Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 14/08/96
(Page 93-99)

It is said in Bardo deliverance yoga that many people are not aware of their deaths. As I have mentioned before death and dream are the same, if people do not know they were dreaming, it follows they will not know about their deaths. When the souls are released from the bodies, the dead persons will be in a dreamy stage. By the time, they awake from their deaths, at least three days would have passed. This is the time dead persons come to term with reality - they are dead.

As most people do not practise spiritual cultivation, their souls will be very dependent. They will see all kinds of illusory realms in front of them. Hence the Tantric cultivator/yogi in attendance must tell them:

`Whatever appears in front of you is illusory. You must realize they are not real. And you must remain calm.`

When we die, we will be very scared as all our enemies and our creditors will appear. They will want to take revenge if we have killed them. They will want to claim back what we owe them.

Knowing that what we see is an illusion, we must be courageous and look at them. It is very important that we remain calm, as very soon they will disappear.

It is said in the Bardo deliverance yoga that all the Maras, devils, and demons that we see in Bardo stage are illusory and lack inherent nature. Hence we must remain in a stage of meditative stabilization and follow the direction of our life-long vow - to be born in a pure land.

We may experience being thrown down from all kinds of horrifying cliffs - black cliff, white cliff, red cliff and what not.

We may hear all kinds of strange sounds, see all kinds of demons, being burned by fire, swallowed by water and buried by earthquakes.

This is a result of dissolution of our life elements in our bodies:

Earth element - earthquake
Water element - tidal waves
Fire element - burning sensation
Wind ?typhoon

Hence we may hear all kinds of noises and see all kinds of frightening scenes.

We must view all that has appeared in front of us as illusions. Calming our mind, we must observe closely the color of the light that appears and refrain from entering places that radiate dim lights as this would lead to rebirth in one of the six realms of existence. We should only follow the cleanest and purest light or Amitabha Buddha who comes to welcome us.

Hence it could be a deciding factor in our rebirth when the Tantric cultivator whispered in our ear: `You must take note that all that appear in front of you are nothing but illusions!`

A fierce looking demon appears in front of us. If we are scared and find a hole nearby to hide, and a bitch happens to be giving birth at this critical time, we will be reborn as a puppy - a dog, not a hot dog. (Grandmaster used English to explain this term).

In Bardo stage, we tend to be pulled into the six realms of existence. Hence those who do meditation when they were alive will be able to put their meditative skills into good use.

From cultivating Dream yoga and Bardo deliverance yoga, we will know that we are dreaming and what we see is not real. Hence we will not be so afraid, run away and hide ourselves in the stomachs of expectant mothers and be reborn as babies.

Oop! When we come out from our hiding, it is another family, another world, and another person!

As I have mentioned before different scenes will be displayed in front of us:

If we feel happy to sit on a Chinese sedan chair, we will be reborn as a crab.

If we are glad to take a train, we will be reborn as a snake.

If we are excited to take an airplane, we will be reborn as a dragonfly.

Remember this, we cannot board any form of transportation that we like. The only exception to this is when a Buddha comes with a lotus platform to welcome us.

In Tantrayana Buddhism, we are taught to look for clear light. When the mother light appears, we will be beamed up just like what we see in a TV programme. A man stands on the launch pad; the UFO beams a ray of light to lift him up - to be united with the mother light and form into a `fruitful clear light`.

Please remember this:

Our soul must leave the body via the apex of our crown, so that we can be reborn in a heaven or a Buddha kingdom. We will remain in one of the six realms of existence if our souls exit by other means.

We may be reborn as fishes, birds, human beings, horses, cows?Worse still if we hide in a cave, when we come out, we may be reborn as pigs.

Hence in the stage of Bardo, we must remain in meditative stabilization; we must know once the earth, water, fire and wind elements dissolve in our body, many illusory scenes will appear - our creditors and our enemies will threaten us. When all these unwholesome karma show, we must chant mantra and recite the name of Buddha to eradicate them.

It is important at this critical moment to chant the mantra that we usually chanted, recite the name of Buddha that we usually recited, and remain in meditative stabilization as if we were alive. All these illusions will eventually disappear - this is the so-called Bardo Deliverance yoga.

Why is Bardo Deliverance Yoga considered a second class Tantra among the six yogas of Naropa?

It is not considered first class because we are unable to attain instant Buddhahood in the first place.

Having said that, let us not forget that the soul is still very mobile, it can go wherever it wants to go.

The soul lives a pitiful life as is aptly described by a Chinese poet:

The sunset is fine,
Alas, it is too close to dusk.

That is all for today.

Om Mani Padme Hum

高王經千遍迴向師尊 瑤池金母心咒