TALK 27 by Prabhuji (13 April 2016)
Today we will contemplate on what happens after death to different types of living beings.
First, let us contemplate on what happens to a person who is enlightened – A Jivan Mukta. A Jeevanmukta, by definition, is liberated when he is alive. What will happen to him? There are three bodies – gross body, subtle body, and causal body. The causal body or body of ignorance is dissolved because of Jnana; so Avidya is gone, causal body is gone. And because of that, the Jiva, the individual soul, has found the unity or merger with the Sakshi. He or she has become Brahman while he is alive. He has merged with the universal consciousness. There is a body, but the individual soul or Jivatma has become one with the Paramatma. So the body is not operated by the individual, but because of the consciousness which is there – the Paramatma – the body is operating. And the body continues to live on because some pending Prarabda karma is there. Now what is the pending Prarabda Karma? The pending Prarabda karma is related to the teaching. Ultimately, it is a Jnani who transmits the wisdom to others. The scriptures may say something, but ultimately the words of the scriptures become alive become in the mouth of a Jnani. So the body of the Jnani is maintained by the universal energy, Shakti, for the purpose of continuing the teaching. This is the case of a Jnani or Jivan Mukta. Such a person is said to be in Sahaja Samadhi, or natural state. He walks, he talks, he does everything, but there is no individuality; it is Impersonal Consciousness operating through that body mind complex for the purpose of teaching of the wisdom. When he dies – when we say ‘he’ dies, there is no question of death for him, but the body becomes old, or dies, here is no question of death for him, but when body becomes, old or dies, where does his soul go? Nowhere, because it has already merged with Paramatma. There is no movement anywhere. So this is the state of a Jivan Mukta.
For most of the people, the body is burnt after death. Typically, a Jivan Mukta’s body is buried, because that body has become sacred, holy, due to the merger of Jivatma with Paramatma – it is a temple of Paramatma before the body died after exhausting the Prarabda Karma. I have told the story of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a Jnani of highest order but he had a desire. He used to eat a lot of food. He liked food. Maa Sharadha devi used to tell, ‘What is this? You have a desire for food. Now what people will think of you? A Jnani is supposed to drop all the desires and you still have a desire for food.’ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say, ‘If I don’t have a small desire for food, my body will drop. To maintain the body, I need to have some small desire.’ For an Ajnani, to realise that ‘I am not a body, I am not a mind, I am not the intellect, I am pure Chaitanya’ is very difficult. For a Jnani to hold on to the body is very difficult – the other way. For an Ajnani, to hold on to the Atma is very difficult; whereas for a Jnani to hold on to a body is very difficult, because he has become one with Paramatma. But a Jnani may still continue to have some desires, some Prarabhdha karma, for the purpose of teaching. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say, ‘The day my desire for food stops, the day I stop taking food, my body will drop’. And he was eagerly waiting for disciples like Vivekananda for teaching purpose. And after he taught Vivekananda and many disciplines, he developed a throat cancer, he stopped taking food and within two days he attained Mahasamadhi.
So when a Jnani is alive, is in a state of Sahaja Samadhi, natural state. When his body drops, it is a state called Mahasamadhi. But, there is no difference from the perspective of Jivatma, because it has already become one with Paramatma. So presence of the body or absence of the body doesn’t matter, but it makes a difference to the people who are seeing it, because the teaching is happening or the teaching is not happening. This is the state of a Jivan Mukta.
There is another category of a person, who is called a Yogabrasta – somebody who tried to do Sadhana [who is a Yogi], but he could not progress, and died before completing the sadhana or realisation of any truth. That means he started spiritual practices, but he died before he could attain any state of realization. Such a person is called a Yogabrasta. What happens to a Yogabrasta? A Yogabrasta takes birth in another family which will be conducive for his spiritual practices; which will help him to continue his spiritual practices, and get realized. He will be born in a family of a Yogi, or possibly in the family of a rich man, but in either case it will be conducive for him to continue his spiritual sadhana and realise.
So we have understood what happens to a Jnani, and what happens to a Yogi. Now there is a third category, that is a Bhakta. The difference between a Jnani and Bhakta is that, typically Jnani does the Sadhana of ‘Neti, neti‘ and realises the truth, whereas Bhakta may focus on a deity,Devata. So a Bhakta takes the path of ‘Krama Mukti’ or gradual liberation. Depending on the stage of Bhakta, whether ‘salokya, sameepya, sarupya, or sayujya’, sayujya is as good as jivanmukti. He has attained salokya, the presence of deity or sameepya, closeness of the deity, or sarupya, some of the qualities of the deity has come to him. Then what happens to him after death, he goes through a path called devayana, or path of light, not physical light, but path of enlightenment or liberation or Mukti Marga, the path of sun, sun represents light. He goes to the loka of deity, which he did Upasana and in that loka, it is called Brahma loka, in that loka he stays for a long period of time, actually till the end of Brahma loka continues his sadhana attains Mukti along with the deity at the end of the period. This is called Devayana marga, or uttarayana marga or path of light.
Then what happens to a person who has not taken up spiritual sadhana, he is living in dharma, he is doing good activity, but his mind has not yet come for liberation or Mukti. A person can do activities for four purposes, ‘Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha’. For Moksha there are three type of people ‘Jnani, bhakti and yogi’.
The fourth type is not looking for moksha but doing dharmic activity which purifies him. Dharma can be performed in many ways, which ever position he is he can perform dharma, for example he is a king or an administrator, he can do service to the people or perform any of the Pancha Mahayagnas, pitr yagna, rishi yagna, buta yagna, dev yagna, Manushya yagna sincerely, so those people will acquire punya phala those people go through path of darkens or pitryana marga or path of ancestors or dakshinayana marga go to heaven enjoys punya and come back to the earth once the good merits or punya are exhausted. This is the path for a person who has done good karma or dharmic activities or punya.
What happens to a person who is not living in dharma, who has been doing adharmic activities creating pain and suffering for others, people, society, animals, environment. Such a person will also go to path of darkness, but hell, and suffers until it is exhausted and again he can be born on the earth as human being or possibly in the animal life also. This is the category of the people who have done dharma and adharma.
Now one more category pf people are there who are neither bothered about dharma or moksha, they are living for Artha and Kama, which is most of the category of people today. Bulk of the people fall into this category, artha means money, Kama means desire. Those who live in artha and Kama their actions are self-oriented. That is Kamya karma. They do good or bad to others only with the selfish interest. Now this debt will not qualify to Swarga loka or Naraka loka, this has to clear on the earth plane only they will be reborn in the earth plane, suitable for clearing their debts. All our family, friends, relatives, work, most of the people in our lives, are nothing but our karmic connections. Even if somebody hurts you, don’t get angry at some person, he has only come here to take back or give the karmic debt. Somebody does good or bad to you, accept with respect, he has only delivered good or bad karma which you have done. These people who do good or bad or just agents only. What is coming back to you is what you have done in your life, knowingly or unknowingly. A courier comes to you sometimes brings a good news or sometimes bad news but don’t get angry with the courier. This is what happens to a person who lives in Kamya karma.
Somebody who is a Bhakta, but because of his desires he is doing adharma, what happens to him? When I say Bhakta, bhakta does not automatically qualify for higher loka, normally when a bhakta goes to brahma loka or path of light, I am speaking of a bhakta who has certain level of realisation. Not just a simple Bhakta, when Bhakta gets a realisation whether ‘salokya, sameepya, sarupya, or sayujya’, one of these categories will go to higher lokas, otherwise the bhakta will not go to higher lokas. He has done his practices and adharma also. Adharma and papa punya are different. Adharma is more about not falling in line with the universal principles. So if he has done adharma, he will go to Naraka loka experience the phala of adharma and because he is a Bhakta he will come back to earth plane and continue his sadhana until he gets some level of realisation. So the papa punya, dharma adharma are all settled independently. They are not settled together. Neither papa cancel punya nor dharma cancel adharma. He has to come back to the earth plane … because realisation can happen only in the earth plane. Moksha has nothing to do with Swarga. Swarga is not a junction for moksha. Fruits of Dharma or punya are experienced in Swarga, fruits of papa or adharma or experienced in Naraka, but for Mukti one has to come back to the earth plane only. From Swarga to Mukti there is no direct path, because he has not attained the realisation. For example, Dharmaraya, all his life he told only one lie, because of this he had to visit Naraka loka, briefly get experience then he had to go to Swarga loka, but he did not attain Mukti, because he followed dharma not liberation.
Transcription by Atmajyothi Satyavathi