Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Having Once Died And Returned To Life, Tibetan Biographies Of The Journey Beyond Death, Page 1

The de-lok (Īdas log) is a figure in the literature of Tibetan popular religion who Īdiesā (Īdas), enters the intermediate bardo state, tours the netherworld, and Īreturnsā (log) to report his or her afterlife experiences and to convey messages about the importance of moral conduct and religious commitment. Biographies of these individuals generally emphasize three points: the Buddhist principles of suffering and impermanence, the fluctuations of karma, and the means by which suffering can be eliminated. As such, the de-lok accounts are in accord with the basic teachings of Buddhism. Unlike the more formal texts included in the genres of Tibetan death literature, such as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which are meant to be used primarily as guides for the deceased, recitations and readings of the de-lok biographies are aimed exclusively at a living lay audience. While parallels can be found between these popular texts and those of a more technical nature, the de-lok biographies rarely contain all of the details described in the advanced theoretical works. In addition, it is interesting to note that recent comparative and cross-cultural studies have demonstrated that the death-related events recounted in these Tibetan biographies are remarkably similar to the personal accounts of near-death experience (NDE) reported in the United States and Europe.
The After-Death Visions of Lama Jampa Delek 

Tibetan: bLa ma byams pa bde legs kyis bar do dang bskal baāi gzigs snang dang chos kyi rgyal po phrin bsur rnams 

Compiler: Don Īgrub rdo rje  In Three ĪDas log Stories. Delhi: Don Īgrub rdo rje, 1977. I-Tib-1742; 78- 900961.

Lama Jampa Delek's story begins in 1596 when, during meditative retreat, he is struck unexpectedly with a bizarre sickness. Feeling weak and emaciated, Lama Jampa loses the warmth in his body and begins to spit bloody phlegm. The doctors are called to administer medicine and perform the various curative rites, but to no avail. Several days later, we are told, Lama Jampa dies. It is here that the text begins to relate the many physical sensations and visonary experiences of the dying process in great detail. For example, as his body is deteriorating Lama Jampa grows increasingly sluggish and confused. Anxious and afraid, he withdraws into complete depression and cries out, "Please lift me up!," at which point he perceives a faint shimmering light like a translucent haze of heat rising from the earth. Later, he is met by a charismatic female figure who takes him on a tour of the bardo realm and convinces him to mend his sinful ways and to help others do the same.

next page
return to index