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@karasti said:...it has been explained by several teachers/monks that references aren't meant to be seen as actual, literal beings but rather manifestations of parts of our minds and ways to visualize them and find ways to work with them. The same has been explained as the various realms etc. ...
Bravo, @karasti, yes; I have always considered 'Beings' like Tara and Chenrezig to be extensions and manifestations of 'perfect qualities' we ourselves would like to, or seek to, develop.
Similarly, the Realms in the Afterlife, are representations of mental constructs we find ourselves in, on a daily basis. Sometimes, we may well hit the jackpot and 'reside' in all 6!
Hence the instructions of Watching the Mind.
At the moment of Death, what 'Frame of Mind' will YOU be in....?
Just be the best person you can be.
I'm afraid I don't subscribe to the existence of ephemeral, intangible 'beings' but then, I'm a born cynic.
It's a bit like the 'God' question really....
I deal with things as they is.
It's my lot to do so.
Ain't nobody or nuthin' else gonna pull the strings for me.