The subject “Death” is taboo in all the societies across the World! We are not afraid of any other thing as much as Death – for the simple reason that it ceases our very existence on Earth! At least it is so, to our eyes! This is because we firmly believe that all that we see, exists in the Universe! But is it the reality? Is it true in real sense? Actually, what ceases to exist after Death is the existence of ‘the mortal physical body’ and not the ‘Soul’ within!
Lord Krishna says in Bhagvadgeeta-
“vasansi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grihnati naro parani
tatha sharirani vihaya jirnani anyani samyati navani dehi”.
It means – “The journey of the soul is continuous, just as a man gives up old worn-out garments and wears new clothes; in the same way the embodied “Soul” gives up old worn out bodies and accepts new bodies. In simpler term it means the “Soul” is imperishable.
There are two types of things in the universe – Living things and non-living things! And both have the common characteristics ‘a continuous change in the outer form’! A new-born infant changes its form into an aged person after many years. But in the process what has changed is the outer form or the looks of the body. When an egg is hatched, we see a chick which grows up into a bird. Again, what we see is the transformation of the outer looks. When a seed is sowed, it grows into a plant and after few years it changes its form into a giant tree. So we see the outer appearance changing constantly, but the energy or lifeforce in the first stage remains unaltered throughout the transformation till the end!
And this holds true in case of Death too! At the time of death, the life-force i.e. the “Soul” within, leaves the mortal physical body and after some time, enters a new mortal body. It’s called re-birth or re-incarnation! In this process, the outer form or the external appearance changes but the Soul within is the same. It is now proven that the entity exists even after death, the Soul and consciousness exists after death! Scientists have found evidences to prove this miraculous fact. In Hindu religion, we find that the word “Re-incarnation” carries a lot of awe, but worldwide people spend their entire life doing research on this topic. Ouija boards, Automatic writing, seeing the dead person in again, dead relatives giving messages in our dreams, bodies possessed by spirits, electronic voice phenomena – all these phenomena prove that the Soul never dies and it certainly exists after death. Well, we find stories across many religions in support of this and in many ways the same have been proved by experiments.
Where does the Soul travel after Death? Is “re-incarnation” a truth? Why do Souls re-incarnate?
Human being has three bodies – physical body, astral/subtle body and causal body! The astral body contains the ten senses, five life forces, ego, feelings, mind and intelligence! Our thoughts and emotions are created and stored in the astral body which plays an important role in the activities of our consciousness. At death, the physical body is destroyed. When a human being is alive this subtle body can come out of the body. This astral body is connected to our physical body with an invisible cord, which is called a silver cord. This silver cord is our spirit body’s life line to our physical body in the same way that our umbilical cord is our life line to our mother’s body during the birth process. At the time of the death of a physical body, this cord is severed or broken and the soul starts its journey in the new world.
Well, this is not the place to deliberate and discuss how and where does the Soul go after Death. It’s a separate topic by itself. In short, there are many “Lokas” or the “planes of consciousness” in the Universe (Brahmaand) besides our mother Earth. We can refer to many religious books about the seven adho lokas (lower) and five urdhva(higher) Lokas. Depending upon the spiritual progress, the Soul is sent to one of these Lokas. Here the Soul is subjected to various levels of purification. Man is said to live in five koshas (sheaths of consciousness). The mortal body has annamay kosh (food sheath) and pranamay kosh (energy hseath). On the outer side is Vasanaao=kosh and Manomay kosh. At the time of death, these two leave the body and travel to the Lokas. The unfulfilled or unsatisfied desires are purified in these Lokas. These Lokas have absolutely organized and orderly systems. While in thes eLokas we do not feel pains or aches of any sort. While the Soul has the pool of Karmas with it, it stays there and then it is sent to its onward journey taking a new birth.
We have to ponder over 2 main points here – what is Karma? And why is re-birth an inevitable certainty? All things good and bad that we DO while we are alive are termed as our KARMA. And this includes our thinking ability to think of good or evil thoughts too. Any mentality or tendency, on physical, emotional or mental level comes under karma. The way we behave defines our Karma. Our Karma has a great influence on our surrounding sphere of energy or vibrations!
There are 3 main types of Karma – 1) Sanchita 2) Praarabdha 3) Kriyamaan.
‘Sanchit’ is the accumulated karma. This is the accumulation of karma. While the Soul goes thrugh the cycles of re-births, it goes on accumulating (by virtue of the deeds), and after all the additions and deductions – the net resultant is stuck up with the soul and it is carried forth to the next birth and that’s known as Sanchit Karma.
“Praarabdha karma” is the part of sanchita karma, that is ripe enough to be experienced by a person and allotted for this life time to him or her to work on. If we work on agreed upon debts in this life time, much sanchit karma gets desolved.
“Kriyaman karm” is the immediate result of our deeds which we experience then and there. some kriyaman karmas bear fruit in the current life, others are stored for enjoying in future births. Thus kriyaman karma is classified into two sub-categories: arabdha(literally) and anarabdha(sprouting).
The nature and place of our re-incarnation is subject to our Karmas. So, one would question “is the re-birth unavoidable?” The answer is “yes, we are destined to undergo rebirth”.
When we start thinking over this subject, there would be 100s of questions that come to our mind and start bothering us. “Who am I? From where do I come from? Why am I here? What is the reason that I am born here? Why is every single human being different than others? Why are some people rich and some poor? Why am I going through this trauma? Why are the siblings born in the same house or at the same time have different lives? Why are some people so blessed that without putting in any efforts they earn so much money? Why do some people enjoy a rich and lavish lifestyle when they are constantly engaged in illicit or criminal activities? Why do some bad people enjoy a long life when many good people die early? Why many good people have very tough and difficult life? Why do some perfectly fit and healthy couples give birth to abnormal children? If we all are the God’s children then why is there so much disparity? Why does God show such partiality?
Why all this suffering, If we have only one life as humans?
The answer is “No, there are some divine plans behind all this”. And when we try to search for the answer, the answer lies in our Karmas.
There is someone up there, who is watching all our moves and deeds carefully and noting our every action! Someone up there is constantly creating our balance sheet of good deeds and bad deeds and it is called ‘the akashik record’ And accordingly we either have to pay back or enjoy rich dividends! But that is not possible in one life-span and that’s why we undergo the cycles of many re-incarnations till we tally the balance sheet with other Souls whom we have dealt with. And unless and until we satisfactorily complete this give-and-take and thus develop spiritually our Souls cannot be liberated. And hence we have to face the cycle of re-births! After that our soul, the small portion of god energy in us is merged in the cosmic god energy.
In the modern world, we have the proofs and corroborations to validate above. There are many people who have witnessed the re-incarnations and spoken about it. There are many expert therapists who take past-life-regression sessions for the people and we can actually “see” our past lives in previous births. And that solves many un-answered questions in our minds. We could easily conclude why certain relations are the way they are, we can understand why we have peculiar health issues or psychological problems like phobias. We get the clues why certain people have uncanny enmity towards us when we haven’t done any harm to them. It definitely helps us to know that the way of our present life is the connected to our own past deeds in the previous births. Many people have counter checked the things and places which they have seen in their past life regression session.
So we can safely conclude here, that is our deeds drive our destiny in the next re-incarnation then we must strive to behave as good human beings with no enmity or hatred for others. We should bear in mind that if we do harm to others it would boomerang on us in the next re-incarnations in one or the other way.
We need to think beyond our existence and beyond our gods that we worship. We must think of the whole Universe and beyond the universe to know the ultimate truth. The Brahma!
So to reach towards the higher self, we must strive to generate positive vibes or positive vibrations. And to be able to do that we should pray to the God almighty to give us strength to do good things, to reduce the loss-side in our balance sheet so that our Souls would be liberated from the trap of the cycle of re-births and attain Moksha.
Know for certain that death has no power to annihilate our soul our soul, our true identity, is the source of all consciousness. It is separate from our body and mind which are subject to change and dissolution. Our consciousness is the part of cosmic consciousness and is the deathless witness to changes of the body. The universal consciousness is like an ocean and we are like the drops of water which rise to the sky from ocean and again fall into the ocean as a rain drops and become an ocean itself.
Death is inescapable and inevitable reality. We should make death a part of life by understanding that the lifetime is just a small comma in the line. We should face the death fearlessly.
Nothing material will accompany us while leaving this earth. Nothing material can overcome the death. So we should be free ourselves from attachments. One should know the universal law of karma in depth.
Let the God bless us all to progress spiritually to become the pure Souls!
Dr. Medha Khasgivale