The Tibetan Book of the Dead – or the Bardo Thodol is the English translation of the famous Tibetan death text, The Great Liberation upon Hearing in the Intermediate State. Bardo Thodol means “liberation by hearing on the after death plane”, it was originally written in Tibetan and is meant to be a guide for those who have died as they transition from their former life to a new destination. The Tibetan Book of the Dead has been traditionally attributed to Padma-Sambhava, an Indian mystic who was said to have introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century. We have a range of more detailed works and commentaries on The Tibetan Book of Dead here on the site, do a search. From the book:
If the expiration is about to cease, turn the dying one over on the right side, which posture is called the ‘Lying Posture of a Lion’. The throbbing of the arteries [on the right and left side of the throat] is to be pressed. If the person dying be disposed to sleep, or if the sleeping state advances, that should be arrested, and the arteries pressed gently but firmly. Thereby the vital-force will not be able to return from the median-nerve and will be sure to pass out through the Brahmanic aperture. Now the real setting-faceto-face is to be applied. At this moment, the first [glimpsing] of the Bardo of the Clear Light of Reality, which is the Infallible Mind of the Dharma-Kāya, is experienced by all sentient beings.
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Listen to the entire Tibetan Book of the Dead here in English:
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