Past and Future Lives

Past and Future

If we understand what is the nature of mind, we accept the existence of past and future lives. Many people think that when the body stops performing its functions after death, the continuum of the mind ceases and this ceases to exist, like a candle goes out after consumed wax that is made. Still others believe that if they contemplate committing suicide would end their problems and sufferings, but both ideas are wrong. As already mentioned, our body and mind are different entities and, therefore, the body disintegrates after death, the mental continuum remains intact. The mind does not stop, but separates from the body and travels to the next life. In the case of ordinary beings, instead of releasing us from suffering, death only brings new sufferings. Because they do not understand this, many people, unable to bear more suffering, commit suicide.

In his Tantric teachings, Buddha taught a special practice called transference of consciousness into another body. This practice became very popular in Tibet when Buddhism came to this country. One of the practitioners that perfection was dominated Tarma Dode, the son of famous Tibetan Buddhist translator and teacher Marpa. One day, riding, had an accident and was seriously injured. His father, knowing that Tarma Dode mastered the practice of transference of consciousness, began looking for a suitable body where it could transfer his mind. Since he could not find the body of a human being, he picked up a pigeon to serve temporarily to mind your child home. Tarma Dode expelled the consciousness of his dying body and entered the pigeon. Then Tarma Dode's body was lifeless and dove revived. Although Tarma Dode's body was that of a dove, his mind was still that of a human being.

Since not want his son to remain in the body of a dove, Marpa continued to seek a human corpse. Thanks to its power of clairvoyance, he saw a Buddhist teacher had just died in India and that his disciples had taken his body to the cemetery. Marpa told his son he left immediately to that place. Tarma Dode flew to India in his pigeon body and when he found the place where they had deposited the corpse, expelled his mind from the body of the dove and entered the master. The body of the pigeon died immediately and the teacher came back to life. Tarma Dode lived the rest of his life as the Indian master Tibu Sangnak Dongpo. Years later, Milarepa, the chief disciple of Marpa, sent to India to his disciple Rechungpa to receive special teachings of Tibu Sangnak Dongpo. When Rechungpa returned to Tibet, he forwarded them to Milarepa.

There are numerous accounts of past meditators who transferred his consciousness into another body. It is said that the same practice Marpa performed four times. If the body and mind were the same entity, how would it be possible that these meditators to transfer their consciousness in this way? If we listen to these stories with an open mind, we understand that consciousness continues even if the body perishes, and readily accept the existence of past and future lives.