No, am not taking about any holy book of any religion. Am interested in another book which was written in
the 8th century, and has been translated in many languages and has been on best sellers list for a very very long time. Am talking about the Tibettan Book of the Dead. It was translated in english by an Oxford professor Walter Evans , and was first published in 1928. Since then it has constantly been reprinted and has been read and analysed by many scholars. I read it in the 1980s. When my father bought an old edition in a antiques book shop.Ad found myself really interested in the subject.
These are the key scriptures of the Dalai Lama. In other words it is an insight into the journey of the soul after it has left the body. Death is a subject which fascinates and horrifies us all in an equall measure. Was it Shakespeare who said that death was an unknown country ,from where no one returns? And then it is a journey which is not optional. We all will make it one day. I think it must be this fascination which increases the sales of such books,films and material such as the near death experiences.
When I worked in the intensive care and cardiac units of various hospitals during my career as a nurse, I encountered many people who have been to the “brink” or have seen the “light”, when they suffered what is known as cardiac arrest. It was hard to discount their experiences as just a lack of oxygen to the brain. But recently Prof; Susan Black, of Bristol University, published a paper explaining this phenomena, and gave a sound and clear explanation of this physiological phenomen.
But this philosphy has remain rooted in the Buddhism. Tibet is a small country,and watching a documentary on the subject and the book ,over the weekend i was amazed. That the people there were so peacefull, were almost un-touched by materilsm and were very contented and at peace with themselves. The ritual of dying and death is prolonged in that country. The monks arrive and surround the person who is near death, and carry on reading from this book. Instructing the soul to take its leave,and directing it to find its way through the maze of the journey. The ritual goes on for about thirteen days,before the body is disposed off.
What fascinates me and I want to know if others feel this way ,is that if one has such detailed knowledge of the end of the life, then would it make us happy living our lives?
And why this fascination with everything paranormal,sceances and the spritualists? From Diana Princess of Wales to various other celebrities,why do they get advise from dead relatives/guide etc? Is it because we all are afraid and fascinated by that un-known place?
I would love to know how many of you buy this theory, has anyone had any experience which has convinced them one way or other?
And why do you think this little book has remained so popular across the world? And if this book can teach people to be at peace with each and others, then why there is such controversy about other scriptures? Surely the purpose of all religion and scriptures should be to make us better human beings.To live with others in peace and respect them as people?
Anyone has any answers?