Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest guest

Baba Faqir Chand on Enlightenment: (Lane)

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Guest guest





Chapter Nine




By David C. Lane, Ph.D

One of the most remarkable aspects about

the Tibetan Book of the Dead (or, more accurately speaking, The

Bardo Thotrol,

also known as Bardo Thodol) [1] is the principle that whatever one


during the dying process is ultimately illusory. Experiences of

seeing inne

r light, hearing wondrous melodies, and feeling sensations of being

out of the

body, according to The Bardo Thotrol,

are but momentary reflections of

one's own psychological condition.



such, they are not to be valued in and

of themselves, since they cannot by

their nature reveal the ultimate

truth, but only -- even if

magnificently -- obscure it.


The reason for this is simple, if

profound: whatever one sees in the

dying process is a projection from

one's own self.


Surprisingly, one of the more lucid

insights on the philosophy of the

Tibetan Book of the Dead comes from a

Hindu mystic, named Baba Faqir Chand who apparently was not familiar

with the original Tibetan text or its English translation.


Although Faqir was not conversant with

the Bardo Thotrol, he was nevertheless steeped in its philosophy as

taught to

him by his guru, Shiv Brat Lal of

Gopiganj. Faqir Chand, like his lama counterparts, spent much of his

life in meditation, attempting to consciously

go through the dying process in order

to prepare himself for his final exit.



What strikes the reader almost

immediately after reading both the Bardo

Thotrol and The Unknowing Sage is the remarkable similarity between





[5] It was not until the end of World

War One, though, that Faqir received

his first glimpse of Enlightenment. For prior to this time (1919),


accepted whatever inner sights and

sounds he beheld in meditation as true

and objective.



Bardo Thotrol: "That all phenomena are transitory, are illusionary,

are unreal,

and non-existent save in the sangsaric

mind perceiving them. . . That in

reality there are no such beings

anywhere as gods, or demons, or spirits,

or sentient creatures -- all alike

being phenomena dependent upon a cause..


That this cause is a yearning or a

thirsting after sensation, after the unstable sangsaric existence."



Eventually, Faqir dismissed his visionary

encounters as nothing but subtle obstructions of maya. It was at


point that Faqir's meditation took a new turn: instead of enjoying

the bliss of

inner sights and sounds, Faqir turned

his attention to the source from which these manifestations arose.


In this new chapter in Faqir's spiritual

quest, he began to develop a dispassion

for anything which arose in his

meditation -- be it delightful or



Instead Faqir began to query, "Who is it

that sees the light? Who is it that

hears the sound?" In other words, what

is it that experiences this world and worlds beyond it?


No doubt, Faqir reasoned, it is consciousness. But what is that?

wondered Faqir. The answer would haunt

Faqir for the rest of his life, for he

realized that no matter what spiritual practices he may do he would

never know.


It was simply incomprehensible, a

mystery without limitation. To Faqir

the haunting aspect about this

discovery was that no human being (not

even avatars, saints, or gurus), he surmised, could possibly know.


it was this very unknowability which constituted man's

enlightenment, or so

Faqir intuited. Argues Faqir:


"I do not proclaim that whatever I say

is correct or final. Whatever I say

is the conclusion of my experience of

life. Nature is unfathomable. No one

has known it. A small germ in a body

cannot know the whole body. Similarly

(a) human being is like a small germ

in a vast Creation. How can he claim

to have known the entire creation?


Those who say that they have known are wrong. No one can describe or

even know

the entire creation. Up to a certain

extent to which man's mind has access,

one can say something. But nobody can

tell about the entire universe. It is



Paradoxically buoyed by this intuition, Faqir began to immerse

himself more and

more into the clear void light,

forgetting himself and his quest in the

process. Although Faqir's extraordinary excursions took place while

he was still

alive, and not in a near-death state,

his experiences reinforce the general philosophy of the Bardo

Thotrol about liberation.


"O Son of noble family, (name), listen.


Now the pure luminosity of the dharmata

is shining before you; recognize it.

O son of noble family, at this moment

your state of mind is by nature pure emptiness, it does not possess


nature whatever, neither substance or quality such as colour, but it

is pure

emptiness; this is the dharmata. . .


This mind of yours is inseparable

luminosity and emptiness in the form

of a great mass of light, it has no

birth or death, therefore it is the

Buddha of Immortal Light.


To recognize this is all that is



What exactly this emptiness or

luminosity is cannot, by definition,

be described. In the Tibetan Book of

the Dead the emphasis is on

recognizing one's true nature, that

which is no-thing in particular but

rather the field in which all things

arise -- itself being visionless,

though producing visions; itself

being structureless, though exhibiting structure; itself being non-


though producing existence.


The clear void light is absolutely paradoxical, since the "I" cannot


it, nor can the mind by its

subject/object dualism conceive it.


Ken Wilber, a well regarded

transpersonal theorist and practicing

Zen Buddhist, describes it this way:


"The Absolute is both the highest

state of being and the ground of being;

it both the goal of evolution and

the ground of evolution, the highest

stage of development and the reality

or suchness of all stages of

development; the highest of all

conditions and the Condition of all conditions; the highest rung in


ladder and the wood out of which the

ladder is made.


Anything less than that paradox

generates either pantheistic

reductionism, on the one hand, or

wild and radical transcendentalism

on the other. . . . " See also Dark



read the whole article:




--- End forwarded message ---

--- End forwarded message ---

--- End forwarded message ---

--- End forwarded message ---

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...