Difference between revisions of "Phowa"

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[[Image:Amitabha.jpg|frame|[[Amitabha]] from a [[thangka]] in the personal collection of [[Sogyal Rinpoche]]]]
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[[Image:Amitabha.jpg|frame|[[Amitabha]] (''from a [[thangka]] in the personal collection of [[Sogyal Rinpoche]]'')]]
'''Phowa''' ([[Wyl.]] ''‘pho ba'') the practice for directing the transference of consciousness at the time of death. It is one of the [[Six Yogas of Naropa]].
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'''Phowa''' (Skt. ''utkrānti''; Tib. [[འཕོ་བ་]], [[Wyl.]] ''‘pho ba'') is the practice for directing the transference of consciousness at the time of death, either for oneself or another. The consciousness may be transferred to the [[dharmakaya]] nature, to a [[pure realm]] such as [[Sukhavati]] or to a favourable existence in the human realm. The practice is one of the [[Six Yogas of Naropa]], but can also be found in many other lineages and systems of teaching, including the [[Longchen Nyingtik]] and [[Namchö]] cycles. Although it is included among the so-called '[[five practices of enlightenment without meditation]]', it does require a thorough training before it can be put into effect successfully.
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The teachings advise that phowa for others should only be undertaken by someone who has reached the [[path of seeing]].<ref>See for example: Patrul Rinpoche, ''The Words of My Perfect Teacher'' (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 363.</ref> Nonetheless, as [[Patrul Rinpoche]] says "anyone who really knows the right moment to perform [phowa for the dead] can perform it at that very moment if they have a little experience of the instructions on transference. It is extremely helpful for the dying person and, like a traveller being put on the right path by a friend, has the power to prevent rebirth in the [[lower realms]]."<ref>Patrul Rinpoche, ''The Words of My Perfect Teacher'' (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 363.</ref>
  
 
==Subdivisions==
 
==Subdivisions==
 
[[Tsele Natsok Rangdrol]] lists five kinds of phowa:
 
[[Tsele Natsok Rangdrol]] lists five kinds of phowa:
 
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{{Tibetan}}
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{| class="wikitable" style="color:black;background-color:#f7f7e7;" cellspacing="5" border="0" text-align:left,top"
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|valign="top"|
 
#[[dharmakaya]] transference free from focus (''chos sku gtad med kyi 'pho ba'')
 
#[[dharmakaya]] transference free from focus (''chos sku gtad med kyi 'pho ba'')
 
#[[sambhogakaya]] transference of unity (''longs sku zung 'jug gi 'pho ba'')
 
#[[sambhogakaya]] transference of unity (''longs sku zung 'jug gi 'pho ba'')
 
#[[nirmanakaya]] transference of training (''sprul sku rtsal sbyong gi 'pho ba'')
 
#[[nirmanakaya]] transference of training (''sprul sku rtsal sbyong gi 'pho ba'')
 
#guru's transference of blessings (''byin rlabs bla ma'i 'pho ba'')
 
#guru's transference of blessings (''byin rlabs bla ma'i 'pho ba'')
#unmistaken ''khachö'' transference ('''chugs med mkha' spyod kyi 'pho ba'')
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#unmistaken ''khachö'' transference ('''chugs med mkha' spyod kyi 'pho ba'')<ref>Tsele notes that this is the same as 'finding relief in a natural nirmanakaya pure realm', as spoken of in the Dzogchen teachings</ref>
 
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|valign="top"|
[[Patrul Rinpoche]] mentions another list of five kinds of phowa:
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::<big>༈ ཆོས་སྐུ་གཏད་མེད་ཀྱི་འཕོ་བ།<br>
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::ལོངས་སྐུ་ཟུང་འཇུག་གི་འཕོ་བ།<br>
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::སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་རྩལ་སྦྱོང་གི་འཕོ་བ།<br>
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::བྱིན་རླབས་བླ་མའི་འཕོ་བ།<br>
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::འཆུགས་མེད་མཁའ་སྤྱོད་ཀྱི་འཕོ་བ།</big><br>
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|}
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Patrul Rinpoche mentions another list of five kinds of phowa:
  
 
#Superior transference to the [[dharmakaya]] through the seal of the view
 
#Superior transference to the [[dharmakaya]] through the seal of the view
 
#Middling transference to the [[sambhogakaya]] through the union of the generation and completion phases
 
#Middling transference to the [[sambhogakaya]] through the union of the generation and completion phases
 
#Lesser transference to the [[nirmanakaya]] through immeasurable compassion
 
#Lesser transference to the [[nirmanakaya]] through immeasurable compassion
#Ordinary transference based on three ideas
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#Ordinary “phowa of three recognitions”: recognition of our central channel as the path; recognition of our consciousness as the traveller; and recognition of the environment of a [[buddha realm]] as the destination.
 
#Transference performed for the dead with the hook of compassion
 
#Transference performed for the dead with the hook of compassion
  
 
In the [[Dzogchen]] teachings, two kinds of transference are sometimes mentioned:
 
In the [[Dzogchen]] teachings, two kinds of transference are sometimes mentioned:
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{| class="wikitable" style="color:black;background-color:#f7f7e7;" cellspacing="5" border="0" text-align:left,top"
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|valign="top"|
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#transference of entering the sphere of clear light (Tib. ''ösal bub juk gi phowa''; Wyl. '''od gsal sbubs 'jug gi 'pho ba'')<ref>Also translated as 'entering the '''interior''' of clear light'. See ''[[Zindri]]'', p. 282</ref>
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#transference of consciousness riding the subtle energy (Tib. ''namshé lung shyön gyi phowa''; Wyl. ''rnam shes rlung zhon gyi 'pho ba'')
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|valign="top"|
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::<big>༈ འོད་གསལ་སྦུབས་འཇུག་གི་འཕོ་བ།
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::རྣམ་ཤེས་རླུང་ཞོན་གྱི་འཕོ་བ།</big><br>
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|}
  
#transference of entering the sphere of clear light ('''od gsal sbubs 'jug gi 'pho ba'')
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==Notes==
#transference of consciousness riding the subtle energy (''rnam shes rlung zhon gyi 'pho ba'')
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<small><references/></small>
  
==Empowerments and Transmissions==
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==Teachings & Transmissions Given to the [[About Rigpa|Rigpa]] Sangha==
*[[Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche]] was the first teacher to give [[Amitabha]] [[empowerment]]s and teachings to the [[About Rigpa|Rigpa]] sangha for the practice of ''phowa'' from the [[Longchen Nyingtik]] tradition. He did this on [[Empowerments_Given_to_the_Rigpa_Sangha|several occasions]].
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*[[Ayang Rinpoche]] leads a nine-day phowa retreat in November 1984 at [[St Paul’s Crescent]] in London, UK.
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*[[Tulku Kalsang]], Watsonville, USA, 3 December 1993, Phowa transmission (most likely from Longchen Nyingtik)
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*[[Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche]] was the first teacher to give [[Amitabha]] [[empowerment]]s and teachings to the Rigpa sangha for the practice of ''phowa'' from the [[Longchen Nyingtik]] tradition. He did this on [[Empowerments_Given_to_the_Rigpa_Sangha|several occasions]]:
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**[[Lerab Ling]], France, 25-28 July 1997
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**Zurich, 29-30 January 2000
 
*[[Chagdud Khadro]] has also given the Rigpa sangha Amitabha empowerments and taught the ''phowa'' practice of [[Longsal Nyingpo]] on [[Empowerments_Given_to_the_Rigpa_Sangha|different occasions]].
 
*[[Chagdud Khadro]] has also given the Rigpa sangha Amitabha empowerments and taught the ''phowa'' practice of [[Longsal Nyingpo]] on [[Empowerments_Given_to_the_Rigpa_Sangha|different occasions]].
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*[[Mingyur Rinpoche]], [[Lerab Ling]], 11-12 September 2010.
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*[[Sogyal Rinpoche]], San Diego, 2-4 December 2010.
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*Sogyal Rinpoche, [[Kirchheim]], 3-4 January 2011.
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*Sogyal Rinpoche, Sydney, 22 February 2011.
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*[[Garchen Rinpoche]], [[Dzogchen Beara]], 16 October 2011, Drikung Phowa Chenmo from the [[Drikung Kagyü]] lineage.
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*[[Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche]], Sukhavati, Germany, 28 July-3 August 2018
  
 
==Further Reading==
 
==Further Reading==
 
*[[Chagdud Khadro]], ''P’howa Commentary'', Pilgrims Publishing, India, 2004
 
*[[Chagdud Khadro]], ''P’howa Commentary'', Pilgrims Publishing, India, 2004
*[[Sogyal Rinpoche]], ''[[The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying]]''
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*Patrul Rinpoche, ''[[The Words of My Perfect Teacher]]'' (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), Part Three, Chapter One: 'Transference of consciousness, the instructions for the dying: Buddhahood without meditation', pages 351-365.
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*[[Sogyal Rinpoche]], ''[[The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying]]'', Ch. 13 & 14.
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==External Links==
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*{{LH|topics/transference/|Transference (Phowa) category of translations on Lotsawa House}}
  
[[Category:Key Terms]]
 
 
[[Category:Prayers and Practices]]
 
[[Category:Prayers and Practices]]
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[[Category:Six Yogas]]
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[[Category:Bardos]]

Latest revision as of 10:18, 29 March 2021

Amitabha (from a thangka in the personal collection of Sogyal Rinpoche)

Phowa (Skt. utkrānti; Tib. འཕོ་བ་, Wyl. ‘pho ba) is the practice for directing the transference of consciousness at the time of death, either for oneself or another. The consciousness may be transferred to the dharmakaya nature, to a pure realm such as Sukhavati or to a favourable existence in the human realm. The practice is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa, but can also be found in many other lineages and systems of teaching, including the Longchen Nyingtik and Namchö cycles. Although it is included among the so-called 'five practices of enlightenment without meditation', it does require a thorough training before it can be put into effect successfully.

The teachings advise that phowa for others should only be undertaken by someone who has reached the path of seeing.[1] Nonetheless, as Patrul Rinpoche says "anyone who really knows the right moment to perform [phowa for the dead] can perform it at that very moment if they have a little experience of the instructions on transference. It is extremely helpful for the dying person and, like a traveller being put on the right path by a friend, has the power to prevent rebirth in the lower realms."[2]

Subdivisions

Tsele Natsok Rangdrol lists five kinds of phowa:

Tibetan.png
This section contains Tibetan script. Without proper Tibetan rendering support configured, you may see other symbols instead of Tibetan script.
  1. dharmakaya transference free from focus (chos sku gtad med kyi 'pho ba)
  2. sambhogakaya transference of unity (longs sku zung 'jug gi 'pho ba)
  3. nirmanakaya transference of training (sprul sku rtsal sbyong gi 'pho ba)
  4. guru's transference of blessings (byin rlabs bla ma'i 'pho ba)
  5. unmistaken khachö transference ('chugs med mkha' spyod kyi 'pho ba)[3]
༈ ཆོས་སྐུ་གཏད་མེད་ཀྱི་འཕོ་བ།
ལོངས་སྐུ་ཟུང་འཇུག་གི་འཕོ་བ།
སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་རྩལ་སྦྱོང་གི་འཕོ་བ།
བྱིན་རླབས་བླ་མའི་འཕོ་བ།
འཆུགས་མེད་མཁའ་སྤྱོད་ཀྱི་འཕོ་བ།

Patrul Rinpoche mentions another list of five kinds of phowa:

  1. Superior transference to the dharmakaya through the seal of the view
  2. Middling transference to the sambhogakaya through the union of the generation and completion phases
  3. Lesser transference to the nirmanakaya through immeasurable compassion
  4. Ordinary “phowa of three recognitions”: recognition of our central channel as the path; recognition of our consciousness as the traveller; and recognition of the environment of a buddha realm as the destination.
  5. Transference performed for the dead with the hook of compassion

In the Dzogchen teachings, two kinds of transference are sometimes mentioned:

  1. transference of entering the sphere of clear light (Tib. ösal bub juk gi phowa; Wyl. 'od gsal sbubs 'jug gi 'pho ba)[4]
  2. transference of consciousness riding the subtle energy (Tib. namshé lung shyön gyi phowa; Wyl. rnam shes rlung zhon gyi 'pho ba)
༈ འོད་གསལ་སྦུབས་འཇུག་གི་འཕོ་བ།
རྣམ་ཤེས་རླུང་ཞོན་གྱི་འཕོ་བ།

Notes

  1. See for example: Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 363.
  2. Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 363.
  3. Tsele notes that this is the same as 'finding relief in a natural nirmanakaya pure realm', as spoken of in the Dzogchen teachings
  4. Also translated as 'entering the interior of clear light'. See Zindri, p. 282

Teachings & Transmissions Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

External Links