Bardo Song of Reminding Oneself

by vajrasound

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This text is a teaching by Padmasambhava, in which he reminds us how to liberate ourselves in the six different Bardo’s.

Tibetan buddhism refers to the six Bardo’s as transitional states; the bardo of this lifetime, the bardo of dreaming, the bardo of meditation, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmata, and the bardo of becoming. In each of the bardo’s there are clear instructions on what we should do while we are experiencing these states to attain liberation. The verses here are the concise instructions from the Secret Dakini Training Mother Tantra of the Great Perfection.


Now that while the bardo of this lifetime is unfolding,
I will not be lazy since there is no time to waste.
Enter nondistraction’s path of hearing, thinking, training,
While it is just now I have the precious human form.
Since this free and favored form ought to have real meaning,
Emotion and samsara shall no longer hold the reign.

Now that while the bardo of the dreamstate is unfolding,
I will not sleep like a corpse, so careless, ignorant.
Knowing everything is self-display, with recognition,
Capture dreams, conjure, transform, train lucid wakefulness.
Instead of lying fast asleep like animals are sleeping,
I will use the Dharma just as in the waking state.

Now that while the meditation bardo is unfolding,
I will set aside every deluded wandering.
Free of clinging, settled within boundless nondistraction,
I’ll be stable in completion and development.
As I’m yielding projects to the single-minded training,
Delusion and unknowing shall no longer hold the reign.

Now that while the bardo of the death-state is unfolding,
I will cast away attachment, clinging to all things.
Enter undistractedly the state of lucid teachings,
Suspending as a vast expanse this nonarising mind.
Leaving this material form, my mortal human body,
I will see it as illusion and impermanent.

Now that while the bardo of dharmata is unfolding,
I will hold no fear or dread or panic for it all.
Recognizing everything to be the bardo’s nature,
Now the time has come for mastering the vital point.
Colors, sounds and rays shine forth, self-radiance of knowing,
May I never fear the peaceful-wrathful self-display.

Now that while the bardo of becoming is unfolding,
I will keep the lasting goal one-pointedly in mind.
Reconnecting firmly with the flow of noble action,
I will shut the womb-doors and remember to turn back.
Since this is the time for fortitude and pure perception,
I will shun wrong views and train the guru’s union-form.

If I keep this senseless mind that never thinks of dying,
And continue striving for the pointless aims of life,
Won’t I be deluded when I leave here empty handed?
Since I know the sacred Dharma is just what I need,
Shouldn’t I be living by the Dharma right this moment,
Giving up activities that are just for this life?

These are the instructions which the gracious guru told me.
If I do not keep the guru’s teachings in my heart,
How can this be other than myself fooling myself?


released August 16, 2016
translated by Erik Pema Kunsang, melody: Tara Trinley Wangmo, vocals: Sascha Alexandra Aurora Sellberg & Rodrigo Reijers.

from the Secret Dakini Training Mother Tantra
of the Great Perfection




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