Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, October 04, 2013

Translation of Abitabha mantra 

As I mentioned earlier, my friend Helen is reading from "The Tibetan Book of Living
and Dying" to help her partner Steve in his transition from life to death.  This book is a somewhat condensed version of the longer "Tibetan Book of the Dead," a work which prescribes the stages which the dying one will pass through as he/she approaches actual death.The ceremony described in this book instructs that at the very moment of death, the vision of Amitabha (Buddha of infinite light) should be held at the crown.
Yesterday, I  posted a note including the Abitabha mantra as follows:  "The Sanskrit form of the mantra of Amitābha is ॐ अमिताभ ह्रीः(Devanagari: oṃ amitābha hrīḥ), which is pronounced in its Tibetan version as Om ami dewa hri (Sanskrit: oṃ amideva hrīḥ)."
My friend Steve asked what the translation of this mantra was, and my friend Aditi, a scholar of Eastern spiritual practice, supplied this answer:

"It's a gorgeous mantra calling on the deity Amitabha for support and for blessings. Om, as you know, is the sound that is all the universe, the cosmos. Amitabha is the name of the deity, naturally. Hrih is Amitabha's seed syllable and is associated with the direction of the west and with the attributes of the south in this system: discriminating awareness wisdom. Thus, the mantra calls on the protection and wisdom of Amitabha during this transition. May I have the discriminating awareness wisdom of Amitabha at this time of transition and movement through the bardo."  (end quote)

As I mentioned earlier, Amitabha is a Buddha of infinite light.  When the dying person
calls up the image of Amitabha on the crown at the very moment of dying, this action
will help the life energies of the dying one to exit through the crown, and thus bring 
a good rebirth or perhaps freedom from the wheel of life and suffering.

A deva is a  deity.  A seed syllable is the quintessence of the entire mantra.  The Bardo
is the realm through which the soul must pass immediately after death.  It contains
many demons and other terrors, and the spirit must successfully move through these,
keeping in mind that they are but products of his/her own imagination.

(Image found on Wikipedia--from Museum of Ethnology in Vienna)

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