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The Tibetan Buddhist Afterlife As Metaphor

In the Tibetan Buddhist afterlife, a pious devotee — rich or poor, laity or priest, men, women or children — will be escorted by a deity who protects him and carefully explains what is happening.

Together, they travel until they come before Yama — the Lord of Death. His actions in this life are then measured by Yama, who counts out black and white seeds representing negative and positive karmic actions.

If there are more black seeds of negative actions, then he will be led to the hell realm by Yama.

If there are more white seeds of positive actions, then he will be escorted to the many paradises and Buddha worlds,

From the figurative and symbolic aspect, the Tibetan afterlife is the metaphor for the disciple's initiation by his guru. Death refers to the figurative death of the disciple's worldly life.

The hell realm refers to anger and its destructiveness to a person's psyche.

The deity who protects symbolizes the yidam of the disciple, which is the root of spiritual accomplishment.

All those many paradises and Buddha worlds represent the perfect purity of all phenomena.


Description of afterlife:
  • Delok:
  • Buddhist afterlife beliefs:
  • Lingza Chokyi's Near-Death Experience:
Four Great Kings:
  • Four Great Kings:
  • Four Heavenly Kings:
    • Guardian King of the South:
  • Lokapala:
    • The Four Heavenly Kings "are invoked ... and exhorted to behave ... and protect the Dharma and its practitioners in the Shurangama Mantra".
The Eighteen Hells:
Yidam :

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