THE FUNDAMENTAL TEACHINGS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM
All possible conditions, or states, or realms of sangsaric existence,
heavens, hells, and worlds, are entirely dependent upon phenomena, or
in other words, are naught but phenomena.
All phenomena are transitory, are illusionary, are unreal, and non-existent
save in the sangsaric mind perceiving them.
In reality there are no such beings anywhere as gods, or demons, or spirits,
or sentient creatures--all alike being phenomena dependent upon a cause;
This cause is a yearning or thirsting after sensations, after the unstable
So long as this cause is not overcome by Enlightenment, death follows birth
and birth death unceasingly--even as the wise Socrates believed.
The after-death existence is but a continuation, under changed conditions,
of the phenomena-born existence of the human world--both states alike being karmic.
The nature of the existence intervening between death and rebirth in this
or any other world is determined by antecedent actions;
Psychologically speaking, it is a prolonged dream-like state, in what may
be called the fourth dimension of space, filled with hallucinatory visions
directly resultant from the mental-content of the percipient, happy and
heaven-like if the karma be good, miserable and hell-like if the karma be bad;
Unless Enlightenment be won, rebirth in the human world, directly from the
Bardo-world or from any other world or from any paradise or hell to which
karma has led, is inevitable.
Enlightenment results from realizing the unreality of sangsara, of existence;
Such realizing is possible in the human world, or at the important moment
of death in the human world, or during the whole of the after-death or
Bardo-state, or in certain of the non-human realms;
Training in yoga, i.e. in control of the thinking processes so as to be
able to concentrate the mind in an effort to reach Right Knowledge,
Such training can best be had under a human guru, or teacher.
The Greatest of Gurus known to mankind in this cycle of time is
Gautama the Buddha.
His doctrine is not unique, but is the same doctrine which has been
proclaimed in the human world for the gaining of salvation, for the
Deliverance from the Cycle of Rebirth and Death, for the Crossing of
the Ocean of Sangsara, for the Realization of Nirvana, since immemorial
time, by a long and illustrious Dynasty of Buddhas, who were Gautama's
Lesser spiritually enlightened beings, Bodhisattvas and gurus, in this
world or in other worlds, though still not freed from the Net of Illusion,
can nevertheless, bestow divine grace and power upon the shishya [disciple]
who is less advanced upon the Path than themselves.
The Goal is and can only be Emancipation from Sangsara.
Such Emancipation comes from the Realization of Nirvana.
Nirvana is non-sangsaric, being beyond all paradises, heavens, hells, and worlds.
It is the Ending of Sorrow.
It is Reality