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The Symbolism of the Cremation Ground and the Celestial Maidens

by Sangharakshita

Are we ready to face our own death, and the total transformation it symbolises? Here Sangharakshita describes the practice of the Ten Stages of the Decomposition of the Corpse, the Mandala of the Eight Cremation Grounds and the Dakinis who dance there.

Talk given in 1971.

This talk is part of the series Creative Symbols of the Tantric Path to Enlightenment.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Eastern and Western attitudes towards funerals: an eastern funeral (15:42) 
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2. Padmasambhava and the Dakinis (6:53) 
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3. The symbolism of the cremation ground (6:36) 
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4. Ten stages of the corpse: corpse meditation (5:01) 
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5. Fear, terror, and the heroic virtues: the cremation ground as a symbol of transformation (11:12) 
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6. The Eight Great Cremation Grounds and the Eight Consciousnesses; what are they transformed into? (11:31) 
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7. Three kinds of Dakini (7:43) 
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8. A descripition of Sarvabuddhadakini (5:13) 
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9. Some aspects of the symbolism of the Dakini: i. Red ii. Naked iii. The garland of skulls. (11:08) 
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10. Taking our seat in the cremation ground (6:50) 


Total running time: 1:27:49

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