rebirth as a being in a hot hell, whereupon they take rebirth in a place of extreme heat. Others become attached to a feeling of coolness; by wishing, for instance, for a drink of cool water, they fortify predispositions to be reborn as a being in a cold hell, thereby making the connection to such a rebirth. Thus it is very important to avoid desirous thoughts at the time of death and direct the ntind to salutary objects.

In everyday life, attitudes of desire, hatred, jealousy and so forth, to which we arc well accustomed, become manifest with only slight provocation; but those with which we have little familiarity take considerable provocation, such as recourse to reasoning, to manifest themselves. Similarly, at the rime of death, attitudes of long familiarity usually take precedence and direct the rebirth. For this same reason, strong attachment is generated for the self, since one fears that one's self is becoming non-existent. This attachment serves as the connecting link to the intermediate state between lives; the liking of a body, in turn, acts as a cause establishing the body of the intermediate being.

For those strongly involved in non-virtuous actions, the warmth of the body withdraws first from the upper part of the body and then from other parts; whereas, for those strongly involved in virtuous actions, the warmth first withdraws from the feet. In both cases, the warmth finally gathers at the heart, front which the consciousness exits. Those particles of matter, of combined semen and blood, into which the consciousness initially entered in the

mother's womb at the beginning of the life, become the centre of the heart; and from that very same point the consciousness ultimately departs at death. Immediately thereupon, the intermediate state begins - except for those reborn in the formless realms of infinite space, infinite consciousness, 'nothingness' or peak of cyclic existence, for whom the new life begins immediately upon death. Those born within the realms of desire and form tnust pass through an intermediate state, during which a being has the form of the person as whom he or she is to be reborn. The intermediate being has all five senses, but also clairvoyance, obstructiveness and an ability to arrive immediately wherever he or she wants. He or she sees other intermediate beings of his or her own type - hell-being, hungry ghost, animal, human, demigod or god - and can be seen by clairvoyants.

If a place ofoirth appropriate to one's predispositions is not found, a small death occurs after seven days, and one is reborn into another intermediate state. This can occur at most six times, with the result that the longest period spent in the intermediate state is forty-nine days. Thii means that those beings who, even a year after dying, report that they have not found a birthplace are not in the intermediate state but have taken birth as a spirit.

In taking rebirth as a human, one sees one's future mother and father as if lying together. If one is to be reborn as a male, this sight generates desire for the mother as well as hatred for the· father - and vice versa if one is to be reborn as a female. Being desirous, one rushes there to engage in copulation; but upon arrival, one sees only the sexual organ of the desired partner. This creates anger which causes cessation of the intermediate state and makes the connection to the new life. One has entered the mother's womb and begun a human life. When the father's semen and mother's blood are conjoined with this life or consciousness, they naturally and gradually develop into the elements of a human. One is desirous attracted to one's future birthplace, even if it is to be a hell. For instance, a butcher might see sheep in the distance as in a dream; upon his rushing there to kill them, the appearance would fade, causing him to become angry, whereupon the intermediate state would cease and his new life in a hell begin. Also, as said before, those to be reborn in hot hells are attracted to heat; in cold hells, to coolness. The intermediate state of one who is to be

reborn in a bad migration is itself very frightful; in the end, one rushes to the place of rebirth and, when one's wish is not achieved, gets angry, whereupon the intermediate state ceases and the new life begins.

The connection to a life is, therefore, made under the influence of desire, hatred, and ignorance. Until these afflictions arc overcome, one is as if bound in chains without freedom. Indeed, there are good and bad rebirths; but, while one is still bound, one must bear the burden of mental and physical aggregates that are under the influence of contaminated actions and afflictions. This is not done just once, but again and again without break. To overcome the sufferings of birth, ageing, sickness and death, desire, hatred and confusion must be overcome. Their root, in turn, is ignorance - the conception of an inherent existence of persons and other phenomena. External medicines alleviate superficial suffering but cannot cure the central problem. Internal practices - such as resorting to specific antidotes to desire and hatred- are more helpful, but their effects arc temporary. However, if one can destroy ignorance - their root - then all of these cease of their own accord. If ignorance is c1 nominated, then the contaminated actions that depend on it are stopped. Furthermore, without ignorance, the attachment and grasping that fortify the predispositions established by previous actions cease to operate, whereupon the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth is ended.


Buddhist tantra is Jividcd into four types, corresponding to four levels of yogic ability - Action, Performance, Yoga and Highest Yoga. 2 The supreme form, Highest Yoga Tantra, is aimeJ at stopping death and rebirth, as well as the intermediate state between the two, and at transforming these into Buddhahood. This is done through a series of yogas that arc modelled on the processes of death, intermediate state and rebirth, 3 until the yogi gains such control over them that he or she is no longer subject to dying. Since these yogas arc based on simulating death, it is important for the yogi to know how humans die - the stages of death and the physiological reasons behind them. The tantric description of these is based on a complicatcJ theory of winJs, or currents of energy, that serve as foundations for various levels of consciousness. Upon the serial collapse of the abiJity of these 'winds' to serve as bases of consciousness, the events of death - internal and external - unfold. Thus, the study of death for a practitioner of Highest Yoga Tantra is a study of these 'winds' and the consciousncsses dependent upon them.

The tcrn1 'wind' is found in the Buddhist ~nedical theory of three basic humours - wind, bile and phlegm. • When in balance, these three perform the functions of a healthy body; when imbalanced, they create disease and thus are called the three faults (do~lw). Wind 14 Preface is the most important of the three since it directs the other two. It is defined as 'the light (in weight) and moving', 5 and it performs the functions of swallowing, talking, urinating, defecating, extending and contracting the limbs and so forth. Thus, the range of meanings of'wind' runs from air breathed to subtler airs or currents of energy that perform bodily functions and serve as mounts or bases of consciousness.

In tantric medical theory, winds are of five types :8 1 Life-bearing wind. Its seat is at the heart and in its coarse form it causes inhalation, exhalation, burping, spitting and so forth. 2 Upward-moving wind. Its seat is in the centre of the chest, operating throughout the throat and mouth; it mainly causes speech and the swallowing of food and saliva, but it also works in the joints. 3 Pervasive wind. Its scat is at the crown of the head, causing pliant movement, stretching and contracting the limbs and opening and closing the mouth and eyelids. 4 Fire-dwelling wit~ d. Its seat is in the third stage of the stomach, and it moves throughout the internal organs - lungs, heart, liver, gall bladder and so forth - as well as through the channels in the limbs. It causes digestion of nutriment, separating refined and unrefmed parts, etc.

s Downward-voidiug wind. Its scat is in the lower abdomen and it moves about in the womb or the seminal vesicle, in the urinary bladder, in the thighs and so forth. It stops and starts urination, defecation and menstruation.

Through the practice of Highest Yoga Tantra, a yogi seeks to cause these winds in their coarse and subtle forms to dissolve into the very subtle life-bearing wind at the heart. This yoga mirrors a similar process that occurs at death and involves concentration on the channels and channel-centres inside the body. There are 72,000 such channels, the three main ones running from the forehead across the top of the head and down along the spinal column into the sexual organ. The channel-centers along these three main channels are 'wheels' (with varying numbers of spokes, or petals), which are located at the forehead, top of the head, throat, heart, solar plexus, base of the spine and sexual organ. At these wheels, the right and left channels wrap around the central one,


At death, the winds that serve as the foundations of consciousness dissolve into the winds in the right and left channels. These in turn dissolve into the wind in the central channel, whereupon the constrictions are loosened, in the sense that the outer channels become deflated, thereby loosening the central channel and allowing movement of wind inside it. This induces manifestation of subtle minds, which ordinary beings fear since they feel they arc being annihilated. Yogis of Highest Yoga Tantra, however, put these same states to use in the spiritual path.

At the channel-centres there arc white and red drops, upon which physical and mental health are based- white predominant at the top of the head, and red at the solar plexus. These drops have their origin in a white and red drop at the 'heart', which is the size of a large mustard seed or small pea and has a white top and red bottom. It is called the indestructible drop, since it lasts until death. The very subtle life-bearing wind dwells inside it and, at death, all winds ultimately dissolve into it, whereupon the clear light of death dawns. The physiology of death revolves around changes in the 'vinds, channels and drops. Psychologically, due to the fact that consciousnesses of varying grossness and subtlety depend on the winds like a rider on a horse, their dissolving or loss of ability to serve as bases of consciousness induces radical changes in conscious experience.

Death begins with the sequential dissolution of the winds associated with the four elements - earth, water, fire and wind. 'Earth' refers to the hard factors of the body such as bone, and the dissolution of the wind associated with i~ means that that wind is no longer capable of serving as a mount or basis for consciousness. As a consequence of its dissolution, the capacity of the wind associated with 'water'- the fluid factors of the body- to act as a mount for consciousness becomes more manifest. The ceasing of this capacity in one element and its greater manifestation in another is called 'dissolution'; it is not, therefore, a case of gross earth dissolving into water (see page 38). Simultaneously with the dissolution of the earth clement, four other factors dissolve (sec chart 1), accompanied by external signs (generally visible to others) and an internal sign (the inner experience of the dying person). The same is repeated in serial order for the other three elements (sec charts 2-4),. with corresponding external and internal signs.


CHART 1 First cycle of simultaneous dissolution Factor dissolving earth element aggregate of forms basic mirror-like wisdom (our ordinary consciousness that clearly perceives many objects simultaneous} y) Extemal sign body becomes very thin. limbs loose; sense that body is sinking Wlder the earth limbs become smaller. body becomes weak and powerless sight becomes Wlclear and dark eye sense one cannot open or close eyes Internal sign appearance of mirages colours and shapes lustre of body diminishes; one's strength is consumed

CHART 2 Second cycle of simultaneous dissolution Factor dissolving water element aggregate of feelings (pleasure, pain and neutrality) External sign saliva, sweat, urine. blood and regenerative fluid dry greatly body consciousness can no longer experience the three types of feelings that accompany sense consciousnesses basic wisdom of equality one is no longer mindful (our ordinary conscious- of the feelings accomness mindful of pleasure. panying the mental pain and neutral feelings consciousness as feelings) ear sense sounds one no longer hears external or internal sounds ur sound in ears no longer arises Internal sign appearance of smoke

cHART 3 Third cycle of simultaneor~s dissolution Factor dissolving fire element aggregate of discriminations basic wi~dom of analysis (our ordinary consciousness mindful of the individual names, purposes and so forth of close persons) External sign one cannot digest food or drink one is no longer mindful of affairs of close persons one can no longer remember the names of close persons nose sense inhalation weak, exhalation strong and lengthy odours one cannot smell Iutcmal sign appearance of fireflies or sparks within smoke

cHART 4 Fourth cycle of simultaneor~s dissoltltiotJ Factor dissolving wind element aggregate of compositional factors basic wisdom of achieving activities (our ordinary consciousness mindful of external activities, purpose1 and so forth) tongue sense tastes body sense and tangible objects Extcmal sign the ten winds move to heart; inhalation and exhalation ceases one cannot perform • physical actions one is no longer mindful of external worldly activities, purposes and so forth tongue becomes thick and short; root of tongue becomes blue one cannot experience tastes J one cannot experience smootlmcss or roughness Internal sign appearance of a sputtering butter-lamp about to go out 18 Preface

CHART s Fifth to eiglztlz cycles of dissolutiou Factor dissoll'ing FIFTH CYCLE eighty conceptions S I X Til C Y C L B mind of white appearance

SEVENTH CYCLE mind of red incre:1se EIGHTH CYCLE mind of black nearattainment Cause of appearance winds in right and left charmels above heart enter central channel at top ofhead winds in right and left channels below heart enter central channel at base of spine upper and lower winds gather at heart; then winds enter drop at heart all winds dissolve into the very subtle lifebearing wind in the indestructible drop at the heart Internal sign at first, burning butter-lamp; then, clear vacuity filled with white light very clear vacuity filled with red light at first, vacuity filled with thick darkness; then, as if swooning unconscious I y very cleu vacuity free of the white, red and black appearances - the mind of clear light of death Upon the inception of the fifth cycle the mind begins to dissolve, in the sense that coarser types cease and subtler ones become manifest. First, conceptuality ceases- dissolving, so to speak, into a mind of white appearance (sec chart 5). This subtler nund, to which only a vacuity filled by white light appears, is free from coarse conceptuality but nevertheless slightly dualistic. It, in turn, dissolves into a heightened mind of red appearance, which then dissolves into a mind of black appearance. At this point all that appears is a vacuity ftlled by blackness, during which the person eventually becomes unconscious; in time this is clea~ed away, leaving a totally nondualistic vacuity - the mind of clear light - free from the white, red and black appearances. This is death. Since the outer breath (which is detectable moving through the nose) ceased long before, in the fourth cycle, from the tantric

perspective the point of actual death is tied not to inhalation and exhalation but to the appearance of the mind of clear light. A person usually remains in this state of lucid vacuity for three days, after which (if the body has not been ravaged by great illness) the external signs of pus or blood emerging fr01n the nose and sexual organ occur, indicating the departure of consciousness. Only at that point is it safe to remove the body for disposal; prior to that time, the consciousness is still in the body, and any violent handling of it can only disturb the end processes of death, possibly resulting in a lower rebirth. When the clear light ceases, the consciousness passes ba~k through the other seven stages of dissolution in reverse order:

I Clear light 2 Radiant black sky 3 Radiant red sky 4 Radiant wlzite sky 5 Flame of a butter-lamp 6 Fireflies 7 Smoke 8 Mirage.

As soon as this reverse process begins, the person is reoorn into an intermediate state (bar-do) between lives, with a subtle body that can go wherever it likes, through mountains and so forth, in search of a place of rebirth.

A lifetime in the intermediate state can last from a moment to seven days, depending on whether or not a suitable birthplace is found. If one is not found, the being undergoes a 'small death', experiencing the eight signs of death as laid out above, but very briefly. He or she then again experiences the eight signs of the reverse process and is reborn in a second intermediate state. This can happen for a total of seven rebirths in the intermediate state, n1aking forty-nine days, during which time a place of rebirth is necessarily found. The 'small death' that occurs between intermediate states or just prior to taking rebirth is compared to experiencing the eight signsranging from the appearance of mirages to the clear light - when going to sleep. Similarly also, upon dreaming, the eight signs of the reverse process arc experienced prior to the dream, which ends with

Latnp Thoroughly Illutninating the Presentation of the Three Basic BodiesDeath, Intennediate State and Rebirth by Ymzg-jc11-ga-rl'ay-lo-dro

The translation itself is in large type. The commentary added by the translators to facilitate understanding is either set in smaller type and given separately or put in S(}Uare brackets and interpolated into the text.

another experience of the eight signs of 'death' followed by the eight of the reverse process. These occur whether one is passing into another dream or awakening from sleep. These states of increasing subtlety during death and of increasing grossness during rebirth arc experienced in fainting and orgasm as well as before and after sleeping and dreaming, although not in complete form.7 Thus, they not only indicate levels of subtlety on which every conscious moment is built but also describe states through which beings frequently pass without noticing them. This doctrine suggests that ordinary conscious life is concerned with only the gross or superficial, without heed of more subtle states that arc the fomH.btion of both consciousness and appearance. It is a case of not knowing either the origin of consciousness or the basis into which it returns. Ordinary beings arc so identified with superficial states that the transition to the deeper involves even fear of annihilation. In the stages of generation and completion of Highest Yoga Tantra, the uncontrolled processes of death, intermediate state and rebirth arc ultimately purified. The most subtle state - that of clear light - is eventually used as a basis of compassionate appearance without regenerating grosser minds. Actual achievement of these practices is beyond those who have not cultivated compassion, realized emptiness and learned the techniques of deity yoga (the meditative appearance - of a compassionate mind realizing emptiness- as a deity).8 However, an accommodation of one's perspective on life to an understanding of these states is within the reach of those who wish it. It is with this usc in mind that this translation is offered.

About the text



The translation below is of the Lamp Tlzorou,gMy Illumiuatiug tlze Prescutatiou of tlze Tlzree Basic Bodies - Death, l11tcrmcdiate State and Rebirth (.(!Zlzi'i sku gsum ,(!yi rnam gzlla,{! rab <{!sal sgron me), 9 by Yangjen- ga-way-lo-dri1 (db Yall,(!S-can-~~a'-ba'i-blo-.f!ros), an eighteenthcentury scholar and yogi of the Gc-luk-ba ( dGe-lu,(!s-pa) order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is essentially a treatise of Highest Yoga Tantra ( Alluttarayo.~a-talltra) of the Guhyasamaja cycle, explaining NagarPreface

juna's interpretation as rendered by Tsong-ka-pa in his Lamp ThorougiJ!y 11/uminatitzg ( Na.~arjrma's) 'Tlze Five Stages': Qui11tcssmtial Iustructiolls oft he Kill,{! ~f T m1tras, tlze Glorious Gulryasamaja ( rGyud kyi rgyal po dpal gsaiiJ! ba 'dus pa'i man n,(!a<!! rim pa In,~ arab t11 ,gsa/ ba'i sgrou me). The sections on the intermediate state and rebirth also depend on Tsong-ka-pa's presentation of Vasubandhu's Treasury of Knowledge ( Abhidlzarmakoslza) in his Great £'\:position oftlze Sta,~£'S oftlze PatiJ (Lam rim chen mo), as well as on his commentary to Nagabodhi's Ordered Stages oftlze A1cans of Aclzicvill.~ Gulzyasamaja (Samajasadlzallavyavastlzali). As the author says, he has foregone extemivc citation of sources for the sake of brevity; some of these arc given in the notes.

The text presents in remarkable clarity the psychological basis of Buddhist practice, revealing the ultimate aim of the vast series of graded paths that Buddha set forth - the transformation of death into an immortal state of benefit to others. JEFFREY HOPKINS

Introduction

Namo Guru Manjug!Josl1aya

Homage to the lord of union, Master over the iron cletnents of birth, death and between, the bases of purification, Over their transformation into gold by the two stages of the profound path, the purifiers, And over the precious Three Bodies of purity, the fruits of purification. Obeisance is made to Manjughosha, or Manjushri, at the beginning of the text for the sake of accumulating merit and thereby avoiding obstacles to completing the composition. It is done in Sanskrit to remember the source language of the teaching as well as its translation into Tibetan, and to establish predispositions for learning Sanskrit.

Manjughosha is the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. Mmifu means 'soft', indicating that his continuum has become softened due to abandoning the afflictive obstructions to liberation from cyclic existence and the non-afflictive obstructions to omniscience. Ghosha means 'intonation', referring to his possess26 Introduction ing a Buddha's sixty branches of perfect vocalization. When singleminded faith is put in Manjughosha, one's wisdom increases quickly.

This being a treatise on the tantra division of Buddha's word, homage is then nude to V ajradhara, who is the lord of union in that the union of clear light and illusory body has come under his control. The hom:tge indicates the contents of the book, through the example of alchemical transformation of iron into gold. The iron clements to be transfonned arc birth, death and the intermediate state between lives - the bases on which the transformational agents act. The alchemical means arc the stages of generation and completion of Highest Yoga Mantra - the highest of the four sets of tantras. The gold products arc the Three Buddha Bodies - Truth, Complete Enjoytnent and Emanation.

Vajradhara has mastery over this process of purification. By praising him in this way, the opening lines point to the contents of the rest of the treatise- a description of birth, death and the intermediate state, as well as their transformation. In order to know the tnode of procedure of the two stages of Highest Yoga Mantra, it is very in1portant to understand the presentation of the bases of purification, the three basic bodiesbirth, death and intennediate state. For, through the profotmd short path of Highest Yoga Mantra, the body of union having the seven features of god and goddess facing each other can be actualized in one short lifetime of this degenerate era. The stages of generation and completion purify birth, death and the intermediate state in the sense that through them these three are stopped- birth being transformed into an Emanation Body, death into a Truth Body and the intl·rmediate state into a Complete Enjoyment Body.

The fruit of this transformation is the deathless state of Buddhahood- known in Highest Yoga Mantra as a body of union having the seven features of god and goddess facing each other. These seven are:

I Complete enjoymeut: having all the major and minor marks of a Buddha

2 God a11d .~oddess jaci11,~ eaclz otf,a: with the aspect of father and mother in union

3 Great bliss: manifesting a subtle bliss consciousness

4 Non-iuhermt existc11ce: a bliss consciousness in meditative equipoise on the emptiness of inherent existence in a non-dualistic manner like water put in water

s Complete .fillill.f! fllitlz compassio11: a mental continuum always and thoroughly suffused with compassion for sentient beings

6 Uuiuterruptcd continuity: not abiding in the extremes of either cyclic existence or solitary peace

7 Non-cessatio11: abiding for the wcl(lre of sentient beings until cyclic existence is emptied. Therefore, I will explain birth, death and the intermediate state - the bases purified by the two stages of the path. The explanation has three parts: ( 1) the stages of death, (2) the stages of achieving the intennediate state, and (3) the way that a being in the intcnnediate state takes birth.

1 The Stages of Death

The process of death is determined by the type of body that one has; therefore, the text begins with a brief recounting of how humans came to be born from wombs and possess a coarse body composed of flesh, blood and so forth. During the first aeon [after fonnation of this world system], the humans of this world had seven features - spontaneous birth, an im1neasurabJe life-span, all sense faculties, a body pervaded by its own Jight, adornment with similitudes of the major and minor 1narks [of a Buddha], sustenance by the food of joy without eating coarse food, and ntagically flying in the sky. However, due to activation of predispositions established by attaclunent to food [in previous lives], they ate coarse sustenance.

Then, when the unrefined part of the food turned into faeces and urine, the male and female organs protruded as openings for excretion. Two who possessed predispositions established by copulation in fonner (Jives] became attached to each other and, in dependence on their lying together, a sentient being fonned in the wontb. Through these steps, birth from a won1b came to be.

30 Deatlz, Iutcrmcdiate State a11d Rebirth ;, Tibetan Buddhism W otnb-born hu1nans of this world arc said to have the six constituents - earth, water, fire, wind, channels and drops. The earth constituent refers to the hard elements of the body, such as bone, skin, nails and hair.12 The water constituent is comprised of the fluids in the body, such as urine, bile and blood. The fire constituent is the warmth that maintains the body. That of wind refers to currents of air or energy that perform the physical functions such as swallowing and serve as the 'mounts' of consciousncsses. The channels are the veins, arteries, ducts, nerve pathways and so forth, through which flow blood, lymph, bile, wind and so on. The drops are essential fluids that course through the channels. Or [according to another interpretation] the six constituents are bone, marrow and regenerative fluid obtained fr01n the father, and flesh, skin and blood obtained fron1 the mother. The regenerative fluid of the father is the main cause of the three obtained from him, and that of the mother is the main cause of the three obtained from her. Both male and female act as causes of all six. Whoever is a person definite to become enlightened in one short lifetime of this degenerate era, through practising from the beginning the path of Highest Yoga Mantra, is necessarily such a womb-born hmnan of this world having the six constituents. A special feature of Highest Yoga Mantra that distinguishes it from the three lower tantras- Action, Performance and Yoga -and from the Sutra Vehicle is that, through practising it, highly qualified persons can attain Duddhahood in one lifetime.13 This means that they pass over the five paths - accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation and no more learning - in one lifetime without having to practise for innumerable aeons as is required in the other systems. In the other systems, a great length of time is spent in amassing the meritorious power needed to empower the wisdom consciousness that realizes emptiness so that it can overcome the obstructions to omniscience.14 However, in Highest Yoga Mantra, special practices are used to enhance the wisdom consciousness through utilizing subtle minds in the realization of emptiness and in subsequently

nsmg in an illusory body. These techniques depend upon the channels, winds and drops within the human body. The bodies ofhun1ans of this \vorld have seventy-two thousand channels as well as the right, left, and central channels. The coarse body is a composite of the clements and evolutes of the elements.15 The subtle body is comprised of the channels, winds and white and red drops. The very subtle body is the wind that serves as the mount of the mind of clear light, as well as the wind that abides in the indestructible drop at the heart. With respect to the channcls of the subtle body, the central channel ranges upward from the heart to the crown of the head, then down to the point between the eyebrows.16 It moves downward from the heart to the middle of the head of the phallus or the vagina. To the right and left of the central channel arc two others that constrict it not only through squeezing it between them but also through encircling it at each channel-centre- three times each at the heart and fewer at the others. Due to this tight constriction, during ordinary existence the winds do not move upward or downward inside the central channel except at death.17 At the time of death all the winds in the seventy-two thousand channels gather in the right and left channels. Then the winds in these two dissolve into the central channel. The winds in the upper and lower parts of the central channel fmally dissolve into the indestructible life-bearing wind at the heart.

At the heart is a channel-wheel, with eight petals or spokes.18 It is called the 'wheel of phenomena' because the indestructible drop, which is the basis of the very subtle wind and mind that are the root of phenomena, abides at the heart. At the throat is the wheel of enjoyment; this has sixteen petals and is so called because the throat is the place of enjoying the six tastes- sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent and salty. At the crown of the head is the wheel of great bliss, which has thirty-two petals and is so called because the white 'mind of enlightenment' (regenerative fluid), which is the basis of bliss, dwells at the top of the head. At the navel is the wheel of emanation, which has sixty-four petals and is so callcJ because the 'fierce one' (gtum mo), \vhich is the emanator of great bliss, abides at 32 Death, ltltermediate State atld Rebirth in TibetatJ Br4ddhism the navel. At the secret region, or base of the spine, is the wheel of sustaining bliss, which has thirty-two petals and is so called because the innate bliss is mainly sustained from the secret region. The white and red constituents exist in the manner of a closed [roWld] case [with a white drop on top and a red one on the bottom] inside the central channel at the channel-wheel of the heart. In the centre of this closed case is the one entity of the very subtle wind and mind.

The five sense consciousnesses- eye, ear, nose, tongue and bodyare coarse minds.19 The conceptual mental consciousness is the subtle mind. The mind that dwells in the indestructible drop is the very subtle mind. The very subtle wind is the indestructible life-bearing wind into which the futal dissolution [in the process of death] occurs. [[[Death]] occurs in this way] because, except for this very subtle wind, if the slightest wind that acts as a basis of consciousness dwells in any part of the body, death is not possible. The way that wind acts as the basis or mount of consciousness is exemplified by a horse's serving as a mount for a rider.

Stages of dissolution

Humans must die by way of the dissolution of the twenty-five gross objects - five aggregates, four constituents, six sources, five objects and five basic wisdoms. The process of death occurs in eight stages that involve the dissolution of twenty-five factors (see charts 6 and 7). 20 Twenty-two dissolve over the first four stages, with the remainder- the aggregate of consciousness, the mental sense and the basic wisdom realizing the nature of phenomena- dissolving over the last four.

FIRST DISSOLUTION

Initially, the five phenomena on the level of the aggregate of forms dissolve simultaneously; they are the aggregate of forms, the basic mirror-like wisdom, the earth constituent, the eye CHART 6 Twenty-five gross objects 5 aggregmes 5 basic wisdoms 4 constituents 6 sources 5 objects forms basic mirror-like earth eye sense colours and shape.t wisdom feelings basic wisdom of water ear sense SOWlds equality discriminations basic wisdom of fire nose sense odours analysis com positional basic wisdom of wind tongue sense tastes factors achieving activities body sense touches consciousnesses basic wisdom of the mental sense nature of phenomena

CHART 7 Eight dissolutions

first dissolution second dissolution third dissolution fourth dissolutton aggregate forms feelings discriminations compositional factors constituent ctlO eanh water fire wind ·s: source 0 eye sense ear sense nose sense tongue and body e senses

object

basic wisdom c.!3 basic mirror-like basic wisdom of basic wisdom of basic wisdom of wisdom equality analysis achieving activities fifth dissol11tion sixth dissol11tion seveuth dissolution eighth dissolution ctlO eighty indicative mind of radiant mind of radiant mind of radiant ·s: conceptions and the white appearance red increase black near- 0.. , .., winds that are their attainment


sense and the visible forms [colours and shapes] included within one's own continumn. As the external sign of the dissolution of the form aggregate, one's limbs bec01ne stnaller than before, and one's body becomes weak and powerless.

This diminishment in size and strength is a pronounced form of that usually associated with old age. The basic mirror-like wisdom is explained to be an [ordinary] consciousness to which many objects appear simultaneously and clearly,just as reflections appear in a mirror. As an external sign of its dissolution, one's sight becomes unclear and dark. As an external sign of the dissolution of the earth constituent, the body becomes very thin, the limbs loose, and one has the sense that the body is sinking under the earth. The impression of sinking is such that one calls out, 'Hold me up !'23 As an external sign of the dissolution of the eye sense power, one cannot open or close the eyes.

As an external sign of the dissolution of the visible forms included within one's own continuum, the lustre of one's body diminishes and one's strength is consun1ed. The internal sign of the dissolution of these five is the arising of a bluish appearance called 'like a n1irage'. It is like an appearance of water when the light of the sun strikes a desert in the sun1mer.

The app.earance is also compared to a mass of smoke, 23 but most frequently to a mirage.

SECOND DISSOLUTION

After that, the five phenmnena on the level of the aggregate of feelings dissolve sitnultaneously. When the aggregate of feelings dissolves, the external sign is that the body consciousness can no longer experience the pleasure, pain and neutral feelings which accotnpany the sense consciousnesses. The basic wisdon1 of equality is explained to be an [ordinary] 36 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddlzism consciousness that is mindful of pleasure, pain and neutral feelings as of one type, that is to say, as feeling. It is also described as a consciousness that is mindful of many synonyms as having one meaning. u As an external sign of its dissolution, one is no longer mindful of the pleasure, pain and neutral feelings that accoxnpany the xnental consciousness. As an external sign of the dissolution of the water constituent, one's saliva, sweat, urine, blood and regenerative fluid dry greatly. The mouth, nose, tongue and throat dry, and scum forms on the teeth.

As an external sign of the dissolution of the car sense power, one can no longer hear external or internal sounds. As an external sign of the dissolution of the sounds included within one's own continuwn, the ur sow1d inside the cars no longer arises. The internal sign of the dissolution of these five is the dawning of an appearance called 'like smoke', which is like blue puffs of smoke. It is similar to smoke billowing fron1 a chimney in the midst of a mass of s1noke.

THIRD DISSOLUTION

After that, the five phenomena on the level of the aggregate of discriminations dissolve sirnultaneously. As an external sign of the dissolution of the aggregate of discrin1inations, one is no longer mindful of the affairs of close persons such as one's parents. The basic wisdorn of analysis is explained to be an [ordinary] consciousness that is mindful of the individual names (purposes, and so forth]26 of close persons. As a sign of its dissolution, one can no longer remexnber the names even of one's parents. As an external sign of the dissolution of the fire constituent, the wannth of the body diminishes, whereupon the capacity to digest food and drink is lost.

As an external sign of the dissolution of the nose sense power, the inhalation of wind [[[air]]] through the nose is weak whereas the exhalation is strong and lengthy, and the breaths are as if piled one on top of the other. As an external sign of the dissolution of the odours included within one's own continumn, one cannot smell any fragrant or unfragrant odours. The internal sign of the dissolution of these five is the arising of an appearance called 'like fireflies'. It is like burning red sparks seen within puffs of smoke rising fron1 a chimney, or like red sparks on the soot on the bottotn of a pan used for parching grain.

FOURTH DISSOLUTION

After that, the five phenomena on the level of the aggregate of compositional factors dissolve sitnultaneously. The external sign of the dissolution of this aggregate is that one cannot perform physical actions such as moving about. The basic wisdom of achieving activities is explained to be a consciousness that is n1indful of external worldly activities, purposes and so forth [of this and future lives, as well as how to achieve thern].27 As an external sign of its dissolution, one is no longer tnindful of these. As an external sign of the dissolution of the wind constituent, the ten winds- the [gross] life-bearing wind and so forth- 28 shift from their own abodes to the heart, and the breath cease! to move in and out.

As an external sign of the dissolution of the tongue sense power, the tongue becomes thick and short, and its root turns blue. As an external sign of the dissolution of the tastes included within one's own continuurn, one can no longer experience the six tastes [sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent and salty]. Since at this point the body sense power and touches n1ust also dissolve, as an external sign of their dissolution one can no longer experience any sn1oothness or roughness. 38 Deatlz, Intermediate State and Rebirtlz in Tibetau Buddlzism The internal sign of the dissolution of these seven is the arising of an appearance called 'like a burning butter-lan1p'. It is like the sputtering point of a butter-lan1p's flame when it is about to go out.

Tlze meaning of' dissolution'. With respect to how the forn1er elements dissolve into the latter, the capacity of [the wind associated with] a former cletnent [in the list of earth, \Vater, fire and wind] to act as a basis of consciousness is withdrawn, and the capacity of a latter one to do so becomes more manifest. This is called the dissolution of a former element into a latter one, but is not a case of one element's becmning of the nature of another. That earth dissolves into water means that the capacity of the earth-wind to act as a basis of consciousness degenerates, whereupon the capacity of the water-wind to act as a basis of consciousness becomes more manifest. Thus, since this is like a transference of the capacity of the former to the latter, it is said that earth dissolves into water, but it is not that ordinary earth dissolves into ordinary water. This applies to the other dissolutions as well.

FIFTH DISSOLUTION

After the four elements dissolve, the five phenomena on the level of the aggregate of consciousness n1ust dawn in stages. These five are the mind of the eighty indicative conceptions, the tnind of radiant white appearance, the n1ind of radiant red increase, the mind of radiant black near-attainn1ent, and the mind of the clear light of death. The eighty conceptions arc divided into three groups- thirty-three indicative of the mind of white appearance, forty indicative of the mind of red increase, and seven indicative of the mind of black ncar-attainment. 29 The first group of conceptions involves a coarse movement of the winds that serve as their n1mmts to the objects, and thus they serve to indicate or illustrate - for those who have not manifestly experienced the mind of white appearance- that the wind serving as its mount has a somewhat coarse movement comThe

pared to the minds of red increase and black ncar-attainment. This inference about the mind of white appearance can be drawn because the first group of conceptions is an imprint or effect of the mind of white appearance when proceeding in reverse order from the subtler to the grosser states. The thirty-three arc:

1 Great lack of desire: a mind not desiring an object 2 Middlitrg lack of desire 3 Small lack of desire 4 Metrtal goin.~ and com in.~: a mind going to external objects and coming to internal objects 5 Great sorrorv: the mental pangs upon separation from a pleasant object 6 Middling sorrorv 7 Small sorrorv 8 Peace: a mind abiding peacefully 9 Conceptuality: an excited mind due to the brightness of the object 10 Great Jcar: fright generated upon meeting with an unpleasant object 11 Middlin.'!fcar 12 Small fear 13 Great attaci1111Ct1t: adhering to a pleasant object 14 Middling attacllmmt 15 Small attachment 16 Grasping: a mind thoroughly holding to objects of the desire realm 17 Non-virtue or non-kno1l'le~~c: doubt with respect to virtuous activities 18 Hunger: desiring food 19 Thirst: desiring drink 20 Great Jeclin,t<: feelings of pleasure, pain and neutrality 21 Middli".'!feeling 22 Small Jceling 23 Conceptio11 of a knoll'er 24 Conception of k11orviu.~ 25 Conccptio11 of a11 object k11o1V11 26 l11dividual exami11ation: a mind analysing what is suitable and unsuitable 40 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism 27 Shame: avoiding misconduct due to one's own disapproval or religious prohibition 28 Compassion: wishing for separation from suffering 29 Mercy: a mind of thoroughly protecting an object of observation 30 Desire to meet with tlze beautifid 3 I Qualm: a captivated mind, not abiding in certainty 32 Accumulation: a mind of gathering possessions 33 Jealousy: a mind disturbed by others' prosperity.

The forty conceptions of the second group involve a middling movement of the wind that serves as their mount to the object; and thus they serve to indicate or illustrate, for those who have not experienced it, that the wind serving as the mount of red or orange increase has a middling movement compared to the minds of white and black appearance. In other words, the mind is becoming less dualistic as it becomes n1orc subtle. This inference about the mind of radiant red increase can be drawn because tlus group of conceptions is an imprint or effect of the mind of red increase when proceeding in reverse order to grosser states. The forty arc:

I Desire: attachment to an object not yet attained 2 Adlzerence: attachment to an object attained 3 Great joy: a joyous mind upon seeing the pleasant 4 Middling joy s Small joy 6 Rejoicin~{!,: pleasure due to having achieved a desired object 7 Rapture: a mind repeatedly experiencing a desired object 8 Amazement: contemplating an object that did not arise before 9 Excitement: a mind distracted through perceiving a pleasant object 10 Contentment: satisfaction with a pleasant object I I Embracing: desiring to embrace I2 Kissing: desiring to kiss I 3 Suckin,{!,: desiring to suck I4 Stal,ility: a mind of unchanging continuum I 5 Effort: a mind tending to virtue 16 Pride: a mind considering oneself high 17 Activity: a mind of completing an activity I 8 Robbery: desiring to rob wealth I9 Force: desiring to conquer others' troops 20 Entlmsiaslu: a mind familiarizing with the path of virtue

21 Great enga~~cmcut in l1ardship: engagmg in non-virtue due to arrogance 22 Middling m,~agcmeut ;, hardship 23 Small engagement i11 l1ardship 24 Vehemence: desiring to debate with the excellent for no reason 25 Flirtation: desiring to play upon seeing the attractive 26 A11,~ry dispositi<m: a mind of resentment 27 Virtue: wishing to make effort at virtuous actions 28 Clear speeclz and truth: wishing to speak so that others can understand and without changing one's discrimination of the fact 29 Untruth: wishing to speak having changed one's discrimination of the fact 30 Definiteuess: very steady intent 31 Non-assumption: a mind not desiring to hold an object 32 Donor: wishing to give away possessions 33 Exhortation: wishing to exhort the lazy to religious practice 34 Heroism: wishing to overcome enemies such as the afflictions 35 No11-shame: engaging in non-virtue without avoiding misconduct due to one's o\vn disapproval or religious prohibition 36 Deceit: deceiving others through hypocrisy 3 7 Tightness: sharp conscientiousness 3 8 Viciousness: a nlind used to a bad view 39 Non-gentleness: wishing to injure others 40 Crookedness: dishonesty.

The seven conceptions of the third group involve a weak movement of the wind that serves as their mount to the object; thus they serve to indicate or illustrate the same with regard to the mind of black near-attainment for those who have not experienced it. This is because this group of conceptions is an imprint or effect of the mind of black ncar-attainment when proceeding in reverse order to grosser states. The seven arc:

I Forgetjulm·ss: degenerated mindfulness 2 Mistake: such as apprehending water in a mirage 3 Non-speaking: not wishing to speak 4 Depression: a mind of annoyance 5 Laziness: non-enthusiasm for virtue 6 Doubt 7 Middling desire": a mind of equal desire and hatred.

42 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetatl BHddhism The tnind of the eighty indicative conceptions and the wind which serves as its n1ount must dissolve prior to the radiant white appearance because its mode of apprehen~ion and that of the mind of appearance are discordant. Also, since there is a great difference of coarseness and subtlety between these two, coarse n1inds such as those of the eighty conceptions cannot exist at the tin1e of (the white] appearance. When the eighty indicative conceptions as well as the wind that serves as their mount begin to dissolve into the radiant white appearance, an appearance like a burning butter-lamp arises. The sign of the mind of appearance itself- when those eighty indicative conceptions have dissolved into it - is the dawning of extreme clarity and vacuity as well as of light with a white aspect like a night sky pervaded by moonlight in the autumn when the sky is free of defilement. With respect to the cause of such an appearance, all the winds in the right and left channels above the heart have entered the central channel through its upper opening [at the top of the head]. Through the force of this, the knot of the channels at the top of the head is loosened, and, since the white drop obtained from the father- which has the aspect of the syllable hat!J upside-down -has the nature of water, it con1es downward. When it arrives on top of the six-circled knot of the right and left channels at the heart, the radiant white appearance arises. Thus, this is not a case of an appearance of tnoonlight and so forth shining from the outside. It is called 'appearance' (because an appearance like moonlight dawns]30 and 'the etnpty' (because of being devoid of the eighty conceptions as well as the wind that serves as their n1ount).

SIXTH DISSOLUTION

After that, the tnind of appearance as well as the wind that serves as its n1ount dissolves into the mind of increase. When the mind of increase dawns, a red or orange appearance, etnpty and vacuous but much clearer than before, shines like an autumn sky, free of defilement and pervaded by sunlight.

With respect to its cause, all the winds in the right and left channels below the heart have entered the central channel through its lower opening [at the base of the spine or in the sexual organ]. Through the force of this, the knot of the channel-wheel in the jewel [[[Wikipedia:sexual|sexual]] organ] and the knot of the channel-wheel at the navel gradua1ly loosen. Thereby, the red drop that is obtained frotn the tnother, which exists in the form of the single (vertical] line of a short a [in Sanskrit, when added to make a long a] in the middle of the channel-wheel at the navel, comes upward. Until it arrives below the six-circled knot of the right and left channels at the heart, a red or orange appearance arises. Thus, this is not a case of the illumination of sunlight and so forth shining from outside. It is called 'increase of appearance' [because of being very vivid like sWllight)31 and 'the very-etnpty' [because of being devoid of the n1ind of appearance as well as the wind that serves as its tnount].

SEVENTH DISSOLUTION




After that, the mind of increase, together with the wind that serves as its mount, dissolves into the mind of ncar-attainment. During the first part there dawns a vacuous black appearance, like an autumn sky free of defilement and pervaded by the thick darkness of the beginning of night. The upper and lower winds inside the central channel have gathered within that channel at the heart, and through the force of this the six-circled knot of the right and left channels at the hear·t is loosened. Thereupon, the white drop that is above (in the aspect of the syllable hm!' upside-down) descends, and the red drop that is below [in the aspect of a vertical line) ascends. These enter into the middle of the white and red indestructible drops that exist in the 1nanncr of a closed case in the centre of the central channel at the heart. Due to _their meeting, the radiant appearance of near-attainment arises; thus, it is not a case of an appearance of darkness and so forth coming from the outside.

44 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism It is called 'near-attainment' [because of being ncar the clear light )32 and 'the great-empty' [because of being devoid of the tnind of increase as well as the wind that serves as its n1ount]. The frrst part of the tnind of near-attainment is accompanied by a sense of an object; but, during the latter part, one is not n1indful of any object, as if swooning unconsciously, confowtdcd in darkness. Then all the winds and n1inds that adventitiously arise frotn the very subtle wind and mind cease. The latter portion of the mind of near-attainntent without n1indfulness continues until the mindfulness of the very subtle wind and tnind- which has existed [non-tnanifcstly] from the beginning in the ordinary state - is activated. When that occurs, the clear light of death dawns. The defmition of a mind of radiant white appearance is :33 a mental consciousness {I) which occurs upon the dissolution of the conceptions and until their movement [that is, rcinstatctnent],

(2) to which an appearance of radiant white vacuity dawns, which is like an autmnn sky, free of dcftlctncnt and pervaded by tnoonlight, and (3) to which no other coarse dualistic appearance appears. Although the eighty conceptions have dissolved, the mind of appearance is conceptual, albeit of a more subtle variety, and dualistic. It is not discursive but involves an imagistic element, and thus is 'conceptual'. The mind of clear light, on the other hand, is totally non-conceptual and non-dualistic. The defmition of a mind of increase of appearance is: a tnental consciousness (I) which occurs upon the dissolution of the conceptions and until their movement [rcinstatctncnt], (2) to which an appearance of radiant red vacuity dawns, which is like an autumn sky, free of defilement and pervaded by sunlight, and (3) to which no other coarse dualistic appearance appears.

The defmition of a mind of ncar-attainntcnt is: a mental consciousness ( 1} which occurs upon the dissolution of the conceptions and until their movctnent [reinstatement], (2) to Tlze Stages of Dcatlz 45 which an appearance of radiant black vacuity dawns, which is like an autun1n sky, free of defiletnent and pervaded by the thick darkness of the beginning of night, and (3) to which no other coarse dualistic appearance appears.


EIGHTH DISSOLUTION

When the n1ind of ncar-attainment dissolves into the clear light, the second portion of the mind of ncar-attainment that is without tnindfulncss is cleared away. Without even the slightest coarse dualistic appearance, an appearance of very clear vacuity dawns. It is like the natural colour of a dawn sky in autumn, free of the three causes of pollution - n1oonlight, sunlight and darkness. This appearance is like that of a consciousness in meditative equipoise directly realizing ctnptincss. With respect to the cause of the clear light appearance, the white and red drops dissolve [rcspcctivcly)34 into the white and red indestructible drops [at the heart], and all the \vinds inside the central channel dissolve into the very subtle life-bearing wind. Through this, the very subtle wind and tnind that have existed in the ordinary state frmn the beginning [in a nonmanifest state] are made n1anifest, whereby such an appearance dawns. Thus this is not a case of an appearance of vacuous sky from the outside.

This is called the 'clear light of death' and 'the all-empty' [because of being devoid of the eighty conceptions, and of appearance, increase and ncar-attainment as well as of the winds that serve as their n1ounts]. It is actual death. This is the basic Truth Body [so called because it is the basis of purification to be transfonncd into a Truth Body]. The vacuity is called the basic Nature llody, and the mind that takes it as its object is called the basic Realization Wisdom Truth Body.

[Most)35 ordinary hmnans rctnain in the clear light for three days, whereupon the signs of the white and red constituents occur. A little blood and phlegm emerge from the nose andjor sexual 46 Deatlz, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism organ- these being the unrefined portion of the drops that have dissolved at the heart. However, in cases where the physical constituents have been severely consumed by ·disease, the signs of the red and white constituents do not occur no matter how many days pass. Such persons might not remain in the clear light f'lr even a day. 31 Also, it is said that yogis with higher and lower realization can mix the clear light with the Truth Body and remain in this for a greater or lesser number of [extra] days . Points of clar!fication

Dissolution. With respect to the way that the minds of appearance, increase and ncar-attainment dissolve, the capacity of the former mind ceases and the latter becomes more manifest. This is called a dissolution of the former into the latter, but it is not that the former becomes of the nature of the latter. Autumn sky. The reason why an autumn sky is used in the example is that the summer rains have suppressed well the rising of earth particles into intermediate space, and the sky is free fron1 the obstructions of clouds. Since a cotnp.osite of these two features occurs frequently with great clarity during the autumn, an autumn sky is used in the example. Also, just as space is a vacuity that is a mere negation of coarse obstructive contact, so appearances of coarse conceptuality have disappeared for those nunds and an appearance of vacuity dawns during the four 'empties' [etnpty, very-empty, great-empty and all-empty]. In these two respects, the modes of appearance [in these four states] are similar to an autmnn sky, and so it is used as the example. It is not that appearances of the sky and so forth dawn on these occasions. Gross aud subtle winds. Question: If, prior to the n1ind of appearance, the eighty indicative conceptions as well as the winds that serve as their mounts have dissolved, is it not true

that there would be no winds to dissolve at the tin1es of appearance, increase and near-attainn1cnt? Answer: In general, winds arc of many types, gross and subtle; thus, although the gross have finished dissolving, the subtle still exist. Therefore, the tin1c when only subtle winds act as a basis of consciousness occurs frmn the dissolving of wind [from atnong the four clctncnts) into appearance until the dissolving of near-attaintncnt into clear light. Vac11ity and empti11ess. During the four cn1ptics, coarse conventional appearances vanish for the tnind, due to the fact that these minds, as well as the appearance of objects, have bccon1e more subtle than the fanner minds and objects. With these, a vacuity dawns; but this is not a case of taking etnptiness as an object of tnind.

On these occasions, it is only appearances of true existence that arise to an ordinary being who has not cultivated the path; appearances of non-true existence do not. This is because the four empties dawn for all dying sentient beings; if emptiness were realized during death, everyone would, absurdly, be effortlessly freed [from cyclic existence]. At the time of clear light an ordinary being generates the fright that he will be annihilated. 37 Ordinary beings experience the clear light of death in the manner of its appearing without being ascertained, not \vith a mind of ascertaimnent.

Mother and son clear !(~Ills. The clear light of death is the 'mother' clear light, whereas that which dawns through the power of Ineditation during sleep and the waking state while on the spiritual path is called the 'son' clear light. Medit:ttion that 1nixes these two during the clear light of death is callcc.l 1nixing the tnother and son clear lights. Question: Is the clear light of death in general a full>' qualified clear light? ·

Answer: Although the mother and son clear lights that :trc mixed and stabilized within the view [of cntptiness) by a yogi 48 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism are a fully qualified clear light, the clear light of death that dawns for an ordinary being- not by the power of meditation but of its own accord- is a case of imputing the name 'clear light' to just a stoppage of gross dualistic appearance. It is not fully qualified. In general, clear light is of two types - the objective clear light that is the subtle emptiness [of inherent existence], and the subjective clear light that is the wisdom consciousness realizing this emptiness.

Cotzclusion

[As will be explained in Chapter Four] these stages of death are brought within the path by the practice of taking death as the Truth Body in the stages of generation and completion of Highest Yoga Mantra. They are also the main bases of purification by means of the metaphoric and actual clear lights. Therefore, it is very important to form a good nnderstanding of them. 2 The Stages of Achievi1lg the l11tertnediate State

At the end of howsoever long the mind of clear light abides without any movement, a slight n1ovement that is a mere quiver occurs within it. This initiates the rising from the clear light. At this point, the very subtle wind and mind leave the opened drop of the white and red constituents at the heart and pass outside. The body is left, and a body of the intermediate state is established. Simultaneously, the white constituent at the heart descends and etnerges from the point of the male or female sign, while the red constituent rises and emerges from the nose.

The wind that serves as the mount of the clear light of death, and has the five lights, acts as the substantial cause of the body of the intermediate state. The colour of the very subtle life-bearing wind itself is white, but it emits a radiance of five colours- white, red, yellow, green and blue.

This life-bearing wind also acts as the cooperative cause of the mind of the intern1ediate state. so Death, l11tcrmcdiate State aud Rebirth in Tibetau Buddhism The tnind of the clear light of death acts as the cooperative cause of the body and the substantial cause of the mind of the intennediate state. In dependence on this, the intennediate state, which has a body of wind with the aspect of the luunan being as which one is to be reborn, is established in actuality, separate frorn the old aggregates of[the previous lifetime which was] a fruition [of prior actions].

One's body in the intermediate state has the shape of the body of the next life, whether hell-being, hungry ghost, animal, human, demigod or god. At that tirne, the three 1ninds of appearance, increase and nearattaimnent that were explained earlier appear in reverse order. The da_wning of the radiant black tnind of ncar-attaimncnt of the reverse process, the stoppage of the clear light of death and the achieven1ent of the intermediate state arc sirnultaneous. For 1nany texts - such as the upper [[[Mahayana]]] and lower [[[Hinayana]]] K11owlct{~cs (Ablzidharma) and Asanga's Treatises on the Let,cls- 3R say that the stoppage of the death state and the achieve1nent of the intennediate state are sitnultaneous, like [the 1novement up and down of] the higher and lower ends of a scale. Also, since a being of the intennediatc state is spontaneously born, all of its 111:1jor and secondary li1nbs arc established sitnultancously.

The n1ind imtnediatcly upon achieving the intcnnediatc state is that of near-attaintnent of the reverse process. Frotn it, the tnind of increase of the reverse process is generated; frotn this, appearance and, fron1 appearance, the eighty indicative conceptions. At these tirnes, the signs- front the [black] ncarattaimnent to rnirage- occur in series but in reverse order front that explained earlier.

The order now is:

I Clcclr !(~lit 2 Radiant black 1/car-attaiiiiiiCIIt 3 Radiant red i11crcasc 4 Raclia11t ll'hitc appcarmuc S Flame of a butter-lamp 6 Fireflies 7 Smoke 8 Mirage.


This being of the intennediate state rushes about seeking a birthplace, odours [for nourishtnent] and so forth. Having a very subtle tnental body which is achieved fi·mn wind alone, and having abandoned the coarse body of the cletnents with heavy and gross flesh, blood and so forth, it is called a basic Enjoyment llody [in that it is the basis of purification to be transfonned int~ an Enjoytnent Body]. It is also called a stnclleater [because it•feeds on odours]. Question: What exatnple is there for the existence of such an intermediate state?

Answer: Nowadays when we go to sleep, the four signs [ n1irage, smoke, fLreflies, and flan1e of a butter-lamp] as well as the four etnpties [[[empty]], very-ctnpty, great-empty and alletnpty] of sleep dawn like those at the time of death, but only briefly. The clear light of sleep [which is coarser than that of death) dawns, and when \Ve begin to rise frmn that, we do so in a drean1 body [this being like rising frotn the clear light of death in a body of the intennediate state). Having risen from the clear light of sleep, a drean1 body is achieved, and we perfonn the various activities of drean1tin1e. Then, when we begin to awaken frotn sleep, the wind body of dream dissolves from the outside like breath on a mirror and, gathering at the heart, dissolves into the very subtle wind and mind that arc an undiffercntiablc entity inside the central channel at the heart of the old n1ental and physical aggregates. Thereupon, we awaken frotn sleep and perfonn various activities. Description of tlzc intermediate state Features. The entity of such an intennediatc being has five features :39

1 It ha' all sense faculties. 52 Dcatlz, Iutcrmcdiate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddlzism

2 Since it has been born spontaneously, all its major and secondary litnbs arc simultaneously completed.

3 Since it has a subtle body, it cannot be destroyed even by a diatnond.

4 Except for birthplaces, such as the mother's wmnb, it is not obstructed even by n1ountains, fences and so forth.

5 Through the force of kannic powers it can in an instant go wherever it wants and not even a Buddha can stop it. Clzmzgiug type. Vasubandhu's Treasury of Kuorvledge (Ablzidharmakoslza) 40 explains that once the intcnncdiatc state of a particular being is achieved, it docs not· change to another type of tnigration [atnong the six types of migrators - god, dctnigod, hmnan, anirnal, hungry ghost and hell-being]. However, Asanga' s Compcudiwn of Kuowlcdge (Ablzidlwrmasamuclzclzaya) says that it is not certain that, once an intcnncdiatc state of a particular type of being has been achieved, it will necessarily be born that way, there being reversals into another type of migration. However, in the systems of both the lower [[[Hinayana]]] and upper [[[Mahayana]]] Know/edges there are persons who attain the state of a Foe Destroyer on the support of the intcrnlcdiatc state; therefore, it should not be asserted that one necessarily has to take rebirth from it.

Synonyms. Vasubandhu's Treasury of Kuowlc~(!c41 explains that 'tnind-ariscn', 'seeker of existence', 'smell-eater', 'intcrIncdiatc state' and 'establishing cxistcncc'42 arc synonyrns. Lc11gtlz of Life. The longest [[[intermediate state]]] is seven days; however, since there arc cases of transmigrating to the next birth inuncdiately upon achieving the intcnucdiatc state when the causes for rebirth aggregate, there is no certainty. If within seven days the causes of birth do not aggregate, at the end of the seventh a srnall death occurs whereupon an[othcr] intcrnlcdiatc state is achieved. Asanga's Actuality of tlze Levels (Bizilmivastu) says that, when in that n1anncr seven weeks have passed, the causes for rebirth definitely aggregate and rebirth is necessarily taken.

Death in tlze intermediate state. With respect to the mode of the small death at the end of a week, the wind body of the intcrnlcdiate being gathers in stages fron1 the top and the bottom into the heart, like breath on a ntirror gathering front the limits. The eighty indicative conceptions of the intermediate state, as well as the wind that serves as their tnount, dissolve. Thereupon, the four signs and the four empties of an intcrtncdiatc being's death dawn quickly, and the clear light of death is actualized. Then the wind that serves as the mount of the clear light acts as the substantial cause, and the wind body of an intermediate being is achieved as before, simultaneous with achieving the tnind of ncar-attainment of the reverse process. No nutter how tnany sn1all deaths occur while having the life support of an intermediate being, they arc included within the intermediate state [and not the death state]. Seeing the former body. Asanga's Actuality of tlze Levels says that, even when an intenncdiatc being sees its fanner physical support, due to the force of having severed any relationship with that body, it docs not think, 'My body', and docs not generate a \vish to enter it.

Seven days. Some interpreters have said that the statement that the lifespan of an intennediatc being is seven days refers to the days of the individual types of tnigrators [sante of which are very long compared to human days]. However, this is not correct because an intennediatc being [who is to be reborn] as a hell-being or as a god of the fonn rcahn would have to dwell in those states for the seven days of those types of beings, resulting in the great absurdity that one would have to assert that there arc cases of dwelling in the intermediate state for a great tnany ntillions of years without aggregation of the causes of rebirth.

Mode of exit from the body after death. One who is to be reborn as a hell-being exits frorn the anus; as a hungry ghost, from the mouth; as an animal, front the urinary passage; as a human, from the eye; as a god of the desire rcaltn, front the navel; as a yakslra, frotn the nose; as a god of n1agical accomplishment, 54 Death, Iutermcdiate State a11d Rebirth ill Tibetan Buddhism or as a 'probable-hmnan', frotn the ear.43 If one is to be reborn in the form realm, the exit is from the middle of the brow, and if one is to be reborn in the fonnless realm, it is from the crown of the head. These are set forth in the eighth chapter of the Samputa Tat1tra (Saf!zputa) and so forth. O~jection: This contradicts the explanation in Asanga 's Treatises on tlzc Levels and so forth that, when the body is abandoned, the consciousness exits frotn the heart. Answer: There is no contradiction. When the consciousness exits within the body, it initially does so from the heart; however, when it exits to the outside, it is from these individual doors.

Question: What does Vasubandhu mean when he says,44 'When dying in stages, the mind dies and exits at the feet, navel, and heart', and, in his commentary, 'If one is to be reborn in a bad migration, the consciousness ceases at the feet; as a human, at the navel. If one is to be reborn as a god, or when a Foe Destroyer dies, the consciousness stops at the heart'? Answer: As the conunentary explains, the n1ind ceases at those places, and thus these passages merely indicate different ways that the mental consciousness stops through the force of the body sense's ceasing in places such as the feet. Since it docs not teach that the consciousness exits to the outside from those places, it does not contradict what was explained earlier. Pcrceptiou. Vasubandhu's Treasury of Ktwrvlct(~e45 explains that intenncdiatc beings arc seen by others of sirnilar type and by those with a pure divine eye [that is, clairvoyants]. Concerning that, a divine eye that is attained merely through birth is itnpure, whereas one attained through the power of fanner tneditation is pure. Vasubandhu' s Commctztary em the (Treasury of Kuowledge' (Abhidharmakoshabha~hya) also explains that intertncdiate beings ofhigher type perceive lower ones.46 Size. Vasubandhu's CommetJtary otl tlzc (Treasury of Kt~orvlcdgc' explains that an intennediatc being of a lnunan of this world has the size of a five- or six-year-old youth.47 However, it is said that such is not one-pointedly certain.

Aspect. Asanga's Actuality of tlze Levels says that, to an intermediate being of a bad tnigration [[[animal]], hungry ghost, or hell-being), there appears an outstretched black flag, or night pervaded by darkness; whereas, to an intermediate being of a happy migration [hmnan, den1igod or god), there appears an outstretched white cloth, or night pervaded by n1oonlight. Colour. The Sutra of Tcachi11,~ to Nauda on Eutry to the Womb (Ayu~hmannandagarblzavakriiutiu irdeslza) explains that [the body's colour in) the intermediate state of a hell-being is like a log burned by fire; of a hungry ghost, like water; of an anitnal, like smoke; of a god of the desire realtn or a human, gold; and of a god of the form realtn, white, etc. Shape. Vasubandhu's Treasury of Kuowlcdgc48 says that an intermediate being has the fleshly aspect or physical shape of the 'prior state' of that tnigrator as which it will be reborn.

There arc four states:

I Birth state: the fLrst mmnent of connecting to the new life 2 Prior state: existence from the moment after connecting to the new life until the death state 3 Death state: existence during the last period of death or at the time of experiencing the clear light of death 4 Iutermediate state: existence that occurs between the death state and birth state

Mistaking the mere words of the tenn 'prior state', some assert that an intennediate being has the physical aspect of the former life.49 Also, others, seeing [[[Asanga's]]]50 explanation that it has the physical shape -of the next life, assert that it has the physical aspect of the former life for three and a half days and of the next life for three and a half days. Tsong-ka-pa's Great Exposition of the Stages of the Patlz explains that these ~re only fabrications without correct sources.51 For the word 'prior' in the term 'prior state' is prior relative to the death state of the next life but not to the intennediate state. This is because Vasubandhu's Treasury of Kuorvlcdgc52 says, ' ... possessing the fleshly form of the prior state that" will occur', using the future and not the past.

56 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetara Bt~ddlzism

Also, with regard to the explanation that an intermediate being has the aspect of that sentient being as whorn it will be reborn, some say that the intcnnediate being of a migrator who in his next life will not have all sense faculties also docs not have all of them. This is very wrong, because incon1plctcncss of sense faculties, such as eyes, occurs after taking rebirth in a place of birth such as a womb. Also, nowhere does it say that an intermediate being docs not have all sense faculties. Furthcnnore, it would be extremely absurd if, due to the mere explanation that it has the aspect of the being as whom it will be reborn, the intermediate being would have to be sirnilar in all respects. Mode ofmovemcnt. Asanga's Acttlality oftlze Levels says that an intcrn1ediatc being of a god proceeds upwards; of a human, straightforward;and of a bad rnigration, downwards, head first. The three realms. In order to be born in either the desire or fonn realms, it is necessary to pass through an intermediate state. Therefore, Tsong-ka-pa' s Great Exposition of the Sta.~es of the Patlz53 says that the assertion that there is no intermediate state for those who have comrnittcd actions of immediate retribution is not correct.

The five actions of immediate retribution - killing one's father, mother or :\ Foe Destroyer, causing blood to flow from the body of a Buddha with evil intent, and causing dissension in the spiritual community - lead to immediate rebirth in a hell upon death. Nevertheless, the dying being must first pass through the intermediate state for a brief period; therefore, 'immediate'· should not be interpreted to preclude the intermediate state. However, there is no intcrn1cdiatc state for rebirth in a fonnlcss rcalrn [[[limitless]] space, lirnitlcss consciousness, nothingness and peak of cyclic existence]. This is because the aggregates which arc the basis of a name of a forn1lcss being [that is, the being's tnind and ntcntal factors] arc achieved in just the place of death. A person who is to be reborn in a formless reahn actualizes a formless meditative stabilization frmn within the clear light of death. There is no dawning of the mind of nearTlze

attainment upon arising frotn the clear light of death in the reverse process, because such would be a ntind of the intermediate state. Thus, the formless reahn has no place separate from the desire and fonn rcalrns. Special intermediate bci11g. Vasubandhu's Commeutary on the 'Treas•~ry of Knorvle~~c' and Nagabodhi's Ordered Stages of the Means of Acl1ieviug Gulz yasamaja ( Samiijasiidhauavyavastlziili) 5• say that a special intcnnediate being, who is a Bodhisattva just one rebirth away front enlightemnent, leaves the Joyous Land and enters into the tnother's wmnb, and that such an intermediate being i.s a youth adorned with the tnajor and minor marks, with light illuminating a billion sets of four continents. Each world system has a mountain at its centre, four major continents and eight minor continents.

Objection: This contradicts Bhadanta Dhannasubhuti's explanation that (Shakyamuni Buddha] entered the womb in the form of a six-tusked white elephant. 55 Answer: There is no need to assert the process in accordance with that explanation (which is his own fabrication]; however, (it can also be said that] he taught such ntercly in accordance with the mother's drearn. If it were asserted that an intermediate being who is to be reborn as a human has the aspect of an animal, it would contradict tnany valid treatises. (Shakyamuni's entry into a wmnb] is asserted to be literal in the Hinayana systctns but as ntcrcly a display in the Mahayana [because he had earlier attained lluJdhahooJ].

Conclusion

[As will be explained in chapter four] these factors of the intermediate state arc brought within the path by the practice of taking the intcnnediate state as an Enjoyment llody in the stage of generation in Highest Yoga Mantra. They arc also the bases of purification by means of the impure and pure illusory bodies (in the stage of cmnpletion ]. Therefore, it is important to know them in detail.

The Sutra of Teaclliug to Nauda on Eutry to the ~Vomb says that in order for an intennediate being to take rebirth in a mother's wotnb, three favourable conditions must aggregate and three w1favourable ones must be absent: I The mother n1ust be free from disease and at a titne of nonnlenstruation. 2 The smell-eater [intennediate being] tnust be nearby and wish to enter. 3 The tnale and fetnale ntust desire each other and tncet. 4 The mother's womb must be free fron1 the fault of its centre being like the shape of a barley seed, an ant's waist or a camel's tnouth, and tnust not be obstructed by wind, bile or phlegnt. s Both mother and father n1ust not have faulty seed in the sense of either the semen or blood not descending, or of the one descending before the other, or, though they descend together, of either being rotten. 6 The smell-eater must be free frmn the fault of not having accumulated an action (karma) for being born as the child of

that male and female, who must also be without the fault of not having accumulated an action for becoming its father and mother. This is sitnilar in n1eaning to the staten1ent in a discipline scripture that six states tnust be manifest. A smell-eater who has these six conditions sees in an illusory manner the father and n1other lying together. Due to wanting to copulate, if it is to be reborn as a tnale-, it desires the mother and wishes to separate from the father; whereas, if it is to be reborn as a female, it desires the father and wishes to separate from the mother. Then, when it begins to embrace the one that is desired, through the force of previous actions it does not perceive any part of the body except the person's sexual organ, whereby anger is generated. This desire and hatred act as the cause of death, and the intermediate being enters the won1b

A person of little merit hears clamorous noises and has a sense of entering into a marsh, dark forest or the like; whereas one accustomed to good deeds hears peaceful and pleasant sounds and has a sense of going inside a nice house, etc. 58 The 'Many Levels' chapter of Asanga's Actuality of the Levels says that, whereas the father and n1other are not actually lying together [at that tinte), the stnell-cater n1istakenly perceives the semen and blood as such. Vasubandhu's Commentary on the 'Treasury of K11owledge', however, explains that it [actually] sees the father and mother lying together.57 When niale and fetnalc becon1c absorbed together [in sexual intercourse), through the force of the churning about of their sexual organs the downwards-tnoving wind shifts upward, and the ordinary inner heat of the triple intersection [of the central, right and left channels at the solar plexus] is ignited. The heat melts the whi.te and red drops, which descend within the e•npty insides of the seventy-two thousand channels. Through this, body and mind are blissfully satisfied and, at the end, during a period of strong desire, a thick regenerative fluid arises. After 6o Dcatlz, Intermediate State and Rebirth iu Tibetatz Buddhism that, these drops of sen1en and blood, which definitely do emerge from both tnale and female, are mixed in the 111other's womb. The consciousness of the dying intermediate being enters into the tniddle of this, which is like the crean1 fonned on boiled milk.

With regard to how this occurs, the intern1cdiatc being initially enters by any of three doors - n1outh of the n1ale, top of the head of the male, or the female's womb. It then associates with the regenerative fluid that has descended from within the seventy-two thousand channels [of the male and fetnalc and tnixcd in the wmnb]. The winds that cause the moven1ent of conceptuality during the intenncdiate state dissolve, whereupon the n1inds of appearance, increase and ncarattaintnent dawn in stages. These and the clear light of the intcnnediate being's death appear quickly - merely being generated for a period shorter than those explained earlier at the point of leaving the gross body.

The signs frotn tnirage to clear light occur, and a continuation of a sitnilar type of the clear light makes - in the centre of the mixed semen and blood- the connection to the new life. The taking of rebirth and the establishment of the near-attaintnent of the reverse process arc simultaneous. The first n1on1ent of the mind of ncar-attainment is the basis of designating the verbal convention 'birth state', and is the mind of initial connection to the new life in the birthplace. From that, the second and following n1on1cnts of ncarattainment are produced; from that, increase; frotn that, appearance; fron1 appearance, the eighty indicative conceptions, as well as the winds that are their tnowlts. Frotn the wind that is the mount of the mind of appearance, a wind68 is generated that has a special capacity for acting as a basis of consciousness. From it, a frre constituent that has a special capacity for acting as a basis of consciousness is generated; from that, a water constituent that has such a capacity; and frotn that, an earth constituent that has such a capacity.


With regard to the door through which an iutennediatc being enters the wmnb, Nagabodhi's Ordered Stages of tlze Means of Achieving Gulzyasamaja explains that it enters through the door of Vairochana - the top of the head - whereas the Samvarodaya Tautra (SmJrvarodaya) and the Vajraslzeklzara Tmztra ( Vajraslzeklwra) explain that it enters through the n1alc's n1outh. Therefore, initially, the intcnncdiatc being enters through the n1alc's n1outh or top of the head and emerges frorn his secret place [[[Wikipedia:phallus|phallus]]], entering the tnothcr's lotus [vagina]. The consciousness of the dying intennediatc being n1akcs connection to the new life in the rniddlc of the semen and blood. Also, since Vasubandbu' s Commentary 011 tlze 'Treasury of Knowledge' explains that it enters through the door of the mother's womb,59 it should be understood that there arc three doors of entry to the wmnb - the rnalc' s tnouth, the top of the n1alc' s head and the door to the fetnalc's \Vornb. This presentation has been given in accordance with the Inode of entry of a human intcnncdiatc being who is to be reborn from a wmnb. However, since in general an internlediate being is unobstructible, it docs not need a hole for a door of entry. For Vasubandhu's Commentary ou tlze 'Treasury. of Knowledge' says that it is well known that organisrns arc found inside a tnass of iron that has been split apart.60 Also, sentient beings exist in very hard rocks and stones that have no openmgs.

The Sutra of Tt'aclzi11,{;! to Nanda on Entry to the JVomb explains that the wmnb is below the rnother's stmnach and above the end of her large intestine. Initillly, the oval-shaped foetus is covered on the outside by son1ething like the crean1 on top of boiled tnilk; but inside it is very runny. Front this point, gross [[[physical]]] aggregates arc established; thus the subtle and gross bodies that last until death are achieved from the constituents of the four elcrnents. The earth-wind causes holding; the 62 Deatlz, Iutermediate State aud Rebirth in Tibctcm Buddhism water-wind causes cohesion; the fire-wind causes tnaturation and non-putrefaction; the wind-wind causes dcvcloptuent. When the oval-shaped foetus has passed seven days, a new wind is produced and, due to the maturation that occurs by means of it, the foetus becomes viscous both outside and inside, like yogurt, but has not becon1c flesh. When another seven days pass, a new wind is produced and, through maturation due to it, the foetus becotues fleshy but cannot withstand pressure. After another seven days, it hardens due to maturation by a new wind; the flesh is now hard and can bear pressure. When this, in turn, has passed seven days, due to n1aturation by a new wind the foetus develops legs and arms, in the sense that five protuberances - signs of the two thighs, two shoulders and head - stand out clearly. In Nagabodhi's Ordered Stages of the Means of Acllievillg Gulzyasamaja, these are called the five states in the womb.

Vasubandhu's Commentary on the 'Treasury of Ktzc;Jwledge'61 and the Sutra ofTeachillg to Na11da ou Entry to the Womb [switch the order of the names] for the first two of the five stages, leaving the latter three as before; whereas Asanga's Actuality oftlze Levels reverses the ftrst two [as was done in this explanation]. However, it is said that, except for there being different orders in the designation of nan1es, there is no contradiction in the n1eaning.

During the fourth week, the white and red drops divide into refined and unrefmed portions. Frmn the white arise the three internal treasuries obtained frotn the father- regenerative fluid, marrow and bone. Frmn the red drops arise the three external treasuries obtained frotn the tnothcr- flesh, skin and blood. The place in the setuen and blood where the consciousness initially enters later becomes the heart. In it there is a mass the size of a large white n1ustard seed [or small pea] which is a con1posite of four factors: the very subtle wind and n1ind, and essences of the setnen and blood. With that in its tniddle, the central channel and the right and left ones that each encircle it three times arc formed. Then, through the force of the upTakiug

Birth

ward-moving wind being generated upward and the downward- voiding wind going downward, the central as well as right and left channels develop upward and downward. The top and bottmn [of the body at this point] arc thin, and the middle is bulbous like the shape of a fish. Then, gradually, the five protuberances, and after then1 the five litnbs, hair, nails, body-hair, etc., the physical sense powers, the tnale or female organ, the breath-wind that n1oves through the n1outh, the eight sources of speech- tongue, palette, and so forth- and the mindfulness which is the n1ovetnent of the tnental consciousness to objects - all these arise in cmnp1etc fonn. If the child which has developed that way in the wotnb is a boy, he dwells crouching on the mother's right side and facing backward toward her backbone. If a girl, she dwells crouching on the mother's left side and facing forward. With regard to the length of titne spent in the wmnb, the Sutra of Teaclzi11g to Nauda otz EHtry to the Womb says that birth occurs at the end of thirty-eight weeks; that would be two hundred and sixty-six days.

Asanga's Actuality of the Levels adds four days, saying that birth occurs after two hundred and seventy days have finished. The Samvarodaya Tm1tra refers to a tnind-possessor that emerges during the tenth tnonth. These three agree in taking the period as nine whole tnonths [a month being four weeks or twenty-eight days] and part of a tenth. [It should be noted that] the days 1nentioned in the Sutra ofTeachi1lg toNa11da 011 E11try to the ~Vomb and Asanga's Actuality of the Levels refer to full days [and not certain dates], and the months refer to a period of four weeks [and not calendar n1onths]. During the thirty-fifth week, the body - that is to say, the aggregates, constituents, sources, limbs, secondary litnbs, hair, nails and so forth- the sources of speech- such as tongue and palette - and the 1nindfulness which is the 1nental consciousness's engaging objects arc cOinp1etc. In the thirty-sixth week, the child con1cs to dislike the won1b and generates a wish to leave. In the thirty-seventh week, it generates a discritnination of bad odour and filthiness. Finally, in the thirty-eighth week, 64 Death, llltermediate State aud Rebirth iu Tibetan Buddhism a wind called 'secondary', which is generated frmn forn1er actions, arises, whereupon the body of the sentient being in the womb turns upside down. With its two anns contracted, it approaches the door of the uterus frotn the mother's wotnb. Then a wind called 'facing downward', which is generated from fonner actions, arises, whereupon the sentient being in the wotnb is forced into the vagina with its head down and feet up. At the end of the thirty-eighth week, it ctnerges outside and becon1es an object of ordinary sight. Successively, the five states after birth - childhood, youth, adulthood, middle age and old age- occur.

Formatiou of the clzmmcls, wiuds a11J drops Initially, five channels of the heart fonn sitnultaneously - the central, right and left channels as well as the Triple Circle of the east [front] and the Desirous One of the south [right]. The channel-wheel at the heart is composed of the central, right and left channels, around which are eig~" petals or spokes- four at the cardinal directions and four at the intermediate directions. After that, three channels fonn sitnultaneously - the Free of Knots channel that abides with [and behind] the central channel, the Household One of the west [back], and the Fiery One of the north [left]. These arc called the eight channels that initially fonn at the heart [not to be confused with the eight channel-petals of the heart].

Then, the four channels of the cardinal directions [at the heart] split into two each- these being the four channel-petals of the intern1ediatc directions. The continuations of the eight channel-petals of the heart split into three each, forn1ing the twenty-four channels of the twenty-four places.62 Each of the twenty-four splits into three, making seventy-two. Each of these splits into a thousand, forming the seventy-two thousand channels in the body. Taking Birth 6s There arc five greater ch:mncl-whecls:113 1 The tv1Jeel ofJ!rrat blisJ at the top of the head, which has thirty-two channel-petals 2. The wheel of enjoyme11t at the throat, which has sixteen channelpetals 3 The w!Jeel (If pltcuomrtur at the heart, which has eight channelpetals 4 The wheel (If emmta/i()ll at the navel, which has sixty-four channelpetals s The u11zecl of sustaillill.(? bliss in the secret region, which has thirtytwo channel-petals. Three other channel-wheels arc also frequently mentioned: 6 The tvhcel ofwilzd between the brows, which has sixteen channelpetals 7 The wlzeel of fire between the neck and heart, which has three channel-petals 8 Tlte wlzeel ;, tlze middle ()ft!tc jewel [head of the phalJus], which has sixteen channel-petals.

With respect to the fi>rmation of the winds, during the first month after connecting to the new life in the won1b, coa'rsc life-bearing winds arc produced from the subtle life-bearing wind. At that tin1c, the physical shape of the sentient being is like that of a fish. In the second month, the downward-voiding wind is produced frmn the life-bearing wind; at that time, the body has five protuberances, like a turtle. In the third month, the f1re-dwelling wind is produced front the downward-voiding wind; at that time, the upper body is slightly bent and thus has the form of a wild boar. In the fourth month, the upwardmoving wind is prolluced from the fire-dwelling wind; at that time the upper body is slightly broad and thus has the form of a lion. In the fifth ntonth, the pervasive wind is produced front the upward-rnoving wind; at that time, the body is said to have the shape of a dwar( The life-bearing wind mainly dwells in the middle of the channelwheel at the heart; it has the function of causing the movcrncnt of the winds in and out of the sense faculties, and the function of 66 Deatlz, lutcrmcdiate State and Rebirth iu Tibetan Buddhism maintaining life; the coarser form of it causes the movement of the breath through the nose. 64 The downward-voiding wind mainly dwells in the middle of the channel-wheel at the secret region; it has the function of causing defecation, urination, menstruation and so forth. The fire-dwelling wind mainly dwells in the middle of the channel-wheel at the navel [the place of inner heat]; it has the function of causing digestion, separating the refined and unrefined portions of nutriment and igniting the inner fire. The upwardmoving wind mainly dwells in the middle of the channel-wheel at the throat; it has the function of causing the tasting of food, talking and so forth. The pervasive wind mainly abides in the joints; it has the function of causing movement, desisting from movement and so forth.

In the sixth month, the [secondary] wind that 1noves through the door of the eyes - called 'n1oving' - and the clement earth are produced.

In the sixth to the tenth months, the four clements- earth, water, fire, wind- and the space constituent are produced, in the sense that their capacities reach fulfilment. In the seventh n1onth, the [secondary] wind that tnovcs through the door of the ears- called 'intensely tnoving' -and the elctnent water are produced. In the eighth month, the [secondary] wind that moves through the door of the nose - called 'thoroughly moving' - and the eletncnt fire arc produced. In the ninth month, the [secondary] wind that moves through the door of the tongue- called 'strongly moving' - and the elen1cnt wind are produced. In the tenth month, the [secondary] wind that moves through the door of the bodycalled 'definitely moving' -and the cletnent of the space constituent are produced; at that time, the etnpty places in the body arise.

The five secondary winds arc mainly parts or states of the lifebearing wind; they serve as aids in the apprehension of objects by the five sense consciousnesses. 65

It is said that, although the ten winds fonn in the womb, [coarsc]66 inhalation or exhalation from the nose docs not occur until inuncdiatcly after birth. With respect to how the drops arc fanned, the n1ass which is a cornpositc of the essences of the white and red constituents [drops] as well as the very subtle wind and mind, which is the size of a large white mustard seed, and which abides inside a slight cn1pty place in the central channel at the heart, is called the 'indestructible drop' [in that it is indestructible until death]. Frorn the \vhitc drop one part goes up inside the channelwheel at the crown of the head and rctnains there; it is called 'the letter lzmJr'.61 It directly and indirectly increases the white drops in other parts of the body. From the red drop at the heart, one part goes down inside the channel-wheel at the navel and abides there; it is called 'the Fierce One'. It directly and indirectly increases the red constituent in other parts of the body.

Although a portion of each drop dwells in each channelwheel, the one at the top of the head is the n1ain source of increasing the white constituent; whereas the channel-wheel at the navel is the 1nain source of increasing the red constituent. The channel-wheel at the heart is a source of C(]Ually increasing the white and red constituents. Furthennorc it is said that, whenever the white and red constituents arc needed, they arc produced and thus arc not like water poured in a vessel (of which there is a certain quantity that is exhaustible]. This period frorn connecting to the new life in the place of conception, through to and including assuming a coarse body, is called the 'basic Emanation Body' [because of being the basis that is transfonned into an Etnanation Body through the practice of the path].

[As will be explained in the next chapter] these factors- from the intermediate being's connecting to the new life in the 68 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth irz Tibetan Buddhism won1b, through to and including taking birth - arc similar in aspect to the [practice of] bringing birth within the path as an Emanation llody in the practice of the stage of generation. They arc also si1nilar in aspect to the impure and pure illusory bodies of the stage of completion, during which either a coarse Etnanation lloJy is assumed or one abides in the old physical aggregates, becotning an object of the ordinary eye. They are also the bases of purification by these 'bringings to the path'.

4 Stopping Death

There is no difference in the bases being purified by n1eans of the stages of generation and cotnpletion [in Highest Yoga Mantra]. In the stage of generation, one takes basic death, intermediate state and birth as the bases of purification. As agents of purification one cultivates the three 'bringings to the path', as well as their branches. This means that, in accordance with the aspects of the stages of death, intermediate state and birth, one brings death to the path as the Truth Body, the intermediate state to the path as an Enjoyment Body and birth to the path as an Etnanation Body.

In the process of deity yoga, a yogi initiaiJy meditates on emptiness foiJowing the pattern of the eight signs of death, thereby bringing death to the path as a lluddha's Truth Dody. The yogi rises frmn this non-dual realiz:ttion of emptiness in the form of a seed syllable (a syiJable from which the entire form of a deity appears) or hand symbol, etc. - the wisdom consciousness itself serving as the basis of emanation. This is how the intermediate state is brought to the path as an Enjoyment Dody. The subsequent appearance of the wisdom consciousness in the form of a deity's body is the bringing 70 Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism of birth to the path as an Emanation Body. Emptiness and deity yogas patterned on the process of death, intermediate state and birth occur only in Highest Yoga Mantra, not in the three lo~ver tantras - Action, Perfornunce and Yoga. Thereby, indirectly, the three - ordinary death, intermediate state and birth - are purified, and one actualizes the Three Bodies that accord in aspect with them. The stage of cotnpletion is the actual purifier of basic death, intennediate state and birth, through a path that accords in aspect with then1.

The stage of completion is divided into six stages:

1 Isolation ofbody 2 Isolation of speeclJ 3 Isolation of mind 4 Illusory body 5 Clear light 6 UlliOIJ.




The isolation of body is a yoga in which one's aggregates, constituents, sources and so forth are isolated from ordinary appearance and conception through being scaled with, or given the mark of, the bliss and emptiness of the stage of completion; they arc thereby caused to appear as the sport of a deity. 68 The isolation of speech is a yoga in which the very subtle wind that is the root of speech is isolated from the ordinary movement of wind, whereby wind and Inantra are joined undiffcrentiably. 89 The isolation of mind is a yoga in which the Inind that is the root of cyclic existence and of nirvana is isolated from conceptuality as well as the wind that serves as the latter's Inount; tlus mind is caused to appear as an entity of undifferentiable bliss and emptiness. 70 Through these three yo gas, the four empties arc induced, although only at the end of isolation of mind - the third stage - do they appear in complete form. Those [factors in the stage of con1pletion] that accord in aspect with the clear light of death are the appearance, increase, ncarattainment and clear light [that are tnanifestcd] in isolation of body, isolation of speech, isolation of mind, illusory body and union of a learner.

A non-learner's union of clear light and pure illusory body is Duddhahood itself; those prior to it are of learner Dodhisattvas. Those [factors in the stage of completion] that accord in aspect with the intcnnediatc state arc the itnpurc illusory body of the third stage [when the above six stages arc condensed to five by taking the first two as one] and the pure illusory body of a learner's union. Those [factors] that accord in aspect \Vith birth are the abiding of the i1npure and pure illusory bodies in the old aggregates [the ordinary body] and their becmning objects of ordinary sight.

With respect to how the paths of the stage of con1plction directly purify birth, death and the intern1ediatc state, the very subtle mind- which is part of the undifferentiablc entity of the very subtle wind and n1ind - [ordinarily] tnaintains a continuum of sitnilar type frotn one to another, [fmally] becoming the clear light of ordinary death. A yogi of the stage of completion stops this [process] through the power of meditative stabilization and transfonns it into the metaphoric clear light [of isolation of tnind] and the actual clear light. This is done with a path that accords in aspect with death. The yogi also transforms death into the clear light of the fruit- the Truth Body. This is how death is purified.

With respect to the tnode of purifying the intenncdiate state, the very subtle wind of that undifferentiablc entity [ordinarily] tnaintains a continumn of similar t}'PC front one to the other and, acting as the _n1ount of the ordinary clear light of death, rises as a body of an intenucdiate being. A yogi of the stage of completion stops this [process] through the power of n1editative stabilization and transforms it into the itnpure and pure illusory bodies of a learner and of a nonlearner that accord in aspect with the intenuediate state. This is how the intern1ediatc state is purified. With respect to the n1odc of purifying birth, when such an illusory body is achieved the intenncdiate state is ceased forever, and, through the power of that, rebirth in a womb 72 Deat/1, Iutermediate State aud Rebirth itJ Tibetan BudJizism through contatninated actions and afflictions is stopped. In place of this, an ilJusory body enters the old physical aggregates in a tnanner sitnilar to an intermediate being's taking birth in a mother's wmnb, whereupon it makes the exertion of explaining doctrine [to others] and achieving the higher paths. This is how birth is purified.

Thus, the root of actually stopping birth, death and intermediate state is just the metaphoric clear light (which is tnanifested] upon the cotnpletion of isolation of mind. The metaphoric clear light serves as the direct cause of an illusory body, and, through the power of its actually stopping death, the intermediate state as well as birth stop of their own accord. When an illusory body is achieved from such a n1etaphoric clear light, the intermediate state is stopped forever because the very subtle wind that would rise as a body of an intennediate being has becotne an illusory body. Once the intermediate state is totally stopped, there is no assumption of birth by the power of contan1inated actions and afflictions. Thus, whoever attains an illusory body necessarily becomes fully enlightened in that satne lifetitne. Fearing that citation of the sources for what has been explained above would make the text too long, I have not given them. They can be known from the good explanations of the foremost Tsong-ka-pa, the father, and his spiritual sons [Gyeltsap and Kay-drup] as well as the excellent scholars and adepts who follow then1. Although I have written this according to the speech Of the second Conqueror- the father- his sons, and scholars following,

I tnake confession to the lan1as, gods and scholars for whatsoever Groups of errors that stray from the thought of the excellent. Through the virtue illustrated by this tnay alltnigrators - Myself and others - quickly complete the good path transforming Stopping Death 73 Impure birth, death and the between into the Three Bodies Through the yoga of the two stages of the profowtd path. This was collected front the speech of the excellent by the lazy Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro and was written down as a reminder for himself.

Bibliography

In the first section, the titles are arranged alphabetically according to the English, followed by the Sanskrit and Tibetan; in the second section, by author. Here and in the notes, for works found in the Tibetan canon, •p• refers to the Tibetan Tripitaka {Tokyo-Kyoto: Suzuki Research Foundation, 1955), which is a reprint of the Peking edition. The English titles are usually abbreviated.

J Sutras and Tantras Hevajra Tantra Hevajratantraraja Kye'i rdo rje zhes bya ba rgyud kyi rgyal po Pio, vol. I Meeting of Father ancl Son S11tra Pitaputrasamagamasiitra Yah dang sras mjal ba'i mdo P76o.16, vol. 23 SamvaroJaya Tat1tra Mahasaqwarodayatantraraja bDe mchog 'byung ba zhcs bya ba'i rgyud kyi rgyal po chen po P2o, vol. 2 S11tra of Teacf,iug to Nauda on Entry to tlze ~V• .m 1b A. y~hmannandagarbhavakrantinirdesha Tshe dang ldan pa dga' bo nutgal du 'jug pa bstan pa P76o.13, vol. 23 76 Bibliography Vajrasl1ekhara Tautra Vajrashekharamahaguhya yogatantra gSang ba rnal 'byor chen po'i rgyud rdo rjc rtsc mo PIIJ, vol. S 2 Other works Asatiga (Thogs-mcd) Acttlality of tire Levels/Levels of Yogic Practitt Bhiimivastu/Yogacharyabhiimi Sa'i dngos gzhiJrNal 'byor spyod pa'i sa Pss36-38, vols. 109-10 Compendium of Krrorvledge Abhidharmasamuchchaya mNgon pa kun btus Pssso. vol. n2. Dondcn, Dr Y cshi (Ye-shes-don-ldan) Tire Ambrosia Heart T antra Translated by Ven.Jhampa Kclsang Dharmsala: Library ofTibetan Works and Archives, 1977 Hopkins, Jeffrey Meditation on Emptiness New York: Potala, 1980 Lo-sang-gycl-tsen-seng-gay (bLo-bzang-rgyal-mtshan-seng-ge) 17 57 or 1758 [?)

Presmtation of tire Sta,ge of Completion of the Lone Hero, the Glorious Vajrablzairava, Cloud of Offerings Pleasing Manjuslrri dPal rdo rjc 'jigs bycd dpa' bo gcig pa'i rdzogs rim gyi rnam bzhag 'jam dpal dgycs pa'i mchod sprin Delhi: 1972. Lo-sang-hlun-drup (bLo-bzang-lhun-grub, also known as Lhun-grubpal) 4ita), nineteenth century· ltrstructions ou the Sta,ges of Generation and Completion ofBirairava/ Presentation of tire Two Sta,(!CS of tlze Profoamd Patlz, Generation aud Completion, of tire Great Glorious Vajrabhairar•a, Jewel1'rcasury of tlze 1'hrcc Bodies 'Jigs bycd bskycd rdzogs khrid yig, dPal rdo rjc 'jigs byed chen po'i bskycd rdzogs kyi lam zab mo'i rim pa gnyis kyi rnam bzhag sku gsum nor bu'i bang mdzod Leh: S. W. Tashigangpa, 1973 Nagabodhi (kLu'i byang chub) Ordered Sta,(!CS of tlze Meatrs of Achievin.~ Grlhyasamaja Samajasadhanavyavasthali

'Dus pa'i sgrub pa'i thabs mam par bzhag pa'i rim pa P2674, vol. 62 Na-wang-bel-den (Ngag-dhang-dpal-ldan), 1797-1 ?) IllrHnination of the Texts of Tautra, Prrsmtation of tire Grouuds and l'atlrs oj tire Fo11r Great Secret Ta11tra Sets gSang chen rgyud sde bzhi'i sa lam gyi rnam bzhag rgyud gzhung gsa) byed rGyud smad par khang edition: no other data Na-wang-kay-drup (Ngag-dbang-mkhas-grub, also known as Kyai-rdo mK.han-po of Urga), 1779-1R38 Presentation of Birth, Dratlr a11d lutermediate State sKye shi bar do'i rnam bzhag The Collerted JJ!(,rh, vol. 1, 459-74 Leh: S. W. Tashigangpa, 1972 Tsong-ka-pa (Tsong-kha-pa), 1357-1419 Great Exposition of tire Sta,~rs of tire Patlr Lam rim chen mo Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1964 Lamp Tlrorou~IJly Illrmriuatiii,C! (Na,r:arjrma's) 'Tlrr Fir'e Sta,(!rs': Qr~irrtessetrtial lmtmctioiiS of the Ki".C! of J',mtras, the Glorious GuhyaJamaja rGyud kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i man ngag rim pa lnga rab tu gsa) ba'i !igron me Varanasi: 1969 /l.tfiddlitrg E.\"J'Mitiou of tfrr Sta,~rs of t"e Pat/a Lam rim 'bring Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1968 Stages of lmtmction from the Approacla of the Proformd Path of Naropa's Six Practices Zab lam na ro'i chos drug gi sgo nas 'khrid pa'i rim pa Gangtok: 1972 Tantra in Tibet Introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins London: Allen and Uwin, 1978 Vasubandhu (db Yig-gnycn) Commrrrtary em the' TrraJury of Kuowlc~r:c' Abhidharmakoshabha~hya Chos mngon pa'i mdzod k yi bshad pa P5591, vol. 115 Trrasr~ry of Ktrowlc~er Abhidharmakoshakarika

Chos mngon pa'i mdzod kyi tshig le'ur byas pa P5590, vol.

Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro (dbYangs-can-dga'-ba'i-blo-gros, also known as A-kya Yongs-' dzin), eighteenth century Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Presentation of the Three Basic Bodies gZhi'i sku gsum gyi mam gzhag rab gsal sgron me The Collected Works of A-kya Yongs-'dzin, Vol. I New Delhi: Lama Guru Deva, 1971 Also: Delhi: Dalarna, Iron Dog year Also: Nang-bstan-shes-rig-' dzin-skyong-slob-gnyer-khan~; no other data Presentation of the Gr01mds and Paths of Mantra According to tlae S11pcrior Nagarjuna's luterpretatiota of the Glorious G11hyasamaja, A Good Explcu1ation Strving as a Port for the Fortamate dPal gsang ba 'dus pa 'phags lugs dang mthun pa'i sngags kyi sa lam mam gzhag legs bshad skal bzang 'jug ngogs (no publication data].

Notes

1 Lam rim bring; the commentary is on 89a.1-92a.s (Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1968). The corresponding explanation in Tsong-ka-pa's Great E.-.:position of the Stages of tlte Pat/a (Lam rim ellen mo) (Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1964) is found on IS7a.J-I62a.I . .2. See Tsong-ka-pa's Tmatra in Tibet, introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins (London: Allen and Unwin, 1978), pp. 151-64.

3 See Na-wang-bcl-den's lllwnination of the Texts of Tantra, Presentation of the Grounds and Patlrs of tire Four Great Secret Tantra Sets (~Sang clren rgyr4d sde bzhi'i sa lam gyi mam bzlrag rgyr4d gzlumg gsal byed) (rGyud smad par k.hang, no other data), 12a.4ff. ·

4 See Dr Yeshi Donden's 11ae Ambrosia Heart Tantra, translated by Ven. Jhampa Kelsang (Dharmsala: Library ofTibetan Works and Archives, 1977), pp. 33-S·

s This is a standard definition not limited to medicine. 6 The description is based on oral teachings received from Dr Yeshi Donden at the University of Virginia, in 1974. 7 See Na-wang-bcl-dcn's lllumiuatiou of tire Texts of Tantra, 24a.s. 8 See Tsong-ka-pa's Tautra in TilJet, pp. 6o-6.

9 Three editions of the text were used: one in twenty-seven folios (Delhi: Dalarna, Iron Dog year), another somewhat incomplete in twenty-seven folios (Nang bstan shes rig 'dzin skyong slob gnyer khang, no other data), and one in seventeen folios as found in The Collected Works of A-kya }'on~s-'dzin, Vol. 1 (New Delhi: Lama Guru Deva, 1971). to See the Dalai Lama's explanation of this in Tantra in Tif,ct, p. 24. t 1 For an explanation of the Three Bodies, see Hopkins's 1\feditatiou on Emptiness(New York: Potab, 1980), Part I, ch. It.

12 For a more detailed explanation of the four elements and their evolutes see Meditation on Emptiness, Part J, chapter I, as well as the quote from the Meeting of Father and Son S11tra (Pitaputrasamagama), in Part 6, section VI.A. I. a. 13 See Tantra in Tibet, 142-43. 14 See Na-wang-bel-den's Illmnination of tlae Texts of Tantra, 7a.3ff. IS This and the next two sentences are from Lo-sang-gyel-tsen-seng-gay's (bLo-bzang-rgyal-mtsl1an-seng-.~e, born 1757/8) Presentatio11 of the Stage of Completion of the Lone Hero, tl1e Glorious Vajrablwiral'a, Cloud of O.fferit~gs PleasinJ! !vfarrjusl1ri ( dPal rdo rje 'j(~s byrd dpa' bo gcig pa'i rdzogs rim gyi mmn bzl1a,~ 'jam dpal dgyes pa'i mcllod spri11) (Delhi: I972), 2b.6-3a.2. 16 This and the next sentence are drawn from Na-wang-kay-drup's (Ngagdbang- mkltas-grub, 1779-1838) Presentation ofBirtlt, Death and lntermrdiate State (sKye s/Ji l1ar do'i mam bzlla.~). Collected ~Vorks, Vol. 1 (Leh: S. W. Tashigangpa, 1972), 469·4· I 7 See Lo-sang-gycl-tsen-seng-gay's Presentation of tl1e Stage of Complttion, Jb.J. 18 This paragraph is drawn from Lo-sang-gyel-tsen-seng-gay's Presentatiora of the Stage of Completion, 3a.sff. 19 Ibid., 3a.2. 20 For a discussion of most of these phenomena sec Meditation 011 Emptiness, Part J, ch. I. 2I The first four wisdoms are explained in the text; according to Lo-sanghlun- drup's (bLo-bzattg-lhrm-grub, nineteenth century) Instmctions on the Stages of Generation and Completion of Bhairava ('jigs byrd bskyed rdzogs khrid yig) (Leh: S. W. Tashigangpa, 1973, II 1.3), the basic wisdom of the nature of phenomena is the seed suitable to become a Wisdom Truth Body - the mental consciousness. 22 Na-wang-kay-drup's Presentation of Birth, Deatla and Intermediate State, 46I.J. 23 Ibid., 461.4. 24 Lo-sang-hlWl-drup's Instructions on tht Stages of Generation arrd Completion of Blwiraf!a, I I I. I. 25 IIJid., III.S. 26 Ibid .• I I 1.2. 27 Ibid., 111.2. 28 See pp. 86-8. 29 This section on the eighty conceptions is drawn from Lo-sang-gycltsen- scng-gay's Prrsentation of thr Sta.ctes of Completiotl, ?b. s- IOb. 3. and Tsongka- pa's Lamp Tl1oroughly Illwui11atiug (Nagarjuna's) 'The Fil'e Stagrs', 230b.4- 235b.2. 30 This and the next insertion are from Tsong-ka-pa's Lamp Tl1oro11.f!ldy 11l~tmi11111ing (Nagarjrma's) 'The Fil'e Stages', 225b.I. JI Ibid., 225b.2. 32 !hid., 225b.3. 33 These definitions are modelled on those in Tsong-ka-pa's !.Amp Thorougllly 111umiuating (Nagarjuua's) 'The Five Stages', 2.26b.4-230b.4. TsangNotes 81 ka-pa cites Aryadeva's Lamp Compmdium of PraL"tict (CIIaryamelakapradipa) as his source (226b.4-227b.1 ). 34 Na-wang-kay-drup's J>rrsmratiou of Birth, Deatl1 aud Iutermediatt State, 464.6. 35 Lo-sang-hlun-drup's /ustructious 011 tile Stages ofGeut•r,Jtiou aud CompletiotJ of BIJairal'a, I 12.3. 36 Ibid., 112.4. 37 Na-wang-kay-drup's Presentation of Birth, Death at1d lntmnediate State, 466.2. 38 The Mahayana and Hinayana Knowledges (AbiJidl~arma) refer mainly to Asanga's Compet~dium of Knowledge ( A[,J,idiJartuasamucluiJaya) and Vasubandhu's Treasury of KtJou•lccl~e ( Abllidllarmakosha) respectively. For Asanga's Five Trtatises on the Lel'cls sec Hopkin~. MeditatiotJ otJ Emptiness, bibliography. 39 The dcscripti<'n of the five features follows Vasubandhu's TreaSIIry of Knowledge (Ili.I4), P5590, vol. I I5, I 19.2.4, and his commentary, P5591, vol. 115, 171.5·4· 40 III. 14 (P5590, vol. liS, 119.2.4 and P5591, vol. 115, 171.6.7). 4I lll.4oc-41a (P5590, vol. IIS, 119-4-S and P5591, vol. 115, 172.1.2 and I 8o.s.8). 42 It is so called became of approaching a birth (P5591, vol. 115, 181. 1.2). 43 Den-rna Lo-cho Rinbochay identified these last three as mainly included within gods of the desire realm. Yak$htts are mainly included in the retinue of Vaishravana. 44 lll.43d-44a (P5590, vol. II s. 119·4·7 and P5591, vol. II 5, 182. 1.5). The author paraphrases the latter. 45 lll.14a (P5590, vol. 115, 119.2.4 and P5591, vol. IIS, I71.5.1). 46 P5591, vol. 115, 171.3.4· 47 P5591, vol. 115, 171.3.4· 48 III.IJb (Pswo. vol. 115, I 19.2-4). 49 For more discussion on this, sec Tsong-ka-pa's Sta,(!eS 4 Iustructioufrom tile ApproaclJ of tile Profo1md Path of Nart,pa's Six Practices ( Zab lam ua ro'i chos drug gi s.~o uas 'khrid pa'i rim ptZ) (Gangtok: 1972), 41 b. Iff. so Ibid., 41b.2. Tsong-ka-pa identifies this as Asanga's Compc11dium of Knowledge. ' 51 Tsong-ka-pa's Great Exposition of tl1e Stages oft he Patll, I 59a.4-I 59b.3. 52 III.13b (P5590, vol. 115, 119.2.4 and P5591, vol. 115, 171.2.7). 53 (Dharmsala, Shes rig par khang, 1964), 16oa.2. 54 P5591, vol. I 15, 171.3.4 and 1'2674, vol. 62, 8.1.4, 8.3.2, 8.3.7· 55 This follows Vasub:mdhu's Commentary on tire 'Trca.wry of Kuorvle~'!l' 1 , P5591, vol. II s. I7I.J.8-I7I.4.J, commenting on Ill. I Jab. The brackets in the next sentence arc from the !iamc. 56 Tsong-ka:-pa's Grt'at ExJ'Mitiou of tile Stages of tile J>atll, I613.3-4· 57 P5591, vol. us. 172.3.2. 58 In Na-wang-kay-drup's Prrsmtatiou of Birth, Deatl1 and Intermediate St&Jte {468.3) this is called 'wind-wind', and the others, 'fire-wind', 'water-wind' and 'earth-wiud'. 82 Notes 59 Ps.s91, vol. us, 172·3·4· 6o P5591, vol. us, 171.6.7. 61 PsS9I, vol. IIS, 173·3·7-173·4·1. Vasub:mdhu gives the first two as nur nur po and mer mer po. 6.2 According to Den-rna Lo-cho Rinbochay, these arc vital points in the body named after twenty-four places, mostly in India. 63 This explanation is taken from Na-wang-kay-drup's Preseutation of Birtlz, Death and It1termediate State, 469.sff. 64 This description is drawn from Tsong-ka-pa's Lamp TI1orougllly Illuminating (Nagarjuna's) 'Tile Five Stages', 157a.6-IS8b.2. 65 The first clause is from Na-wang-kay-drup's Presentation of Birt/1, Deatla and Intermediate State, 471.2, and the second from Tsong-ka-pa's Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating (Nagarjuna's) 'The Five Stages', I,S8b . .2. 66 Ibid., 144a . .s. 67 All three texts read 'the letter IIi' rather than hat!l; however, all three earlier read ha'f1 at the point of explaining the reasons behind the radiant black appearance (see p. 43). Also, at the point of explaining the formation of che drops, Na-wang-kay-drup refers to this as 'the letter haug', the ng being an interpretation of the pronunciation of the anusvara. 68 These descriptions of the three isolations are based on. etymological explanations in the same author's Presentation of tl1e Grouuds and Paths of Mantra According to the Superior Nagarjuna's Interpretatiou of the Glorio1u Gullyasamaja, A Good Explanation Servill,f! as a Port for the Fortwwte (dPalgsa11,f! ~a 'dus pa 'pllags lugs dang mtlum pa'i st~gags kyi sa lam mam gzhag legs bshad skal bzaug 'jug ngogs,) (no publication data), 7a.4. 69 Ibid., 7b.2. 70 Ibid., 8b.3. Index Action Tantra, 13, 30, 70 actions, 7, 8, II, 58--9, 64, 72 actions of immediate retribution, 56 Actuality of the Let,cls, 52, 53, ss. 56, 59, 62, 63 afflictions, 7, II, 72 aggregate of compositional factors, 17, JJ, 34.37 of consciousness, 32, JJ, 38-46 of discriminations, 17, 33, 34, 36 of feelings, 16, 33-6 of forms, 16, 32-5 alchemical transformation, 25-6 all~mpty, 45, 46, 51 anger, 10, 59 appearance, see mind of radiant white appearance appearance of a sputtering butter lamp, 17, 19, 38, 42, 51 appearance of fireflies, 17, 19, 37, ,SI appearance of mirages, 16, 19, 3 5, Sl, 6o appearance of smoke, 16, 19, 36, ,SI appearance of sparks within smoke, 17, 37 Asang~50,52, 53, 54, S5, 56, 59, 62,63 attachment, 9, 29 basic mirror-like wisdom, 16, 32-5 basic wisdom of achieving activities, 17, JJ, 34. 37 of analysis, 17, 33, 34, 36 of equality, 16,33-6 realizing the nature of phenomena, 32, 33, 8o Dhadanta Dharmasubhuti, 57 birth, see rebirth body coarse, 29-31, 51, 6o, 61 place of exit from at death, 53-4 subtle, 31, 51,61 union, 26 84 Index Buddha, 7, 25, 57 Buddhahood, 13, 26,30,71 ceasing ofbreath, 17, 18, 37 channel-centres, 14, Is, 31 channel-wheels, 31, 32, 43, 64-6,67 channels, I4, 15, I8, 3cr2, 42-3, 59,6o,62,64-s, 67 clear light, IS, 18, 19, 20, 26, 3I, 44.45.46,47-8,49. so, 51, 60,70-2 mother and son, 4 7-8 of death, see mind of clear light of death Comme11tary 011 the 'Treasury of K11owlcdge', 54, 57, 59, 61, 62 compassion, 8, 20 Compendium of Knowledge, 52 Complete Enjoyment Body, 26, 51, 57. 69 consciousness, 9, 10, 13, IS, 31, 32, 54,60,66, 8o point of exit of, 9, 10 constituents, six, 30 constituents, white and red, 32, 45-6,49,67 currents of energy, see wind death, 7, 8, 9, IO, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, JI, 32, 45, 48, so, 51, 52, 53. 54. 55. 59. 69. 70, 71, 72 mind at the time of, 7-9 point of, I8-19, 45 signs of, 15-20, 45, 6o, 69 stages of, 15-20, 27, 29-47 subtle mind of, 8 untimely, 7 see also mind of clear light of death deity yoga, 20, 69-70 desire, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 59 desire realm, 10, 55. s6, 57 dissolution, 15, 16-19, 32, 38, 44, 46.47 cycles of, 15-19, 32-46 meaning of, 15, 38, 46 dreaming, eight signs when, 19, 51 drop, indestructible, Is. 18, 31, 43. 45. 67 drop~ 15, 18, 30,31,67 white and red, 15, 31, 32, 42, 43.45.46,49. 59.62 dualism, 18, 40, 44, 45, 48 earth constituent, see earth element earth clement, 15, I6, jo, 32-5, 38,6o,66 earth-wind, 38, 61, 81 eighty conceptions, 18, 34, 38-42, 44, 45. 46, so, 53. 60 clements, 15, 16, 30, 31, 32-8,61, 66 Emanation Body, 26, 67, 68, 69, 70 empties, four, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, jl, 53. 70 emptiness, 8, 20, 30, 45, 47, 69-70 empty, 42, 51 energy, see wind Enjoyment Body, 26, S 1, 57, 69 equanimity, 8 external signs of pus or blood, 19, 49 fainting, eight signs when, 20 faults, three, 13 fire element, 15, 17, 30, 6o, 66 fireflies, I7, 19, 37, S I fire-wind, 62, 8 I flame of a butter-lamp, 17, 19, 38, 42, 51 foetus, development of, 61-4 form realm, 10, 53, 54, ss, 56, S7 formless realm, 10, 54. s6, 57 Ge-luk-ba, 20 great-empty, 44, 46, 51 Great Exposition of the Sta,~es of the Path, 21, ss. 56 Guhyasamaja, 20, 21 Ham, 42,67 hatred, 7, 8, 9, II heart, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18, 31, 42, 43. 51, 54. 62, 64-s, 67 Highest Yoga Mantra, see Highest Yoga Tantra Highest Yoga Tantra, R, 13, 14, IS, 20, 26, 30, 48, 57. 69, 70 hwnan, development of birth from wombs, 29 humours, three, 13 ignorance, 7, II illusory body, 26, 31, 57, 68, 7o-2 increase, see mind of radiant red increase intermediate being, 9, 10, 19, so-2, 53-7, s8-61,67 intermediate state, 9, 10, IJ, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 49-57, 6o, 69, 70, 71, 72 cause of cessation of, 10, 52-3, 59 duration, 10, 19, 52, 53 karma, see Actions Knowledges (Ab!Jidharma), so, 52, 81 Lamp Thoroughly Illumiuatin.~ (NagarJrma's) 'The Fil'c Stages': Q11intesscntial Ittdex Bs lust ructions of the King of Tautras, the Glorious Guhyasamaja, 21 Lamp Tlrorou,ghly Illmniuating the Prcsentatiotz of tlz~ Three Basic Bodies - Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth, 20, 23 lord of union, 25-6 Manjughosha, 25-6 merit, amassing of, 30 mind, 7, 8, JI, 32, 71 of clear light of death, 15, 18, J8, 44. 45. 47-8. 49. so, Sl, 53. ss, s6, 6o, 70, 71 of radiant black near-attainment, 18, 34-, 38-41, 43-5, 47, 50, 53.56-7,60,70 of radiant red increase, 18, 34, 38-40,42-3,44.45.47. so, 6o,70 of radiant white appearance, 18, 34.38-42,44,45.46-7, so, 6o,70 mirage, 16, 19, JS, 51, 6o Nagabodhi, 21, 57, 61, 62 Nagarjuna, 20 Nature Body, 45 near-attainment, see mind of radiant black near-attainment Ordered Stages of t/Je MeatJs of Ac/Jieviug Guhyasamaja, 21, 57,61,62 orgasm, eight signs at time of, 20 Performance Tantra, 13, 30, 70 predispositions, 7, 8, 10, 11..' 25, 2.9 prior stat~, SS radiant black sky, 18, 19, 43 86 ltzdex radiant red sky, IS, I9, 42 radiant white sky, IS, I9, 42 rebirth, I3, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 52, 53, 55, ss-6s, 69, 70, 7I, 72 as a human, IO, so, 53, 54, 55, 61 in a hell, 9, IO, 53, 55 mode of taking, IO reverse process, I9, 20, 39, 40, 41, so, 53, 6o Samputa Tantra, 54 Samvarotlaya Tantra, 61, 63 semen and blood, 9, IO, sS-61, 62 sleep, eight signs at time of, I9, SI smell-eater, SI, 52, sS-9 sr.noke, I6, 19, 36, 51 stage of completion, 20, 26, 4S, 6S, 6g, 7o-2, 73 stage of generation, 20, 26, 4S, 57, 6S, 69,73 Sutra of Teaclaiug to Nautla on Entry to the Womb, 55, sS, 61, 62, 6] Sutra system, S, 30 Tantra, 8, I3, 26 Three Dodies, 25, 26, 69, 70,73 Three Jewels, 7 Treasury of Knotvledge, 2I, 52, 54 Treatises on the Levels, so, 54 TruthBody,26,45,46,4S,69,71 Tsong-ka-pa, 2I, ss, 56, 72 union of clear light and illusory body,26,7o-1 vacuity, IS, 19, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 Vajradhara, 26 Vajreshekhara Tautra, 61 Vasubandhu, 21, 52, 54, 55, 57, 59. 6I, 62 very-er.npty, 43, 46, 51 water eler.nent, IS, I6, 30, 3S, 6o, 66 water-wind, 3 S, 62, S1 wheel in the middle of the jewel, 65 wheel of emanation, 31, 65 wheel of enjoyment, 31, 65 wheel of fire, 65 wheel of great bliss, 31, 65 wheel of phenomena, ]I, 65 wheel of sustaining bliss, 3I, 6 S wheel of wind, 65 wind, 13, 14, IS, IS, 30, ]I, 32, 34. ]S, 4o-7, 49. 5I, 53. 59. 6o,61-4,65-7.7o-2 downward-voiding, I4, 63, 6s, 66 element, IS, I7, 30, 6o, 66 fire-dwelling, 14, 65, 66 indestructible life-bearing, 32, 65 life-bearing, I4, 49, 65-6 pervasive, 14, 65, 66 subtle life-bearing, I4, IS, 45, 49 upward-r.noving, I4, 63-4, 6s, 66 wind-wind, 62, S 1 Wisdom Truth Body, 45, So wisdoms, five, I6-IS, p-46 passim, So womb, IO, 29, 57, sS, 59, 6o-4, 6S, 7I, 72 Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, 20, 23, 73 Yoga Tantra, I3, 30, 70

PHI LOSOPHY I RELIGION Lati Rinbochay Lati Rinbochay is a recognized reincarnate lama who is currently A bbot of the Shar-dzay College of Gan-den Monastery in Mundgod, South India. He was born in 1922 in the Kham area of Tibet. A t an early age, he entered Gan-den Monastery in Lhasa and later received his Ge-shay degree, after which he entered the Tantric College of Upper Lhasa. Jeffrey Hopkins is Associate Prof essor of Northern Buddhist Studies and Direcror of the Cer. : >r for South Asian Studies at the University of Virginia. Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism This book presents, in a translation with commentaries, the text of Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Presentation of the Three Basic Bodies- Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth, which was written by the eighteenth century scholar and yogi of the Ge-luk-ba order of Tibetan Buddhism, Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro. The text discusses in great detail the process and stages of dying, entry into the intermediate state between this life and the next, and taking rebirth, then ends with the supreme form of yoga as practiced in Tibetan Buddhism. It presents with remarkable clarity the psychological basis of Buddhist practice, revealing the ultimate aim of the vast series of graded paths that Buddha set forth- the transformation of death into an immortal state of benefit for others. in USA



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