Articles by alphabetic order
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Bardo Deliverance Yoga

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
5jhh312 n.jpg
Buddha Vietnamese.jpg
Guru-l nil.jpg
30 ium.jpg
Budd nks-04.jpg

Bardo Deliverance Yoga (1)

Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 14/08/96 (Page 087-092)

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:


Meditative stabilization,

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 (2)

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 element - 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

Bardo Deliverance Yoga (3)

Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 15/08/96 (Page 100-105)

Let us talk about Bardo Deliverance Yoga again.

A virtuous person (Ordained or otherwise) who has mastered the art of Bardo Deliverance Yoga can help guide any dying person`s soul to the right place.

We may not be so fortunate as to have someone to guide us when we are about to die. Hence we must try our best to gain some knowledge on how to calm our minds or better still to remain in a stage of no thoughts.

If at the final moment of our lives we are still thinking of :

Will my wife remarry after my demise? Will my son get married soon? What about my daughter? How am I going to settle the debt still owed to someone else? What about the hatred I have towards a certain person?

We will not be reborn in a Pure Land for sure if we are still bothered by these questions.

Our mind must be calm and cool, then our clear light will appear. This in turn will cause the cosmos-consciousness light to radiate - a Yoga known as An Xin Fa Men (The Dharma of remaining in Calmness) in Chinese.

In fact, all schools of Buddhism have advocated that we should let nature take its course, calm our minds and be reborn in a pure land.

Yet there is another yoga known as Guang Yun Qian Shi Fa (Consciousness transference yoga) in which an accomplished yogi/Tantric cultivator can use his own Dharma power to help the dying person to have a rebirth in a pure land.

It is very difficult if not impossible to meet someone who has mastered this skill. - We must have accumulated many lives of good merit before we can come across one of them.

This is how Guang Yun Qian Shi Fa is done.

The accomplished yogi will go to the dying person`s house.

He will use the blue `hum` seed syllabus that he has been cultivating for life to block all other channels except the apex of his crown.

The yogi must blow some air on his fingers first, then he uses his fingers to touch the exit points at the dying person`s eyes, nostrils, navel, anus, and urinary track. By so doing, all these potential exit points for the dying man`s soul will be blocked by the blue `hum` seed syllabus.

In order to carry out this ritual effectively, the cultivator must have certain spirtual power, otherwise it won`t work.

He must move the `hum` seed syllabus from his heart to his fingers before he can effectively block all the exit points. Even the brow-point must be blocked, leaving only the apex of the crown open.

After that the dying man will be reborn in a Buddha land for sure.

But it is very difficult to find a Tantric cultivator who knows Guan Yun Qian Shi Fa.

The late Guru Lian Hua Song Xiong was very lucky. When he was about to die, I was around to use this yoga to help him.

Many people thought he would recover once I had empowered him. The fact was I knew he would die very soon, so I used Guan Yun Qian Shi Fa on him.

Using the blue `hum` seed syllabus, I pressed my fingers on all the exit points. Many of my disciples saw what I did. After the ritual, Guru Lian Hua Song Xiong gathered enough strength to get up from his bed and bowed to me.

He was able to do so, because the blue `hum` seed syllabus gave him the strength. He died soon after.

Since his consciousness left his body via the only exit point - the apex of his crown, his rebirth in a Pure land was assured.

Only those who are accomplished cultivators can use Guan Yun Qian Shi Fa to help dying persons.

Of course it is better for us to know Bardo Deliverance Yoga ourselves than to rely on others to tell us what to expect, how to react, have no thoughts?

In conclusion, Bardo deliverance yoga is very useful. It serves as `a guide to the dying persons` - whether they are cultivating Sutrayana or Tantrayana.

In Bardo stage, we should not be mesmerized by what we see. If we follow our closest relatives such as our grand parents and parents to where they go, we are sure to be reborn in the hell realm.

The utmost important point to note is `have a calm mind, and pray for the clear light from Buddha/Bodhisattva to come and fetch us.`

That is all for today. Om Mani Padme Hum