The question I pose is the same as the title of this post. Any experience or further reading of how to practice this reaching of a loved one to support and guide them after they have passed through the bardo into rebirth.

Thank you

What I mean by reaching....is, I suppose after reading the post below by bhumishu; to send a blessing. Is this received? Now even another question....I have read that there are 49 days in the bardo and the first day is equal to four days which in total will be 52. All of which are merely symbolic. Can someone or you please expound on this? Also, I do have a copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead which will need to be opened and read again and refereed to again for retained wisdom. Any and all acceptance that can be given that I was unable to be there to guide my Grandmother within the 49 or 52 day time frame according to the practices given in the teachings. This is why I deeply want to assist or send blessings to her that are received by her in whatever or wherever she may be now. Thank you so much!

  • Please correct me if I'm wrong, I added the tibetan-buddhism tag because I think that "bardo" is specific to that tradition (and so I think that you want answers from within the perspective/tradition of Tibetan Buddhism).
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 17:25
  • 1
    What do you mean by reaching? Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 18:21
  • I edited my original post to clarify the question you asked. Thank you Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 3:49

3 Answers 3


"Can we still reach loved ones with guidence after they have passed through the bardo into a rebirth?"

If "guidance" you refer to what the book "Tibetan Book of The Death" instructed, then it would be "no". That person is in a new life form, all the possibilities during the bardo stage is conclusive now. In general saying, the bardo lasts max. 49 days. However, you may send blessings to the loved ones any time.

  • I edited my original post when you are able to share your experience or insight and am new to the forum, so this is the only way that I have figured out how to communicate with those that have contributed to the discussion. Thank you so much.. Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 3:52
  • That is unless they are trapped as an earthbound spirit or ghost, right?
    – Ahmed
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 4:58
  • @Monism Pantheist: I'm new to this forum too. It seemed some of the functions are limited in reply thus I put mine to another "Answer". Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 11:36
  • @Ahmed: It is a big topic "earthbound spirit or ghost". The sutra (I needed to take the pain to find the text) said max. in 49 days, all deceased will "rebirth" into one of the 6 categories: Celestial, Asura, Man, Animal, Hungry ghost, Hell being. Many of those that claimed to be the deceased through mediums are pretenders. These could be "spirit or ghost" of any one of the beings. Those such as fox, snake, tortoise, or trees, if these beings live for hundreds thousands of years, with the fine energy gathered and doing self-cultivation, they could become spirits, too. All is living... Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 12:46

@Monism Pantheist

I read your above added, 1) 49 days or 52 days? I would rather not to stuck with a concrete answer. But it's important to understand the significance of number. 49=7x7, 7 is an important number, we have 7 days a week, 7 colors in the rainbow... 7 is a number for a cycle. In the TTBoD you will find that every 7 days a more significant change. There is another sutra 《佛說入胎經》 which described how the embryo developed inside the womb, also in a 7 days cycle. And for female body, 7 years is a major cycle too, in general, eg, 7x2=14 a girl reached puberty, 7x7=49 a woman had menopause. And 3 is another number for a cycle. It is not easy to determine when exactly a person has left the body been in the Bardo stage. The doctor said heartbeat ceased means deceased, or breathe stopped, but some culture waited until the body is cold, the TTBoD said when the yellow fluid oozed from the body, etc. Thus 52 maybe is a safer indication since normal people do not have the ability to reach and communicate with the one already deceased to confirm when the cycle of leaving the body complete.

2) To "reach" a departed loved one after the Bardo: In Mahayana practice, many Buddhist Monasteries have a place to lit light (candle) for the departed, with his/her name on it. This could be for 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, or 49 days. The other way is to chant the mantra or sutra, and tranferred the merit to the departed. These are more ritualistic. Or to give away/ donate in the name of the departed, or his/her possessions, will add merit. However, in the buddhist teaching, everything is interconnected a thought with feeling is sort of energy, your thinking (blessing) directed to your grandmother will have effect on her, no matter whatever/ wherever she is.

Because the Buddhist view is that we have many deaths and rebirths in eons of kalpas therefore everyone could once be our father and mother, daughter and son, we should have compassion to all, and let go once a kinship ended. It is respectable you cared much about your grandma, however, after you have done all you know and can, that's the best of all.

  • Bhumishu, I am deeply thankful for your comprehensive and thoughtful response; especially point 2). It has been and is an interesting journey in this life and I want and need to continue to give and send blessings to those, including pets which have gave meaning to my life when I didn't feel any. Imperfectly, I did what I could when they were living and now they need to continue to know in whatever way possible; the deep truth of this fact. Thank you Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 22:04
  • Also, the link you provided about the significance of 7; it certainly is something I would like to read, but I do not have a clue as to what is says. Any possibility of posting the best english translation link you may possibly know of on the web? : ) Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 23:23
  • @Monism Pantheist: Apologize the late reply. I searched the web but didn't find any English version. It described in detail how "rebirth" happened, from entering the womb, inside the - literally "womb prison" (胎獄), for it's congested, hot, upset by any external discomfort... parallel except modern med unable to show beyond the observable facts. Huge collections of Chinese Sutras only few translated, many eng. tran. may not necessary accurate... however for the historical background - distortion, Chi Sutra for some maybe like a "Made in China" label... big topic... Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 7:47
  • Bhumishu, you sound like some one I wish to meet. The comprehensive view/insight you described...if found in english please forward along. This something I want and need. I have been without a skilled teacher for 15 years and am lost. The loss of my Grandmother in February and my own immersion back into addiction has left me with the deep need for something of substance. The only place I have ever had this has been with working with animals domestic and wild. They are closer to the truth than any human I have ever meet. This is a substantiated fact. Metta, Kurt
    – user10485
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 19:16
  • @user10485 [quote]...They are closer to the truth than any human I have ever meet.[/quote] Agree with you. Hope you will get pass the lost, addiction is not the solution. Neither do I have teacher, though am thankful for one who inspired me to learn the Buddha's teaching. I rely most on reading, luckily the Chinese sources are rich. I read original sutras in Classic, which is better than many of the "teachers". From materials English and Chinese, I see the differences, strength, shortage and misunderstanding, I wish to address this, share and discuss with you. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:02

You can send your blessings

But there are few conditions,

Your loved one must be in a life form which can receive your blessings.

Every person is not going to reborn as a human being . Being a human is very rare .

If your loved one reborn as a human or an animal he/she can not receive your blessings.

They can receive only if they reborn as a lower-level(lower than humans/animals) being .

In Buddhism if someone died , he will be born right after (maybe temporarily for few days and reborn in another life form) , in a way that a dying candle ignites another candle just after its death. The flame is the one which passes , not the candle , the candle can be different. Here , the candle is the life form (human,animal etc...), the flame is the soul that passes after the death.


You can contact your loved ones after death, but it has a one in a million chance .

But if you developed your mind to a certain point , you will be able to see what's going on after someone dies.


Please don't read much books , because it has been a long time and most books have changed , deliberately or by mistake, it is very rare to find books with real Buddhism. So if you want to learn more I think it's best to learn from a teacher who has a practical knowledge(who has developed the mind to some level) about the path to nirvana.

  • lasan, from your experience where do I find a true teacher and true readings that express true Buddhism? I have read D.T. Suzuki, have Diamond Sutra, as well as other books including the english translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. There are numerous sanghas with numerous meditaters. Where to find the true discipline? Thank you... Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:48
  • @MonismPantheist from my experience, there are really good teachers in Sri Lanka , and they are very helpful. If possible you can visit that small island to learn . :) , personally I don't learn Buddhism from books.
    – lasan
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 5:42
  • @lasan There are few raw mistakes I must address: 1) {In Buddhism if someone died , he will be born right after...} this is incorrect, only those who are 'accepted' in one of the Purelands can be born without the intermediate existence "Bardo" (中陰, 中有). 2) {the flame is the soul that passes after the death... } Buddhism invalidated the concept of soul (the biblical idea). To explain this in rough, the flame is the collection of all the acts and senses that symbolized as a form - flame; not as a 'soul' with a solid/eternal identity. (continued...) Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:23
  • @lasan (... continued) 3) {Your loved one must be in a life form... } You don't understand there is no real 'dead', thus every being is always in certain kind of 'life form', incl. the 'Bardo'. In fact the whole cosmos is alive, a stone is a kind of 'life form' but it doesn't got certain senses and categories as a man, or an animal, or a plant, or a bacteria... etc. 4) last, I don't find any proof of what your saying lower/higher life form that determine reached or not reached. The mind 'wave' (念) can act upon anything incl. water, plant... why can't on a lower or higher 'life form'? Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:28
  • @Bhumishu米殊 It's preferable to supply (or to improve, to expand) your own answer, than to use comments to contradict other answers.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 20:31

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