THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD
by John WorldPeace
Houston, Texas USA
To World Peace the possible dream"
and To my angelic and loving wife, Kay, whose beautiful spirit
caresses me with perfect love
the Existence Between
With deep reverence I bow
to the Deity host of Spiritual Mentors, Archetypes, and Angels!
I pray you to free me in the between!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! You continue to
wander in the between! Listen well, and keep this in your mind!
In hell, heaven, and the between, the body is born by
apparition. But when the perceptions of the mild and fierce
deities arose in the reality between, you did not recognize
them. So after five and a half days, you fainted with terror.
Upon awakening, your awareness became more clear, and you
immediately arose in a likeness of your former body. As it says
in the Tantra:
Having the fleshy form of the preceding and emerging lives,
senses all complete, moving unobstructed, with evolutionary
magic powers, one sees similar species with pure clairvoyance.
Here "preceding" means that you arise as if in a flesh-and-blood
body determined by the instincts of your preceding life. If you
are radiant and have traces of the auspicious bodily signs and
marks of a mythic hero, it is because your imagination can
transform your body; thus, that perceived in the between is
called a "mental body"
At that time, if your are to be born as a god, you will have
visions of the heavens. If you are to be born as a titan, a
human, an animal, a pretan, or a hell-being, you will have
visions of whichever realm you will be born in. "Preceding" here
means that for up to four and a half days you experience
yourself as having a fleshy body of your previous life with its
habitual instincts. "Emerging" means that you begin to have
visions of the place where you are heading for rebirth. So much
for "Preceding and emerging."
Therefore, do not follow after every vision that happens. Do not
be attached to it! Do not adhere to it! If you are stubborn and
attached to all of them, you will roam in suffering through the
six realms. Up until yesterday, the visions of the reality
between dawned for you, but you did not recognize them. So you
have had to wander here now. So now, if, without wavering, you
can develop recognition, the spiritual teacher's orientation can
open your awareness of the clear light, the naked, pure, vibrant
void. Enter into it, relax into the experience of nonholding,
nondoing! Without having to enter a womb, you will be liberated.
If you do not recognize the light, then meditate that your
spiritual teacher or Archetype Deity is present on the crown of
your head, and devote yourself totally with a strong force of
faith. It is so important! Do it without wavering, again and
Powers and Problems of a Between
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Listen without your
mind wandering! "Senses all complete, moving unobstructed" means
that even if in life you were blind, deaf, crippled, and so on,
now in the between, your eyes clearly discern forms, your ears
hear sounds, and so forth. Your senses become flawlessly clear
and complete; so, "senses all complete". Recognize this as a
sign that you have died and are wandering in the between!
Remember your personal instructions!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! What is
"unobstructed" is your mental body; your awareness is free from
embodiment and you lack a solid body. So now you can move hither
and thither everywhere, through walls, houses, land, rocks, and
earth, even through Meru, the axial mountain; except through a
mother's womb and the Vajra Throne at Dodhgaya. This is a sign
that you are wandering in the spiritual existence between, so
remember the instructions of your spiritual teacher! Pray to the
Lord of Great Compassion!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! "With evolutionary
magic powers" means that you, who have no special abilities or
meditational magic powers whatsoever, now have magic powers
arising as the result of your evolution. In a split second, you
can circle this planet with its axial mountain. You now have the
power just to think about any place you wish and you will arrive
there in that very instant. You can reach any where and return
just as a normal man stretches out and pulls back his arm. But
these various magic powers are not so miraculous; if you do not
specially need them, ignore them! You should not worry about
whether or not you can manifest this or that, which you may
think of. The fact is you have the ability to immediately
manifest anything without any obstruction. You should recognize
this as a sign of the existence between! You should pray to your
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! "One sees similar
species with pure clairvoyance" means that beings of the same
species in the between can see each other. Thus if some beings
are of the same species, all going to be reborn as gods, they
will see each other. Likewise, other beings of the same species,
to be reborn in whichever of the six realms, will see each
other. So you should not be attached to such encounters!
Meditate on the Lord of Great Compassion!
"With pure clairvoyance" refers also to the vision of those
whose pure clairvoyance has been developed by the practice of
contemplation, as well as to the vision of those whose divine
power of merit has developed it. But such yogis or deities
cannot always see between-beings. They see them only when they
will to see them, and not when they do not, or when their
contemplation is distracted.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! As you have a
ghostly body, you encounter relatives and familiar places as if
in a dream. When you meet these relatives, though you
communicate with them, they do not answer. When you see your
relatives and dear ones crying, you will think, "Now I have
died, what can I do?" You feel a searing pain, like a fish
flopping in hot sand. But however greatly you suffer, tormenting
yourself at this time does not help. If you have a spiritual
teacher, pray to your spiritual teacher. Or else pray to the
compassionate Archetype Deity. Do not be attached to your loved
ones - it is useless. Pray to the Compassionate Ones, and do not
suffer or be terrified!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Driven by the swift
wind of evolution, your mind is helpless and unstable, riding
the horse of breath like a feather blown on the wind, spinning
and fluttering. You tell the mourners, "Do not cry! Here I am!"
They take no notice. You realize you have died and you feel
great anguish. Now do not indulge in your pain! There is a
constant twilight, gray as the predawn autumn sky, neither day
nor night. That kind of between can last for one, two, three,
four, five, six, or seven weeks - up to forty-nine days. Though
it is said that for most people the suffering of the existence
between lasts twenty-one days, this is not always certain due to
people's different evolutionary histories.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! At this time the
great red wind of evolution will drive you from behind,
fiercely, unbearably, terrifyingly. Do not be afraid of it! It
is your own hallucination! A frightening thick darkness draws
you from the from, irresistibly. You are terrified by harsh
cries, such as "strike!" "kill!" Do not be afraid of them! Heavy
sinners will see cannibal ogres brandishing many weapons,
shouting war cries, "Kill, Kill!" and "Strike! Strike!" You will
see ferocious wild animals. You will be hunted by troops in
blizzards, storms, and fogs. You will hear sounds of avalanches,
flood waters, forest fires, and hurricanes. In panic, you will
escape by any means, only to stop short on the brink of falling
down a yawning triple abyss, red, black, and white, bottomless
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! It is not really an
abyss. It is lust, hate, and delusion. You should recognize this
as the moment of existence between! Call upon the Lord of Great
Compassion, and pray intensely, "O Lord of Great Compassion!
Spiritual teacher! Three Jewels! I was called _____. Please do
not abandon me to the horrid states! Do not forget me!"
Those who have gathered merit, virtuous and sincere in Dharma
practice, are entertained with various delights and enjoy
various excellent pleasures. And those dominated by delusion,
who have neither strong virtue nor strong vice, have neither
happiness nor suffering, but feel only stupefaction and
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Whatever happens
along these lines, do not crave! Do not long for pleasures or
joys! Offer them all to the jewel of the spiritual teacher!
Abandon attachment to them! Even without any visions of pleasure
or pain, with only feelings of indifference, set the mind on the
experience of the Great Seal, free of both concentration and
distraction! This is most important.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! At that time,
structures such as bridges, temples, cathedrals, huts, and
stupas will seem to shelter you for a moment - but do not cling
to them at length. Since your mind lacks a body, it cannot
settle down. You feel cold, you become angry and distraught, and
your awareness seems erratic, volatile, and unsteady. Then you
will have the thought, "Now I have died - what can I do!" Your
heart will feel cold and weak. You will feel fierce and
boundless suffering. The fact is you must travel and cannot be
attached to any one place. So do not worry about it, and let
your mind come to rest.
From now on you have no food except for what is dedicated for
you. There is no certainty about your friends. These are signs
of your mental body wandering in the existence between. Your
present joys and sorrows are determined by your evolution. When
you see your lands, friends, loved ones, and your own corpse,
and you think, "Now I have died, what can be done?" at that
time, your mental body feels greatly stressed.
You think, "How nice it would be to have a new body!" Then you
will have visions of looking everywhere for a body. Even if you
try up to nine times to enter your old corpse, due to the length
of the reality between, in the winter it will have frozen, in
the summer it will have rotted. Otherwise, your loved ones will
have burned it or buried it or given it to birds and beasts, so
it affords no place to inhabit. You will feel sick at heart, and
will have visions of being squeezed between boulders, stones,
and dirt. This kind of suffering is in the nature of the
existence between. Even if you find a body, there will be
nothing other than such suffering. So give up longing for a
body! Focus yourself undistractedly in the experience of
Encountering the Lord of Death
Hey, immortal one, you who was called_____! Listen to me! This
suffering of yours comes from you own evolutionary acts; there
is no one else to blame. It is your own evolution, so pray
strongly to the Three Jewels. They can protect you. If you do
not pray to them, do not know how to meditate of the Great Seal,
and do not meditate on an Archetype Deity, then your native
angel will count out a white stone for each virtue you
accumulated, and your native demon will count out a black stone
for every sin.
Then you will be worried, angry, and terrified. Trembling, you
will lie, saying, "I committed no sins!" But then Yama, the
Judge of the Dead, will say, "I will look into the mirror of
evolution!" When he looks into the mirror of evolution, all your
sins and virtues will clearly and distinctly appear therein.
Your lies will not help. Yama will tie a rope around your neck
and lead you away. He will cut off your head, rip out your
heart, pull out your guts, lick your brains, drink your blood,
eat your flesh, and gnaw your bones. But since you cannot die,
even though your body is cut to pieces, you revive again. Being
cut up again and again, you will suffer immense pain.
So when the white stones are being counted, do not be afraid, do
not panic, do not lie! Do not fear Yama! Your body is mental, so
even if it is killed and cut up, you cannot die. In fact, your
form is the void itself, so you have nothing to fear. The Yama-deities
are your own hallucinations and themselves are forms of the
void. Your own instinctual mental body is void. Voidness cannot
harm voidness. Singlessness cannot harm singlessness. You should
recognize that there is nothing other than your own
hallucination. There is no external, substantially existent Yama,
angel, demon, or bull-headed ogre, and so on. You must recognize
all this as the between!
Meditate on the samadhi of the
If you do not know how to meditate, examine carefully whatever
terrifies you and see the voidness that is its lack of objective
status. That is the Natural Body of Truth. And that voidness is
not merely an annihilation. Your triumphant, distinct awareness
of the terror of the void is itself the blissful mind of the
Body of Beatitude. Voidness and clarity are indistinguishable;
the actuality of the void is clarity, the actuality of clarity
is voidness. Your awareness of voidness-clarity indivisible is
stripped naked, and now you abide in the unfabricated
experience. That is the Wisdom Body of Truth. and that
spontaneously and unobstructedly arises anywhere. and that is
the Body of Compassionate Emanation.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Behold this without
wavering! Recognize it! You will definitely become a Buddha, the
perfection of the Four Bodies. Do not be distracted! This is the
borderline between a Buddha and an ordinary being. Now is the
time described as, "One instant alienated, one instant perfectly
Until yesterday you were given to distraction, you did not
recognize what arose as the between, and you were gripped by so
much terror. If you again surrender to distraction, the cord of
compassion will be cut and you will go into the abodes that lack
all freedom; so be careful!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! If you do not know
how to meditate thus, then remember and pray to the Buddha, the
Dharma, the Sangha, and the Compassionate Lords. Contemplate all
the terrors and visions as the Compassionate Lord or your own
Archetype Deity. Remember your esoteric initiation name and the
spiritual teacher who gave you the initiations you received in
the human realm; proclaim them to Yama, the Lord of Truth! You
will not be injured even if you fall off cliffs, so abandon fear
Detachment from the previous life
The present visions will propel you into the hardship of the
changing states of pleasure and pain, as if flung by a catapult.
So do not become absorbed in any visions of love or hate! Even
when you are about to be born in the higher estates, when the
visions of the higher estates arise, should the relatives you
have left behind begin to make sacrifices with the slaughter of
living beings, to dedicate them to the Lord of Death, you will
have many impure visions and begin to feel fierce anger.
Conditioned by that, you will be reborn in hell. So no matter
what actions are committed among the surviving, do not become
angry, but contemplate love! Or, if you yourself have great
attachment to the wealth and possessions you left behind, or if
you know that others are using your possessions, you will feel
attached to them and angry at the people who are using them.
Conditioned by that, even though you might have attained the
high estates, you will be reborn in hell or in the pretan realm.
Therefore, even if you are attached to your old possessions, you
have no power to own them anymore. They are of no use to you at
all. Abandon fondness and attachment for your possessions left
behind! Totally throw them away! Be decisive! Whoever uses your
things, do not be stingy! Let go of them in you mind! Generate a
one-pointed will to offer them to the spiritual teacher and the
Three Jewels and abide in the experience of detachment and
When death rites, such as exorcistic food-offering rites, or
other rites that purify the dangers of the horrid states, are
performed for your sake, and, with your subtle evolutionary
clairvoyance, you perceive the performers being inaccurate,
sleepy, or distracted, breaking their vows and commitments, and
acting carelessly, and you notice their lack of faith, distorted
views, fearful negative actions, and impure practices, then you
think, "Alas! These people are betraying me. They are surely
letting me down!" You become depressed, you become disgusted.
You lose your positive attitude and all respect and you become
cynical and disillusioned. Conditioned by that you will be
reborn in the horrid states, and thus their actions, rather that
helping you, will harm you greatly.
So whatever your surviving relatives perform in the way of
incorrect religious rites, you must think, "Well, my perception
is certainly imperfect! How can any impurity adhere to the
Buddha's Teaching? I see these as a result of my own negative
attitude, like seeing the mirror's faults as if in my own form.
The bodies of these performers are the Sangha, their speech is
the Holy Dharma, their minds are the actual Buddha - so I must
take refuge in them!" So you must respect them and project your
most positive attitude upon them. Then whatever your dear ones
do for you will definitely help you. Such keeping of a positive
attitude is very important, so do it without forgetting!
Again, even if you are heading for rebirth in the three horrid
states, when the visions of the horrid states arise, when you
see the pure virtue, unsullied with sins, performed by your
surviving relatives, and when you see the perfect physical,
verbal, and mental practices of your spiritual teachers and
mentors, then, when you are compelled to rebirth, your feeling
of great delight has the invaluable benefit of lifting you up
into the higher estates just as you were about to be reborn in
the horrid states. So be very careful, as it is so important for
you to construct a positive attitude of reverence and faith and
not allow any place for impure negativity of perception.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! In short, since
your present between-consciousness is highly unstable, volatile,
and mobile, and virtuous or vicious perception is very powerful,
do not think at all about any unvirtuous practice, then adopt a
positive perception and feel faith and reverence. Pray to your
Archetype Deity and to the Lord of Compassion! With intense
willpower, perform this prayer!
Now that I wander alone, without my loved ones, and all my
visions are but empty images, may the Buddhas exert the force of
their compassion and stop the fear- and hate-drawn terror of the
Now, when I suffer by the power of negative evolution, may my
Archetype Deities dispel my suffering! When reality crashes with
a thousand thunders, may they all become OM MANI PADME HUM!
When I am pulled by evolution without recourse, may the Lords
mild and fierce dispel my suffering! When I suffer due to
evolutionary instincts, may clear light bliss samadhi arise for
Avoiding the dull lights to block
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! If you have not
recognized the clear light by remembering what we have already
said, from now on your sense of your body from the preceding
life will become vague, and your sense of your body of emerging
life will become more distance. Then you will feel sand and
think, "I am suffering so - now I will seek whatever body come
along!" Then you will move toward whatever appears, gradually
and uncertainly, and the six lights of the six realms will dawn.
The realm toward which evolution impels your rebirth will dawn
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Listen to me! What
are the six lights? The dull white light of the gods will dawn;
and also the red light of the titans, the blue light of the
humans, the green light of the animals, the yellow light of the
pretans, and the dull smokey light of the hells - all these will
dawn. these are the six lights. So your body's color will become
that of the light of the realm of rebirth.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! At that time the
essence of the instructions is very important. Contemplate the
particular light that arises as the Lord of Great Compassion!
When the light arises, hold the thought, "It is the Lord of
Great Compassion." This is the extremely profound key of
instruction. this is crucial to block rebirth.
Again, meditate long and carefully that, whoever your Archetype
Deity is, he or she appears like a magic illusion, lacking
intrinsic reality. It is called the "pure Magic Body." Then,
contemplate that Archetype Deity as dissolving from the edges
inward, and enter the experience of not holding rigidly to the
insubstantial, the clear light of voidness. Again contemplate
that as the Archetype Deity! Again contemplate it as clear
light! Thus meditating deity and clear light in alternation,
then let you own awareness dissolve from the edges; where space
pervades, let awareness pervade. Where awareness pervades, let
the Truth Body pervade. Enter comfortably into the experience of
the ceaseless nonproliferation of the Truth Body.
Blocking the door of the womb
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! If you have not
understood from the above, at this time, by power of evolution
the vision will arise of your proceeding upward, on the level,
or downward with head hanging. Now meditate of the Lord of Great
Compassion! Remember him! Then, as already explained, you will
have visions of hurricanes, blizzards, hailstorms, dense fogs,
and being chased by many men, and you will seem to escape. Those
without merit will seem to escape to a miserable place, but
those with merit will seem to escape to a happy place. At that
time, immortal one, all the signs will arise showing the
continent and keys of instruction, so listen carefully! Even
though you did not recognize freedom form the previous keys of
orientation, here even those of the weakest practice can
recognize freedom through the following keys, so listen!
Now, here the method of blocking the womb door is very effective
and important. There are two methods of blocking that door;
blocking the entering person and blocking the womb door entered.
First, the instruction for blocking the enterer.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Clearly visualize
your Archetype Deity appearing like magic without intrinsic
reality like the moon in water. If you are unsure about your
Archetype Deity, then vividly envision Avalokiteshvara,
thinking, "He is the Lord of Great Compassion!" then dissolve
the Archetype from the edges and contemplate the void clear
light transparency of ultimate nonperception. That is the
profound key. Using it, the Buddhas said, the womb will not be
entered; so meditate in that way!
But if this still does not block the way and you are just about
to enter a womb, there is the profound instruction to block the
door of the womb about to be entered. So Listen! Repeat after me
the following from The Root Verses of the Six Betweens!
Hey! Now when the existence between dawns upon me, I will hold
my will with mind one-pointed, and increase forcefully the
impulse of positive evolution; blocking the womb door, I will
remember to be revulsed. Now courage and positive perception are
essential; I will give up envy, and contemplate all couples as
my Spiritual Mentor, Father and Mother.
Repeat this loud and clear and stir you memory. It is important
to meditate on its meaning and put it into practice. As for its
meaning, "Now when the existence between dawns upon me" means
that you are now wandering within the existence between. A sign
of that is that when you look in water you will not see your
reflection. You have no shadow. You have no substantial
flesh-and-blood body. These are signs that your mental body is
wandering in the existence between. Now you must hold
one-pointed in your mind the unwavering will power. This
one-pointed will is of chief importance. It is like reins to
guide a horse. You can achieve whatever your will intends, so do
not open your mind to negative evolution, but remember the
teachings, instructions, initiations, authorizations, and
inspirations you received in the human realm, such as this Great
Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding the in Between,
and intensify the result of all good evolutionary actions. This
is very important. Do not forget it! Do not be distracted! This
is the exact time that determines whether you go up or you go
down. Now is the time when indulgence in laziness definitely
will bring on suffering. Now is the time when one-pointed
positive willpower definitely brings on happiness. Hold
one-pointed goodwill in your mind! Sustain forcefully the result
of good action!
Now is the time to block the door of the womb! As the root verse
says, blocking the womb door, remember to be revulsed! Now
courage and positive perception are essential! That time is now.
You should block the door of the womb. There are five methods to
block the womb door; fix them well in the mind.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! At this time you
will have visions of couples making love. When you see them, do
not enter between them, but stay mindful. Visualize the males
and females as the Teacher, Father and Mother, prostrate to
them, and make them visualized offerings! Feel intense reverence
and devotion! Aim a strong will to request them to teach the
Dharma, and the womb door will definitely be blocked.
If that does not block it, and you are about to enter the womb,
then visualize them as Mentor Father-Mother, Archetype Deity
Father and Mother, or Compassion Lord Father and Mother. Offer
them visualized offerings! Form the powerful intention to
receive spiritual attainments from them, and that will block the
If that does not block it, and you are again about to enter a
womb, then third there is the instruction for reversing lust and
hate. There are four modes of birth; egg birth, womb birth;
magic birth, and warm-moisture birth. Egg birth and womb birth
are alike. As before, you begin to see males and females engaged
in love-making. If you enter the womb under the influence of
lust and hate, whether you are reborn as horse, bird, dog, or
human, if you are going to be male, you arise appearing to be
male; you feel strong hate toward the father, and attraction and
lust toward the mother. If you are going to be female, you
appear as a female; you feel strong envy and jealousy toward the
mother, you feel strong longing and lust for the father.
Conditioned by that, you enter the path of the womb. You
experience orgasmic bliss in the center of the union between
white and red drops, and within the experience of that bliss you
faint and lose consciousness. Your body develops through
embryonic stages of "custard", "gelatin," and so forth.
Eventually you will be born outside the mother's womb. Once your
eyes are open, you realize you have been born a puppy. Having
been a human, now you are a dog. In the dog's kennel, you
suffer. Or in the pig's sty, or in the anthill, or in the
wormhole, or in the herds of cows or goats or sheep - born there
you cannot return to the human state.
Being extremely stupid, in the state of delusion you suffer
various miseries. In this way you will cycle through the hells
and the pretan realms, and will be tortured by limitless
suffering. There is nothing more powerful, nothing more terrible
than this. Alas! Alas! Those lacking the holy spiritual
teacher's instruction fall down this deep abyss into the life
cycle. They are tormented uninterruptedly by unbearable
suffering. So listen to what I say! Hold my personal instruction
in your mind!
Now I will teach you an instruction to close the womb door by
reversing lust and hate. Listen to it and remember it! As the
Blocking the door of the womb, I will remember to be revulsed.
Now courage and positive perception are essential; I will give
up envy and contemplate all couples As my Spiritual Mentor,
Father and Mother.
As before, you will have strong feelings of envy; if reborn as a
male, you will lust for the mother and hate the father, If
reborn as a female you will lust for the father and hate the
mother. For that time, there is this profound instruction.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! When such lust and
hate arise, meditate like this. "Alas! Such a creature of
negative evolution as myself will wander in the life cycle under
the influence of lust and hate. If I still persist in lust and
hate, I will know no end to my wanderings. I am in danger of
being sunk forever in the ocean of miseries. Now I must give up
lust and hate entirely. Alas! I must hold intensely the
one-pointed will never to entertain lust and hate." The Tantras
state that this meditation itself will close the door of the
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Do not waver! Hold
your will one pointed in your mind! Even though you have done
that, if the womb door did not close and you are about to enter
the womb, you should block the womb door by the instruction of
truthless magical illusion. Meditate as follows: "Male and
female, father and mother, the thunderstorm, the hurricane, the
thunder, terrifying visions, all phenomena are naturally like
magical illusions. However they arise, they are truthless. All
things are untrue and false. Like mirages. Impermanent.
Nonenternal. Why be attached to them? Why fear and hate them? It
is to see nothing as something. All of these are but visions of
my mind. The mind itself is as originally nonexistent as a
magical illusion. So where - out there- do they come from? Since
I never understood this in the past, I held the nonexistent to
exist. I held the untrue to be true. I held illusion as truth.
So for this long time I wandered in the life cycle. If I still
now do not recognize the illusoriness of things, I will wander
even longer in the life cycle, and I will be stuck in the
quicksand of various miseries. So now I will recognize all these
things as like a dream, a magical illusion, an echo, a fairy
city, a mirage, a reflection, an optical illusion, the moon in
water, lacking even a moment's truth-status, definitely untrue,
Thus, holding these thoughts one-pointedly in mind, the
truth-habit erodes and as the resulting freedom is impressed in
your continuum, the deeper self-habit is reversed. As you thus
deeply understand cosmic unreality, the womb door will
definitely be blocked.
Yet even doing that, if the truth-habit does not erode, the womb
door is not blocked, and you are about to enter the womb, again
there is a profound instruction.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Even doing that, if
the womb door is not blocked, now, fifth, you should block the
womb door by meditating on clear light. This is how to
contemplate. "Hey, all things are my own mind. That mind is
voidness, free of creation and destruction." Thinking thus, do
not artificially compose your mind. Like water poured in water,
let the mind flow into its own reality condition; release it
into its own nature. Letting it relax easily and openly will
decisively and definitely block the womb door for all four forms
of rebirth. Thus meditate again and again until the womb door is
Choosing a womb
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Listen to me! All
the previous instructions for orientation have been given to you
and still you do not understand. Now, since the womb door is not
blocked, it is time to assume a body. You have many different
authentic and profound instructions for the choosing of a womb.
Hold them in your mind! Listen well with strong intent, and hold
them in your mind!
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____!. Now signs and
marks will arise about which continent you will be reborn on -
recognize them! Now you should explore where to be reborn, you
should choose a continent. If you are reborn in eastern Videha,
you will see lakes and waters adorned with male and female
geese. Think of renunciation and do not go there. If you are
born there, your situation will be comfortable; but you should
not go there as the Dharma is not available there. If you are
going to be reborn in the southern Jambudvipa, you will see
beautiful and comfortable houses. If you can go there, do so. If
you are to be reborn in western Godaniay, you will see lakes
adorned with male and female horses. Turn back and do not go
there. Although it is very enjoyable, the Dharma has not spread
there, so do not go there. If you are going to be reborn in
northern Kuru, you see lakes adorned with cattle or with
evergreen trees. Recognize these as signs of being reborn there.
Do not go there! Though you will have long life and much fortune
there, the Dharma is not available there. Do not go there!
If you are to be reborn as a god, you will see delightful,
divine, multistoried mansions made of various jewels. It is
alright to dwell there, so you may enter there.
If you are to be reborn as a titan, you will see a pleasant
grove and spinning wheels of fire; remember renunciation, and by
all means do not go there!
If you are to be reborn among the animals you will see caves,
ant holes, and grass huts, as if through a fog. Do not go there!
If you are to reborn as a pretan, you will see charred stumps,
black spots, dark ravines, darkness, and shadows. If you go
there, reborn as a pretan, you will experience various
sufferings of hunger and thirst. So do not go there! Remember
renunciation! Be fiercely courageous!
If you are to be reborn in the hells, you will hear the songs of
negative evolution, or you will feel a helpless need to go
there, and you will have visions of an island of darkness, a
black house or a red house, black pits, and black roads. If you
go there, you will be stuck in the hells. You will experience
unbearable pains of heat and cold. You will have great
difficulty escaping. You must take every precaution not to get
caught there! By any means, never enter there at all! "Block the
womb door and remember renunciation!" Now is the time when
renunciation is essential.
Hey, immortal one, you who was called _____! Though you might
wish not to go on, helplessly you are chased by the butchers of
evolution. You find yourself powerless to stop, you must go on.
Ahead of you are butchers and killers to drag you along. You
will feel as if you are fleeing from overwhelming darkness,
hurricanes, tempests, fearsome noises, snow and rain,
hailstorms, thunderstorms, and violent blizzards. Escaping in
panic, you will seek a refuge, and you will feel safe in the
previously mentioned beautiful houses, in rock caves, in earthen
caverns, in forest thickets, within the round blossoms of
lotuses and so forth. Hiding in such places, you will think, "I
must not leave here now!" And feeling so anxious about losing
your place, you will become very attached to it. Feeling so
anxious about meeting the terrors of the between if you go out,
hating those terrors, you hide within and assume no matter what
kind of inferior body, and you will come to experience various
sufferings. All that is the sign that demons and ogres are
troubling you. There is a profound, crucial instruction for you
at this time. Listen to it and hold it in your mind!
At the time when you are helplessly chased by butchers and are
overwhelmed by terror, instantaneously visualize all at one the
Lord Chemchok Heruka, or Hayagriva, of Bajrapani, and so forth,
whoever is your Archetype Deity; gigantic in size, with bulging
limbs, terrifying, furious, able to crush all demons to dust. By
his blessing and compassion, you will free yourself from those
butchers, and you will gain the power to choose a good womb.
This is the authentic profound key of the instruction; so hold
it in your mind!
Hey, immortal one who was called _____! Further, the deities of
the contemplation realms are reborn by the poser of their
samadhi. The majority of the demonic types such as the pretans,
by changing their self-images while in the between, manifest
various magical transformations in bodies of pretans, demons,
and ogres, and then become mental bodies just like them. The
pretans of the underworld, the pretans of the sky realms, and
the eighty thousand types of demons adopt their bodies just by
changing their self-concepts. At such a time, if you remember
the import of voidness, the Great Seal, it is best. If you
cannot, you should practice meditation on magical illusion. If
you cannot do that, free of any kind of attachment to anything,
you should meditate on the greatly compassionate Archetype
Deity, and attain enlightenment in the Beatific Body in the
Hey, immortal one who was called _____! Thus, if it becomes
necessary by the power of evolution to enter the womb, you
should now rely on the instruction for choosing the womb.
Listen! Do not go to just any womb door that presents itself.
If, due to the demonic butchers, you lose the power not to go,
then meditate on Hayagriva. Since now you have subtle
clairvoyance, you will be able to understand the nature of all
places, so choose your place of rebirth wisely. There are two
instructions, one for transmitting your soul into the pure
Buddha-lands, and one for choosing a womb door in the impure
life cycle. You should now practice the following.
If you are the most intelligent type of person, to perform the
soul-transmission to the angel realms you should formulate the
following controlling intention: "Alas! I am sad that I have
stayed here in this swamp of the life cycle for so long,
beginninglessly for boundless, countless eons! Alas! During all
the lifetimes of so many Buddhas, I have still not been
liberated! I am revulsed and nauseated by this interminable life
cycle. I am terrified of it. I totally repudiate it. I must now
remember the methods of escaping it. I must now take miraculous
rebirth in the blossom of a lotus in the presence of the Buddha
Amitabha in the western pure-land universe. Sukhavati the
Blissful!" It is essential here to make great effort to aim all
your willpower in this way toward the western pure universe of
Sukhavati. Whichever pure universe you have faith in - whether
it is Amitabha's Sukhavati;abhirati, the delightful land of
Akshobhya; Ghanavyuha, the pure land of Vairochanan; Alakavati,
the earthly paradise of Vaishravana; Potalake, the earthly
paradise of Avalokiteshvara, or the lotus light palace of Padma
Sambhava in Udyana, if you aim your concentrated willpower at
any one of these pure lands and hold it one-pointedly without
distraction, you will be reborn immediately in that pure land.
Further, if you wish to be reborn in the presence of the Dharma
Lord Maitreya in the Tushita heaven, just aim your will,
thinking, "Now that I am in this between it is time to visit the
Dharma Lord Maitreya in his Tushita realm, I will go there!" You
will be miraculously reborn in the heart of a lotus in the
presence of Maitreya.
Again, if you cannot, or do not want to, proceed to any pure
land, and must enter a womb, there is this instruction for
choosing a womb in the impure life cycle. Listen to it! Choose
you continent for rebirth as explained already. Using your
clairvoyance, enter a womb in a place where the Dharma has
spread. Caution is required, for even if you were to be reborn
magically in a heap of dung, you would get the notion that the
impure mass smelled delicious and you would be reborn in it by
the force of your attraction. Therefore you should not adhere to
whatever appearance occurs, and you must discount any signs that
trigger attachment or aversion. Then choose a good womb. And
here the willed intention is important; so you must create it as
follows: "Hey! For the sake of all beings, I will be reborn as a
world-ruling emperor, or of the priestly class, sheltering all
beings like a great shade tree, or as the child of a holy man,
an adept, or of a clan with an impeccable Dharma lineage, or in
a family where the parents have great faith. I must succeed in
this coming life, by adopting a body that has great merit, to
enable me to accomplish the aims of all beings!" Aiming your
will in this way you should enter the womb. At that time, the
womb you have entered should appear to you as if magically
transformed into a divine palace. You should pray to the Buddhas
and the Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, the Archetype
Deities, and especially to the Lord of Great Compassion. And you
should visualize that they are all anointing you in consecration
as you enter the womb.
In thus choosing the womb door, there is always danger of
erring. Under the influence of evolution, you might see an
excellent womb door as bad. You might see a bad door as
excellent. So here the key instruction for choosing is
important; do as follows: Even if a womb door appears to be
excellent, do not become attached to it. Even if it appears bad,
do not become averse to it. Enter it within the experience of
the universal loving equanimity, free of lust and hate and
compulsive choosing between good and bad. This is the authentic
profound key instruction.
Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels
Hey, immortal one who was called _____! If you cannot abandon
lust and hate, and know how to choose a womb door, then, no
matter what visions come to you, say the name of the Three
Jewels, and go to them for refuge! Pray to the Lord of Great
Compassion! Go forward with your head held high! Recognize that
you are in the between! Abandon possessive love toward your dear
ones left behind, your son, your daughter, your friends! They
cannot help you now. Now go to the blue light of the human realm
and the white light of the divine! Go to the beautiful jewel
house and the pleasure garden!
The prayer for help from the
Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas
O ten directions' Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, compassionate,
all-knowing, all-seeing, all-loving - you are the refuge of
beings! By the power of your compassion, please come to this
place! Please accept these physical and visualized offerings!
You compassionate ones command inconceivable all-knowing wisdom,
miraculous deeds performed with loving compassion, and power to
give refuge! O you compassionate one, this immortal one who was
called _____ is going from this world to the beyond, leaving
this world, making the great migration. She has no friend. She
has great suffering, no refuge, no protector, and no allies. Her
perception of this life is declining. She is going to another
life-ream, entering a thick darkness, falling into a great
abyss, and getting lost in a dense forest. She is driven by the
power of evolution, going into a vast wilderness, swept off by a
huge ocean. She is blown away by the wind of evolution, going to
a place without firm ground, entering a vast battleground. She
is being seized by a great devil, terrified by the messengers of
Yama. She is going from on evolutionary existence to another,
without any power of her own. The time has come when she must
go, friendless and alone.
Therefore, may your companionate ones please give refuge to this
helpless one who was called _____! Protect her! Be her ally!
Save her from the great darkness of the between! Hold her back
from the harsh red wind of evolution! Save her from the great
terror of Yama! Deliver her from the great long straits of the
between! O compassionate ones, do not hold back on your
compassion! Help her! Do not let her fall into the three horrid
states! Do not waver from you ancient vows! Extend your
compassion power! O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, enfold this one
who was called _____ with your companionate art and power! Look
after her with compassion! Do not abandon her to the power of
negative evolution! I strongly pray to you Three Jewels save her
from the suffering of the between!
The prayer for deliverance from the
straits of the Between
Homage to the host of Mentors, Archetypes, and Angels! Please
guide me on the path with your great love!
When I roam the life cycle driven by sheer error, may the Oral
Transmission Mentors lead me on the path. of unwavering light of
learning, thought, and meditation! And may their consort host of
Angels back me on the way, Deliver me form the dangerous straits
of the between, and carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong delusion, may the
Lord Vairochana lead me on the path of the clear light of
reality-perfection wisdom! May his consort Buddha Dhatvishvari
back me on the way Deliver me from the dangerous straits of the
between and carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong hated may the Lord
Vajrasattva lead me on the path of the clear light of the mirror
wisdom! May his consort Buddhalochana back me on the way,
deliver me from the dangerous straits of the between and carry
me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong pride, may the Lord
Ratnasambhava lead me on the path of the clear light of the
equalizing wisdom! May his consort Buddha Mamaki back me on the
way, deliver me from the dangerous straits of the between, and
carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong passion, may the
Lord Amitabha lead me on the path of the clear light of
discriminating wisdom! May his consort Buddha Pandaravasini back
me on the way, deliver me from the dangerous straits of the
between, and carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong envy, may the Lord
Amoghasiddhi lead me on the path of the clear light of the
all-encompassing wisdom! May his consort Buddha Samayatara back
me on the way deliver me from the dangerous straits of the
between and carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by the five strong poisons,
may the Lord Victors of the five clans lead me on the path of
clear light of the four wisdoms in combination! May the five
consort Buddhas back me on the way, and deliver me from the
impure lights of the six realms! Delivering me from the
dangerous straits of the between may they carry me to the five
supreme pure lands!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong instincts may the
hero Scientist lead me on the path of the clear light of
orgasmic wisdom! May their consort Angel host support me from
behind, deliver me from the dangerous straits of the between and
carry me to perfect Buddhahood!
When I roam the life cycle driven by strong hallucinations may
the host of mild and fierce Lords lead me on the path of the
light that conquers terrifying visions of hate and fear! May the
space-goddess Angel hosts back me on the way deliver me from the
dangerous straits of the between and carry me to perfect
Hey! May the space elements not arise as enemies and may I
behold the realm of the sapphire Buddha! May the water elements
not arise as enemies and may I see the realm of the diamond
Buddha! May the earth elements not arise as enemies and may I
behold the realm of the golden Buddha! May the fire elements not
arise as enemies and may I behold the realm of the ruby Buddha!
May the wind elements not arise as enemies and may I behold the
realm of the emerald Buddha! May the rainbow elements not arise
as enemies and may I behold the realm of the rainbow Buddha! May
sounds, lights, and rays not arise as enemies and may I behold
the magnificent realm of the mild and fierce Lords! May I know
all sounds as my own sounds! May I know all lights as my own
lights! May I know all rays as my own rays! May I know the
between's reality as mine! And may I realize the realm of the
Three Buddha Bodies!
The prayer for refuge from all
terrors of the between
Hey! When the impulse of my lifespan is worn our as dear ones
cannot help beyond this world and I must wander alone in the
between May Buddhas mild and fierce exert the force of their
compassion and clear the dense fog of darkness of misknowledge!
Now that I wander alone, apart from my loved ones and all my
visions are but empty images may the Buddhas exert the force of
their compassion and stop the fear and hate-drawn terrors of the
When the five lights of brilliant wisdom dawn fearlessly,
bravely, may I know them as myself! When the forms of the Lords
mild and fierce arise bold and fearless, may I recognize the
Now when I suffer by the power of negative evolution may the
Archetype Deities dispel that suffering! When reality crashes
with a thousand thunders may they all become OM MANI PADME HUM!
When I am pulled by evolution without recourse may the Lords
mild and fierce dispel my suffering! When I suffer due to
evolutionary instincts may the clear-light bliss samadhi dawn
When I am born by apparition in the existence between may evil
prophesies of perverse devils not come true! When I arrive
wherever by the power of thought may fears created by negative
evolution not occur!
When wild beasts of prey roar savagely may it become the Dharma
sound - OM MANI PADME HUM! When I am driven by snow, rain, wind,
and darkness may I find the divine vision of brilliant wisdom!
May all beings compatible types in the between avoid all rivalry
and find rebirth in high estates! When I am hungry and thirsty
from intense addictions may I not suffer real hunger, thirst,
heat, and cold!
When I behold the coupling of my next life's father and mother,
may I see them as the Lord of Compassion Father-Mother
themselves! Free consciously to choose my birth, then for the
sake of others may I obtain the best body adorned with the signs
Having obtained for myself the finest body living may all who
see or hear me swiftly be delivered! Not pursuing any negative
evolutions may I follow and develop all my existing merits!
Wherever I am born in every life to come may I meet again my
Archetype Deity of this life! Speaking and understanding the
moment I am born may I have the retention to remember my former
Knowledge great and small, average and various may I understand
it just by hearing it or seeing it! May good luck prevail in the
land wherein I am born and may all beings be endowed with
You Victors mild and fierce as are you bodies Your retinues,
lifespans, and your pure worlds and your superior auspicious
signs of greatness may I and all others become just like you!
By the vast compassion of the All-Goods mild and fierce By the
power of the truth of reality-perfection and by the blessing of
Tantric adepts' single-minded success- May I accomplish just
what I have prayed for!
The root verses of the six betweens
Hey! Now when the life between dawns upon me I will abandon
laziness, as life has no more time Unwavering, enter the path of
learning, thinking, and meditating and taking perceptions and
mind as path I will realize the Three Bodies of enlightenment!
This once that I have obtained the human body is not the time to
stay on the path of distractions.
Hey! Now when the dream between dawns upon me I will give up
corpselike sleeping in delusion and mindfully enter unwavering
the experience of reality. Conscious of dreaming, I will enjoy
the changes as clear light Not sleeping mindlessly like an
animal I will cherish the practice merging sleep and
Hey! Now when the meditation between dawns upon me I will
abandon the host of distracting errors Focus in extreme-free
experience, without releasing or controlling And achieve
stability in the creation and perfection stages! Giving up
business, now one-pointed in meditation I will not surrender to
the power of erroneous addictions!
Hey! Now when the death-point between dawns upon me I will give
up the preoccupations of the all-desiring mind Enter unwavering
the experience of the clarity of the precepts and transmigrate
into the birthless space of inner awareness; About to lose this
created body of flesh and blood I will realize it to be
Hey! Now when the reality between dawns upon me I will let go of
the hallucinations of instinctive terror Enter the recognition
of all objects as my mind's own visions And understand this as
the pattern of perception in the between; Come to this moment,
arrived at this most critical cessation I will not fear my own
visions of deities mild and fierce!
Hey! Now when the existence between dawns upon me I will hold my
will with mind one-pointed And increase forcefully the impulse
of positive evolution; Blocking the womb door, I will remember
to be revulsed. Now courage and positive perception are
essential; I will give up envy, and contemplate all couples as
my Spiritual Mentor, Father and Mother.
"With mind distracted, never thinking, 'Death is Coming,' To
slave away on the pointless business of mundane life and then to
come out empty - is a tragic error.
Recognition of necessity is the holy teaching of the gods so
will not you live this divine truth from now on?" These are the
words of the great adepts. If you do not put the Mentor's
precept in your mind will not you be the one who deceives