How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

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How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby EnirehtacNI » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:41 pm

Hi guys,

Yesterday I bought "The Dhammapada" and "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" but I'm wondering how I actually read "The Tibetan Book of the Dead". I'm a beginner Buddhist I'd say, so some of the words used in the book I don't understand the meaning of. Should it be read front to back? Dipped in and out of? or should it be chanted either outside or into myself?

Also what do you guys think of the book or books? Are they useful books to have?

Thanks for any help,
Cat
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Euclid » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:47 pm

The Dhammapada is fantastic. It definitely belongs on your bookshelf. I've never read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and I don't know how many people on here will be able to help you with your problem sorry - it's more Vajrayana than Theravada. Try asking for advice on Dharma Wheel, Dhamma Wheel's sister site! They're probably more qualified to help you out.
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:57 pm

I've read the tibetan book of living and dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Part of it is based on the book you refered to. It's very interesting. I'd like to know how much of it is true.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Aloka » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:57 pm

To be quite honest I don't think 'The Tibetan Book of the dead' is of much use to people who aren't Tibetan Buddhist practitioners other than for curiosity value.

Its full of a bewildering array of deities and various kinds of instructions. such as "O child of noble family,after the 30 wrathful herukas, the 28 yogini will emerge in turn from your brain and appear before you, with various heads and bearing various symbols. Do not be afraid of them but recognise whatever appears as a play of the mind, your own projections.." etc (from the Francesca Freemantle and Chogyam Trungpa book published by Shambhala )

The Dhammapada is a very worthwhile book to have though.
Last edited by Aloka on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby EnirehtacNI » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:58 pm

Excellent thanks very much. I'll try over there and see. :)

Cat
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Bonsai Doug » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:07 pm

Although the tradition I follow is Theravada, I read the Book of the Dead just out of curiosity.

As pointed out, it's not a text for those outside Tibetan Buddhism, as it relates to very specific deities, rituals, etc.

That being said, I did find some wonderful quotes throughout the book. One in particular I like:

"Now, having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path."

I generally carry a copy of The Dhammapada with me - wonderful, to-the-point teachings.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:46 pm

I read the tibetan book of dead out of curosity, the matter of crux which I could get was "Mindfulness of phenomenon" and "observing Impermanenance and anatta nature" of existance during various phases of death process and the beyond.

Regards

Parth
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Re: How do I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead?

Postby Vardali » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:28 pm

I read the Tibetan Book of the Dead after my ex-bf died in 2006.
It actually rekindled my interest in Buddhism. However, it has a lot of cultural elements (as one can tell by its title, really :) ) that I found pretty alien. In a way, I found it a very interesting book to re-engage with Buddhism but it also led to an early conclusion that Tibetan Buddhism isn't "my way".

Which then sort of got me onto the search for alternatives, by which I ended up, quite satisfactorily imo, with Theravada :tongue:

So, it's not a bad book for beginners if you want to get some general feel of what you can relate to and what not. You can always take it from there :reading:
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