"When the indication of protruding ankle bones appears, one should face westward towards the sun when it is close to setting and remove one's clothes. Then, placing a dog's tail under oneself,
and some dog excrement in a heap in front, one should eat a mouthful and bark like a dog. This should be repeated three times...
"Also in cases where other people are afflicted by illness: if the roots of their teeth grow grimy and black, such a person should wear a goat's skin, face the sunrise, and bleat three times like a goat. Similarly, in cases where the nostrils sag inwards, it will be beneficial if one visualises the syllable A on the tip of the subject's nose, recites the syllable A twenty-one times, and bathes in various rivers..." (number of rivers not specified)The excerpt is from the Ritual Averting of Signs of Near Death (page 190), which is part of the section entitled, Ritual Deception of Death, which contains Specific Rites for Averting Death, published in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, deluxe edition, Penguin Books Ltd, 2005.
The Book is not one cohesive narrative but rather a collection of writings on various subjects. It includes substantial chunks of content focusing on the "grass-roots" folklore and ritual to do with Death, in those cultures / in that part of world.
As highlighted in the relevant Context within the Book itself, many of the rituals are "...idiosyncratic and ... not commonly practised." In other words, downright weird to the max.
But the Book also features profound and unique insights into the nature of Life, Death and Reality.
Alongside insights into human psychology, the Book maps the domains and landscapes in which the souls of those who have recently died are believed to wander (and wonder!). (You can substitute "consciousnesses" for "souls" if you prefer.
In the weeks ahead Cosmic Rapture will present and analyse parts of the (non-idiosyncratic) content that relate to continuity of consciousness after the dissolution of the physical body.