Some Buddhist schools assert that after death, consciousness is suspended for a period before rebirth takes place. This interval is called the in-between state (antarabhava). There are different theories as to how long this interval lasts. Some say seven days, others say 14 and yet others say 49. While Theravàda Buddhism denies the reality of the in-between state, the Pàëi texts imply that there is an interval between death and rebirth. The Buddha spoke of the situation `when one has laid down the body (i.e. died) but has not yet been reborn' (S.IV,400). On several other occasions he said that for one who has attained nirvana there is `no here, no there, no in-between'(S.IV,73), referring to this life, the next life and presumably, the in-between state. He even said that in certain circumstances someone might attain nirvana while in this in-between state. He called the individual who achieved this `a Niranaized in-between type'(antaràparinibbàyã, S.V,69).
In the Vajrayàna Buddhism of Tibet the in-between state is called the bardo. Some Tibetans believe that reading instructions from a text called Liberation Through Hearing in the In-between State (Bardo Thodol) to a recently deceased person who is supposedly in this state, can help them avoid rebirth and attain enlightenment. This text is known in the West as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.