Bardo:
Sixth Day

Listen without distraction. Even though you were shown when the light of each of the five families appeared until yesterday, under the influence of bad tendencies you were bewildered by them, and so you have remained here until now. If you had recognized the natural radiance of the wisdoms of those five families as your own projection, you would have dissolved into rainbow light in the body of one of the five families and become a sambhogakaya buddha, but because you did not recognize you have gone on wandering here until this time. So now watch without distraction.

Now the five families will appear all together, and what is called the four wisdoms combined will come to invite you; recognize them. The four colored lights of the four purified elements will shine; at the same time the buddha Vairocana and his consort will appear just as before from the central Realm, All-Pervading Circle, the buddha Vajrasattva with his consort and attendants will appear from the eastern Realm, Complete Joy; the buddha Ratnasambhava with his consort and attendants will appear from the southern Realm, The Glorious; the buddha Amitabha with his consort and attendants will appear from the western Blissful Realm of Lotuses; and the buddha Amoghasiddhi with his consort and attendants will appear from the northern Realm, Perfected Actions, out of the space of rainbow light.

Beyond those buddhas of the five families the wrathful guardians of the gates will also appear.... The six sages, the Blessed Ones, will also appear....Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri, the All-Good Father and Mother of the Buddhas, will also appear. These forty-two deities of the sambhogakaya will emerge from within your own heart and appear before you; they are the pure form of your projections, so recognize them.

Those realms too do not exist anywhere else, but lie in the four directions of your heart with the center as fifth, and now they emerge from within your heart and appear before you. Those images too do not come from anywhere else, but are the primordial spontaneous play of your mind, so recognize them in this way. Those images are neither large nor small, but perfectly proportioned. They each have their own adornments, their costume, their color, their posture, their throne, and their symbol. They are spread out in five couples; each of the five is encircled by a halo of the five colored lights. The whole mandala, the male and female deities of the families, will appear completely, all at once. Recognize them, for they are your yidams.

From the hearts of those buddhas of the five families and their consorts, the light-rays of the four wisdoms will each shine upon your heart, very fine and clear, like sunbeams stretched out.

First the wisdom of the dharmadhatu, a cloth of luminous white light-rays, brilliant and terrifying, will shine upon your heart from the heart of Vairocana. In this cloth of light-rays a sparkling white disc will appear, very clear and bright, like a mirror facing downwards, adorned with five discs like itself, ornamented with discs and smaller discs, so that it has no center or circumference.

From the heart of Vajrasattva, on the luminous blue cloth of the mirror-like wisdom, will appear a blue disc like a turquoise bowl face-downward, adorned with discs and smaller discs.

From the heart of Ratnasambhava, on the luminous yellow cloth of the wisdom of equality, will appear a yellow disc like a golden bowl face-downwards, adorned with discs and smaller discs.

From the heart of Amitabha, on the luminous red cloth of the wisdom of discrimination, will appear a sparkling red disc like a coral bowl face-downwards, shining with the deep light of wisdom, very clear and bright, adorned with five discs like itself, ornamented with discs and smaller discs, so that it has no center or circumference.

They too will shine upon your heart.

These also have arisen out of the spontaneous play of your own mind, they have not come from anywhere else; so do not be attracted to them, do not fear them, but stay relaxed in a state free from thought. In that state all the images and light-rays will merge with you and you will attain enlightenment.

The green light of action-accomplishing wisdom does not appear, because the energy of your wisdom is not fully matured.

This is called the experience of the four wisdoms combined, the passage-way of Vajrasattva. At this time, remember your guru's previous teachings on the showing.

If you remember the meaning of the showing you will have faith from your earlier experiences, and so you will recognize them, like the meeting of mother and son or like seeing old friends again. As though cutting off doubt, you will recognize your own projections and enter the pure, changeless path of the dharmata; and through that faith a continuous meditative state will arise, and you will dissolve into the great self-existing form of wisdom and become a sambhogakaya buddha who never falls back.

Together with the wisdom lights, the lights of the impure, illusory six realms will shine: the soft white light of the gods, the soft red light of the jealous gods, the soft blue light of human beings, the soft green light of the animals, the soft yellow light of the hungry ghosts and the soft smoky light of hell-beings. These six will shine together with the pure wisdom lights. At that moment, do not grasp or be attracted to any of them, but stay relaxed in a state free from thought. If you are afraid of the pure wisdom lights and attracted to the impure lights of the six realms, you will take on the body of a creature of the six realms, and you will grow weary, for there is never any escape from the great ocean of the misery of samsara.

If you have not been shown by a guru's instruction you will be afraid of those images and pure wisdom lights, and attracted to the impure lights of samsara; do not do so, but feel devotion to the pure wisdom lights, sharp and brilliant. Think with devotion, "The light-rays of the wisdom and compassion of the Blessed Ones, the buddhas of the five families, have come to seize me with compassion; I take refuge in them." Do not be attracted to the lights of the six realms of illusion, do not yearn for them, but say this inspiration-prayer with intense one-pointed concentration on the buddhas of the five families and their consorts:

When through the five poisons I wander in samsara,
on the luminous light-path of the four wisdoms combined,
may the conquerors, the five families, go before me,
the consorts of the five families behind me,
save me from the light-paths of the six impure realms,
help me to cross the bardo's dangerous pathway
and bring me to the five pure buddha-realms.
(pp. 49-53)


color 
directionall 5
Buddhaall 5 families
wisdomconsciousness
poisonignorance
temptationsoft white light of the gods

Next there is a crescendo of all the forty-two peaceful divinities. The five tathagatas, the four guardians of the gates, the four goddesses and the six realms of the world appear simultaneously. We have a situation of basic bewilderment within which the five tathagatas fill up all the space, all the directions, as well as any corners of emotional situations; there is no gap, no escape or sidetrack of any kind, because the four gates are also guarded by the four types of herukas....

Moreover, there are the female principles of the gate-keepers. There is the female principle with a hook, to catch you like a fish if you try to run away. Or if you try to escape in terms of pride, to fill up all the space and not allow any other possibilities, the goddess with a lasso ties you from head to toe leaving you without any chance to expand. Another possibility is to run away through passion which is based on speed, but then the goddess with the chain chains you down so that you cannot move your feet and run away. And if you try to frighten anybody by aggression and make your way out, then the goddess with a very loud bell subdues your loud scream of aggression and your deep voice of anger.

Then you are reduced to facing the six realms of the world: the buddha of the gods, the buddha of the jealous gods, the buddha of the human beings, the buddha of the animals, the buddha of the hungry ghosts and the buddha of the hell realm. All these visions appear from your heart centre, which is associated with emotion, passion and pleasure. (pp. 22-24)


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