Bardo:
Third Day

Listen without distraction. On the third day, a yellow light, the purified element of earth, will shine, and at the same time Blessed Ratnasambhava will appear before you from the yellow southern Realm, The Glorious. His body is yellow in color, he holds a wish-fulfilling jewel in his hand and sits on a horse throne, embracing his consort Mamaki. He is accompanied by the two male bodhisattvas Akasagarbha and Samantabhadra and the two female bodhisattvas Mala and Dhupa, so that six buddha forms appear out of the space of rainbow light.

The yellow light of the skandha of feeling in its basic purity, the wisdom of equality, brilliant yellow, adorned with discs of light, luminous and clear, unbearable to the eyes, will come towards you from the heart of Ratnasambhava and his consort and pierce your heart so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. At the same time, together with the wisdom light, the soft blue light of human beings will also pierce your heart. At that time, under the influence of pride, you will be terrified and escape from the sharp, clear yellow light, but you will feel an emotion of pleasure and attraction towards the soft blue light of human beings. At that moment, do not be afraid of the yellow light, luminous and clear, sharp and bright, but recognize it as wisdom. Let your mind rest in it, relaxed, in a state of non-action, and be drawn to it with longing. If you recognize it as the natural radiance of your own mind, even though you do not feel devotion and do not say the inspiration-prayer, all the forms and lights and rays will merge inseparably with you, and you will attain enlightenment. If you cannot recognize it as the natural radiance of your own mind, supplicate it with devotion, thinking, "It is the light-ray of Blessed Ratnasambhava's compassion, I take refuge in it." It is the light-ray hook of Blessed Ratnasambhava's compassion, so feel longing for it.

Do not take pleasure in the soft blue light of human beings. That is the inviting light-path of unconscious tendencies, accumulated by your intense pride. If you are attracted to it you will fall into the human realm and experience birth, old age, death and suffering, and never escape from the muddy swamp of samsara. It is an obstacle blocking the path of liberation, so do not look at it, but give up pride, give up your unconscious tendencies. Do not be attracted to it, do not yearn for it. Feel longing for the luminous, brilliant yellow light, and say this inspiration-prayer with intense one-pointed concentration on Blessed Ratnasambhava:

When through intense pride I wander in samsara,
on the luminous light-path of the wisdom of equality,
may Blessed Ratnasambhava go before me,
his consort Mamaki behind me;
help me to cross the bardo's dangerous pathway
and bring me to the perfect buddha state.
(pp. 44-45)


coloryellow light
directionsouth
elementearth
BuddhaRatnasambhava
familyratna
realmGlorious Realm
skandhafeeling
wisdomequality and equanimity - perception
poisonpride
temptationsoft blue light of human beings

In the southern side of the mandala, drawn to the left, is Ratnasambhava, ruler of the ratna family. Ratna means jewel, and in particular the wish-fulfilling jewel which grants all desires. So here the poison is pride, resulting from possessing riches of whatever kind. Its antidote is the wisdom of equality and equanimity. (pp. xviii-xix)


In the process of this sequence of days, the dharmadhatu quality of Vairocana has provided space, and the quality of Vajrasattva Aksobhya has provided solidity. Now the vision of Ratnasambhava is described. Ratnasambhava is the central figure of the ratna family, which consists of richness and dignity, the expansion of wealth into other areas, fundamentally solid, rich and expansive. The negative aspect of ratna quality is taking advantage of richness in order to march into other territories, expanding into whatever space exists, over-emphasising generosity to the point where there is a blockage of communication.

Ratnasambhava is yellow in colour, which represents the earth; fertility in the sense of wealth and richness. He is holding the wish-fulfilling gem, which also means the absence of poverty. And Mamaki, his consort, represents water; in order to have rich fertile soil the earth needs water.

The bodhisattva Akasagarbha is the Essence of Space. With such rich ground you also need space to create perspective. And there is Samantabhadra, the All-Good, who is the basic strength, the organic quality of the whole mandala of the ratna family....Samantabhadra is also associated with aspiration and positive thinking, a basic confidence and positive way of looking at the future.

Ratnasambhava is accompanied by the female bodhisattva Mala, the goddess who offers all sorts of adornments, garlands, necklaces, bracelets and so on, to bring out the highlights of the earthy quality of ratna. The other female bodhisattva is Dhupa, the goddess who carries incense. She represents smell, scent, the environmental situation that earth creates; the fresh air, air without pollution, and the room for vegetation to grow and rivers to run.

The light associated with the ratna family is the yellow light of equanimity, non-discriminating light. But it seems as though all that detail and richness of the ratna mandala is too elaborate, too majestic, so there is a possibility that one would rather run into a very simple and self-satisfied little corner, and that little area is pride, the dim light of the human world. (pp. 18-19)


Bardo Index Page     Kay's Spirit Page     Kay's Home Page
Disclaimer and Credits

Last modified on February 7, 2005 by Kay Keys (kay@kaykeys.net)