Wednesday, January 04, 2006

DEATH - An Introduction

I have been always fascinated by DEATH. I have decide to write about the most fascinating concept called DEATH. What is DEATH? What happens after DEATH? What is the astral world?What is reincarnation? I will be taking pointers from great spiritual teachers like Swami Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda and Sadhu Vasawani, who have written about "Life After Death".

Swami Sivananda states in his famous book "What Becomes Of The Soul After Death", that the concept of Paraloka-Vidya or the science about the departed souls and their planes of living is a subject of absorbing interest. It is a Mysterious Science which contains many secrets or hidden wonders. It has intimate connection with Panchagni-Vidya or the science of transmigration propounded in the Chandogya Upanishad. The doctrine of reincarnation or metempsychosis, transmigration of the soul and spiritualism come under the Paraloka-Vidya. Everybody is curious and anxious to know this science.

Great scientists, the inventors of many marvellous things, mighty Emperors who have done stupendous works, inspired poets, wonderful artists, many Brahmins, Rishis, Yogis have come and gone. You are all extremely anxious to know what has become to them. Do they still exist? What is there at the other side of death? Have they become non-existent or have they dwindled into an airy nothing? Such questions do arise spontaneously in the hearts of all. The same question arises today as it arose thousands of years ago. No one can stop it, because it is inseparably connected with our nature.

Death is a subject which is of the deepest interest to everyone. One day or other all must die. The terror of death overshadows the lives of all human beings. It brings considerably unnecessary sorrow, suffering and anxiety to the survivors who are anxious to know about the fate of the departed souls.

In the West also this question has aroused a great deal of interest and attention in certain scientific circles. Much investigation has been made. But the researches have, however, been confined more or less to find out whether or not the individuality survives and persists after the dissolution of the physical body. This has been proved in the affirmative by actual communication with the spirit world through science, mediumship etc.

A knowledge of this science will rob death of all its terror and sorrow and enable you to see it in the proper light and to understand its place in the scheme of your evolution. It will certainly goad you to find out suitable methods to conquer death and attain immortality. It will forcibly urge you to take to the study of Brahma-Vidya in right earnest and find out the true Master or illumined sage who can put you in the right path of Truth and explain to you the mysteries of Kaivalya or Brahma-Jnana.

You have suffered very much simply out of ignorance and superstition concerning this most important matter. If you go through this book carefully the veil of ignorance will be removed. You will be freed from the horrors of death.

The one aim of all Yoga Sadhanas is to face death fearlessly and joyfully. A Yogi or a Sage or even a real aspirant has no fear of death. Death is terribly afraid of those who do Japa, meditation and Kirtanam. He and his messengers dare not approach them. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, “Having come to Me, these Mahatmas come not again to birth, the place of pain and non-eternity; they have gone to the highest bliss” (Chapter VIII-15).

Death is painful to a worldly man. A desireless man never weeps when he dies. A full-blown Jnani never dies. His Prana never departs. Your highest duty is to prepare for a peaceful life hereafter. Conquer the fear of death. Conquest of fear of death, conquest of death is the highest utility of all Spiritual Sadhana. Pray to the Lord to enable you to worship Him in every birth of yours. End the cycle of birth if you want everlasting bliss. Live in the eternal Atman and be happy for ever.

Bhishma had death at his command (Iccha-Mrityu). Savitri brought back Satyavan, her husband, to life through her power of chastity. Markandeya conquered death through worship of Lord Siva. You also can conquer death through devotion, knowledge and power of Brahmacharya.

(To be contd...)


At January 04, 2006 8:59 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

Arjuna, I have these queries:
1. If the main aspiration of all born on earth should be Mukti from another Birth, why be born at all in the first place?

2. I think that our focus should always be on EARTH and what happens to it, because our spirit and our souls are all quite perfect and fine. After all we are needed to correct only what is wrong not what is already perfect.

That being the case, I think death of Death is the manadatory requirement for the BODY. Nothing else seems to die - our minds or vitalities and our souls just seem to be intact. But our bodies actually decay and die. So when we talk of death, and conquering of death, we are actually only speaking about our body. We have to make our body full of the Spiritual Light and Power so that THE BODY NEVER EVER DIES AND IS IMMORTAL AS THE SPIRIT.

And all this on a permanent basis, well established. Not just in a few greats like Swami Yogananda or Ramalinga Adigallaar etc. No body should die, and besides the scientists I think that it will be the spiritualists too who will contribute to this research.

The Spirit should be the master and conquer Death in the Body. That is the conclusion I have arrived at.

The post is of course very interesting, because of the very nature of the topic you have chosen.

Get the sequel ready soon and I will be back...

At January 04, 2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Sriram V Iyer said...

Shri Gurubhyo Namah. Harih Om

This topic is of immense interest to most of us. My thoughts on the same.

In my very limited study, I have come across two types of spirituality. One that says body is useless and Jiva (soul + temporarily acquired mind because of vasanas) should be freed. Others, the Siddhantas say that body is as immortal as the soul. (Like Sri Mahavatar Babaji, Sri Ramalinga Adigalar, Sri Agastiar etc.) Swami Sri Paramahansa Yogananda gave up his body, so I will not include the name in this list.

Some comments on Parvati's comments:

1. The Primal cause of birth is a debatable topic. I would not like to delve on that. But, since we are not awake to reality, we should realize the self and that would stop us from rebirth. (punarapi jananam, punarapi maranam, punarapi janani jatare shayanam. Idah samsare, bahu dustare - note the 'bahu dustare' it is not a simple pain (dukh), it is bahu - very painful/. So, we should avoid rebirth. )

2. Earth is a very small field of activity in the Universe. We would do good not to focus on it. It is just another element. But, since field of activity of the Jiva is in earth, we must pay due respects to it and know its properties. (optional)

Kriya Yoga of Sri Mahavatar Babaji, emphasizes on having an immortal body. Shaiva Siddhanta also tells that body is required for the Jiva/Soul to act. It is like a just born kid, without eyes, ears, mouth, in an enclosement that is dark and cold. By His immense Grace, Lord Shiva gives the soul an opportunity to be born. (I am just expressing the view of Shaiva Siddhanta, and no way hurting Vaishnavite friends)

If you have time, please read some of the posts:

Sri Subrahmanyoham
Sriram V Iyer

At January 04, 2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Ganesh said...

This is very wonderful topic and very personal too. Not many can appreciate such things.

There are different ways of approaching this.
If you see the siddha system deathlessness or longevity is an important field. Through kayakalpam they achieve this, but it might not necessarily only the physical body but in astral body.

For Jnana marga school its only the spirit that counts not the body.

At January 05, 2006 12:07 AM, Blogger TJ said...

Apart from all the concepts, as an advaitin, we must agree that, everything is one and the same, so we are the same before birth as now and as after death. when only the forms are changing why to worry about something like that!

At January 05, 2006 4:31 AM, Blogger Viji said...

Arjuna- This post is a bit confusing to me...
You speak alternatively about conquering the fear of death and death itself. Aren't the two mutually exclusive? What I mean is...
1. If we conquer the fear of death we'll be prepared to face death. Consequently, there's no need to conquer death.
2. If we conquer death itself or at least find out ways to do so, there's no need to fear it.

enna solrennu puriyalaya? enakkum dhan... ;)

Death is horrifying, sinister, barbaric, whichever way you look at it... oh, no... not our death, but those of loved ones... I think we should conquer fear of the same first...

One more sentence that puzzled me in this post is- "A desire less man never weeps when he dies". Please explain...

At January 05, 2006 4:33 AM, Blogger Viji said...

P.S: That was my longest comment ever... :)

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At February 19, 2007 9:20 AM, Anonymous Geet said...

Well here's my opinion-

swami vivekananda said that there is really no difference between matter,mind and spirit.They are only different phases of experiencing THE ONE.

Thiis very world is seen by the five senses as matter, by the wicked as hell, by the good as heaven and by the perfect as God.


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