Preliminary remarks: The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead

Perhaps the greatest words that were bestowed upon me during this go-round of the diurnal spin of samsara came from my maternal grandfather: “I seldom weep at funerals, but I always find myself shedding a tear when a baby is born into this world.” His words of wisdom did not originate from some deep immersion into the epistemological bowels of some eastern-esoteric philosophy, but rather from a simple (he was a Christian Fundamentalist) observation that birth into this world is delivery into the realm of some form of suffering. It’s an innate understanding. An understanding deeply ingrained into a psyche that has perhaps endured eons upon eons of life, death, and rebirth; in essence, being stuck on the karmic spin of what the Tibetan Buddhists refer to as the Wheel of Life. Like its Tibetan counterpart, the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead is an expedient vehicle that attempts to map the territory of what this psychic-journey entails, i.e., mastering the Bardo Pathways that lead to the beginning of liberation from samsaric incarceration, or, if all else fails, at least some direction and insight that will lead to a favorable rebirth—like that of a non-returner, an awareness that is indelibly linked with the imprint of immeasurable nirvanic satisfaction in the clear-light of boundless Dharmakayic ecstasy.

As stated in the previous blog entry, life is just one big “Bardo Experience”—an endless repetition of “in-between states” that revolve around the True Body of Reality, the Dharmakaya, like planetoids orbiting around their primordial origin. There are six bardo-states: the bardo of birth and life; the bardo of the dream realm; the bardo of meditation and deep Samadhi; the bardo of first tasting death; the bardo of the dharmatā and Dharmata Buddha and the bardo of re-becoming, or rebirth. The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead is a systematic overview of these bardo-states; the first three are really invitations within this lifespan to carefully discern and better prepare for the latter three which basically determines whether or not the awareness principle recognizes and attunes (strengthening its Diamond body) to its Primordial Stature, or decides to spin the karmic dice once again. The latter three are especially bracketed by the undivided Spirit of Bodhi, whose Liberative Technique heightens the awareness principle into discerning the Clear Light of Dharmakayic dominance on the terrain of imagelessness, before receding once again into the phantasmagorical maze of Re-becoming.

It needs to be stressed from the outset that this attempt is an endeavor shared from the lens of the Lankavatarian perspective and in no way attempts to supersede its Tibetan cousin. To lend an air of further authenticity, the first bardo realm—the bardo of birth and life—will be shared through the singular life-experience of this author, one that recollects the long and winding road to the Unborn and beyond. Blog entries pertaining to The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead will be stored under their own category with this title. It is the fervent wish of this author that this large scale undertaking will slowly come to fruition so that future students and adepts of the Buddhadharma will come to better self-realize the salient significance of the Bardo Realms in their quest for Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

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