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La-vitality (Tib. བླ་, Wyl. bla) — located in the heart, it is responsible for the sense of identification with the body. If the la-vitality is “scattered” or leaves the body, death will soon follow. It is one of the three factors that contribute to keeping us alive, together with our longevity (tshe)[1] and the life-force (srog).[2] The la of a deity or a person can be kept in a stone called lado.

La-vitality can be ransomed back through practices called lalu (bla bslu).

Khenpo Kartar explained that: "The word la means 'above' or 'higher' and is sometimes translated as 'spirit'. The la is what remains behind when a person dies, while the life-force is what ends and the consciousness is what proceeds to take rebirth."[3]


  1. Longevity is a kind of force or energy that we possess at birth as the result of our previous karma; when it is “interrupted” by an incidental factor, such as an accident or illness, we die.
  2. Life-force is the life energy that every sentient being possesses and that is responsible for our health and a general sense of well-being; when it is “corrupted” by illness or spirits, death will follow.
  3. Khenpo Kartar Rinpoche, Karma Chakme's Mountain Dharma, Vol. II (Woodstock: KTD Publications, 2006), p.88.