Bardo Goddesses

If you have never tried to read the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead (Tib., Bardo Thödol), or have never even heard of it, the following may not strike you as interesting, or it may perhaps be completely unintelligible.

If you do read on, however, simply try to imagine how it will feel when the following figures appear to you during the transitory phase between your death and rebirth; a state known as bardo.

What you will find here, are descriptions of a variety of goddesses, mainly groups of dakinis and yoginis, who appear during the various stages when someone is surfing the bardo.

Considering that the teachings and literature concerning the bardo-states is a mixture of Bön (the ancient shamanic tradition of Tibet and the western Himalayas) and Tibetan Tantric Buddhism (Skt., vajrayana), many of the deities here listed clearly originate in the pre-Buddhist tradition; although today they are often simply regarded as Buddhist.

For others who are more or less acquainted with these texts, the following may be helpful for navigating bardo-literature - and for appreciating the awesome fullness of the Tibetan mind's void.