As a child in Tibet, I sometimes found my mother, Delog Dawa Drolma, surrounded by an audience listening with utmost attention as she told of her journeys to other realms. Her face was radiant as she spoke of the deities in the pure realms; tears flowed as she described the miseries of hell beings and pretas, or tormented spirits. She told of encountering deceased relatives of certain people, and she relayed from the dead to the living concerns about unfinished business perhaps buried coins or jewels that could not be located or pleas for prayers and ceremonies. She also brought back spiritual advice from high lamas who had passed from this world, to which lamas on this side of death responded with deep respect.
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Is the master who holds the mantra, the king of the mantras of awareness. The tears I shed collected like water on the crystal floor. While you, Uncle, have gone to a pure realm without leaving a trace, this girl feels greater pain than if her heart had been torn out. Your other students and servants feel this way too. Uncle, I pray to you from my heart. You simply must return to the human world for the benefit of beings.
Until your enlightened embodiment reappears, this girl will not go anywhere. I have come here with deliberate intent. Having come, I have met with you; and having met with you, I have made my request. Let all that I ask of you have meaning, I beg you! Between me and the great lama Orgyan there is not the slightest difference. Even now, I give you my solemn word that those students and servants who are capable of supplicating me will become buddhas simultaneously.
Be vigilant in your compassion, understanding the six classes of beings to be your parents. Be vigilant in your practice of virtue, not tarnishing anything you undertake with selfish vested interests.
Be vigilant in your mantra repetition and meditation practices, not falling under the eight worldly influences, understanding the six-syllable mani mantra alone to be sufficient for your practice. Be vigilant in your formal practice, subsuming everything within your own true mind. When you return to the human realm, relate all of these messages to Tromge Kundun, to the households of the region, and to my dear students.
Do as I say, for even if they were to meet with me directly I would have nothing further to tell them. Performing three more prostrations, I left him. In a mansion of crystal with eight turquoise dragons holding gems in their claws and twining in the eight cardinal and inter-cardinal directions, I found a charming bed with pillows and bolsters, and there I lay down.
A dakini served as my attendant. I made many prostrations and offerings. If the merit that allows us to rely on him runs out, our suffering will be greater than that of a blind person who lacks a guide and falls over a precipice. But since he may suffer from slight illness before that time, it will help to perform a ritual for turning back the escort of the dakinis the same number of times as his age, offering an effigy of his body in the direction that the sun rises.
Then it is certain that he will live that long. Although much might be said of the manner in which my incarnation will be born after that, do not write these things down, for they require a seal of secrecy.
Return to the human realm and be of benefit to living beings. Before three years are out I shall be reborn there once again.
I chanted the Seven-Line Supplication aloud three times and made many specific prayers of aspiration to Padmasambhava, to my uncle, and to the Three Jewels. The many beings gathered there struck up music, and dakinis acted as my escorts. My body was staggering and my mind was filled with attachment, but there was nothing to be done. My tears fell uncontrollably as I made countless prayers of aspiration.
Then we headed back. The dakini Tsewang Barma met with me again. Since I did not take this with me, she pronounced a fine prayer of aspiration over me: May the teachings of the buddhas spread. May the lives of the lamas be stable.
May bliss and happiness come to living beings. May all attain awakened buddhahood. I also met the dakini Laykyi Wangmo-chhe again. She gave me white silk, rice, bundles of incense, and other things, and I stayed with her a short time. She said: May bliss and happiness come to this girl.
May there be no obstacles for this girl. May there be protection and refuge for this girl. May this girl be capable of benefiting living beings. Then I met once more with the divine consort Mandarava. A woman with a wrathful countenance poured a nectar that looked like charcoal water from her alms bowl and offered it to me. Mandarava said: May sentient beings be endowed with happiness. May they be free of all suffering.
May they never be separate from happiness. May they realize the equality of all phenomena. Next I met with the repa Namkha Odsal, who said, Precious bodhicitta: Where it has not arisen, may it arise.
Where it has arisen, may it never diminish but increase more and more! Om mani padme hung. Then I met with the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. She gave me a whitish liquid that looked like sap. Although she sang a song connected with the mantra containing the name of Padmasambhava, I have not written it down.
She offered the following prayer of aspiration: For this girl Dawa Drolma, in the ordinary world of the human realm, in the field of vision encompassed by her eyes, while in her corporeal body: In the east when she looks to the east, may she behold a crystal gatekeeper.
When she looks to the south, looks to the south, may she behold a golden gatekeeper. When she looks to the west, looks to the west, may she behold a coral gatekeeper.
When she looks to the north, looks to the north, may she behold a turquoise gatekeeper. When she sings a song of the vajra guru mantra may she behold Padma jungnay. When feast offerings are performed here may the girl come to visit this realm.
May she guide those sentient beings connected to her, physically or verbally, to the subcontinent of Chamara. One of the gate guardians let me to her. Owing to our strong connection, I wept out of fear that we would be separated, and the dakini herself also shed a few tears. She gave me a handful of grain. There is no fault in your having decisively cut your ties with the human realm and come here.
As we discussed my account of the pure realm, we wept over and over. As I continued, White Tara warned me against speaking any words of bad omen. I came again to the presence of Jamyang Khyentsei Wangpo. He deliberately appeared to be more cheerful than he had been before, and he gave a slight laugh.
He folded his palms together toward me, and White Tara said things such as the following: Whether you fold your hands or not, whether you have faith or not, this rebirth of the venerable White Tara is going to the ordinary world of humans. Further down, the regent Jampa Migyur sent an escort of five dakinis to meet me. In order to dispel my fear of the denizens of hell, he gave me a blessing cord with a vajra carved from a sheet of slate and a scorpion-shape knot carved in stone.
Then in the lee of a rock face I saw a pure realm born of great aspiration, a vast palace of crystal. On the eastern gate was a lock of crystal about the size of my sleeve. To the right and left above the gate were two images of Amitayus.
In between these I saw the six-syllable mani mantra written in three scripts one above the other: Tibetan, Lantza, and Wardhu. She and Yul-lha were very joyful, kissing and embracing one another around the neck just like people in the ordinary world.
On a high throne inside the palace sat a lama of advanced age with a white beard. A woman with her hair bound up in a turban was asking many questions of both of them concerning the Buddhist teachings.
There were about twenty thousand other women there, both laywomen and ordained nuns; all of them held metal butter lamps and chanted prayers of aspiration. Both our parents have taken rebirth in Zangri Kharmar, where they are benefiting beings as powerful tantric practitioners.
Your name when you were little was Yudra Nyingpo; what you are called now is not clear to me, but you have committed both virtuous and harmful actions in this lifetime. While it is difficult not to perform such a mixture of actions as an ordinary mortal in cyclic existence, the important thing is that you have for once attained a human birth. The time is ripe to realize the potential of this, so recite the six-syllable mantra and do not fail to go into retreat occasionally.
Then without doubt you will be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on Chamara immediately upon passing from this life. This, then, was my brief vision of the Mountain of Glory. I, a humble daughter of the clan of Lama Tromge, Dawa Drolma by name, died for a period of five days and experienced visions of the Mountain of Glory, Potala Mountain, and other realms.
These accounts are not embellished with the words of the learned, or adorned with the stylistic devices of classical poetry, or fitted to the rhythms of proper meter. But neither have I made the mysterious words of the dakinis unintelligible. I confess whatever faults they contain to the hosts of dakinis and dharma guardians, and may the virtue be cause for all those who hear even my name and who are devotedly interested in these pure visionary experiences to be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara.
Good fortune, good fortune, good fortune! Sarva mangalam — may everything be auspicious.
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Revered lamas of high station, Rulers with great power and influence, seated on their thrones, And wealthy guardians of fortunes, who manipulate happiness and hoard When they die and go to the realms of hell, There are no multitudes of monks gathered in pomp and splendor, No parades of soldiers with swords and weapons, No great stores of food or wealth for making secret bribes. Lofty status, ruthless might and power, the wealth of the rich, the lovely bodies of the beautiful, artful wit, and clever explanations cannot beguile or fool the lord of death. Has anyone in this human realm not died but stayed on? Has anyone not been separated from family and friends? Has anyone not fallen from a lofty height? Better for you all if there were such people!
Journey to Realms beyond Death
Journey to Realms Beyond Death