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Liberation (thar pa): to be free from suffering and the cycle of existences. This is not yet the attainment of full Buddhahood. [MR]

Liberation (grol ba/ sgrol ba)

  • In a general Buddhist context, the term liberation (Tib. grol ba) refers to freedom from the two obscurations, which give rise to the sufferings associated with rebirth in cylic existence. These are 1) the dissonant mental states, headed by delusion, attachment, aversion, pride, and envy, which are the basis of the mistaken belief in self-identity, and 2) the misrepresentation of the nature of phenomea, through which the emptiness of the subject and object of perception is obscured. It is a characteristic of all the vehicles of Buddhism that they are endowed with the means of liberating sentient beings from rebirth in cyclic existence through their meditative and purificatory techniques expounded in the sūtra and tantra texts. In addition, according to the rNying-ma school, liberation may also be engendered by the harnassing of the senses in four unique ways- by seeing (mthong grol) objects which represent the buddha-body, speech and mind, by hearing (thos grol) descriptions of the intermediate states of reality and rebirth read aloud at the time of death, by wearing (brtags grol) a consecrated amulet containing the inscribed mantras of the peaceful and wrathful deities at the moment of death, or by tasting consecrated medicines (myang grol). GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)