Monday, 11 November 2013

A glimpse of death

Some of us would have read the book, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, about the Bardo (intermediate state before rebirth). When a person dies, he/she enters the Bardo world and remains there for 49 days before one takes rebirth. The death process can be a terrifying experience if we do not know how it works; what we may see or hear or feel. Most of us are not prepared for death when it comes. 

Tibetan Buddhism or Vajrayana,holds the view that the purpose of existence is to escape life on this planet. While this painful life ends with death, it is immediately followed by rebirth filled with more change and inevitable suffering. We are always trapped within the circle of birth and rebirth (ie. cyclic existence). The ultimate test of our practice is at the time of death when we can help ourselves proceed to where we would like to go instead of be controlled by our karma. By understanding the process of death and with proper practice, we can learn how to attain rebirth on a higher plane so that we will at least be closer to liberation. 

This is an interesting documentary which gives a glimpse of this Buddhist philosophy of death. Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism aims to help the dead on their way to nirvana or reincarnation in order to pass through all after-death visions and temptations as painless as possible.

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