Swamiji, there are people who were pronounced clinically dead, who say they went through a tunnel, saw a light and felt closer to God, then came back to life. Can you explain this?
They go into the fourth dimension. Then when they come back into the body, in the third dimension, mostly they forget. But that person is not dead. In the fourth dimension, what we call the astral world, he or she is living. Knowing this, the wise do not lament when someone dies; they know that person is going to the astral world. When you see the phenomenon of death through awakened consciousness it is refreshing. Death is a re-creation, a re-forming, a preparation for the next birth, as you shed off one dress and put on a new one.
If you knew your next life, you would not lament, but for this we need higher awareness. You would say, “Okay, we’ll meet again, next life.” But we are identified and involved in so many things that we cannot raise our consciousness. What is needed is detachment, non-identification, so that we see the other side of life. Then life will be more joyful. When someone dies you are sad because you do not know where he or she is going. If you knew that person’s journey you would not lament. You would see that it is perfect as it happens. It is our ignorance that makes us fear and suffer in many things, including disease and death. All disease pertains to the third dimension. In the fourth dimension you can cure anything, but this needs raising our consciousness. And raising our consciousness cannot happen without purifying ourselves.
If ever you reach those higher dimensions you would see that we are unnecessarily attached to this dimension. Once you raise your consciousness by going into deep meditation, by praying to God, you will experience higher dimensions. Then you might say, “God, don’t send me back!” It will be the Garden of Eden for you.
If ego is what is stopping us from realizing the truth, when we die does ego die?
Ego does not die at that time. The very fact that you take rebirth is because of ego. When the physical body dies who takes rebirth? There is an aspect in you and me that can exist without a physical body. That is the astral body, subtle body, vibratory body or ethereal body—in other words, what we call the mind. Your mind can exist without your physical body and that mind has ego in it. If you had no ego there would be no personality to take rebirth. When yogis go into very deep meditation they can see the future and past phenomena. This is also called the subconscious, the portion of your mind that you are not aware of.
The subconscious stores many impressions of your past births, future births, everything. When someone feels, “I was so-and-so in such-and-such place or time,” she may be tapping into that information in her subconscious. The body dies but your subconscious mind, your astral being, goes with you and then takes rebirth. As long as ego is there it will be reborn, but once ego is vanished, merged, there is nothing to be reborn. When ego is finished, then you will not come back except by your own will.
I accept reincarnation, but if I’m happy with my life and a good person, and strive to work with my ego, why would I want to end rebirth?
Life is not always good and happy, that is the problem. Otherwise you are right: why would we ever want anything else? As long as you are happy, carry on. You do not have to surrender your ego. Only when life begins to give trials and tribulations, miseries, sickness, death of dear ones, then you will revise your thinking. The search for answers to these eternal questions began because life is not always good and happy. If it were, you would not search.
When you feel good and happy is the best time for you to remember God and love God more; that will remove your ignorance. If you do not do this, one day your ignorance will bring misery. It is not a threat; it is a spiritual law. One day you will have to experience other things. As long as ignorance remains it will be so.
If you love your Lord you do not have to fight with your ego. He will make it vanish automatically. The question remains whether you want to stop at your comfort zone or go beyond that for your ultimate salvation. We should cherish happiness, no doubt about it, but also go beyond it.
What state of consciousness are we in between births?
It depends upon your level of consciousness when you left the body. That will determine your panorama of consciousness in the astral plane. Therefore you may have heard or read that the next birth is determined by your last thoughts while dying. At the last point your thoughts determine or design your living in the astral world. You will remain in that suspension, whatever your thoughts may be, until your next birth.
Is there any way to guide someone who is dying so that he can raise his consciousness?
Normally this is done by reading the Bible or Gita or chanting or sharing inspiring thoughts. But the real source would be through higher yogis, masters or angels helping at that time. They can lift the consciousness quite easily. Which hierarchies come to help depends upon the individual and how much that person is on the spiritual path. It happens with some but not all. You have to have special vibrations to give this kind of help. Someone who is pure and qualified can gather up their power and touch that dying person or say a word in his ear and send those vibrations. It can be done by sound or touch or simply by presence.
© 2014 by Truth Consciousness. Excerpted from the Satsangs: From Reason to Faith (J-30), Conscious Meditation (I-18) and How to Overcome Our Weakness (N-20). For further information on the audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti, visit truthconsciousness.org.
To raise one’s consciousness at death may help somewhat but that itself is not a great remedy. I always stress upon the principles of right living. Then you do not have to worry about death. If you have taken care of these principles, at the time of death you will not have trouble.