Litania: Bardo 6, The Bardo of Re-becoming

Due to an inability to disengage and abrogate the accumulated habit-energies since time immemorial, a lesser-able mind continues the journey through the Bardo of Re-becoming. Still tossed about through the strong currents of karma, the lesser-able one (puthujjana) wanders along totally stupefied as to what is manifesting in this Bardo phase:

“O son of noble family, with a body like this you will see your home and family as though you were meeting them in a dream, but although you speak to them you will get no reply; and you will see your relatives and family weeping, so you will think, ‘ I am dead, what shall I do?’ and you will feel intense pain like the pain of a fish rolling in hot sand.”

This kind of bardo-mind-state can indeed last the full duration of the 49-day Bardo Cycle, at the end of which the puthujjana is drawn to many “womb” entrances—the Tibetan Book of the Dead adamantly warns the unwary spirit against such occurrences:

“Close the womb entrance and think of resistance;
this is the time when perseverance and pure thought are
needed.”

Depending upon one’s spiritual (or lack thereof) foundation in the former saha-world, there comes a moment that—due to the inability to close the womb entrances—whatever karmic predispositions are the strongest will lead one to another womb-birth in one of the six realms of samsaric re-becoming. The TBOTD makes references to these possibilities:

“If you are going to be born as a jealous god, you will see
beautiful groves, or what seem to be revolving wheels of fire…

“If you are going to be born as an animal, you will see as if
through a mist rock-caves and holes in the ground and straw huts.

“If you are going to be born as a hungry ghost, you will see
tree-stumps and black shapes sticking up, shallow caves and black
patches. If you go there you will be born as a hungry ghost and
experience all kinds of suffering through hunger and thirst…

“If you are going to be born as a hell-being, you will hear
songs sung by those of evil karma, or you will have to enter
helplessly, or you will feel that you have gone into a dark land,
with black and red houses, black pits and black roads. If you go
there you will enter hell and experience unbearable suffering
through heat and cold from which you will never get out.”

When the moment arrives when this samsaric-womb-birth is inevitable, hopefully one has enough stored merit to make a good choice; of course there are such incorrigibly clouded-minds that are so filled with utter-damnable-darkness that the darkest regions of the netherworlds surely await them with glee.

It needs to be stressed, though, that for those with even a tiny inclination (despite their karmic background) to escape the worst of what these womb entrances have to offer—a favorable rebirth can still be in order, provided of course that intercessory supplications (either from oneself or a faithful companion who’s making the intercession on their behalf) are mindfully invoked. The following “Litania” (from a segment of the Dharmakaya Sutra) is a wonderful example of such a supplication that can empower one to remain “prior-to” any unfavorable womb entrance (*before any cycle of breath and re-birth*), indeed, a victory of spiritual over material consciousness; one that can even assure the stamp of becoming a non-returner.

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