Q: How can we remind ourselves that everything is just illusion especially during the Bardo of ourselves, to avoid being distracted and being dragged into one of the six realms of samsara? Would you give us some advice?
A: I think to be liberated from the bardo, is that, first, if you have practiced very good Powa. That is one solution. And then another solution is having absolute devotion to your guru. And if you don’t have any guru in your whole life, then having a faith and complete trust in Avalokiteśvara or Amitabha, that kind of Bodhisattva and Buddha, not something in between. Absolute belief and devotion and dedication to the enlightened beings only. That is the most important.
Because many people when they think about life and death, they find their own solution, they make their own religion which is kind of very stupid. So, life and death will continue as a circle of life, as a circle of samsara, as that will all continue. Life and death will continue. It’s not an end of everything. It’s a beginning of something.
It’s a beginning of something greater and something better. There is a change that you can help other people. So, instead of thinking that Bardo is the end of our journey, instead of thinking like that, you should think it’s a beginning of something. To inspire yourself, to encourage yourself in that direction, I think that is very important.
Like myself, I believe in Six-armed Mahakala and I believe in Avalokiteśvara, and without a doubt, the Lord Buddha as well, and most importantly, to my guru. So that’s one thing that we have to keep in mind. There may be lot of practices, like Bardo Thodrol, the guru comes and speaks to you about the bardo, and give you the instructions. Or You yourself had practiced and had received the teaching previously during your retreat time. If these two, if you did not have the fortunate to have or receive this kind of teachings, then at least having a complete devotion to Amitabha, Avalokiteśvara or your guru if you have one, and then to the protector. So, keep it simple, keep it pure.
And the most beneficial of all, for your bardo, for the liberation from the samsara, is your belief in the dharma and your belief in the truth. Because when you have the absolute realization to the Lord Buddha and to the Dharma, then there is nothing that can hold you back. That’s the most important. So, if you have that kind of complete trust and devotion to the Buddha Dharma, and because that you have realized the meaning of truthfulness, then there is no longer any illusion that is left due to all the practices that you have done throughout your life.
I’m not saying large number of accumulating of mantras or large number of accumulating of empowerments or practices. What I meant is your dedication, your commitment, your belief to the dharma 150% or 190% even you call it. So, when you have that, then there is nothing from the bardo that reflect you about the past and about the present situation, there is nothing to hold you back. So that’s something we have to keep in mind.
With love and respect from your Kalu Rinpoche
Live talk Q&A on Facebook, Sep. 2nd 2018