Rainbow Body is a Tibetan Buddhist phenomenon wherein the bodies of common, spiritually perfected people vanish at death into a stream of rainbow colored light. According to the internet over one hundred sixty thousand people have left the world in documented rainbow body events. I’m not sure about the accuracy of that number but I can attest to ten incidents which come from trustworthy websites, two of which I have personally investigated onsite. The strange deaths of Old Testament greats Enoch, Elijah and Moses are highly suggestive of a rainbow body departure as is the death of Jesus’s mother Mary. A preponderance of evidence indicates that Jesus died a rainbow body death.
Most of the Tibetan practitioners follow a lifelong regimented yogic practice known as Dzogchen. Dzogchen involves extended periods in hermitic conditions, some in total darkness, where practitioners conform their thinking to accept the illusionary nature of reality, a trickery of the senses. Two Tibetan Buddhist sects, Bön and Nyingma, claim ownership of the practice although all five sects use it. Garab Dorje, a semi-historical figure is held to be the first human to achieve rainbow body. His years date to before the Christian era. Dorje is said to have been born of a virgin, debated scholars at age seven and, as mentioned, died without leaving a corpse behind.
With an unwavering view of the illusionary nature of everything, the stage is set for the body to return to the primordial emptiness from which it came. Using mental visualization techniques which center on the Tibetan particular view of the body (the subtle body) and its functioning, the practitioner’s body returns to the primordial state. The accompanying light emission indicates that an energy release takes place. In most cases by far the body shrinks to the size of a large thermos jug. In rare cases only hair and fingernails remain. In even rarer cases they too vanish. The vanishing act usually takes place over a seven day period.
I visited two rainbow body sites in 2018 and experienced the outpouring of devotion, reverence and respect that Tibetans give to those who achieve the ultimate spiritual state as well as the monuments they erect to them. One such site was the restored hermitage of the Buddhist monk Khenpo A-Cho who passed in September, 1998. His strange death is well attested by at least three other reliable sources, including a highly regarded Catholic priest. All of us relied on the first hand testimony of eye-witnesses. The Khenpo’s death was also reported in a regional newspaper and investigated by the Chinese police. No one was arrested or accused of stealing a corpse. The rainbow body phenomenon is virtually unknown here in the West but is widely known throughout Tibet, near unanimously by the monastics.
A school at the Tibetan Dzogchen Monastery teaches rainbow body attainment. Can you imagine? A school that teaches you to die without leaving a corpse behind.
Where does the body go when it is no longer visible to the human eye? The strange vanishing (and the yogic practice which produces it) is consistent with the science of the atom and its well known duality. All things are made of atoms. An atom has a dual nature. It is either a tangible, particle kind of thing or an intangible something residing in primordial emptiness. Scientists call the later wave state. The world has known about matter duality since the early 1800’s but treated it as a novelty of the atomic world. Now we know differently. And in that knowledge we know that reality is nothing like we heretofore supposed it is.
The naturalness of a rainbow body death collides with Christian resurrection doctrine where the corpse-less death of Jesus is held to be a miraculous event, singularly unique in human history. It is mind-boggling to this blogger to think that common people living in a distant culture, quietly hidden away in the high country beyond the Himalayas, considered ignorant by most Western norms, knows how to die without leaving a corpse behind while here in the West, with our high scholarship, biblical knowledge and high tech knowhow, we are taught doing so requires divine intervention. Rainbow body conclusively demonstrates the primacy of mind in the human experience and ushers in a radically new view of reality. It is something Western mainstream tragically refuses to accept. Non-acceptance is a tragedy for the phenomenon gives new meaning as to what it means to be human, why we are here on the planet, what we should be doing while here and what happens when we are gone. And, none of those have anything to do with God or religion.