BARDO DELIVERANCE YOGA (1)
Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 14/08/96
Today I shall talk about Bardo Deliverance Yoga, the fifth of Naropa`s six Yogas.
Let me explain what is Bardo first.
It is known as `soul` to most people and `consciousness` to Buddhists.
Hence this yoga can also be understood as soul deliverance yoga.
We are in Bardo State after our death and before our rebirth. This Bardo Deliverance Yoga attempts to teach us how we can have a rebirth in Buddha kingdom and cease all kinds of suffering in the six realms of existence.
Generally speaking, if we have mastered the art of `Rainbow Light Great Attainment`, by virtue of our spiritual power, we need not go through the stage of Bardo. Once our souls are released from our bodies, our spiritual level cannot be very high. Despite this shortcoming, as a last resort, we can still use Bardo Deliverance Yoga to save ourselves, to deliver our souls to higher level of existence.
When a person is about to die, his soul will appear. If a yogi happens to be around, he may use Bardo deliverance yoga to guide the dying man`s soul to leave his body through the right channel and tell his Bardo to take the correct path.
Some of the salient points of this yoga are:
1. First, the Tantric cultivator must keep reminding the dying man to give up all his attachments.
2. Second, the dying man must try to focus his mind, where possible to remain in meditative stabilization.
3. Third, as a result of our daily spiritual cultivation, once our mind is calm, our inborn clear light will radiate.
If clear light does not radiate after death, it simply means we have not mastered the clear light yoga when we were still alive.
Having radiated clear light, we can then pray for the appearance of the mother light from the cosmos-consciousness. By uniting the son light and the mother light in our meditative stabilization, our soul can still be delivered to a pure land.
In order to be reborn in Western Pure Land, Eastern Pure Land or any Buddha land, it is vitally important that our soul must leave our body via the apex of our crown. Depending on the wish we have made when we were still alive, the mother light from the Buddha land of our choice will appear.
I have just given you the most important oral traditions of this yoga.
The yogi must whisper these words to the dying man`s ear: `You must let everything go!`
Should the dying man think: `I have a lot of money kept at certain secret places, I have a lot of gold and jewelry, I must tell my relatives how to deal with my lands and properties...`
Then he is sure to be condemned to a low level of existence.
The son light will only appear when the dying person does not have any attachment.
Tantrayana Buddhism believes that the mother light will descend on a person`s crown and take the son light away.
As can be seen it is very troublesome to have gone through the stage of Bardo before rebirth. If we have cultivated Clear Light Yoga in the first place, when we die, we can radiate clear light and unite with the mother light on our own. To a pure land of our choice, off we go!
Our personal deity will appear personally to welcome us after our death if we have a psychic response with him when we were alive.
Amitabha Buddha will come and take the consciousness of his believer away. If his believer from the pure land school knew how to focus single-pointedly and chant `Namo Amitabha Buddha` - In other words, the dead man need not go through the stage of Bardo too.
In short, all accomplished cultivators will be warmly welcomed by their personal deities if they have excelled in personal deity yoga. Amitabha Buddha will gladly receive them if they have cultivated Pure Land teachings. They will enter a stage of emptiness if they have been Zen practitioners.
During our daily cultivation, we must visualize our personal deity sits on our crown. Then the clear lights that we radiate enter our personal deity via our central channel and the apex of our crown. This is what we call `Instant Attainment of Buddhahood`. It is very important that we make use of the experiences we have accumulated over the years at this critical moment.
In the book `A guide to death`, it is clearly stated that a dying person must relax, focus and most importantly remain in a meditative stabilization. As a result, the dying person`s clear light will radiate.
In conclusion, for the Bardo/soul to be reborn in any pure land, the most important points to note are:
Radiation of clear light,
Departure through the Apex of our crown.
If we have not mastered the Bardo deliverance yoga, and our souls do not depart from the apexes of our crown, we are doomed to be reborn in one of the six realms of existence.
It is important to have a yogi around us when we are about to die. He can give us the necessary advice.
That is all for today.
Om Mani Padme Hum
BARDO DELIVERANCE YOGA (1)