Kunga, for you:
The self-originated Clear Light, which from the very beginning was never born,
Is the child of Rigpa, which is itself without any parents - how amazing!
This self-originated wisdom has not been created by anyone - how amazing!
It has never experienced birth and has nothing in it that could cause it to die - how amazing!
Although it is evidently visible, yet there is no one there who sees it - how amazing!
Although it has wandered through samsara, no harm has come to it - how amazing!
Although it exists in everyone everywhere, it has gone unrecognized - how amazing!
And yet you go on hoping to attain some other fruit than this elsewhere - how amazing!
Even though it is the thing that is most essentially yours, you seek for it elsewhere - how amazing!
THE FOUR PHASES OF DHARMATA
Luminosity - the Landscape of Light
In the bardo of dharmata, you take on a body of light. The first phase of this bardo is when "space dissolves into luminosity". Suddenly you become aware of a flowing vibrant world of sound, light, and colour. All the ordinary features of our familiar environment have melted into an all-pervasive landscape of light. This is brilliantly clear and radiant, transparent and multicoloured, unlimited by any kind of dimension or direction, shimmering and constantly in motion. Its colours are the natural expression of the intrinsic elemental qualities of the mind: space is perceived as blue light, water as white, earth as yellow, fire as red and wind as green.
How stable these dazzling appearances of light are in the bardo of dharmata depends entirely upon what stability you have managed to attain in Togal (spiritual) practice. Only a real mastery of this practice will enable you to stabilize the experience and so use it to gain liberation. Otherwise, the bardo of dhamata will simply flash by like a bolt of lightning; you will not even know that it has occurred.
Union - the Deities
If you are unable to recognize this as the spontaneous play of Rigpa, the simple rays and colours then begin to integrate and coalesce into points of balls of light of different sizes, called tikle. Within them, the "mandalas of the peaceful and wrathful deities" appear, as enormous spherical concentrations of light seeming to occupy the whole of space.
This is the second phase, known as "luminosity dissolving into union," where the luminosity manifests in the form of buddhas or deities of various size, colour, and form, holding different attributes. The brilliant light they emanate is blinding and dazzling, the sound is tremendous, like the roaring of a thousand thunderclaps, and the rays and beams of light are like lasers, piercing everything. They unfold, taking on their own characteristic mandala pattern of five-fold clusters. This is a vision that fills the whole of your perception with such intensity that if you are unable to recognize it for what it is, it appears terrifying and threatening. From yourself and from the deities, very fine shafts of light stream out, joining your heart with theirs. Countless luminous spheres appear in their rays, which increase and the "roll up," as the deities dissolve into you.
If again you fail to recognize and gain stability, the next phase unfolds, called "union dissolving into wisdom."
Another shaft of light springs out from your heart and an enormous vision unfolds from it; however, every detail remains distinct and precise. This is the display of the various aspects of wisdom, which appear together in a show of unfurled carpets of light and resplendent spherical luminous tikles.
First, on a carpet of deep blue light appear shimmering tikles of sapphire blue, in patterns of five. Above that, on a carpet of white light, appear radiant tikles, white like crystal. Above, on a carpet of yellow light, appear golden tikles, and upon that a carpet of red light supports ruby red tikles. They are crowned by a radiant sphere like an outspread canopy made of peacock feathers.
This brilliant display of light is the manifestation of the five wisdoms: wisdom of all-encompassing space, mirror-like wisdom, equalizing wisdom, wisdom of discernment and all-accomplishing wisdom. But since the all-accomplishing wisdom is only perfected at the time of enlightenment, it does not appear yet. Therefore, there is no green carpet of light and tikcles, yet it is inherent within all the other colours. What is being manifested here is our potential of enlightenment, and the all-accomplishing wisdom will appear when we become a buddha.
If you do not attain liberation here through resting undistracted in the nature of mind, the carpets of light and their tikles, along with your Rigpa, all dissolve into the radiant sphere of light, which is like a canopy of peacock feathers.
This heralds the final phase of the bardo of dharmata, "wisdom dissolving into spontaneous presence." Now the whole of reality presents itself in one tremendous display. First the state of primordial purity dawns like an open, cloudless sky. Then the peaceful and wrathful deities appear, followed by the pure realms of the buddhas, and below them the six realms of samsaric existence.
The limitlessness of this vision is utterly beyond our ordinary imagination. Every possibility is presented from wisdom and liberation, to confusion and rebirth. At this point you will find yourself endowed with powers of clairvoyent perception and recollection. The entire vision then dissolves back into its original essence, like a tent collapsing once its ropes are cut.
Now when the bardo of dharmata dawns upon me,
I will abandon all fear and terror [suffering],
I will recognize whatever appears as the display of my own Rigpa,
And know it to be the natural appearance of this bardo; [realm]
Now that I have reached this crucial point,
I will not fear the peaceful and wrathful deities, that arise from the nature of my very own mind.
* The Tibetian Book of the Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche
Man knows nothing, salvation!