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Tibetan book of the dead hindi

tibetan book of the dead hindi

Sep 23, Hayagriva is worshipped in Tibet principally by horse-dealers because he is believed She is often depicted carrying her dead son's body with. This is the seventh talk in a great eight-part series by Padmavajra looking at the marvellous, terrifying, visionary world of the Bardo Thodol, or 'Tibetan Book of. Tibetan Book of the Dead (Talk 6): Akshobya and Ratnasambhava. Tibetan Book of the This talk is part of the series An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Book Of The Dead Hindi Video

The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Audiobook) [HD]

The Present book deals with the rite of Sraddha and vindicates the popular belief that Sraddha, being an important topic, forms an integral part of Hindu Dharmasastra.

The belief in the after-death survival of deceased ancestors and their separate world belongs to the Indo-Iranian period and as such is pre-Vedic.

Ancestor-worship for one's prosperity, continuation of one's race, is as old as the Rgveda. Prasad taught English Literature at Patna University for over forty years, during which he wrote scores of books, including biographies and translations, the most outstanding of which is his prose rendering of Shri Ramacharitamanasa.

The Hindu Sacrament Samskaras which are companion volumes to this book. In offering this book to the purohitas and householders our intention is not to rival the Books of the Dead, the Tibetan and the Egyptian.

There seems to be a fundamental problem when we refer to the subject of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The approach of comparing it with The Egyptian Book of the Dead in terms of mythology and lore of the dead person seems to miss the point, which is the fundamental principle of birth and death recurring constantly in this life.

One could refer to this book as "The Tibetan Book of Birth". The book is not based on death as such, but on a completely different concept of death.

It is a "Book of Space". Space contains birth and death; space creates the environment in which to behave, breathe and act; it is the fundamental environment which pro- vides the inspiration for this book.

Our approach to the dead is not that of a non-dualist; the Advaitavadin's tendency to look upon births and deaths as an identical phenomenon, the one giving birth to the other, is not practicable on the terrestrial plane by a common householder to whom death is death, the loss of a person's life.

Our daily living situation refuses to believe that the dead will ever return or that death is a renewal of life. We treat the dead as dead and, inspired by a sense of gratitude, pay whatever homage and largesse we can afford.

Elaborate rituals, which include prayers for the peace of the deceased and offerings of material objects for use by the disembodied soul, are recommended by the dharmasastra.

In most cases, when the dying man grows faint with fear, terror and bewilderment, the hymns are sung, episodes from the epics recounted, and suktis from the sastras read.

You are not alone in leaving this world, it hap- pens to everyone, so do not feel desire and yearning for this life. Even if you feel desire and yearning you cannot stay, you can only wander in samsara.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead aptly describes the psycho- logy of the dying man on hearing the prayers offered for his peaceful end:.

Now when the bardo of dharmata dawns upon me, I will abandon all thoughts of fear and terror, I will recognise whatever appears as my projection and know it to be a vision of the bardo; now that I have reached this crucial point I will not fear the peaceful and wrathful ones, my own projections.

For his life after death prayers and gifts are offered so that he may not have to suffer the dearth of anything, material or spiritual. Gifts are offered with rare generosity; the person performing the last rites is encouraged to loosen his purse strings and offer whatever gifts he can in cash or in kind, the gifts which are meant to enable the dead to be ferried from the world of karmic miseries to the world of Elysian bliss or to the abode of the blessed.

A locus classic us in the Garuda Purana lauds liberality in making gift—offerings:. By offering gifts of wealth to brahmanas, the sons in fact, prepare for their salvation along with sons, grandsons and great grandsons.

What is given to father will be requited a hundredfold; to a mother a thousand fold; to a sister a hundred thousand fold and to a brother manyfold.

Written with ungrudging assistance given by Digvijay Narayan Singh, a scholar par excellence, the following pages deal with the rite of sraddha and vindicate the popular belief that sraddha, being an important topic, forms an integral part of Hindu dharmasastra.

For example, in the present case, the procedure of sraddha given in the Narada Purana shows much resemblance to the details given in the Sraddha Sutra of Katyayana which by the way has so much similarity with the procedure of sraddha given in the Yajnavalkya Smrti.

Grateful thanks are due to Mr. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi, for initiating this purposeful project which began with a description of the Hindu marriage system.

This volume completes the series, ending as it does with a description of the last samskara. As soon as the players have played their seven parts the eighth is played by the descendants, preferably by the son of the deceased.

What begins with the garbhadhana now outlandish to many comes full circle with the completion of the sraddha. The samaskaras do not leave out any of the seven stages nor any of the turning points in the life of an orthodox Hindu.

It is considered meritorious to remember the dead and pay the deceased ancestors due homage and obeisance. Cordial thanks are also due to several pandits, purohitas, and priests who have preceded me and by their writings paved the way for this little volume.

Of the sixteen samskaras which encompass a Hindu life the last one is performed for the dead by their sons or grandsons or relatives.

Many passages in the puranas and dharmasastras extoll the role of the son in the life of a devout Hindu; in that of a non-believer and heretic, a relative is as important as a son insofar as the last rites are concerned.

Manu's views, widely known and held by those professing orthodox Hinduism, are quite explicit on this issue:. Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a son's son he obtains immortality, but through his son's grandson he gains the world of the sun.

Because a son delivers trayate his father from the hell called Put, he was therefore called put-tra a deliverer from Put by the Self-existent Svayambhu himself.

In the twenty-ninth chapter of the Garuda Purana we are told, though in different words, that there is no sal- vation for a man without a son; he can never attain heaven without a son.

The purana goes a step further when it declares that one must obtain a son somehow. In the forty-third chapter 'On Performing a Sraddha' of the Garuda Purana a persona of the author, the Lord, is made to proclaim thus:.

Either the mother or a kinsman can perform the expia- tory rite on behalf of a boy less than twelve but above four. Boys of less than four years in age can never be guilty or sinful.

Even the king cannot punish them. There is no expiatory rite prescribed for such boys, in the sastras. Again, one of Rinpoche's greatest concerns was to ensure the authenticity of the teachings, and he fused into the book answers to questions about the teachings concerning death presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche , and other great masters.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying was first launched in the United States in September , where it received high acclaim and spent several weeks at the top of the bestseller lists.

To date, more than two million copies have been printed in 30 languages and 56 countries. It also prompted Rigpa to introduce a Spiritual Care Education and Training programme, providing for the needs of caregivers.

A revised edition was released in to celebrate the book's 10th anniversary. In , a new and further revised edition was again, published.

The perspective is forthrightly and profoundly Tibetan, but it is expounded so clearly that the reader has no trouble discerning on every page its universal import.

The book has also received praise from a number of celebrities and public figures, who have cited it as influential in their lives. Comedian John Cleese said the book was one of the most helpful he had ever read.

I guess that's what wisdom is, really. Since The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying was published, it has been adopted by institutions, centres and groups of various kinds, educational, medical and spiritual.

Something I find especially moving is that this book has been read by people with different spiritual beliefs, and they have said that it has strengthened and deepened their faith in their own tradition.

They seem to recognize the universality of its message, and understand that it aims not to persuade or convert, but simply to offer the wisdom of the ancient Buddhist teachings in order to bring the maximum possible benefit.

In , an international programme of education and training called, Spiritual Care, was established by Christine Longaker and others in response to requests from healthcare professionals for practical ways to bring the compassion and wisdom of teachings in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying into their work and lives.

Over the past 17 years, they have worked with hospitals, hospices and universities, and trained more than 30, healthcare professionals and volunteers worldwide in all areas of healthcare and social services, and supported many people facing serious illness, death, or bereavement, and their families.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions.

I'm obviously not expecting to agree, religiously, with what I read; I just want to learn about the various religions of the world, enjoy the poetry, and glean what insights I can.

Of all the sacred texts I've read, this one possessed the least literary quality and offered the least aesthetic pleasure as well as the fewest insights to me personally.

It was somewhat dull and the reading was really s I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions.

It was somewhat dull and the reading was really slow plodding. Jan 27, Kevin J. Rogers rated it it was amazing. I'm actually always reading this--it's my bedtime book.

At some point I'm sure I'll do a thorough review of it, or at least as thorough as would be appropriate for something of this nature. I will say, however, that this translation is excellent, and the Introduction by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is alone worth the price of admission.

Truly a lovely book, and very, very inspirational. Sep 21, Gregory Peters rated it it was amazing. This is my preferred translation of the entire cycle of the bardo teachings.

Inspiring on multiple levels, this is one I return to again and again - an all time favorite. Apr 10, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not going to sugarcoat this: However, I suspect that if you just wade into a religious text with little or no background in the religion, that is what you will experience.

Used in Tibetan Buddhism as a guide for the dead in the time between death and the next rebirth or liberation, the book is believed to be the work of Padma Sambhava, who lived in the 8th centur I'm not going to sugarcoat this: Used in Tibetan Buddhism as a guide for the dead in the time between death and the next rebirth or liberation, the book is believed to be the work of Padma Sambhava, who lived in the 8th century A.

The book is very much a guide book and is meant to be read aloud over the course of several days or possible even weeks over the body of a dead person.

By reading the book aloud, it is hoped that you will be able to guide the soul of the dead person as they navigate the afterlife. Don't you wish every religion was able to offer this type of guide?

And what does this afterlife appear to be like? Well, there are several bardo realms that the soul passes through on the way to liberation or eventual rebirth.

A variety of gods will appear, in forms that can be frightening and deceptive. Here is what I was able to glean from the text.

The text thoughtfully provides guidance on choosing a womb to enter so as to achieve a good birth. If you would like a relatively straightforward overview of the text, I found one here.

I was also interested to learn that this book was the basis for the Beatle's song Tomorrow Never Knows lyrics here. With that in mind, this might be a good song to play as a guide for the recently deceased who was also a fan of classic rock.

I read this book as part of my World Religion Challenge and because my dad had developed an interest in Tibetan Buddhism after traveling to Tibet a few years ago.

Ironically, I read this ancient text on my Kindle. Aug 22, Deniss rated it liked it. Al avanzar, me di cuenta que era, al mismo tiempo, hermoso y fascinante.

La llama sin fin de la vida. Forma parte de ti. Cualquiera que sea el miedo o terror que te embargue, no olvides estas palabras. Sep 25, Ken Cruickshank rated it liked it.

My brain hurt during and after reading this book; it's an exercise in focus and memorization — at least it was for me.

I lost a very good friend of mine when he was forty, and I commented to a work associate regarding something my friend's father observed at the moment of his son's last breath.

That work associate told me that the way my friend left this world would have been deeply meaningful to Tibetan monks as it was to my friend's Catholic parents , and that I should read t My brain hurt during and after reading this book; it's an exercise in focus and memorization — at least it was for me.

That work associate told me that the way my friend left this world would have been deeply meaningful to Tibetan monks as it was to my friend's Catholic parents , and that I should read this book to understand why.

Well into the pages, I found what the work associate was referring to, and it left an indelible impression on me.

Mar 15, David Roberts rated it really liked it Shelves: Fascinating exposition of the ancient Buddhist beliefs about what happens, or not, when you die.

Full of graphic descriptions fit for a Tim Burton movie, the text describes the many stages of death and the various methods to 1 avoid rebirth, which is the goal, and 2 pick the best womb for your next life if your karmic existence in this one did not provide you with enough juice to avoid another one.

The Buddhists believe that regular meditation on one own mortality is a wise practice and I did f Fascinating exposition of the ancient Buddhist beliefs about what happens, or not, when you die.

The Buddhists believe that regular meditation on one own mortality is a wise practice and I did feel that the daily reading of the Tibetan Book of the Dead did afford a bit of, shall we say, perspective on the rest of life.

A good thing, no? Sep 20, Rbbiefrah rated it it was amazing. So Padmasambhava was the Master who wrote the TBOTD It is the best-known work of Nyingma literature The Dali Lama says that Gyurme Dorje's english translation faithfully conveys the original meaning of most of the Tibetan text with a few gaps which intellect alone can not span.

Sep 07, Mahmoud Awad rated it it was amazing Shelves: Beyond the worrying lack of consistency in attribution of colors to the six potential rebirths of the third bardo are pretas yellow, red or green?

Suitable shelf-stuffer for anyone not adamantly convinced of their continuity after dying. Very difficult reading and a large text. I read this book because it is referenced in many of the books I've read.

I wanted to get a better understanding of the prayers. Jan 23, Rohit Patil rated it it was amazing.

A vital and most important guide for spiritual seekers. Sep 20, Mary rated it it was amazing. The actual title of this book would translate into english as: It is the best-known work of Nyingma literature and is known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Books always have a few gaps which intellect alone can not span. This is doable if we "Die while Living" via Surat Shabd yo The actual title of this book would translate into english as: So it misses alot but is still very interesting to students who are intrigued by death and maybe mustering the courage to eventually seek a Master who can teach them SSY Aug 11, Wade Duvall rated it really liked it Shelves: First let me start by saying I'm not a Buddhist.

I am also curious about Buddhism. I have taken two classes which have covered Buddhism but it's a huge religion with tons of schools, it's hard to fit it all into a class.

I will say I learned a lot about Tibetan Buddhism reading this. Let me briefly discuss the translation and presentation.

First of all, I dislike the name Tibetan Book of the Dead. I believe this term was coined in the early 's when similarities were noted to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and in some ways, that's true.

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That said, if what one wants to be doing is "reading the Book of the Dead to one who is deceased," this is probably not the edition to use unless one also has been instructed to do so by a qualified lama and has had the proper transmissions and training.

Otherwise, virtually any previous translation of the "Liberation by Hearing" chapter is likely to be far more useful, particularly those by Thurman or Fremantle.

Jan 28, Mohit Misra rated it it was amazing. Wow wow wow What a classic. Tibetan philosophy explained with simplicity.

Wow wow wow is what I have to say about this book. Sep 20, Khandria rated it it was amazing. It means a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma.

Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava. I will confirm that Gyurme Dorje's english translation faithfully conveys the original meaning of most of the Tibetan text with a few gaps which intellect alone can not span.

To fill in these gaps one must have the same experiences as the author. Reading a book on a thing is not the same as experiencing it and entails a little effort but its worth the effort.

Advanced meditators listen to the Tao which the ancient greeks called "the logos" , In the modern bible it is called" the holy spirit" ,"the word" John 1: This technique of hearing our creator vibrating within our consciousness as means to escape reincarnation and return to God was taught by the founders of every religion but fell into obscurity when those founders left the earth and bookish priests took over As correlated by practitioners of Surat Shabd Yoga the TBOTD testifies about the phenomenon called the Bardo Thodol Tibetan: The text also includes chapters on the signs of death and rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place.

However it was NEVER intended as a guide the mere reading of which could guide one through the transition of death.

Along with the loss of knowledge of the practice of hearing teh Tao as a daily practice the need for spiritual teacher like Moses , Buddha , John , Jesus , Peter , Guru Nanak and his 9 successors and currently Swami Ji and his existing line of succession aka www.

Thus the best ritual to prepare for death is to live a life desiring and thinking about God and virtues that he loves so that death takes us closer to eternal life and freedom from transmigration.

The Bardo Thodol differentiates the intermediate state between lives into three bardos: The chikhai bardo or "bardo of the moment of death", which features the experience of the 1 "clear light of reality", or at least the nearest approximation of which one is spiritually capable; 2 The chonyid bardo or "bardo of the experiencing of reality", which features the experience of visions of various Buddha forms, or the nearest approximations of which one is capable; 3 The sidpa bardo or "bardo of rebirth", which features karmically impelled hallucinations which eventually result in rebirth, typically yab-yum imagery of men and women passionately entwined.

AS I stated before If we live our our whole life desiring the bliss of listening to the Toa and not desiring sensual pleasures we will be spared the 3rd stage and will go to God rather than this world.

BY attaching our attention to the TAO we are detaching our attention from sensual pleasures which always pulls us back to this world. Since teh dawn of the human race there has always been at least one master on this earth to take the marked souls back and to make someone his successor.

So The TBOTD misses a lot but is still very interesting to students who are intrigued by death and maybe mustering the courage to eventually seek teh current living Master who can teach them SSY View all 3 comments.

Oct 11, Cassandra Kay Silva rated it it was amazing Shelves: I am doing a personal comparative study of this and the Egyptian book of the dead simultaneously.

After the first two read throughs of this work I was extremely glad for the notes and appendixes provided for the study. I adore Tibetan Buddhism as a religion and culture and can relate very well to their ideas of mind projection in the afterlife, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "come into the light".

I highly suggest if you read this book not to skip over the introduction and so forth i I am doing a personal comparative study of this and the Egyptian book of the dead simultaneously.

I highly suggest if you read this book not to skip over the introduction and so forth it is very valuable and well written.

Mar 05, Ibrahim Niftiyev rated it really liked it. Reading this book was very interesting due to its narrative and bright episodes. As we know, every religion has its own approach to the afterlife, however, Tibet is very different in this case.

The book really represents the Buddhist philosophy and motivated trip and search ideas for my spiritual way.

Somehow, I was exactly thinking like the book depicts some stages of the afterlife and they just overlapped and I felt amazing feelings.

Without any doubt, it is not an ordinary book. Either you will benefit or ignore this book, there is now some middle way in this case.

Jun 14, Happydog rated it really liked it Recommends it for: First new translation of the complete Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The important thing to know is that there is probably a reason why it wasn't completely translated before.

The long symptom lists of "how you can tell you're dying," might have been useful back when the book came into being but now, they seem either sad, laughable, or a good basis for hypochondria.

The part of the book that is most useful are the chapters dealing with the worlds and beings that one encounters after death, and the be First new translation of the complete Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The part of the book that is most useful are the chapters dealing with the worlds and beings that one encounters after death, and the best way to choose incarnation or not.

This is what makes the book fascinating and useful. No other spiritual text has such a complete, detailed and fascinating map of the proposed afterworld.

And yes, there are a lot of prayers and meditations that can be done even if one is not dying or dead. Overall, still a dense read, but highly rewarding to someone who is interested.

This is indeed the best and most complete translation, but it is definitely not for beginners. Other editions contain the most relevant chapters, and those might be a better place to start for those not familiar with the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Dec 23, Skylar Burris rated it it was ok Shelves: I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions.

I'm obviously not expecting to agree, religiously, with what I read; I just want to learn about the various religions of the world, enjoy the poetry, and glean what insights I can.

Of all the sacred texts I've read, this one possessed the least literary quality and offered the least aesthetic pleasure as well as the fewest insights to me personally.

It was somewhat dull and the reading was really s I've made it a point to read a number of different religious writings from a variety of religions.

It was somewhat dull and the reading was really slow plodding. Jan 27, Kevin J. Rogers rated it it was amazing. I'm actually always reading this--it's my bedtime book.

At some point I'm sure I'll do a thorough review of it, or at least as thorough as would be appropriate for something of this nature.

I will say, however, that this translation is excellent, and the Introduction by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is alone worth the price of admission.

Truly a lovely book, and very, very inspirational. Sep 21, Gregory Peters rated it it was amazing. This is my preferred translation of the entire cycle of the bardo teachings.

Inspiring on multiple levels, this is one I return to again and again - an all time favorite. Apr 10, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not going to sugarcoat this: However, I suspect that if you just wade into a religious text with little or no background in the religion, that is what you will experience.

Used in Tibetan Buddhism as a guide for the dead in the time between death and the next rebirth or liberation, the book is believed to be the work of Padma Sambhava, who lived in the 8th centur I'm not going to sugarcoat this: Used in Tibetan Buddhism as a guide for the dead in the time between death and the next rebirth or liberation, the book is believed to be the work of Padma Sambhava, who lived in the 8th century A.

The book is very much a guide book and is meant to be read aloud over the course of several days or possible even weeks over the body of a dead person.

By reading the book aloud, it is hoped that you will be able to guide the soul of the dead person as they navigate the afterlife. Don't you wish every religion was able to offer this type of guide?

And what does this afterlife appear to be like? Well, there are several bardo realms that the soul passes through on the way to liberation or eventual rebirth.

A variety of gods will appear, in forms that can be frightening and deceptive. Here is what I was able to glean from the text.

The text thoughtfully provides guidance on choosing a womb to enter so as to achieve a good birth. If you would like a relatively straightforward overview of the text, I found one here.

I was also interested to learn that this book was the basis for the Beatle's song Tomorrow Never Knows lyrics here. With that in mind, this might be a good song to play as a guide for the recently deceased who was also a fan of classic rock.

I read this book as part of my World Religion Challenge and because my dad had developed an interest in Tibetan Buddhism after traveling to Tibet a few years ago.

Ironically, I read this ancient text on my Kindle. Aug 22, Deniss rated it liked it. Al avanzar, me di cuenta que era, al mismo tiempo, hermoso y fascinante.

La llama sin fin de la vida. Forma parte de ti. Cualquiera que sea el miedo o terror que te embargue, no olvides estas palabras. Sep 25, Ken Cruickshank rated it liked it.

My brain hurt during and after reading this book; it's an exercise in focus and memorization — at least it was for me. I lost a very good friend of mine when he was forty, and I commented to a work associate regarding something my friend's father observed at the moment of his son's last breath.

That work associate told me that the way my friend left this world would have been deeply meaningful to Tibetan monks as it was to my friend's Catholic parents , and that I should read t My brain hurt during and after reading this book; it's an exercise in focus and memorization — at least it was for me.

That work associate told me that the way my friend left this world would have been deeply meaningful to Tibetan monks as it was to my friend's Catholic parents , and that I should read this book to understand why.

Well into the pages, I found what the work associate was referring to, and it left an indelible impression on me. Mar 15, David Roberts rated it really liked it Shelves: Fascinating exposition of the ancient Buddhist beliefs about what happens, or not, when you die.

Full of graphic descriptions fit for a Tim Burton movie, the text describes the many stages of death and the various methods to 1 avoid rebirth, which is the goal, and 2 pick the best womb for your next life if your karmic existence in this one did not provide you with enough juice to avoid another one.

The Buddhists believe that regular meditation on one own mortality is a wise practice and I did f Fascinating exposition of the ancient Buddhist beliefs about what happens, or not, when you die.

The Buddhists believe that regular meditation on one own mortality is a wise practice and I did feel that the daily reading of the Tibetan Book of the Dead did afford a bit of, shall we say, perspective on the rest of life.

A good thing, no? Sep 20, Rbbiefrah rated it it was amazing. So Padmasambhava was the Master who wrote the TBOTD It is the best-known work of Nyingma literature The Dali Lama says that Gyurme Dorje's english translation faithfully conveys the original meaning of most of the Tibetan text with a few gaps which intellect alone can not span.

Sep 07, Mahmoud Awad rated it it was amazing Shelves: Beyond the worrying lack of consistency in attribution of colors to the six potential rebirths of the third bardo are pretas yellow, red or green?

Suitable shelf-stuffer for anyone not adamantly convinced of their continuity after dying. Very difficult reading and a large text. I read this book because it is referenced in many of the books I've read.

I wanted to get a better understanding of the prayers. Jan 23, Rohit Patil rated it it was amazing. A vital and most important guide for spiritual seekers.

The Present book deals with the rite of Sraddha and vindicates the popular belief that Sraddha, being an important topic, forms an integral part of Hindu Dharmasastra.

The belief in the after-death survival of deceased ancestors and their separate world belongs to the Indo-Iranian period and as such is pre-Vedic.

Ancestor-worship for one's prosperity, continuation of one's race, is as old as the Rgveda. Prasad taught English Literature at Patna University for over forty years, during which he wrote scores of books, including biographies and translations, the most outstanding of which is his prose rendering of Shri Ramacharitamanasa.

The Hindu Sacrament Samskaras which are companion volumes to this book. In offering this book to the purohitas and householders our intention is not to rival the Books of the Dead, the Tibetan and the Egyptian.

There seems to be a fundamental problem when we refer to the subject of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The approach of comparing it with The Egyptian Book of the Dead in terms of mythology and lore of the dead person seems to miss the point, which is the fundamental principle of birth and death recurring constantly in this life.

One could refer to this book as "The Tibetan Book of Birth". The book is not based on death as such, but on a completely different concept of death.

It is a "Book of Space". Space contains birth and death; space creates the environment in which to behave, breathe and act; it is the fundamental environment which pro- vides the inspiration for this book.

Our approach to the dead is not that of a non-dualist; the Advaitavadin's tendency to look upon births and deaths as an identical phenomenon, the one giving birth to the other, is not practicable on the terrestrial plane by a common householder to whom death is death, the loss of a person's life.

Our daily living situation refuses to believe that the dead will ever return or that death is a renewal of life. We treat the dead as dead and, inspired by a sense of gratitude, pay whatever homage and largesse we can afford.

Elaborate rituals, which include prayers for the peace of the deceased and offerings of material objects for use by the disembodied soul, are recommended by the dharmasastra.

In most cases, when the dying man grows faint with fear, terror and bewilderment, the hymns are sung, episodes from the epics recounted, and suktis from the sastras read.

You are not alone in leaving this world, it hap- pens to everyone, so do not feel desire and yearning for this life. Even if you feel desire and yearning you cannot stay, you can only wander in samsara.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead aptly describes the psycho- logy of the dying man on hearing the prayers offered for his peaceful end:.

Now when the bardo of dharmata dawns upon me, I will abandon all thoughts of fear and terror, I will recognise whatever appears as my projection and know it to be a vision of the bardo; now that I have reached this crucial point I will not fear the peaceful and wrathful ones, my own projections.

For his life after death prayers and gifts are offered so that he may not have to suffer the dearth of anything, material or spiritual.

Gifts are offered with rare generosity; the person performing the last rites is encouraged to loosen his purse strings and offer whatever gifts he can in cash or in kind, the gifts which are meant to enable the dead to be ferried from the world of karmic miseries to the world of Elysian bliss or to the abode of the blessed.

A locus classic us in the Garuda Purana lauds liberality in making gift—offerings:. By offering gifts of wealth to brahmanas, the sons in fact, prepare for their salvation along with sons, grandsons and great grandsons.

What is given to father will be requited a hundredfold; to a mother a thousand fold; to a sister a hundred thousand fold and to a brother manyfold.

Written with ungrudging assistance given by Digvijay Narayan Singh, a scholar par excellence, the following pages deal with the rite of sraddha and vindicate the popular belief that sraddha, being an important topic, forms an integral part of Hindu dharmasastra.

For example, in the present case, the procedure of sraddha given in the Narada Purana shows much resemblance to the details given in the Sraddha Sutra of Katyayana which by the way has so much similarity with the procedure of sraddha given in the Yajnavalkya Smrti.

Grateful thanks are due to Mr. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi, for initiating this purposeful project which began with a description of the Hindu marriage system.

This volume completes the series, ending as it does with a description of the last samskara. As soon as the players have played their seven parts the eighth is played by the descendants, preferably by the son of the deceased.

What begins with the garbhadhana now outlandish to many comes full circle with the completion of the sraddha. The samaskaras do not leave out any of the seven stages nor any of the turning points in the life of an orthodox Hindu.

It is considered meritorious to remember the dead and pay the deceased ancestors due homage and obeisance. Cordial thanks are also due to several pandits, purohitas, and priests who have preceded me and by their writings paved the way for this little volume.

Of the sixteen samskaras which encompass a Hindu life the last one is performed for the dead by their sons or grandsons or relatives.

Many passages in the puranas and dharmasastras extoll the role of the son in the life of a devout Hindu; in that of a non-believer and heretic, a relative is as important as a son insofar as the last rites are concerned.

Manu's views, widely known and held by those professing orthodox Hinduism, are quite explicit on this issue:. Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a son's son he obtains immortality, but through his son's grandson he gains the world of the sun.

Because a son delivers trayate his father from the hell called Put, he was therefore called put-tra a deliverer from Put by the Self-existent Svayambhu himself.

In the twenty-ninth chapter of the Garuda Purana we are told, though in different words, that there is no sal- vation for a man without a son; he can never attain heaven without a son.

The purana goes a step further when it declares that one must obtain a son somehow. In the forty-third chapter 'On Performing a Sraddha' of the Garuda Purana a persona of the author, the Lord, is made to proclaim thus:.

Either the mother or a kinsman can perform the expia- tory rite on behalf of a boy less than twelve but above four. Boys of less than four years in age can never be guilty or sinful.

Even the king cannot punish them. There is no expiatory rite prescribed for such boys, in the sastras. That the sraddha, if performed according to the dharma- sastras, led to the everlasting peace of the departed soul and liberated it from karmic bonds and from the cycles of birth and death is widely recognized.

This explains why so much attention is paid to this ritual by the an- cient seers. Some of them give a detailed description of the funeral rites and of subsequent rituals at the crema- torium or at home.

In the Narada Purana, for example, one finds a description of the sraddha rites as well as qualifications of the brahmana invitee to the rituals.

Realizing the pre-eminence of the last rites among the samskaras, the law-givers also lay down some mandatory disquali- fications of an invitee as well as rules with regard to the sraddha-tithis.

According to the Narada Purana, only a brahmana who has some special merits can be invited for a sraddha. He should be well-versed in the Vedas, devoted to Visnu and abider by his own conventional conduct of life, and born of a good family and be of quiet nature.

Among the characteristics of such a brahmana are also his dispassion and freedom from hatred. He should be engaged in the worship of the deities and be an adept in the prin- ciples of smrtis.

He must be a pastmaster in the knowl- edge of the principles of the Upanisads. He must be interested in the welfare of all worlds.

He should be grateful and richly endowed with all good qualities. He must be engaged in advising others by recounting the good scrip- tural texts.

These are the brahmanas who can be em- ployed in a sraddha. One who is physically deformed, wanting in a limb or by having a superfluous limb, a miser, a sickly per- son, a leper, one with deformed nails, a person with long suspended ears, one who has broken his religious vows, a person whose livelihood is the reading of the stars i.

All these should be excluded scrupulously from the sraddha. He should invite the brahmana the previous day or on the same day.

The brahmana who is invited should maintain celibacy and conquer his sense organs. As soon as a competent brahmana gifted with all the qualifications laid down here has been discovered and found willing to supervise and direct the sraddha rituals, the householder, with his sense-organs duly subdued, should take the darbha grass in his hands and invite the intelligent brahmana with following words: The learned man should perform the sraddha at the hour called Kutapa i.

That hour in the eighth kala muhurta of the day when the sun begins to be less fierce is called the Kutapa. That which is given to the pitrs at that time is of everlasting benefit.

The afternoon is the time granted to the pitrs by the self-born deity god Brahma. Hence, the kavya oblations to the pitrs should be given by excellent brahmanas only at that time.

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