Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What happens when i die?

Hello i the creator of this blog has not written any of the following down but recommend a good read if you worry about what happens when you die.
I feel that this person has explained in a way i would have liked to do.
So please have a good read and share with other people who may need lighting wisdom.
The words below are not in terms of religion but explain in a way science would explain.

 Death And Thereafter
  By : Dinesh Singh             

Nobody on this planet has got the lease of eternal life. Whosoever is born is destined to perish. This is true in case of all living beings from the human, animal and plant kingdoms. This being so, our curiousity is bound to arise to know about the mystery of death and what happens thereafter. Does something go out of the body and if so, what and whereto?

We can tell from our experience that when a man dies, all his body-parts remain intact but without the sweet fragrance of life. It is like a dead flower whose scent has withered away. All the sense organs - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin – remain in their respective places but without the power of perception. All the organs of action, hands, feet etc. are immaculately in place but without any motion or energy to act. Then, how is it that the body suddenly becomes dysfunctional? It is because the bio-energy (pran) and senses which vitalize multifarious organs and physiological functions of the body have deserted it. Technically speaking, it is the occurrence of ‘death’ of the gross body, which is disposed of in various ways as per customs of various religions.  

What remains after death? Does anything of the terminated life remains to form a link with a future existence? Related to this question is the enigma of rebirth. If the theory of rebirth is accepted, a question instantly pops up: rebirth of what? What is it that takes birth again? The gross body has already perished and cannot reappear again. Sanatana Dharam, popularly known as Hindusism, addresses this question in the most scientific manner. We have observed above that death of the gross body occurs when the bio-energy (pran) and senses desert it. It is clear that they do not perish along with the gross body. The mind and ego also do not perish along with the gross body. So what remain after death of the gross body are bio-energy, senses, mind and ego. All these combine to constitute what we call ‘astral-body’ (Sukshma-shareer). It is this astral body that, in course of time, takes another gross body, which we call ‘rebirth’.

Before we discuss the process of rebirth and its compulsions, let us remove a misconceived notion about soul. Some people wrongly believe that it is soul which takes rebirth. In the Gita, the embodied soul is called Dehi meaning one with a body. It is also said in the Gita that just as a man puts on new clothes discarding the worn-out ones, so the dehi takes on new bodies discarding the worn-out ones. This gives an impression that it is soul that takes on new bodies out of its own volition or compulsion. This will be a wrong interpretation of the Gita text because soul has no volition or compulsion. Soul is devoid of any quality or attributes (nirvikara). So, how can it have any desire or compulsion to be reborn to experience the sorrows and sufferings of samsara.

Another misconceived notion about soul persists in the minds of some people who believe the soul to travel from one body to another. In their misconception, soul is like a tiny bird that flows out of one body and enters another body, which is absurd. All such misconceptions are due to ignorance regarding the true nature of soul. Soul being the essence of all existence pervades and permeates all that we perceive and experience in the phenomenal world. That being so, the question of its traveling from one place to another like a moving object does not arise. Even a moderate student of physical science will tell you that something which is all-pervasive does not move from one place to another. For example, space which is all-pervasive does not move from one place to another. It follows, therefore, that soul neither goes out of the body nor enters any body. But, as soon as an astral body adopts a gross body, the all-encompassing soul takes it into its embrace and illumines it with consciousness which is its intrinsic nature. It is both within the body and beyond it. Being within the body and conditioned by its limitations, it is called ‘embodied’.

Reverting to the issue of rebirth, we have observed that it is the astral body that adopts a gross body. But why and under what compulsion? It is to be borne in mind in this context  that the astral body itself is an effect of another cause, that is, ‘causal body’ (kaaran shareer). What constitutes the causal body? It is the name of ungratified desires (vaasana) accumulated over the length of a life-time, and in some cases many life times.  Desires which remain ungratified create impressions on the mind, which are carried forward even after death. It is an undisputed fact that howsoever hard we may strive we are not able to fulfill all the desires we entertain in our life. Entertaining desires becomes a mental habit with us and we continue entertaining desires even when we get physically weak and can no longer make any physical exertion. Impressions of all such ungratified desires become accumulated to constitute the causal body which impels the astral body to adopt a fresh gross body after the previous body is deserted and dead. The type and texture of the causal body determines as to what type of gross body the astral body will adopt. If the ungratified desires are of sattvik nature which seek gratification in noble pursuits of life, which has been interrupted by sudden termination of the gross body, the astral body is bound to adopt a body that facilitates pursuit of these ideals. On the other hand, if the ungratified desires are of base and sensual type, the astral body is likely to take a body of animal instinct easily found in the animal kingdom where gratification of such desires is more easily possible.     

Thus the causal body becomes the first link in a causal chain to cause an astral body followed by a gross body and again by a reinforced causal body. This causal sequence perpetuates to innumerable births and deaths making jiva to suffer the painful experiences of samsara. In Buddhist philosophy we find a similar chain of causation for the sufferings of samsara. The highly analytical mind of Lord Buddha had unraveled twelve causes beginning with ignorance, which he called twelve links of the Causal Wheel. If one or more links of the Causal Wheel could be broken, Lord Buddha had preached, the Wheel would stop and the suffering humanity could get out of it.

Similar is the case with the causal chain beginning with the causal body but with a little difference. Here there are not many links and the only intervening link i.e. the astral body cannot be done away with unless the first link i.e. the causal body is broken. So in order to break free from this causal chain one has to break free from the causal body i.e. the accumulated stock of ungratified desires (vaasana). Exhaustion of this accumulated stock
is not an easy task. It is like an increasing bank balance with compound interest. For exhausting this stock, the first imperative is to stop further investments. That is to say, fresh desires should not be entertained. This is possible by the practice of dispassion and detachment, which does also help in removing the residual impressions of ungratified desires. The next step is inculcation of the capacity to discriminate between sat (real) and asat (unreal). This is called Viveka. Vairagya (detachment) and Viveka (discrimination) are the two weapons with which the shackles of all residual impressions of ungratified desires (vaasana) can be cut asunder. In the Hindu scriptural texts, vaasana is known as sin. A man free from vaasana is virtually free from all sins (nishpap). Last but not the least, the grace of God is the greatest antidote to wipe off sins, as Lord Krishna most eloquently promises to humanity:

Leaving aside all Dharmas, take refugee in Me alone;
I will release thee from all sins, grieve not (Gita: 18/66)