Calling on the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
for Rescue

O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

dwelling in the ten directions,
compassionate, all-knowing,
with the five kinds of eyes,
loving, protectors of all sentient beings,
come to this place by the power of compassion
and accept these material and mental offerings.

O Compassionate Ones,

you possess understanding wisdom,
loving compassion, effective action,
and protecting power beyond the reach of thought.

O Compassionate Ones,

this person, ______________,
is going from this world to the other shore,
she is leaving this world,
she is dying without choice,
she has no friends,
she is suffering greatly,
she has no refuge,
she has no protector,
she has no allies,
the light of this life has set,
she is going to another world,
she is entering dense darkness,
she is falling down a deep precipice,
she is entering a thick forest,
she is pursued by the power of karma,
she is entering a great wilderness,
she is swept away by a great ocean,
she is driven on by the wind of karma,
she is going where there is no solid ground,
she is embarking on a great battle,
she is seized by the great evil spirit,
she is terrified by the messengers of the Lord of Death,
she is entering existence after existence because of her karma,
she is helpless, the time has come
when she must go on alone without a friend.

O Compassionate Ones,

be a refuge to her, ______________,
who has no refuge,
protect her, defend her,
keep her from the great darkness of the bardo,
turn her aside from the great hurricane of karma,
protect her from the great fear of the Lord of Death,
deliver her from the long and dangerous pathway of the bardo.

O Compassionate Ones,

do not let your compassion be small, rescue her,
do not let her go to the three lower realms,
do not forget your former vows
but quickly send out the power of your compassion.

O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,

do not let your compassion and skillful means
for her, ______________, be small,
seize her with compassion,
do not let a sentient being fall into the power of evil karma.

May the Three Jewels
be a refuge from suffering in the bardo.

from Francesca Freemantle and Chogyam Trungpa, The Tibetan Book of of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo (Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1975), pp. 96-97.

Note: The passages are as quoted, except that the spelling has been Americanized("realization" instead of "realisation," "center" instead of "centre," and so on) and the dying person has been generalized to include women (no "O son of a noble family" nor "sir" direct addresses). In fact, in this particular version, the generic "she" has been substituted for the generic "he" and should be understood to signify a human being.

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Last modified on February 7, 2005 by Kay Keys (