The prominence of death rites in Tibet reflects the confluence of both indigenous and Buddhist beliefs and practices, as these have intermingled and developed throughout over a thousand years. Pre-Buddhist Tibetan culture appears to have possessed a distinct eschatology, concerned with the need to secure safe passage for the deceased in a difficult journey to the 'happy land'. An important aspect of the Indian contibution, however, was the very notion of the 'intermediate state', or bardo, which was originally posited in order to explain how one lifetime could be linked to another. The Buddhist funerary rite found at Dunhuang, and quoted above, emphasizes the importance of securing rebirth in a divine realm in which the Buddhist teaching is available. Tibetan mortuary traditions were particularly attentive, too, to the figure of the revenant, the individual who has undergone what we today call 'near-death experience' and so is regarded as having a privileged connection with the world of the dead.