Bardo rigpawiki

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Peaceful Deities from the Mandala of Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities

Bardo (Skt. antarābhava, Tib. བར་དོ་, Wyl. rigpawiki bar do) — commonly used to denote the intermediate state between death and rebirth, but in reality bardos are occurring continuously, throughout both life and death, and are junctures at which the possibility of liberation, or enlightenment, is heightened.

Literal Meaning

Sogyal Rinpoche writes:

Bardo is a Tibetan word that simply means a “transition” or a gap between the completion of one situation and the onset of another. Bar means “in between,” and do means “suspended” or “thrown.”


The different bardos can be categorized into four or six:

The Four Bardos

four bardos (bar do bzhi).

  • bardo of this life (skye gnas kyi bar do). The period from being conceived in the womb until meeting with an irreversible cause of death. 'This life' literally means 'being born and remaining alive.'
  • bardo of dying ('chi kha'i bar do). The period from the onset of the process of dying until the end of the three subtle dissolution stages.
  • bardo of dharmata (chos nyid kyi bar do). The period from dying until emerging in the mental body of the bardo of becoming.
  • bardo of becoming (srid pa'i bar do). The period from the arising of confusion and one's emergence in a mental body until entering the womb of the next life. It is the time of seeking a new rebirth. The word 'becoming' here also means 'possibility.'

See also six bardos

The Six Bardos

The four above with the addition of:

5. the bardo of meditation (Skt. samādhyantarābhava; Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གྱི་བར་དོ་, Wyl. bsam gtan gyi bar do)
6. the bardo of dreaming (Skt. svapanāntarābhava; Tib. རྨི་ལམ་གྱི་བར་དོ་, Wyl. rmi lam gyi bar do)

These two bardos are part of the natural bardo of this life.


Dzogchen rigpawiki Tantra rigpawikis

  • Union of the Sun and Moon (Tib. ཉི་ཟླ་ཁ་སྦྱོར་, Wyl. nyi zla kha sbyor)
  • Self-arising Primordial Awareness (Tib. རིག་པ་རང་ཤར་, Wyl. rig pa rang shar)

Terma rigpawikis

Instruction Manuals


  • Tsele Natsok Rangdrol rigpawiki, བར་དོ་སྤྱིའི་དོན་ཐམས་ཅད་གསལ་བར་བྱེད་པ་དྲན་པའི་མེ་ལོང་, bar do spyi'i don thams cad gsal bar byed pa dran pa'i me long (see English translation below)

Alternative Translations of the Term 'Bardo'

  • transitional process (Wallace)

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

Internal Links

External Links

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