Bardo:
Fifth Day

Listen without distraction. On the fifth day, a green light, the purified element of air, will shine, and at the same time Blessed Amoghasiddhi, lord of the circle, will appear before you from the green northern Realm, Accumulated Actions. His body is green in color, he holds a double vajra in his hand and sits on a throne of shang-shang birds soaring in the sky, embracing his consort Samaya-Tara. He is accompanied by the two male bodhisattvas Vajrapani and Sarvanivaranaviskambhin and the two female bodhisattvas Gandha and Naivedya, so that six buddha forms appear out of the space of rainbow light.

The green light of the skandha of concept in its basic purity, the action-accomplishing wisdom, brilliant green, luminous and clear, sharp and terrifying, adorned with discs of light, will come from the heart of Amoghasiddhi and his consort and pierce your heart so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. Do not be afraid of it. It is the spontaneous play of your own mind, so rest in the supreme state free from activity and care, in which there is no near or far, love or hate. At the same time, together with the wisdom light, the soft red light of the jealous gods, caused by envy, will also shine on you. Meditate so that there is no difference between love and hate. But if your intelligence is weak, then simply do not take pleasure in it.

At that time, under the influence of intense envy, you will be terrified and escape from the sharp, brilliant green light, but you will feel pleasure and attraction towards the soft red light of the jealous gods. At that moment, do not be afraid of the green light, sharp and brilliant, luminous and clear, but recognize it as wisdom. Let your mind rest in it, relaxed, in a state of non-action, and supplicate it with devotion, thinking, "it is the light- ray of Blessed Amoghasiddhi's compassion, I take refuge in it." It is the light-ray hook of Blessed Amoghassidhi's compassion, called the action-accomplishing wisdom, so long for it and do not escape. Even if you escape it will stay with you inseparably.

Do not be afraid of it, do not be attracted to the soft red light of the jealous gods. That is the inviting path of karma accumulated by your intense envy. If you are attracted to it you will fall into the realm of the jealous gods, and experience unbearable misery from fighting and quarreling. It is an obstacle blocking the path of liberation, so do not be attracted to it, but give up your unconscious tendencies. Feel longing for the luminous, brilliant green light, and say this inspiration-prayer with intense one-pointed concentration on Blessed Amoghasiddhi and his consort:

When through intense envy I wander in samsara,
on the luminous light-path of action-accomplishing wisdom,
may Blessed Amoghasiddhi go before me,
his consort Samaya-Tara behind me;
help me to cross the bardo's dangerous pathway
and bring me to the perfect buddha state.
(pp. 48-49)


colorgreen light
directionnorth
elementair
BuddhaAmoghasiddhi
familykarma
realmAccumulated Actions
skandhaconcept
wisdomaction-accomplishing wisdom
poisonenvy
temptationsoft red light of the jealous gods

Lastly, on the right, the northern side, is Amoghasiddhi of the karma family. Karma here means action, and is symbolised by a sword or by a double vajra. Envy is the poison associated with karma, arising from the insatiable ambition which drives this kind of activity, while its enlightened aspect is the wisdom which accomplishes all actions. (p. xix)


On the fifth day there is the karma family, which is the pure quality of air or wind. It is a green light; the colour of envy. From the Realm of Accumulated Actions the tathagata Amoghasiddhi appears. The karma family is associated with action and fulfilment and efficiency. It is powerful and nothing can stand in its way, therefore it is regarded as destructive. Amoghasiddhi means accomplishing all actions, all powers.

He is holding a crossed vajra in his hand. The vajra is a symbol of fulfilling all actions, tough and indestructible, as we saw in the vajra family. The crossed vajra represents the area of all activities completely perceived in all directions, panoramic fulfilment; often it is described as a multi-coloured vajra.

He is sitting on a seat of shang-shang, a kind of garuda; this particular type of garuda is a musician, he holds two cymbals in his hands and plays them as he carries Amoghasiddhi on his back. It is again a very powerful image and a symbol of fulfilment, a kind of super-bird, a transcendental bird who can fly and cover all areas, encompassing all space.

His consort is Samaya-Tara, the Saviour of Sacred Word or Samaya. There are different interpretations of samaya in the tantric teachings, but in this case it is the actual fulfilment of the living situation at that moment.

Then there is the bodhisattva Vajrapani, which means the Vajra-holder. Again it symbolizes tremendous energy; he is the bodhisattva of energy. And also Sarvanivaranaviskarnbhin, the Purifier of all Hindrances. If any hindrance happens in the process of karmic action, it comes from misunderstanding or inability to be in contact with the actual living situation, so the bodhisattva clears away these hindrances. In other words, this karma family contains both the absence of any hindrance, and the power of fulfilment.

Then there are the female bodhisattvas Gandha and Naivedya. Gandha is the bodhisattva of perfume, she carries essence made out of all sorts of herbs, which represents the sense-perceptions or feelings; in order to have efficient skillful activity you need developed sense-perception. Naivedya offers food, the food of meditation which nourishes skillful action.

The karma family transcends the skandha of concept, and is connected with the realm of the jealous gods. Again, as in any experience of wisdom as opposed to confusion, they both have the same quality. In this case they both have the quality of occupation, but wisdom completely covers the ground of all possibilities, seeing all possible ways of dealing with the situation in terms of subject and object, energy, texture, temperament, speed, space and so on, whereas confusion has a very limited way of dealing with situations, because it has never expanded itself or developed at all. Confusion is underdeveloped wisdom, primitive wisdom, while wisdom is completely developed. (pp. 21-22)


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