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Root Verses Of The Six Intermediate States



CONTEXT
According to this cycle of teachings, the circle of birth and death can be seen as being composed of six intermediate states. These six modalities of existence: our waking living state, dreaming, meditation, the time of death, and the two successive phases of the after-death state are defined in the glossary.
This poem emphasises the centrally important perspective that relates to each of these states. It is recommended that practitioners should memorise these verses and recite them repeatedly, while reflecting on their meaning, throughout their lives.
Herein is contained the Root Verses of the Six Intermediate States.1
I bow down to the Conquerors, the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities.
The root verses concerning the six intermediate states are as follows:
Alas, now as the intermediate state of living2 arises before me,
Renouncing laziness, for which there is no time in this life,
I must enter the undistracted path of study, reflection and meditation.
Taking perceptual experience and [the nature of] mind as the
path,
I must cultivate actualisation of the three buddha-bodies.
Now, having obtained a precious human body, this one time,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.
Alas, now as the intermediate state of dreams arises before me,
Renouncing the corpse-like, insensitive sleep of delusion,
I must enter, free from distracting memories, the state of the abiding nature of reality.
Cultivating [the experience of] inner radiance,
Through the recognition, emanation, and transformation of dreams,
I must not sleep like a beast,
But cherish the experiential cultivation which mingles sleep with actual [realisation].
Alas, now as the intermediate state of meditative concentration arises before me,
Renouncing the mass of distractions and confusions,
I must undistractedly enter a state,
Which is devoid of subjective apprehension, and free from the [two] extremes,
And attain stability in the stages of generation and perfection.
At this moment, having renounced activity,
And having attained a singular [concentration],
I must not fall under the sway of bewildering mental afflictions!
Alas, now as the intermediate state of the time of death3 arises before me,
Renouncing [all] attachment, yearning and subjective apprehension in every respect,
I must undistractedly enter the path, on which the oral teachings are clearly understood,
And eject my own awareness into the uncreated expanse of space.
Immediately upon separation from this compounded body of flesh and blood,
I must know [this body] to be like a transient illusion.
Alas, now as the intermediate state of reality4 arises before me,
Renouncing the merest sense of awe, terror or fear,
I must recognise all that arises to be awareness, manifesting
naturally of itself. Knowing [such sounds, lights and rays] to be visionary
phenomena of the intermediate state, At this moment, having reached this critical point, I must not fear the assembly of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities,
which manifest naturally!
Alas, now as the intermediate state of rebirth5 arises before me,
I must with one-pointed intention concentrate my mind,
And resolutely connect with the residual potency of my virtuous past actions.
I must obstruct the womb entrance and call to mind the methods of reversal.
This is the time when perseverance and purity of perception are imperative.
I must give up all jealousy and meditate on my spiritual teacher with consort.
From the mouth of the accomplished masters come these words:
‘O, [you], with your mind far away, thinking that death will not come,
Entranced by the pointless activities of this life,
If you were to return empty-handed now, would not your [life’s] purpose have been [utterly] confused?
Recognise what it is that you truly need! It is a sacred teaching [for liberation]!
So, should you not practise this divine [sacred] teaching, beginning from this very moment?’
And it is also said,
‘If I choose not to take the oral teachings of the spiritual teacher to heart,
Am I not the deceiver of myself?’
This completes the Root Verses of the Six Intermediate States.