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Birth & Death - link-pins with the 'beyond'

The Process of Birth & Death

The 'Shiv Netra' or 'Single Eye', Mahar Lok, the Brahmandic equator, the 'Jewel in the Lotus' is the 'Death plane', where Yama- Lord of Death resides and dispenses justice. It is the reflection plane of duality where the negative creation below it (Sindh Viraat Triloki: Bhu, Bhuvah & Swah) is a mirror reflection of the positive one above it, much as a reflection in a pond of water. The two universes of the blooming Lotus (with 5 petals presently) of Brahmand can also variously be conceived as a pair of Trees- the 'Tree of Life' and the 'Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil', Apples (the lower being the one in the 'Garden of Eden', the 'Apple of Discord'), Pyramids (with their apexes touching) and so on created in a 'Big Bang'. The reader is referred to an excellent web-site on this allegory with a description of the recursive nature of the 'Apple of Creation' or the 'Fruit tree yielding fruit, whose seed is inside it":

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In terms of the time cycles, the lower anti-matter (us!) universe is that of light 'Let there be light and there was light' created from the upper universe of dark matter. The 'fall of Man' refers to the creation of the lower universe and Man taking on a 'material vest' (the 'animal Man') and being dethroned from the upper universe that was the 'Garden of Eden'. This is the process of 'birth'. However, ironically, this allegoric descent into the evil universe would prepare Man for his eventual ascent, bringing to a close the process of material evolution and begin one of mental and spiritual evolution back towards the Cosmic positive pole.

Death is discard of Dehatma- the material lower vest and reversion to upper mental and spiritual vest within the Sutratma- soul-string (located at Vaikunth, with its true 'Crown' at Sahasraar), the 'Garden of Eden'. However, since material attachments and desires acquired during the earthly sojourn remain strong, in line with the principle that 'one goes where one's desires lay' a rebirth follows (which is why the Buddhist dictum: 'be desireless'). This is the bondage of the 'Cycle of 8.4 mill. life-forms'. In the present state of evolution, the deity one reaches during the process of death is Mahesh, Jehovah, Allah, Saturn (Janah Lok). However, Chaitanya or Savikalp Samadhi at Sahasraar (the control centre of the birth-death process for human-beings) is given before a human birth and if the dying person can grasp its 'Clear Light', such a liberation or Pari-Nirvana is possible, whereby the bondage of birth-rebirth is brought to an end.

The Birth & Death Cycle

The knowledge that we must all necessarily die one day, and perhaps be reborn once again, constitutes the starting point of the Spiritual enquiry into the subject of living and dying. It is during life itself that we can make crucial decisions and take steps that will determine our fate after death- whether rebirth or liberation, as indeed, it is in death that we take crucial decision as to the nature of our rebirth.

Post-death, being bound by the 'Cycle or Wheel of birth and death in 8.4 mill. life-forms', an ordinary mortal returns to life on Earth or below it. If one is ordinarily initiated into Spirituality, one can learn to discard the Dehatma voluntarily and not take birth again, remaining engrossed in the bliss of the Heavens above (at least until being caught up by dissolution thereof). However, for a true Spiritual initiate whose Sutratma has been raised to Sach Khand-Anami, this process of the inner journey to the lower Astral plane encompasses merely the initial stage of the journey and one can voluntarily replicate this ascention into the Sutratma during the everyday meditation, described variously as 'dying daily' or 'dying while living', itself and can exercise one's option to ascend even beyond the planes of birth and death. The Tibetian Buddhist Tantrists speak of the 4 bardos- transitions or gaps in-between during the life and death process as delineated in their book, 'Bardo Thodol'- Book of the Dead. The Bardo manuals are recited to the deceased in order to help them recognize that the blinding lights and the deities- both peaceful and wrathful, are but a projection of their own Mind so as be liberated thereof. These Bardos are:

1. The 'Painful' bardo of dying and death beginning with dying until the end of the 'inner respiration', which leads to the dawning of the Conscious Mind state: the 'Clear Light of Ultimate Reality' of the Sun of Sahasraar {12}, manifesting as sound, colour and light.

2. The 'Luminous' bardo of dharmata or 'nature of reality'- after-death includes the experience of the radiance or 'Clear Light of the nature of Unconscious Mind'- the Sun of Astral Kundalini {4} manifesting as sound, colour and light, and

3. The 'Karmic' bardo of becoming- until rebirth, which lasts upto the conception into moisture, lotus, egg or womb and rebirth for between one week and 49 days.

4. The bardo of Samadhi, which is merger with the Sun of Sahasraar {12} or Nirvana- ultimate reality.

5. The dreamlike bardo of Enlightened Awareness.

6. The 'natural' bardo of this life, the period between birth and death, meant to prepare for death itself by learning and practicing to die.

The 'Bardos' during life and death

The 'Bardos' during life and death

# if unrecognized, degenrates into peaceful and wrathful visions.

The Process of Death

The Dying

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The 'bardo of dying' has two aspects: (a) Outer dissolution, when 1. the Elements and the Senses related to the Physical Body dissolve, and (b) Inner dissolution involving the psychological Thought-states and emotions of 2. Pindi-man- gross Physical and 3. Andi-man- subtle Astral Mind.

1. The Karmendriyas- Bodily functions of excretory and generative organs, feet (the extension of the excretory chakra), hands (the extension of the heart chakra) and speech and the Gyanendriyas- Senses of smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing begin to fail, as the chakras collapse one-by-one from below on and their corresponding Tattwa dissolves into the higher, with an experience of: 'shimmering mirage' (Water), 'smokiness' (Fire), 'fireflies in the sky' (Air) and 'clear candle flame with a red glow' (Ether). The Dense body is then vacated.

When the glistening life-thread or 'Silver Cord', shaped like twin entwined figures of '6', connecting the heart region of the Solid body with the heart region of the non-Solid body is snapped at the joint, causing the heart to stop, soul's disconnection with 'the tabernacle of flesh' is complete. The Prana Vayus containing gross consciousness with subtle Mind-sense and 80 'instinct-patterns' withdraw into Sushumna- the central nervous system at Guda chakra {4}.

2. The soul enters the non-Dense body, taking with it the 'soul of one dense atom' containing all the forces that had played through the Dense body, and begins to draw away from the Dense body with a spiral movement and float or hover above it. Psychologically and inwardly, three experiences (radiance-luminance-imminence) are encountered during this process: the Mother essence ('Emotional seed atom', 'seed atom' being a permanent karmic recording device)- red, hot, desire-state: at the solar plexus or Nabhi- navel {10} chakra- 'redness like a Sun in pure sky' (anger) and the Father essence ('Mental seed atom')- white, blissful, anger-state: with its seat in the Pineal Gland at Ajna- between eyes chakra {2}- a 'whiteness of the pure sky struck by the light of Moon' (desire), move along Sushumna towards and meet in the Hriday- heart {12} chakra ('Heart seed atom') enclosing 'Consciousness' {CC} within them, the 'blackness' (ignorance)- an 'empty sky shrouded in bright darkness' is experienced.

With the gathering of the Pranas, the soul finds itself losing consciousness in the dark cavelike ('Cave of Machpelah' ), Tunnel, Shaman's Drum or Golden Bridge or Yellow Brick Road or Celestial Rainbow of the colours of the Tattwas- Elements, Crooked Cataract or Magickal Bridge between this world and the next or the land of the Pleiades, crossed riding a 'horse', which connects to the band of Zodiac in the sky at Capricorn, while Cancer at the opposite end connects with the Realm of the Dead, the gateway to Hell below Ajna {2}. With the poisonous thought-states of anger, desire and ignorance disappearing, a non-dual Mind-state free of thoughts {2} in the Spirit- 'a pure and cloudless sky just before dawn' results.

3. With the Mental, Emotional and Heart seed atoms leaving, the 'Golden Cord' should be shattered and the Pranas should now enter the Sushumna through the now opened Brahma-randhra- 'pseudo Third or Single Eye' at Antah-karan {4} leading to the '10th Street' corresponding to the Pineal and Pituitary Glands in the brain, where the Earth and Sky meet. Grasping the essential nature of this 'Clear Light' of the Mind with one's purified ordinary Mind and awakened 'Wisdom Eye', one can be liberated, remaining in Samadhi at Sahasraar {12} for several days and attaining 'Dharmakaya', the highest Truth body of the Buddha. This is said to be a crucial 'turning point' for the soul, when it can discover real freedom from addictive habits and delusive perceptions, and therefore it is necessary for it to leave the body in a serene atmosphere with good last thoughts.

The After-death

Generally, a Spiritual non-initiate does not recognize the 'Clear Light' due to past habits and karma and and plunges into a state of Unconsciousness for upto 3.1/2 days, before Consciousness leaves the body. The 'bardo of dharmata' now begins, each of its phases presenting an opportunity for liberation, which if not taken, the next phase unfolds:

1. Mind dissolving into Luminosity {CC}: The ignorance of earthly attachments and old habitual tendencies- the Kriyamaan Karma stored at {12} keeps the soul locked in this hellish condition in the 'Etheric Double' body {16}, until it can be overcome. The 'picture' of preceding life, stored in the 'Reflecting Ether' presents itself in reverse order for self-examination of how 'effects' resulted from 'causes', but without feelings attached. Administering stimulants can forcibly 'shock' the non-Solid body into the Solid body, causing much pain and must be avoided- also the loud lamenting as the soul needs peace at this stage. In this condition, it goes about back and forth its home and grave, mourning for its lost body. Finally, the Etheric body also begins to disintegrate and the 'Golden Cord' is finally broken and the Consciousness of the Earth plane comes to an end.

2. Luminosity {CC} dissolving into Union {2}: With the death of the Physical Body and the Kundalini having risen, and the ordinary, grosser Pindi-man- Sub-conscious Mind {16} dead, the energy and light of our inner psychic Mind nature are freed and blaze out dream-like in the labyrinthine, magical 'Mandala' of light as colour, light and sound. Space dissolves into a landscape of luminosity, appearing like a 'mirage in the heat of summer' with the Elemental rays and colours of Mind: yellow, dark blue, red, green and white-blue, with appearance of peaceful and wrathful deities in 5-fold clusters within balls of light created by the coalescing of the rays and colours amidst piercing and dazzling light and sounds of thunderclaps, dissolving their hearts into one's own. In them, over several days, one encounters the emotions of one's own Un-conscious Mind in them- the success/failures, loves/hatreds and so on in the forms of deities or 'nature spirits'- both mild (42 in number) and fierce blood-drinking (58 in number)- in variously coloured lights (the fundamental particles and the anti-particles!).

A fine shaft of light springs from one's heart and a vision of 5-fold aspects of wisdom (except the final, 'all-accomplishing', green in colour) unfolds in carpets and balls of their light, crowned by a radiant sphere like an outspread canopy of peacock feathers into which they dissolve if one does not rest in them undistracted. The 6 peaceful Tathagathas- Wisdom Buddhas (representing virtues) appear with their clan one by one for a week (on the 6th day, the first 5 appear simultaneously) in a declining order of hierarchy, along with their wrathful counterparts (representing the opposite vices: pride, envy, lust, greed, anger and ignorance) one by one for another week: 4 Herukas- Guardians of the Gates; 8 Gauris- goddesses of the Directions, 8 Pishachis- flesh-eating ghouls and 24 Yoginis- powerful goddesses and 4 Dakinis- fierce, erotic deities, female Herukas- all wrathful goddesses and 5 Vidyadharas- mind-scientists. These false gods are the 'Artificial Elementals', but a mere impress of one's own ongoing Kriya man karma on one's own Chitta {12}, where these have been recorded on a 'real-time' basis. An enlightened soul may see ascended masters and angels, while one having left by the generative chakra may see naked women dancing. These illusory deities are not to be feared or be seduced by, but meditated upon- failure to do so due to leads to rebirth as they cannot be wished away for ever and return when the new body is built for rebirth. The key to liberation here is the recognition of the manifesting of energy nature of one's own Mind. In Sant-Mat, these are described as the 14 Sunnas: 7 of virtues and 7 of vices (in the present 5th Stock Race- only 5 each, along with the 4 Antah-karans make the 14).

3. Union {2} dissolving into Wisdom {4} and {6}: After a period of sleep-like Unconsciousness, the soul enters the Mental body at Antah-karan or Preta Lok- world of ghosts or the energy, lighted by the 'Sun of dharmata' {4}, along with the 'seed atoms' of Solid and non-Solid bodies. Pretas- the most 'attached' of beings occupy the the various Hells in the lowest strata (last 2 planes of Bhuvah) in the coarsest of Mental bodies. Their soul lives off odours and suffers hunger and thirst in the ovoid body, which now begins to resemble the Physical body, whose loss it does not easily realize or accept, craving for the worldly things it cannot reach. It again encounters the life-picture rolling backwards in negative aspects, now feeling deeply-etched remorse for its actions upon its psyche by seeing their consequences. For those, who have learnt to reform themselves through repentance and reform (towards which, maintaining a daily 'Introspection Diary', so as to overcome the negativity and reinforce the good, helps greatly), this purgatorial existence in the 4 lowest sub-planes of this region is short. In the upper 3 regions, similarly, the positive events of life and the consequent joy are relived.

In Pitri Lok {6} or Kaam Lok of the Desire body, life is more colourful and intense and appears to move much faster. The 6-fold knot of Mrityu-kanwal- the Celestial 'womb' should be unravelled during life itself. Otherwise, failing to do so, the soul undergoes terror due to one's ego-centric drives and does not notice the transparent 'Clear Light', and sees through it and returns to rebirth.

4. Wisdom dissolving into Spontaneous Presence {8}: Primordial purity dawns like an open, cloudless sky, followed by the deities and the pure realms of Buddhas, with the dull lights of the 6-fold realms of rebirth into worldly existence below them towards which one is instinctly drawn after failing to recognize the dharmata nature of Mind. All possibilities present themselves: wisdom and liberation to confusion and rebirth. With Senses unobstructed, one obtains clairvoyant powers including knowledge of past and future lives. Then the entire vision then collapses into its original essence.

After freeing itself of the gross desire particles, the soul, carrying the 'seed atoms' of the Dense, Etheric and Desire bodies enters the Mental body, reaching the region of Lower Manas- Concrete Thought at Swah or Deva Lok- Heaven above the Sun and Moon (Darkness, Sun and Moon appear here in order reverse to that in non-Solid body) of the 7 Planets at Janah and the Constellations at Tapah, where it hears the 'Music of the Spheres'. Here beings face Sun-god towards East always (North is to the left and South to the right, with West behind). The 7 sub-planes of Heaven (from below on) are for noble and unselfish persons, the religious persons, the philanthropes, the master-minds in arts and sciences, those with ability to perceive higher truths, advanced souls with perfect memory and the practitioners of Brahm-Vidya. Here, life on Earth is shaped and its fauna-flora altered under the direction of higher beings.

Since worldly attachments and desires continue, a great exertion is required before the soul can pass through its minute portal from the lower region of 'Concrete Thought', lower Mind to the higher Heaven (region of 'Abstract Thought', higher Mind, the 'Garden of Eden') across the Brahmandic equator {8}- the 'Astral heart' region. The Gates of the Upper Deva Lok- Heaven, Sun world of the gods are guarded by the 'Cherubims with the flashing sword' by the and the soul can enter only if found worthy. Here, at the 'Hall of Memories', are the Mental 'Akashic Records' pertaining to all the previous lives of the soul. In the upper Heavens, the soul prepares for it future life, building a body for itself to reside in, the principal life-events of which are encountered to show the effects of the causes in its natural sequence. Reaching Mahar or Yama Lok {8}, a City with 4 Gateways, the soul examines its own good and bad karmas, as recorded by Chitragupt- accountant to the Angel of Death. Here, it carries out a self-judgement in the presence of a 'Being of the bright but not-hot, loving golden/white Light' or Yama- the fearful Lord of Death. Realization of the illusory nature of Yama can again be a liberating experience. It cannot remain here for long due to its worldly attachments and rather than be drawn by the pure light of Sahasraar that leads to enlightenment, it is drawn towards the seductive deep blue light of the realms below and is hurled back below the 'Shiv Netra' {8} in a new tabernacle of 'Aetheric' lower Mental, Desire and Physical bodies. In accordance with its 'guiding love' (i.e. whether love for God or for oneself), it is cast into either Heavens or Hells.

The soul or the being, having crossed the Chitta region and gone above the 'Shiv Netra', is now clothed only in the vests of the higher Manas, Buddhi and Ahankar Principles and carries with it the 4 'seed-atoms' of Solid, non-Solid, Kaam and lower Manas principles- the essence of all its previous births. It has been granted a stay in heavenly/hellish regions for a while in accordance with the 'Judgement' based on the drives cultivated in the previous life, during which, the soul's next life-form on Earth is determined, together with the number of breaths granted to it. Those who remain trapped in their Sensory Organs are given births lower than the human through a reduction in the number of Tattwas and the duration until the next human birth is also decided upon.

The Pathways

For the Upaasak souls, who have learnt to raise their soul above body-consciousness through Brahm-Vidya- celestial knowledge through meditation, release from the Physical-Lower Astral frame is a practised affair. They pass by Devayan or Uttarayan- right-handed bright route through a 14-fold path from: 1. brightness 2. day 3. bright fortnight of lunar month 4. 6 months of Summer-solstice 5. solar year (Swah) 6. Wind 7. Sun 8. Moon (Tapah) 9. Lightning 10. Varun 11. Indra 12. Prajapati 13. Brahma Lok (Satyam), not to return to Earth for quite a while. They are instantly freed from the 'Cycle of 8.4 mill. birth-rebirths' and can go higher up to Arupa- formless Upper Deva Lokas- Heavens and even beyond to Brahma Lok to become a Siddha- liberated being with occult powers and thence even travel to Vaikunth {10}, the present region of Atma- soul or even to Sahans-dal-kanwal, Abode of Shakti {12}. The higher initiates go even to Shwet Sunn, Abode of Shiva {16}, crossing which, they attain the state of Kaivalya, where they finds themselves detached from all Matter of the Astral Plane.

The pious, untarnished Karmath souls with good karma (or love for their fellow-brings), however, go by the Pitrayan or Dakshinayan- left-handed Krishna- dark or Dhoom- 7-fold smokey route: 1. smoke 2. night 3. dark fortnight 4. 6 months of winter-solstice 5. Pitri Lok 6. sky 7. Moon (Bhuvah), only to return via clouds, rain to Earth, then go into seed, corn, medicine and plants, fruit, into the body of man eating it and mother's womb via semen and blood, becoming animal or man. It is interesting to note, however, that most recent accounts of death do not describe the dual paths, but a single one moving from darkness to light.

In the worst case, such as of the 'Sorcerers of Dark Wisdom' of Matter or left-handed path, or Satyrs, said to be 'Spiritually wicked' thanks to series of lives of uninterrupted evil living, if its Kundalini is reversed (due to evil karmic drives premature forcible arousal without the corresponding purity to sustain it upwards), the soul departing by the lowest 2 doors, having failed to cross the 'Dread Bridge' that crosses the river Styx at the mouth of Hells {8}, the mirror of the Celestial Rainbow- a black, crystalline rainbow, 'vortex which sucks waters of world's oceans down to Hell and back up again', (minor) Bhanwar-gupha or Whirlpool Charybdis. It enters the 'Eighth Sphere' or Mara- the chakras below Solid Earth, being taken there by their underworld guide- said to be a 'boatman with wolf ears' or a dog, cock or hen, comprising the extreme Hells of Avichi or Tartarus, and the Nether worlds going upto the 'Earth's Pit', undergoing a 'second death' or achieving anti-Nirvana. It becomes an annihilated Nigod- 1-Elemented being (as described in Jainism)'- a 'retard' of the evolutionary process- forced to remain there until the end of the Kalpa, and after having spent their time here, to resume its journey again from the lowest life-form onwards in the 'Cycle of evolution' as vegetation, reptiles, fish and birds, animals, in due time, reaching the human form once again during the next Kalpas. It is said that Kundalini gives liberation to Yogis and bondage to fools. Those who leave through the mouth, reach {10}, the stationary, Spiritual 'Midnight Sun', the World Mountain, Castle, Emerald Rock, earthly Pole Star made of jade, Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), the Paradise beneath the Stars of Ursa Minor- Little Bear constellation at the navel.

Persons with selfish outlooks with higher aspirations absent, whose soul has its Antah-karan snapped, or in case of untimely deaths- their Pranas are not fully exhausted, leave the body from an upper aperture other than Brahma-randhra, with the wind released into the left or the right channels, failing to cross the gateway to Hell below {2}, to become Bhutas- 'soul-less men' remain suspended in the hellish attire of the Air and 'Etheric Double' bodies as long as they cannot overcome their attachments. Pretas- the 'lost souls' are those who likewise stay locked in the bodies of the lowest Astral Planes below Antah-karan {4}.

Special Cases

Akaal Mrityu- untimely death occurs perhaps due to some bad karma in previous lives, when the Pranas- Vital Energies still remain results during certain sudden death by accidents, wars, murders, suicides etc. In such cases, the soul remains caged in the Desire body and with its Mental apparatus in-tact, and undergoes torments, until it overcomes its attachments with the Physical world. Since that life was given on the basis of a fixed number of breaths, the being has to exhaust the remaining Pranas in the Etheric body- the better beings sleep through this period, but the viler beings suffer deeply in Conscious condition in this Hell until the time of natural death, repeatedly reliving the torment and in a much worse-off condition than before. Such beings are sometimes known to take an immediate Physical rebirth in their previous Etheric body itself to exhaust their remaining Pranas. Children dying young do not have a purgatorial existence and are often reborn with their old mind in-tact and can thus retain previous birth memories.

For one accustomed to 'dying before death' i.e. rising above body-consciousness, dying is a routine affair. The disciples of a perfect Master die invariably a peaceful death, shorn of earthly worries. Their String of Nirat- the invisible string controlling the soul has been taken over by the Master from Yamaraj- Angel of Death during the Spiritual initiation; instead of Yama-Doots- Yama's assistants, they are received by the Master at death- the Master Himself giving Darshan in His radiant form, takes the soul to regions above 'Shiv Netra' {8}, Himself deciding its fate depending on its Spiritual development, giving it further human birth in case attachments remain or taking it onward toward Sach Khand in stages, completing the remaining meditations in the inner planes, if required. The middle path of Sushumna, reserved for their departure. Of these, those who meditate regularly are aware of the day and time of their impending departure well in advance and are well versed in the technique of Kundalini release and leaving body-consciousness anyway. The phenomenon of Near-Death Experience (NDE) is only a partial 'death' experience, since the NDEr does not cross the threshold of the Brahmandic equator {8} as does a fully dead person whose 'Silver Cord' connecting the Solid and the non-Solid bodies has snapped fully, but provides a mere glimpse of the inner worlds. The average NDEr first experiences the feeling of peace, then hears a buzzing sound, then has an out-of-body experience of looking down upon one's own Solid body from the non-Solid body, passing through a tunnel (above the 'Celestial Rainbow') and at the end of it, seeing the light of the Sun at Antah-karan chakra {4}- the 'Being of Light' (the living 'Christ' on Earth, through whose grace alone can a person get a human rebirth, often being saved at the dread river of Hell- Vaitarni, Styx or Lethe) encountered in the form of his Ishta- deity, and meeting the Pitris- previously departed beings in Bhuvah or Pitri Lok {6}, euphemistically known as the 'infernal Heavens' and conducts a life-review. A truly dead person, however, gets to experiences the Swah or Deva Lok- the 'supernal Heavens' and glimpse the 'transparent' light above the 'Shiv Netra' at Janah, even though one cannot stay here for long and has to eventually return below, in the process, undergoing a 'change of vest' of the Mental Unconscious and Physical bodies.

It is said that the increasing number of common people being able to have such Spiritual experiences indicates the coming of a 'New Age' strain of human-being.

Chaitanya Samadhi and the Process of Death

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The Process of Birth

The Return

The 'bardo of becoming' now begins for those who cannot rest in the 'Clear Light' and mentally shoot through it. The Earth and Sky appear to separate again and one finds oneself in a state between death and rebirth. The process is reverse of dissolution: the winds of the 4 Elements and their loud sounds: avalanche, gushing river, volcano-like fire and storm return, and with them, the abyss-like thought-states: ignorance (black), desire (white) and anger (red). The seeds of our habitual tendencies and genes of one's past karmas are reactivated and lead one towards a womb: god, demi-god, human, animal, hungry ghost or hell-being, with the experience of fainting once again.

The light, mobile, clairvoyant non-Solid Mental body with all its Senses, is capable of passing through solid objects, a 3-D vision, having a 7 times more Mental clarity than in life, and similar to previous body at an age of 8 or 10 but without any Physical defects. It experiences the dim glow illuminating the Space, lives off odours and derive nourishment from burnt offerings in its name and even feels pangs of hunger and can linger around for years as a ghost and even try to re-enter its dead body, not realizing its dead state. Freezing downpours, hailstorms of pus and blood, menacing sounds of the disembodied, flesh-eating demons, carnivorous beasts etc. can be experienced in this hellish state. Here, the thought-word-action experiences of past life are reviewed in minutest detail, and a self-judgement carried out- the good and bad conscience acting as guardian angel-defence council and black demon-prosecutor, and the death experience repeated every 7 days. In this transit lounge, one waits to make a karmic connection with the future parents. The extremely good and bad persons do not wait long and hasten to their good/bad rebirth. Control of the Mind and the power of thought is key to rebirth- a single positive or negative thought can become instrumental to enlightenment or deep suffering.

Constant remembrance of one's master or deity is recommended to avoid distraction. The living can help the dead in this state. An orientation by the living is needed for it to grasp the Light (as it is within the range of hearing) and be delivered by it. It is for the same reason that a wicker lamp is kept lighted where the soul has departed. Rebirth can be prevented by resting the Mind in its true, empty nature, recognizing the illusory nature of the Bardo experiences, abandoning negative emotions such as desire, anger and jealousy. Entering the womb with the black experience, the Mind re-experiences the phases of dissolution in the reverse and the dawning of 'Clear Light', as it did at death. By concentrating intensely, even now, one can be born in a Buddha or Astral realm. If not, it is best to aspire for a human birth in conditions favourable for Spiritual progress.

The Rebirth

The 'bardo of this life' leading to rebirth now begins. The soul now begins to wear a new vest or vehicle of 'Personality' comprising the Lower Astral below equator {8} and Physical bodies, all similar to the previous ones as in the 'seed', but adjusted for the experience of Heavens/Hells plus some aspects of the storehouse karmas by the 'Lords of Karma' with the help of the 'Elemental Spirits' of the region at their command plus some original work by the soul itself in the womb of the mother due to its 'free-will'.

In Pitri Lok- the World of Manes or ancestors or Chandra Lok- Moon World {6} is also the 'lauching pad' for rebirth. Beings coming from the 'Cycle of Transmigration' also come here to be reborn as human-beings, as do the Yogis- initiates who have deviated from their path due to desires. Here the soul once again possesses the Desire body of the previous birth of the age of about 8-10 years, but devoid of any Physical defects. It meets the other disembodied souls known to it, who had passed away earlier on and can stay here for even as long as many decades. The beings in the various strata of Pitri Lok are: those with deep anxieties or implacable desires, the educated and thoughtful beings, the religious and philosophic busy-bodies, developed beings such as artists and the materialistic beings in pursuit of knowledge. Kaam Lok, comprising the lowest portion of Astral Plane {4}, is the Sensory world of desires, passions, cravings and appetites, which cannot be gratified in this body, however.

The 6 realms in which a rebirth from here is possible, corresponding to which, the 6 Buddhas were encountered earlier, are:

The Rebirth Realms

The Rebirth Realms

The light of the rebirth realm is brighter than that of the rest. Still suffering from the frightening apparitions, the soul will seek shelter in cave-like hiding places, which but are the entrances to the wombs. Now, all that can be done is to use one's training to choose the best womb out of these, using the virtue of non-attachment. Upward gaze leads to human, straight ahead to animal, and diving downward to hungry ghost or hellish realms.

The Human birth process begins with the fusion of the 'seed-atom' of the Dense body carried in a triangular headed 'sperm' of the father with the 'ovum' of the mother and the conception or fertilization of the ovum in the mother's womb to form a single cell, which then develops into an embryo, and in course of about 10 months into a human child. In fact, the mother's womb itself is structured- with twin tunnels at {6} and Tapah, and triple voids at {4}, {8} and Satyam as the upper 6 Bhawans, the lowest, 7th Bhu being the child.

At the Mrityu-kanwal chakra {6}, the following powers work:

1. Janma- Birth: collects the male and female elements together,
2. Asta- Existence: makes the various Sensory organs,
3. Parinaam- Result: makes a thin film upon the body,
4. Vriddhi- Growth: increases power of the body through the Pranas,
5. Kshay- Decay: divides the body into its constituent parts, and
6. Mrityu- Death: enables exit of the body at the time of birth.

Below this is the 4-petalled (with 4 pillars) chakra of Antah-karan- internal organ {4} where all 4 mental powers operate:

1. Chitta- Feelings,
2. Manas- Cognition,
3. Buddhi- Intellect, and
4. Ahankar- Ego or Will.

The Desire frame is now complete and the soul is now ready to don the Physical frame comprising the 6 chakras of Pind- Physical world. The new human body is then fashioned out of the Gunas, Tattwas, Indriyas and Prakritis in accordance with the reactions of the Prarabdh- fate karma, and comprises: Ether: body-cavities, organ of hearing, sounds; Air: breath, organ of touch, Physical sensations; Fire: warmth, clear colouration, organ of sight, form; Water: blood, organ of taste, taste and body-liquids; Earth: flesh, bones, organ of smell, odours and Sensing ability from the Mind.

The 'Upanishads' believe that the soul falls from the (inner) Moon (Pitri Lok) upon Earth along with vapour, and remains in grains and cereal, which is then eaten by man, becoming the Vital seed, given to the woman. It is known as kalal- embryo in 1 day, and in 5 days it becomes a bubble, in 7 days it acquires a lump of flesh. By a fortnight, it gets filled with blood and in 25 days, it sprouts forth. At the end of a month the neck, head, shoulder, spine and belly are formed, in 2 months hands, feet, sides, hips, thighs and knees, in 3 months the joints, in 4 months the fingers. Nose, ears and eyes, teeth, nails and private organs in 5 months, in the 6th month holes of ears, anus, generative organs and navel and the hair in the 7th. In the 8th the body organs are divided. In the 5th month, intelligence also appears.

With conception, when the soul enters the Tattwic body in the human mother's womb, it is again accorded a state of Chaitanya Samadhi- Conscious absorption at Satyam, when it sees the Divine Light and hears the Divine Music, followed by the 'black experience'. It has only acquired certain hereditory inheritance pertaining to Mind-Body from its parents, but is essentially an independent, personality of its own. The Pranas and the Antah-karan- various thought-states, the 5 Tattwas- elements return. In the light of its clear mind, the soul remembers its previous births. It derives its sustenance from its mother through the umbilical cord. It suffers conditions of Jatharagni- extreme heat in the womb and promises devotion to the Lord when released from this bondage. In due time, when it is born to the world, it loses contact with inner Light and Sound and arrives into the outer world crying, veiled by Maya- illusion. It attention is now attached to the Indriyas and to their Vishayas- attachments, and it promptly forgets its promises to the Lord.

The various sub-bodies inter-penetrate, but their faculties are not active yet- the Mind imitates, but cannot think; the Desire body feels physical hunger and pain, but cannot feel; the non-Solid body has yet to learn to control assimilation and excretion, heating of body, blood circulation etc. fully, its sense perception is keen and it can still see the Desire world. Upto the age of 7, the 'non-Solid body' matures, due to which its (plant-like) Physical growth begins. At 14, the growth is checked and the process of its 'flowering' i.e. puberty begins with the maturing of the 'Desire body'. At 21, the Mental faculty of 'Concrete Thought' develops fully and its 'vehicle' is complete. The cusp of life is at 28 and by 35, the serious phase of life is completed. Upto 42, its is prime time and upto 49, the time for changes and by 56 the prime of mentality is completed. These are the '8 Watches of the Day of Life' and it is then time for old age; and with death for the cycle to begin all over again.

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text content by a student of Sant Mat who prefers to remain anonymous. I didn't write this so please don't attribute it to me - MAK.
page first uploaded 3 August 2004, last modified 18 August 2005