Understanding The Spirituality Of Death

Humanity has always regarded death with great awe and fear although death is the only reality in this unreal world of shadow-play (Maya). Every ancient civilization had rituals, procedures and concepts concerning death in order to assist the dead person’s soul on its final exit from this world. The Tibetans and Egyptians even have a huge treatise called ‘The Book Of The Dead’ (Egyptian) and ‘The Bardo Thodal’ (Tibetan). Extracts from these books were made into manuals to guide the soul into afterlife-like guidebooks.

Death is an unfathomable mystery but when understood, it holds the key to moksh.  Most people fear death because it is an unknown and separates us from people we love. Some think of it as a final end. But death is not the final end, it is only the end of the physical body, which is merely a temporary housing for our soul. It’s a separation of the higher and lower principles within us – a shedding of the physical principle so that we assimilate our learning of that incarnation and prepare for even greater spiritual lessons. Death provides a release from the burdens of the flesh.
There are two types of deaths – natural and unnatural, the former being the gradual unloosening of the energy-fabric (Pranic-Shakti) of the soul from the physical. It occurs when all karma of that lifetime has been accomplished, and hence is peaceful, eg. an old person dying in sleep. The unnatural type of death involves accident, disease, illness, murder or suicide. Excessive smoking, drinking and eating are considered slow forms of self-destruction. This type of death is not peaceful because your body undergoes slow destruction.

Highly evolved souls know how to pass out of life in full-consciousness. You have to pray daily to your ancestors and loved ones who have passed on, thanking them for the gift of life and request them to come and help you during the transition (death) when your time comes. As the time of death draws near, the soul begins preparation for its withdrawal. The cessation of physical life triggers the reverse of what occurred in the manifestation after conception. Consciousness withdraws from the physical body into subtle bodies and each of these subtle bodies (consisting of spiritual, mental and emotional energies) get slowly disentangled and disintegrated.

The first challenge for the soul is to disentangle from the physical plane and adjust to the etheric level. This part takes a very short time (perhaps only 24 hours of earth-time) which is why as the life-force withdraws to the etheric level, there’s a noticeable difference in the body and face of a dead person. The soul is so attached to the body that it’s etheric band of energy (aura or electro-magnetic body) stays close to the physical body until the morning of the fourth day after death. If the body is preserved in a morgue or put on an ice-slab to preserve it for a delayed funeral, the soul is in great agony and anguish. The body needs a light (divo or candle) plus continuous prayers next to it until the time of its disposal and its best to dispose the body immediately or as soon as possible. When this cannot be done, the soul is confused, not realizing that it is not part of the physical body. However no soul is unaided. Relatives, loved ones and angels gather to assist it.

In case of accidents and suicides also, the soul gets assistance by an angelic hierarchy who work non-stop in the astral world to ensure that no soul transits without assistance. These beings are the most loving of all angelic forms because those who die suddenly or by suicide need extremely compassionate love and spiritual nurturing to face what has just occurred.

By the dawn of the fourth day, the soul has untangled all the threads of energy with the physical body. The soul is now cut off from the life-force (pran) that it would normally draw from the sun through the physical body – so now, it draws energy from the other sources like divo, lights, candles, flowers which are placed there and mostly from the prayers recited continuously by loved ones. All these provide subtle energy-vibrations for the disentangling to be completed. More importantly, they prevent energy from being zapped and drawn from the living who may be near the body.

After the soul has withdrawn completely from the physical, it begins the process of evaluation of its life-experiences, like a Supreme Power asking us, ‘So, what have you done with your life?’ If we have led a pure, honest, helpful, loving life, our soul feels joy and happiness (a state of consciousness we call heaven). If we have done wrong throughout life, the soul feels anguish and sorrow (the state of consciousness we call hell). If too many mistakes have been made, the soul begins to make preparations to return once more for yet further lessons (the allusion of falling off the ‘Chinvad-Bridge’ into another womb.)

Before rebirth, the soul, along with Karmic angels determines criteria, according to one’s past Karma including, What kind of parents will the soul be born to; What sort of people will the soul interact with in life; How can the soul best serve humanity; What do you have to learn and teach other souls; and What is your purpose for this next incarnation. From here begins a new chapter – we go from one womb to another – (Laxa-Chorashi) – until we lead such a life that we break the wheel of repeated birth-death-birth journeys and become one with the divine.

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