Six Bardos

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six bardos (bar do). Bardo, "intermediate" or "transition" state, commonly refers to the transitional state between death and the next rebirth. Texts discuss six bardos: the bardos of birth and life (skye gnas rang bzhin gyi bar do); of meditative concentration (bsam gtan gyi bar do); of the dream-state (rmi lam gyi bar do); of the moment of death ('chi kha'i bar do); of the absolute nature (chos nyid bar do); and of taking a new existence (srid pa'i bar do). [MR-ShabkarNotes]


  1. The bardo of this life (skye gnas gyi bar do)/ The natural bardo of this life (skye gnas rang bzhin gyi bar do)
  2. The bardo of the dream state (rmi lam gyi bar do) /
  3. The bardo of the meditation state (bsam gtan gyi bar do)
  4. The bardo of dying ('chi kha'i bar do)/ The painful bardo of dying
  5. The bardo of dharmata (chos nyid bar do)
  6. The bardo of becoming (srid pa'i bar do)/ The karmic bardo of becoming (srid pa'i las kyi bar do)

RY


The Bardo Root Verses


Homage to the conquerors, the peaceful and wrathful deities.

Here are the root verses for the six bardo states.

Kyema (kye ma), now that the bardo of this life dawns upon me,
I will stop being lazy and wasting my life,
But instead enter the path of undistracted learning, reflection and meditation.
While training in appearances being mind, I will refine my realization of the three kayas.
Now while I have this once found a precious human body,
It is not the time to squander it on distractions.

Kyema, now that the bardo of dreaming dawns upon me,
I will give up the corpse-like, careless sleep of ignorance,
And instead rest in the natural state of undistracted presence.
By capturing the dreams, I will train in magical transformations and luminosity.
Instead of sleeping like an animal,
I will treasure the practice of mingling luminosity with deep sleep.

Kyema, now that the bardo of meditation dawns upon me,
I will cast aside all types of deluded wandering,
And instead enter the boundless state of undistracted nonclinging.
I will attain steadiness in both development and completion.
Now while I practice one-pointedly, having given up activities,
I will not get caught up in deluded emotions.

Kyema, now that the bardo of dying dawns upon me,
I will cast aside all attachments, clinging and fixation,
And instead enter the path of remembering the instructions undistractedly.
I will suspend my mind in the nonarising expanse of space,
And when about to separate from the material body of flesh and blood,
I will know it to be an impermanent, magical illusion.

Kyema, now that the bardo of dharmata dawn upon me,
I will cast aside all feelings of fear and panic
And instead recognize whatever arises as the self-display of awareness.
I will recognize it all to be the nature of the bardo.
When the crucial time befalls me
I shall not fear the peaceful and wrathful deities, my self-display.

Kyema, now that the bardo of becoming dawn upon me,
I will keep my mind focused on the single goal
And stay firmly connected with the force of my good karma.
I will remember to block the wombs and to turn back from them.
Since this is a time to persevere and keep pure perception,
I shall cast aside envy and instead visualize the guru with consort.

With the insensitive attitude that there is plenty of time,
While striving and struggling at the pointless aims of this life,
If I now return empty-handed, I shall have confused my goal.
Since the sacred Dharma is my main priority,
Shouldn’t I rather practice the Dharma right now?
Since this is what my gracious guru taught me,
If I don’t keep his instructions in mind,
Won’t I just be fooling myself?

This completes the root verses for the six bardos.

From Padmasambhava’s Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, revealed by the tertön Karma Lingpa. RY