The Book of the Dead, which was placed in the coffin or burial chamber of the deceased, was part of a tradition of funerary texts which includes the earlier Pyramid Textsand Coffin Texts, which were painted onto objects, not written on papyrus. Some of the spells included in the book were drawn from these older works and date to the 3rd millennium BCE. Other spells were composed later in Egyptian history, dating to the Third Intermediate Period(11th to 7th centuries BCE). A number of the spells which make up the Book continued to be separately inscribed on tomb walls and sarcophagi, as the spells from which they originated always had been.
There was no single or canonical Book of the Dead. The surviving papyri contain a varying selection of religious and magical texts and vary considerably in their illustration. Some people seem to have commissioned their own copies of the Book of the Dead, perhaps choosing the spells they thought most vital in their own progression to the afterlife. The Book of the Dead was most commonly written in hieroglyphic or hieratic script on a papyrus scroll, and often illustrated with vignettesdepicting the deceased and their journey into the afterlife.
The finest example we have of the Egyptian Book of the Dead in antiquity is the Papyrus of Ani. Ani was an Egyptian scribe. It was discovered by Sir E. A. Wallis Budgein 1888 and was taken to the British Museum, where it currently resides.
acquired by E. A. Wallis Budge, as described in his autobiography By Nile and Tigris.
The Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth. The text also includes chapters on the signs of deathand rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place.
- bar do: ”intermediate state”, ”transitional state”, ”in-between state”, ”liminal state” (which is synonymous with the Sanskrit antarabhāva). Valdez: ”Used loosely, the term ’bardo’ refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth.” Valdez: ”[The] concept arose soon after the Buddha’s passing, with a number of earlier Buddhist groups accepting the existence of such an intermediate state, while other schools rejected it.”
- thos grol: thos means hearing as well as philosophical studies. Grol means ”liberation”, which is synonymous with the Sanskrit word bodhi, ”awakening”, ”understanding”, ”enlightenment”, and synonymous with the term nirvana, ”blowing out”, ”extinction”, ”the extinction of illusion”.
Origins and datingEdit
According to Tibetan tradition, the Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate Statewas composed in the 8th century by Padmasambhava, written down by his primary student, Yeshe Tsogyal, buried in the Gampo hills in central Tibet and subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa, in the 14th century.
bar do thos grolEdit
- ”Great Liberation through Hearing: The Supplication of the Bardo of Dharmata” (chos nyid bar do’i gsol ’debs thos grol chen mo), the bardo of dharmata (including the bardo of dying);
- ”Great Liberation through Hearing: The Supplication Pointing Out the Bardo of Existence” (strid pa’i bar do ngo sprod gsol ’debs thos grol chen mo), the bardo of existence.
Within the texts themselves, the two combined are referred to as Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, Great Liberation through Hearing, or just Liberation through Hearing.[note 2]
It is part of a larger terma cycle, Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones (zab-chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol, also known as kar-gling zhi-khro), popularly known as ”Karma Lingpa’s Peaceful and Wrathful Ones.”
The Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation is known in several versions, containing varying numbers of sections and subsections, and arranged in different orders, ranging from around ten to thirty-eight titles. The individual texts cover a wide range of subjects, including meditation instructions, visualizations of deities, liturgies and prayers, lists of mantras, descriptions of the signs of death, indications of future rebirth, and texts such as the bar do thos grol that are concerned with the bardo-state.
The Bardo Thodol differentiates the intermediate state between lives into three bardos:
- The chikhai bardo or ”bardo of the moment of death”, which features the experience of the ”clear light of reality”, or at least the nearest approximation of which one is spiritually capable;
- The chonyid bardo or ”bardo of the experiencing of reality”, which features the experience of visions of various Buddhaforms, or the nearest approximations of which one is capable;
- The sidpa bardo or ”bardo of rebirth”, which features karmically impelled hallucinations which eventually result in rebirth, typically yab-yum imagery of men and women passionately entwined.
The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State also mentions three other bardos:[note 3]
- ”Life”, or ordinary waking consciousness;
- ”Dhyana” (meditation);
- ”Dream”, the dream state during normal sleep.
Together these ”six bardos” form a classification of states of consciousness into six broad types. Any state of consciousness can form a type of ”intermediate state”, intermediate between other states of consciousness. Indeed, one can consider any momentary state of consciousness a bardo, since it lies between our past and future existences; it provides us with the opportunity to experience reality, which is always present but obscured by the projections and confusions that are due to our previous unskillful actions.
Evans-Wentz’s The Tibetan Book of the DeadEdit
The bar do thos grol is known in the west as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a title popularized by Walter Evans-Wentz’s edition, but as such virtually unknown in Tibet. The Tibetan Book of the Dead was first published in 1927 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Walter Y. Evans-Wentz chose this title because of the parallels he found with the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
According to John Myrdhin Reynolds, Evans-Wentz’s edition of the Tibetan Book of the Deadintroduced a number of misunderstandings about Dzogchen. In fact, Evans-Wentz collected seven texts about visualization of the after-death experiences and he introduced this work collection as ”The Tibetan Book of Death.” Evans-Wentz was well acquainted with Theosophy and used this framework to interpret the translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which was largely provided by two Tibetan lamas who spoke English, Lama Sumdhon Paul and Lama Lobzang Mingnur Dorje. Evans-Wentz was not familiar with Tibetan Buddhism, and his view of Tibetan Buddhism was ”fundamentally neither Tibetan nor Buddhist, but Theosophical and Vedantist.” He introduced a terminology into the translation which was largely derived from Hinduism, as well as from his
- Notera att Ammit som ska förinta själen om den inte är värdig, har samma sammansättning som flodhäst-gudinnan som är havande med lejontassar o krokodilsvans/mun. ↵