The objects of refuge, the Three Rare and precious Gems, are incarnate in their entirety in the physical form of thespiritual master.
To you I pray with intense devotion and yearning
of your compassion, please swiftly turn your attention to me
and grant me protection from the terrors of the narrow passageway of the intermediate state
It is quite clear that everything compounded is also inherently impermanent,
and equally certain that all birth ends in death
and that the illusory physical form cannot, in any wise, be permanent
My lordly spiritual teacher, please look upon me with loving kindness.
When life comes to an end, the power of the four elements fades
medicines are no longer of any use and one loses one's appetite for food and drink
When the time comes for body and mind to separate
Grant me your blessing that I be without attachment to this life.
I can't stay forever; death is certain
If I confuse myself with imaginary hopes that I will live on and on
What a disaster!
Grant me your blessing that death be brought onto the path
May the anguish and suffering of the ending of the life
Where the five channel–knots at the crown, throat, heart, navel and secret–centre of this body of mine are destroyed by of the power of the winds of karma
Be spontaneously pacified.
As the energy of the digestive heat wanes, it becomes impossible to assimilate food;
As the energy of the life–force dissolves, the mind becomes dull
As the downward–clearing energy fades, one loses control over one's bladder and bowels
Let me recognise these signs of the degeneration of the energy–‘winds’
When the rising energy deteriorates, one can no longer swallow food and drink
Talking become difficult, and one is short of breath.
As the strength of the pervasive energy fails, it becomes difficult to move
At that time, certain of the reality of death, may I be without regret
This material body originally took birth out of the four elements
and, as they dissolve back into each other, I will die.
May I recognise the outer, inner and secret signs of their arising
and keep my mind on my spiritual teacher
As the earth element dissolves into the element of water, the power of the body is exhausted
The inner sign of this is that the awareness dulls and becomes unclear,
and the secret sign that visual appearance becomes like a mirage.
At that time, may my attention not stray from the spiritual teacher.
As the water element dissolves into the element of fire, the moisture of the mouth and nose
diminishes and dries out to a degree, and one can no longer speak
one's awareness becomes confused and the secret sign is like smoke
May I recognise the arising of this mist–like appearance
When the fire element dissolves into the element of air, there is a sensation of overpowering heat
the inner sign of which is no longer recognising people and bewildered sense–faculties
and the secret sign like fireflies
May I recognise this experience of alternating clarity and confusion.
When the air element dissolves into the element of consciousness, the outer breath stops
The inner sign being the appearance of various visual hallucinations
And the secret sign one's pure awareness blazing like a lamp
At that instant may I bring to mind the profound path of transference
As consciousness dissolves into the element of space, the six modes of consciousness come to an end.
May I recognise the condensed awareness between
the descending white element of the crown
and the rising red element of the navel
As these elements descend and mount
of themselves, appearances of whiteness, redness and deepest black arise
and the eighty awarenesses born of the three poisons come to a halt
May I recognise these as the radiance of ‘appearance’, ‘increase’ and ‘attainment’
The red and white mind and energies gathering in the central channel
May I recognise the primordially pure essence of buddhahood
The Dharmakaya radiance of the unmodified primordial ground
as it directly presents itself to me
If, due weak meditation, one not liberated by the true nature
When one's internal breath ceases, the intermediate state of absolute reality dawns
May I recognise the sounds, radiance and light rays of my body
and mind that fill all of space as nothing but my own personal experience
May I not fear the radiant path of spheres and smaller discs of rainbow light
The hosts of peaceful and wrathful deities that arise
and the inherent sound of ultimate thusness,
but recognise them as my own pure presence, primordial awareness of reality itself
Supposing, however, that, because of karma and emotional defilement,
I am not liberated by this,
May I recognise the four fearsome sounds of the intermediate state of becoming,
The six indeterminate signs and three terrifying precipices
as illusions without the least reality.
Recognising the face of death, let me earnestly bring to mind my spiritual teacher
and establish true confidence as to the essential meaning of his instruction.
Let me not seek some foul samsaric womb
but transfer my consciousness directly to the pure land of Lotus Light
In short, throughout all time drawing together all my many ideas of what should be done
Inseparable from the root lama, The Lotus Born Lord of Uddiyana,
Let me place my entire trust in him without wavering, even for an instant
My mind and the mind of the spiritual teacher merged as one
Though my awareness remains firmly in the permanent realm of the dharmakaya
May I lead sentient beings—as many as space is vast—to the supreme state of buddhahood
by means of the emanations of my compassionate aspiration.
hus, since it was claimed that a brief but profound instruction of introduction to the intermediate state of themoment of death in the form of a prayer was needed, in response to the request of lords Tamdin Dorje and Mindröl Nyingpo, these root verses were composed by 'Drigungpa Natsog Rangdrol. In fact, however, one cannot really benefit unless one regularly establishes the instructions on death in one's mind and extracts the spirit of the words used to express them, so, in order to help you recite it daily, I have made it into a prayer of aspiration. However, if you find training in this brief version difficult, please at least carefully examine the pointing out instructions and prayers contained in the general teachings of the Bardo T'ödröl Chenmo—‘The Great Liberation by Hearing’—and, more especially, my own text, the Bardo'i Chidön Dränpa'i Melong, or ‘Basic Principals of the Intermediate State: The Mirror of Mindfulness’, and, having understood them, put them into practice. This text was translated by Mike Dickman for the Drikung Dzogchen Translation Project