NOTE ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION
Introduction to The Gnani
Who is Dada Bhagwan ?
Current link for attaining the knowledge of Self-Realization (Atma Gnan)
DEATH Before, During and After…
p((<>. Freedom From the Cycles of Birth and Death
Send Gift Packages For Your Next Life
The Illusion Called Maya
Life Is A Prison
The Saw Is Cutting This Log (Life) From The Moment Of Birth
Fear Of Death
Yamraj-God of Deathor Destiny?
What Happens After Death?
Total Engagement In Service Of Others
Other Life Forms To Visit
Awareness Of Past Lives
Take Stock of Baggage of Next Life At The Time Of Death
Keep It Simple
Caring for the Loved Ones at the Time of Death
The Right Meditation At The Time Of Death
Euthanasia: Mercy Killing
Companion Only till The Funeral Pyre
Anniversary of Death
Where Has The Loved One Gone?
Under God’s Trust
The Inner Vibrations Reach The Dead
Who Are They Crying For?
Let Not the Matter to be Contained in the Mind Leak Out
Discretion Of The Gnani
Does The Soul Wander For thirteen Days?
The Dead Are Not Affected With Rituals
It Is All A Display Of Pride
The True Understanding Of Shraddha
Death Will Not Occur Without Your Signature
Before Planning Suicide, Remember ‘Me’ First
Consequences of Suicide
One Cannot Live Without a Sense of ‘I am’
Reasons for Suicide
In The Final Moments…
The First Photograph Of Next Life
Horrible Death Every Second As ‘I am Chandulal’
Death In Samadhi – I Am Pure Soul
Where Will He Go After Death?
Fear of Death
Death From The View Of The Enlightened Lord
From Death To Immortality
Who Is Born, Who Dies?
p((<>. The State of the Soul
What is Birth and Death?
What is Death?
The Cause Of Death & Birth
Relationship Of One Birth To Another
What Else Carries Forward?
The Electrical Body
When Does Life Enter a Womb?
Time Between Births
The Three Travelers
The Chain of Cause and Effect
Can Causes be Stopped?
Until Then The Wandering Continues…
The Science Of Evolution
No More Wombs
Next Life According to Wishes of the Last Hour
From a human to a human?
One Can Tell Where He Has Come From
The Law of Growth and Destruction
Why do Children Suffer?
The Importance of Human Life
Why the Cycle of Birth and Death for the Immortal One?
Thereafter No Fear of Even Death
Awareness at the Time of Death
Only until one is alive!
After this Gnan New Account for Mahavideh Kshetra
Pratikraman Leads to Final Freedom
Pratikraman of the Dead
Prayer at The Time of Death
Prayer for the One who has Died
Prayer to pureself
Pratikraman : Process of Divine Apology
DEATH Before, During And After…
- Dada Bhagwan
Editor : Dr. Niruben Amin
Gnani Purush Ambalal M. Patel, popularly known as Dadashri or Dada or Dadaji, used to say that it is not possible to exactly translate his satsang on the Science of Self-Realization and the art of worldly interaction, into English. Some of the depth and intent of meaning to be conveyed to the seeker, would be lost. He stressed the importance of learning Gujarati to precisely understand all his teachings.
Dadashri did however grant his blessings to convey his original words to the world through translations in English and other languages. It was his deepest desire and fervor that the suffering human beings of the world attain the living freedom of the wonderful Akram Vignan that expressed within him. He further stated that a day would come when the world would be in awe of the phenomenal powers of this science.
This is an humble attempt to present to the world the essence of the teachings of Dadashri, the Gnani Purush. A lot of care has been taken to preserve the tone and message of his words. This is not a literal translation of his words. Many individuals have worked diligently for this product and we remain deeply thankful to them all.
This is an elementary introduction to the vast new treasure of his teachings. Please note that any errors committed in the translation are entirely those of the translators and for those we request your pardon.
Jai Sat Chit Anand
(The Three Mantras)
I bow to the Lord who has annihilated all the inner enemies of anger, pride, attachment and greed.
I bow to all the Lord who have attained final liberation.
I bow to all the Self-realized masters who unfold the path of liberation.
I bow to the Self-realized teachers of the path of liberation.
Namo Loye Savva Sahunum
I bow to all who have attained the Self and are progressing in this path in the universe.
Aiso Pancha Namukkaro
These five salutations.
Saava Paavappa Naashano
Destroy all the sins.
Managalanum cha Saave Sim
Of all that is auspicious mantras.
Paddhamum Havaii Mangalam
This is the highest.
Om Namo Bhagawate Vasudevaya
I bow to the One who has become the Supreme Lord from a human being.
Om Namah Shivaya
I bow to all auspicious beings of this universe who are the instruments of salvation of the world.
Jai Sat Chit Anand
The Awareness Of The Eternal Is Bliss
On a June evening in 1958 at around six o’clock, Ambalal Muljibhai Patel, a family man, a contractor by profession, was sitting on a bench on the busy platform number three of Surat’s train station. Surat is a city in south Gujarat, a western state in India. What happened within the next forty-eight minutes was phenomenal. Spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. During this event his ego completely melted and from that moment onwards he became completely detached from all Ambalal’s thoughts, speech and acts. He became the Lord’s living instrument for the salvation of mankind, through the path of knowledge. He called this Lord, Dada Bhagwan. To everyone he met, he would say, “This Lord, Dada Bhagwan is fully manifest within me. He also resides within all living beings. The difference is that within me He is completely expressed and in you, he is yet to manifest.”
Who are we? What is God? Who runs this world? What is karma? What is liberation? Etc. All the world’s spiritual questions were answered during this event. Thus nature offered absolute vision to the world through the medium of Shree Ambalal Muljibhai Patel.
Ambalal was born in Tarasali, a suburb of the city of Baroda and raised in Bhadran, Gujarat. His wife’s name was Hiraba. Although he was a contractor by profession, his life at home and his interaction with everyone around him was exemplary even prior to his Self-Realization. After becoming Self-Realized and attaining the state of a Gnani, (The Awakened One, Jnani in Hindi), his body became a ‘public charitable trust.’
Throughout his whole life he lived by the principle that there should not be any commerce in religion, and in all commerce there must be religion. He also never took money from anyone for his own use. He used the profits from his business to take his devotees for pilgrimages to various parts of India.
His words became the foundation for the new, direct and step-less path to Self-Realization called Akram Vignan. Through his divine original scientific experiment (The Gnan Vidhi), he imparted this knowledge to others within two hours. Thousands have received his grace through this process and thousands continue to do so even now. ‘Akram’ means without steps; an elevator path or a short cut, whereas ‘Kram’ means an orderly step-by-step spiritual path. Akram is now recognized as a direct shortcut to the bliss of the Self.
When he explained to others who ‘Dada Bhagwan’ is, he would say:
“What you see here is not ‘Dada Bhagwan.’ What you see is ‘A.M.Patel.’ I am a Gnani Purush and He that is manifest within me, is ‘Dada Bhagwan’. He is the Lord within. He is within you and everyone else. He has not yet manifest within you, whereas within me he is fully manifest. I myself am not a Bhagwan. I too bow down to Dada Bhagwan within me.”
“I am personally going to impart siddhis (special spiritual powers) to a few people. After I leave, will there not be a need for them? People of future generations will need this path, will they not?”
Param Pujya Dadashri used to go from town to town and country to country, to give satsang and impart the knowledge of the Self as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interaction to all who came to see him. In his final days in the fall of 1987, he gave his blessing to Dr. Niruben Amin and bestowed his special siddhis upon her, to continue his work.
After Param Pujya Dadashri left his mortal body on January 2, 1988, Dr. Niruben continues his Work, traveling within India to cities and villages and abroad in the USA, Canada, UK and Africa. She is Dadashri’s representative of Akram Vignan. She has been instrumental in expanding the key role of Akram Vignan as the simple and direct path to Self-Realization for modern times. Thousands of spiritual seekers have taken advantage of this opportunity and are established in the experience of the pure Soul, while carrying out their worldly duties and obligations. They experience freedom, here and now, while living their daily life.
Powerful words in scriptures help the seeker in increasing the desire for liberation. The knowledge of the Self is the final goal of all one’s seeking. Without the knowledge of the Self there is no liberation. This knowledge of the Self (Atma Gnan) does not exist in books. It exists in the heart of a Gnani. Hence the knowledge of the Self can only be acquired by meeting a Gnani. Through the scientific approach of Akram Vignan, even today one can attain Atma Gnan, but it can only occur by meeting a living Atma Gnani and receiving the Atma Gnan. Only a lit candle can light another candle.
Many people have fear of death. Death makes people melancholy and they sink into misery. Everyone has to witness death some point in time during his or her life. During such a time hundreds of questions regarding the true nature of death may arise in a person’s mind. When he does not find any answers, he becomes perplexed. People have an ardent desire to discover the mystery surrounding death. A lot has been written on the topic, but it is all mere intellectual exercises.
What is death? What was before this death? What is happening in the dying process? What happens after death? Who can talk about the experience of death? The dead cannot speak of their experiences. Those who are born do not have knowledge of their prior existence. No one knows what happens before birth and after death. That is why the mystery of how one passes through the time before, during and after death remains unsolved. Dadashri, through his Gnan, has exposed all the mysteries of death exactly as they are.
When one learns about the facts surrounding death, his fears will be eased.
What should one do when a beloved one is dying? What is our real duty? How can we improve their next life? What should we do after the death of our loved one? With what understanding should we remain calm and balanced?
What is the truth behind the people’s common belief of ceremonial offerings to the dead relative? What is the significance of the various socially prescribed ceremonies after death? Will all these rituals benefit the dead? Should one perform such rituals? This book clarifies all these questions succinctly.
When the mysteries of death, which create fear in people, are exposed, one finds an unfailing consolation when facing such situations in life.
A Gnani Purush is someone who remains separate from his body and every event related to the body, separate from birth and separate from death. He constantly remains the ‘knower and observer’ of his body. He experiences the eternal state of the Self, free from the bondage of birth and death. Gnani Purush, through His Gnan, sees it all as it is, and candidly tells us about the mystery of life and death and freedom from both.
The Soul is eternal. It is beyond birth and death. It is Absolute Knowledge. The Self is the absolute knower and observer. The Soul has no birth or death. Despite this, through his intellect, man perceives and experiences the cycle of birth and death. Naturally then the main question that arises is how do birth and death occur? During birth and death, what other things besides the Soul are present? What happens to them all? Who is it that goes through rebirth? How does it happen? Who is it that goes and comes? How are the sequences of ‘cause and effects’ and ‘effect and cause’ established? How can that be stopped? How is life span determined? What does life span depend on? Who except the Gnani Purush can give exact scientific answers to such eternal questions?
Furthermore, what are the laws governing the entry of a worldly soul into various other life forms? What are the causes and consequences of suicide? What are spirits? Are there such things as ghosts? What are the laws governing the change of place of worldly life? What supports all the different life forms? How can one attain liberation from a particular planet? Where does the soul that attains liberation go? What is Siddha Gati? All such details are being uncovered here in this book.
No one other than the Gnani is able to explain with such exactness and detail, the understanding and qualities of the Soul and the ego.
One can achieve a state free from birth and death through clarification of all mysteries of life and death. Such facts are to be found in this booklet and it will benefit the reader from worldly and spiritual aspects.
– Dr. Niruben Amin
Questioner: How can one escape the painful cycles of birth and death?
Dadashri: That is a very good question. What is your name?
Dadashri: Are you really Chandubhai?
Dadashri: Chandubhai is only your name, is it not?
Dadashri: Then who are you? We all agree that Chandubhai is your name, but who are you?
Questioner: I have come here to know all that.
Dadashri: Once you find the answer to this question, you will break free from the painful cycles of birth and death.
Until now everything you have done, has been done in the name of Chandubhai. Should you not have kept at least something for yourself (pure Soul)? Beware and be prepared to face the great betrayal.
At the time of death, nature strips you of your name and all that belongs to that name: your bank balance, property, family and even the clothes on your back. Everything. So then if you ask, ‘What will come along with me?’ The answer is ‘All the conflicts you created with those you met in this life will accompany you.’ Everything is confiscated by nature when you die, therefore should you not do something for your real Self: your Soul?
When you do things for people other than your own relatives, when you give them happiness through your donations of food, medicine, or knowledge, you bind merit karma (punya) and will reap the rewards of such deeds in your next life. If you have lived a life of non-violence such that no single being experiences fear from you, this again will reap great merit karma for your next life.
If it were possible for anyone to take material things with him into his next life, people would take everything. They would even take out a loan of millions of dollars. So it is a good thing that no one can take anything with him or her.
Maya makes you take birth, get married and it also causes your death. Whether you likes it or not, you do not have a choice in this matter. But it is certain that it is not maya that dominates. You are the owner and so everything has been played out according to your own wishes. This life is the net result, balance sheet of all that you had wished for in your previous life and based on that, maya is now running everything. So there is no point in complaining now. You had endorsed this final balance sheet and placed it in the hands of maya. Maya is the force that makes you forget the Self.
Questioner: What is life in your enlightened view?
Dadashri: Life in my enlightened view is a prison. There are four kinds of prisons: Those who are in heaven are in the prison of simple surveillance with all the comforts. The human beings are in a simple prison. The animals are in a prison of intense labor and hardship. Those in hell are in a prison of hell with life long pain and torture.
The body is slowly dying every second, but do people realize this? It is not until a log completely falls apart in two pieces that people say the log has been cut. Nevertheless it was in the process of being cut from the moment the saw first touches it.
There is constant fear in this world. The world is never void of fear for even a moment. And for whatever time one does not have any fear, he is living in ignorance of the real nature of this world. This happens because people are asleep even when their eyes are open (i.e. people are in a state of ignorance of the reality of this world).
Questioner: It is said that the Soul never dies. It is eternal.
Dadashri: The Soul never dies, but as long as you have not become the Soul (Self-realized), you will experience fear. Do you not fear death? If something were to happen to your body, you will begin to have fear about dying. It is because of your conviction and belief that you are this body and that you are Chandulal, that there is death. But if that focus and belief was not one with the body, then death cannot touch you.
I want to get rid of all these superstitions and false beliefs in India. Our entire country is plagued and ruined because of superstition, false beliefs and rituals. I assure you that there is no such being as Yamraj (God of death). When people ask me what it is, I tell them that it is simply destiny, the law of karma, which results in death. I say it exactly as I see it in my Gnan. It is not based on anything that I have read. I am saying this through my vision of Gnan, not through these physical eyes.
Questioner: Which form of life will there be after death?
Dadashri: During the time of death a balance sheet of all one’s deeds throughout life arises. This happens one hour prior to death. If one has accumulated in his life by taking what does not rightfully belong to him, be it money or woman, he will go to the animal kingdom. Anything that he acquired by devious use of intellect will take him to the animal kingdom. If he has been decent and humane, he will come back in a human form. After death, there are only four different life forms that one can be born into. Those who destroy people’s homes and lives for their own gain will go to hell. Those with super-human qualities, who despite being hurt by others, do not retaliate and remain benevolent, go to heaven.
Use your mind, speech, body and soul for others. If you use them for your own self, you will reincarnate in lower life form as a tree. In your imprisoned form you will be forced to serve others. People will enjoy your fruits and use your wood. You will suffer as a tree for hundreds of years. That is why God tells you to use your mind, speech, body and soul for others. Having done this if you have any problems, turn to Him.
Questioner: After leaving the body do you have to come back here?
Dadashri: There is nowhere else to go. Right here around us, all these oxen and cows, dogs and cats are none other than our own uncles, aunts and other relatives from our past life. See how they stare at you and sometimes even lick you with love? So do not hurt or harm them. Take good care of them.
Questioner: Why is the animal life form, for example, cows and buffaloes an integral part of the cycles of birth and death?
Dadashri: For endless lives people have passed through animal kingdom as they rise towards human birth. Of these only about fifteen percent will rise higher. The rest have come here with a return ticket to go back to the lower life forms. People who cheat their customers by selling adulterated goods and those that take enjoyment from things that do not belong to them, all earn a return ticket. All such tendencies will lead to life in the animal kingdom.
Questioner: Why do we not remember anything from our past lives and what would happen if we did?
Dadashri: Those who have no suffering at all at the time of their death are the ones who may remember their past lives. Those with virtuous thoughts and conduct may also remember. There is tremendous suffering in a mother’s womb and this suffering coupled with the suffering at the time of death, renders one unconscious so that they remember nothing.
An eighty-year-old man was approaching his death in a hospital. Even though his time was limited, all he could think about was who had and had not come to visit him at the hospital. The foolish man! Instead he should be thinking about his body, which was about to leave him very shortly. He should be thinking about the ‘baggage’ that he was going to take with him to his next life. Of what use will it be to him whether this friend or that friend came to visit him or not?
An old man dies after a lot of medical care and attention. People who come to his wake ask detailed questions about the events leading to his death. The old man’s nephew tells them that the doctor thought it was the flu but he died of a fever from malaria. They ask him who the doctor was and the nephew tells them. When they hear the doctor’s name, they immediately pounce on the nephew telling him he was foolish to call that particular doctor. Others too start to criticize him for making a bad decision. People are like this; they’ll take advantage of those who are simple.
Instead it would be better to tell them nothing unusual had taken place and that the old man came down with a fever and died. Give them a cursory explanation or else they will create more problems.
Questioner: What should the extended family and those around, do when their loved one is about to die?
Dadashri: You have to be extremely careful when attending to the care of the one who is on his deathbed. Graciously accept everything that he utters. None of his sentences should be negated and all his requests should be fulfilled. Do everything to keep him happy, and even when he is mean, be kind in return. He may ask for some milk. Give it to him immediately. If he complains about the milk being too thin and watery, bring him a glass of good milk promptly. Do whatever it takes to make him comfortable.
Questioner: So there is no need to be concerned about what is right or wrong?
Dadashri: There is no such thing as right or wrong in this world. Continue to do what you are doing to keep him happy. Be gentle and patient with him as you would be with a child.
Questioner: There are certain rituals people are made to practice in the last hour of their life. Some Lamas are made to carry out certain activities in the last hour of their life. The Tibetans Lamas say that when a person is on his deathbed, they tell the soul of the dying person how to depart. Some people recite from the Gita so that good words are spoken to the dying in his final hour. Do these rituals have any effect?
Dadashri: No, such last minute rituals achieve nothing. Is it possible for one to make up for all the losses one incurs during the course of the entire year by simply making a profit at the end of the year?
Questioner: No, it will not work.
Dadashri: Why not?
Questioner: The balance sheet will reflect all the transactions for the entire year.
Dadashri: In the same token, it is the end sum of all the activities of one’s entire life that is brought forward. In performing these rituals, people are deceiving the dying and all around him. They are making fools out of them by giving false promises.
Questioner: Dada, when a person is on his deathbed and at the end of his life, he is conscious and if at that time someone recites the Gita or any other religious scriptures in his ears ……
Dadashri: It should be done only at the request of the dying. One can read to him only if he wishes to listen.
Questioner: When a person is suffering from a chronic illness for which there is no cure, it does not seem right to prolong their suffering. What is wrong with helping them end their suffering? In this respect it is hard to believe that if we help him by mercy killing, that his suffering will continue in the next life.
Dadashri: No one has a right to do that, whatsoever. We have a right to treat them and take care of them, but not to kill them.
Questioner: Where is the benefit for us in prolonging their suffering?
Dadashri: What is the benefit in killing, then? When you kill a suffering man, you will lose your birthright to be born as a human again. It goes against the principles of humanity.
The cover on this pillow will keep changing, but the pillow remains the same. When the pillow cover becomes ragged, it will be discarded. In the same way this covering of ours, this body too is discarded.
This whole world is hollow and without any substance. But one cannot say so openly in this world. People go to the cemetery with their loved ones, but they are not so overcome with grief that they never return home. They all return home, including the grieving mother who has just buried her son.
Questioner: If the deceased has not bequeathed anything to the family, they will cry and complain. But if he leaves them enough, they will remain silent.
Dadashri: Yes, they shed tears because he leaves them nothing. In their minds they blame him for leaving nothing behind and ruining them. It is because of the family’s own lack of punya – meritorious deeds – that he did not leave anything behind for them and it is because of the deceased’s bad karmas that he is being cursed and blamed.
All who go to the funeral home, return, do they not? Does anyone accompany the dead one? Really, all this is a show. People criticize the ones who do not cry or grieve as being heartless. And they accuse those who cry as being emotional and melodramatic. So whatever one does, there is a problem either way. The world will criticize either way.
In the rest area near the funeral pyre you can see them sharing snacks even as the cremation is going on. Have you not seen this?
Questioner: They actually take snacks along with them!
Dadashri: Is that so? What is one to do in a world like this?
People bind relationships in routine words like ‘welcome or good bye’ but do not take responsibility for them. Do you take any responsibility? Not even for your wife?
Dadashri: What are you saying! A man dotes on his wife and tells her he cannot live without her and yet he would not go into the funeral pyre with her!
Questioner: What should the family members do on the anniversary of the death of their loved one?
Dadashri: They should pray to God and ask God to bless their loved one wherever he or she may be.
Questioner: How can we know where a person is after his death?
Dadashri: You need a special kind of knowledge for that. Even if you were to know this, it has no use or value. If you were to send deep inner prayers and messages, it will reach him.
So you want to know someone’s whereabouts? Have you lost one of your relatives?
Questioner: My dear brother passed away very recently.
Dadashri: He does not think about you and you keep thinking about him? Do you know what it means when a person dies? It means that all accounts (karmic), his and yours, are now closed. So all you can do whenever you remember him is to ask the Lord to grant him peace. Whenever you remember your brother, you should pray for his peace, wherever he is. What else can you do?
Ask whatever questions you have. Ask about a way to reach God and how to get rid of any obstacles on that way, so that I can get rid of them for you.
Questioner: My son died in an accident. What is the cause of that accident?
Dadashri: Whatever you see happening around you in this world with your naked eyes; whatever you hear with your ears, is all relative truth; it is not the absolute truth. How can your son be yours when even this body of yours does not remain as your own? It is only because of social and worldly interactions that he is considered your son. He is not your son in reality. In reality, not even your body belongs to you. Only that which remains with you eternally is considered yours. So your belief that your son is really yours makes you unhappy and creates problems. Now that your son is gone, it was God’s will, so you have to let go.
Questioner: That is true. What I had was God’s property and he took it back.
Dadashri: Yes, this is all God’s estate.
Questioner: Is it because of our bad karma that he died
in such a way?
Dadashri: Yes, your son’s bad karma, and your bad karma. If your karmas are good then the results will be good also.
When parents worry and grieve for their children who have died, their unhappiness reaches the children wherever they are now. People, who grieve after the dead, do so because of ignorance, therefore it is important for them to know the facts and live peacefully. What is the point of worrying unnecessarily? Death is inevitable for all. These young ones who die are your accounts from your past life’s interactions. These are all accounts of give and take. I too had a son and a daughter, but they both died. They were guests in our home. They came and they left. They were not our property anyway. We too will have to go some day, will we not? So do not worry about the dead. Instead give peace and happiness to those who are still alive. Our duty is to those who are living and dependent upon us. Those who are gone are gone. Stop even remembering them. What foolishness is it to recall those who have gone and grieve after them instead of taking care and giving peace to those who are still living? Instead people dwell in the past, oblivious of those present and living. In doing so they are not fulfilling their duty.
Those who have departed from us become unhappy wherever they are because the effect of our unhappiness reaches them. Nothing is in our hands. Even the scriptures tell us not to worry about loved ones that have departed. The rituals of prayer and scriptural readings are practiced in order for people to forget their loved ones. You too went through such rituals, did you not?
Questioner: But I cannot forget. I was very close to my son.
Dadashri: Yes, it is not easy to forget, but if you do not, it will make you both miserable. As a father you have to ensure that you do not hurt him any more.
Questioner: In what way is he hurt?
Dadashri: When you grieve over him, your unhappiness reaches him exactly and for sure. It is akin to a telephone or a television in terms of its remote effects. This is the nature of vibrations created within, in this world. Will your grieving bring him back?
Dadashri: Is there anyway that he will come back?
Dadashri: When you grieve, your grief reaches him and when you pray for him, your prayers too reach him and he will be at peace. Is it not your duty to give him peace? You can even distribute some sweets to the children at school in your son’s memory.
Whenever you remember your son, you should say a prayer for the liberation of his soul. Uttering the names of Self-realized beings like ‘Krupadudev’ or even ‘Dada Bhagwan’ will help you. That is because both ‘Dada Bhagwan’ and ‘Krupadudev’ are the same as far as the Soul is concerned. They are different beings, but in their elemental form they are the same. Even when you say the name of LordMahavir, it is one and the same. Your only desire should be for the liberation of his soul. You pray for the good of others, so why must you not do the same for those who are very close to you? You lived with him and shared everything with him and now your only desire should be for his salvation.
Questioner: Despite having the knowledge of reincarnation, why do people cry when someone in the family passes away?
Dadashri: They cry for their own selfish reasons. The closest relatives cry genuinely, but the rest cry because they remember their own dead relatives. That is a wonder in itself! These people bring the past into the present. These Indian people are amazing! They know how to bring the past into the present.
By such intense grieving one will create karma that lead too much wandering in future lives.
Questioner: When Narsinh Mehta (a poet devotee of Lord Krishna) was given the news of his wife’s death what did he mean when he said, “A beneficial event has occurred, the shackles of marital life have been broken:
I can now devote all my time to the Lord in peace.”
Dadashri: That statement was made on impulse. One should keep such profound awareness within the mind and not express it. It must not leak out in words. People, who openly say things, which are best kept within, are called whimsical or impulsive.
Gnanis are not whimsical or impulsive; they are very wise. From within they may feel the same sense of relief as did Narsinh Mehta, but outwardly they will say that a terrible event has happened. They may even say, ‘I am lost, what will I do? How will I live?’ and will mourn the dead. They will perform their worldly role very convincingly. They will even dab a little water on their eyes to show tears. Even an ordinary person would be discrete and not say things that would offend those who are around. For that matter even a person’s worst enemy would maintain solemnity and respect. The Gnani never mourns, but he will play out his worldly role with sincerity. ‘The world is a drama itself.’ All you have to do is play the role. Perform this role with sincerity.
Questioner: It has been said that after death there is a rest house for thirteen days, where the soul rests. Is it true?
Dadashri: The Brahmins (Hindu priests) devised these thirteen days and the rest house. What do the dead have to do with it? The Brahmins call it a rest house. They say that the departed soul, sits on the rooftop of the house, the size of a thumb, and observes everything. What foolishness! What will it be observing? And people even believe this and so they do not perform the ritual ceremony of saravani till the thirteenth day after a person’s death. (In the ritual of saravani – the family members buy a new bed on which they put new blankets, bed sheets, items of clothing, shoes, an umbrella, food etc., as an offering for the departed for his journey to the next life).
Questioner: It has been written in Garuda Purana (one of the 18 books in Hindu mythology) that the soul is only the size of a thumb.
Dadashri: Yes that is why it is called Garuda Purana! It is a long fabricated old story, which says the soul is the size of a thumb. It is no wonder that people make no progress! They never move ahead. In their rituals, the aim was scientific, but their
thinking has been ruined. People carry out such rituals and before they do so, they give alms to the Brahmin priest who performs the ritual. The Brahmin priest used to be worthy of receiving alms at one time, and the people of the household would bind merit karma in doing so. But now everything has become a farce. The Brahmin priest will have already made a deal with a shopkeeper who will buy the bed, the blankets and everything else from him! How do people think these things are going to reach the departed soul?
Questioner: Dada, nowadays people will tell the Brahmin to bring all these things to their homes and they will pay him a pre-agreed amount.
Dadashri: It is not just now days. They have been doing this for years. The priest will bring a bed given to him by someone else! Even then people believe in such rituals, and they continue to practice them. The Jains on the other hand do not practice such rituals; they are very shrewd. They do not believe in such things and in reality these rituals are bogus. As soon as the soul leaves the body it goes straight to its destination; it acquires its place of creation, the womb.
Questioner: Should we sing devotional songs or say prayers for the dying? What good does it do?
Dadashri: The dying person has nothing to do with it.
Questioner: So are all the religious rituals carried out during the time of someone’s death right or wrong?
Dadashri: Nothing about these rituals is right. Those who are gone are gone. People do these rituals without much thought. When asked to do something that is meaningful for their spiritual progress, they would complain about lack of time. They would refuse to do this for the sake of their deceased parents. However, because of societal pressures they do all these rituals grudgingly.
Questioner: So what is the significance of reading the Garuda Purana?
Dadashri: The reading sessions are to console people in mourning and to make them feel at peace.
Questioner: How significant are the rituals and dinners held on the twelfth and thirteenth day after a person’s death? And why are gifts of kitchen utensils distributed to everyone attending the dinner?
Dadashri: It is not mandatory. They simply do it to be ostentatious. For some, if they did not spend money in this way, their tendency for greed would increase. The son would be preoccupied with trying to accumulate his money, but when he is made to spend the money on such rituals, at least his mind would begin to purify and his greed would lessen. But all this is not mandatory. One should only do so if he can afford to.
(Ceremonial Offerings Of Food To Ancestral Spirits)
Questioner: Is it true that the spirits of one’s ancestral fathers (pitrus) are summoned in the ritual of Shraddha?
Dadashri: Who can be called an ancestral father? It is the son, the father and the grandfather – they will become the ancestral fathers eventually. The fact that a father dies is because his ties are completely over with the son or anyone else in the family. The current body is discarded when all accounts with current relatives are settled. They never meet again. If, however, a new relationship has been established in this life, they will take birth in situations where they may meet again.
Questioner: So are all these rituals created to remember the dead?
Dadashri: No, they were not devised for remembering the dead. They were devised because people were not otherwise prepared to spend a dime on charity and that is why they are told to do something in the memory of their late father. They are told that whatever they do in their father’s name will benefit their father. It was a way to pressure them into spending money in their father’s name. If it were not for their father, they would not spend a single penny. This is all done in blind faith.
When people fast, it is done for health benefits according to Ayurveda. The practice of fasting is established for the benefit of everyone. Even fools will benefit from this. That is why several different days have been established for fasting, one of them being theShraddha. So the ritual of Shraddha is for a very good reason.
Questioner: Dada what is the purpose of the ceremonial offerings of vaas – dinner with kheer (ricepudding) etc. on the anniversary of the death of a relative? Is this done out of ignorance also?
Dadashri: No, that is not ignorance. There is a long history behind this ceremony of vaas. Shraddha lasts for period of sixteen days, beginning on the eleventh month from the bright half of the lunar month. Now, why did people start such a ritual? These people were indeed very clever! It is a very scientific ploy and this was discovered many years ago.
In India the rainy season occurs during the eleventh month of the Indian calendar. During this time, malaria is widespread because of the increase in mosquitoes. At least one person in every household would contract it. The inflicted person would become bed-ridden and lie on the cot outside his home with fever and other symptoms common to malaria. The fever due to malaria, is the fever of pitta (the forces that stimulate bile production) and not that of kapha or vayu(excessive mucus or gas respectively. Pitta, kapha and vayu are Ayurvedic terms, which denotes the three main bio-physiologic compositions of human beings.) During a bout of malaria, one produces an excessive amount of pitta, which attracts mosquitoes. People realized that the disease of malaria would destroy half the population, so they had to come up with a solution to fast. In order to bring down the fever, they discovered that a diet high in milk products reduces the excessive production of bile. That is how kheer and other dishes made from milk became popular during shradhha. Ordinarily people could not afford to make kheer everyday.
In reality, the dead do not benefit from these rituals at all. But people have so much greed that they are not willing to give even a dime to charity. That is why the ceremony of Shraddha was contrived so that they would spend their money indirectly and feed people to honor their late father. And this is how people became convinced. If an obstinate person like myself does not follow the tradition, people around him will nag and pressure him to do so.
Throughout the sixteen days of Shraddha, beginning with the full moon, families would take turns to feed everyone and this is how eating kheer for fifteen days became a common practice. This tradition became convenient because the responsibility to prepare the meals fell on everyone equally and so people did not object. At that time people would even say that if a sick person lived through the sixteen days of Shraddha, he would be fortunate enough to welcome in the Navratri (festival of the worship of goddesses during the nine days of the bright halves of Chaitra and Ashvin months)!
The law of nature is such that no one can be taken away from here. Without the endorsement of the dying person he cannot be taken away from here. Does anyone endorse such a thing? Have you not heard people say, “God, please end my misery and suffering. Take me away from this world.” They say this because they are suffering and by saying this, they are making a signature for their death.
Questioner: Dada, is it true that when a person commits suicide, there are seven such future lives for him?
Dadashri: Whatever samskara (subtle impression left on the mind from one’s longing, actions, etc. or effect of deeds of past life or lives) is created within, take seven or eight lives to exhaust. Therefore do not allow any negative impressions or inner intents to take place. Run away from such impressions. Do not attempt to take your life, no matter how much you are suffering. Endure it. As far back as 1951, I told everyone who met me in Baroda that if ever they felt suicidal, they should think of me and come to me and then they can do it if they wish. I would explain everything to them and they would cease from such tendencies. I would explain to them the kind of causes such acts create and discuss with them the severe after-life consequences of suicide. I would succeed in changing their minds.
Questioner: What life form does one take when he or she commits suicide? Do they take the form of a bhoot (ghost) or pret (spirit without body after death)?
Dadashri: After committing suicide, one’s spirit or soul wanders around. In fact, by committing suicide one invites more problems. If a person commits suicide just once, the repercussions of this act are such that he will have to do the same for several lives to come. When a person commits suicide in this life, it is not a new suicide. The suicide of this life is the effect of suicide committed in the past. It is because of such effects, that one continues to commit suicide, life after life. When one commits suicide, he has to wander around without a body.
A ghost is a different thing altogether. It is not easy to become a ghost; it is an incarnation in the celestial life form. One becomes a ghost when one has performed severe penance and austerities in ignorance.
Questioner: Why do thoughts of suicide occur?
Dadashri: A person is alive because of his sense of being and self worth. His awareness of ‘I am Chandulal’ is called vikalp. ‘All this is mine’, is his sankalp. This sense of ‘I and my’ is the basis of his worldly life. Once he loses this sense of being, he loses all worldly awareness and that is when thoughts of suicide arise. So this sense of ‘I am’ is necessary and helpful.
When natural and spontaneous thoughts cease, negative thoughts begin. He becomes immersed in complete internal darkness and is not able to ‘see’ anything. Sankalp means ‘my’ and vikalp means ‘I’. When both these stop, a person will think about dying.
Questioner: What is the cause behind a person’s tendency to contemplate and complete a suicide?
Dadashri: The root cause of suicide is that in one of his past lives he had committed suicide, the effects of that act is carried forward through seven more lives. When you drop a ball from a height of about three feet, it will bounce back up and with each subsequent bounce, the height it bounces up is reduced and eventually the ball ceases to bounce. That is a natural process, a natural principle of motion. Similarly if a person commits suicide just once, then this act is perpetuated for seven more lives. The intensity of the effects carried forward is not visible but they decrease each time and eventually coming to an end.
At the time of death, a balance sheet of the dying person’s entire life’s activities arises in front of him. As he reads this summary of his life in 45 minutes, his new body for next life is formed. In this duration, he may become a fodder eating animal or a bread eating human being. This is the great importance of Kaliyug and this effect of the current time cycle is such that it is extremely difficult to acquire a human form again!
Questioner: In the final moments of death, who knows when the ears stop receiving the holy messages uttered in the dying man’s ears?
Dadashri: Many people will whisper in the dying person’s ear and tell him to recite Lord Rama’s name. The fools! Why do they ask him to recall Lord Rama when he is no longer around and is in a Siddha State, without a body?
Questioner: Please tell us exactly what happens in the final hour of the life of a dying man.
Dadashri: In the ultimate end, whatever has been ‘deposited’ (into one’s karmic account) thus far will carry forward. In the final hour of his death, his next life is decided based on his spiritual evolutionary status, which is determined by the result of the final analysis of his balance sheet. This balance sheet is not an accounting of his entire life’s activities, but his coming life form and the middle portion. The middle represents the last hour, the current final event. For example, if he is preoccupied with the welfare of his young unmarried daughter, a dominant theme in the last hour of his life, he will bind a life in the animal kingdom. This preoccupation is part of the balance sheet.
People have been taught to utter holy words and scripts in the ears of the dying man but in reality the dying person will only be able to make a positive use of this if he has bound the merit karma to do so, otherwise he will be preoccupied with worries about his daughter who he leaves behind.
The summary of the balance sheet will carry forward. In this regard, the good done in older age is much more effective and carries more weight compared to the same done in youth.
The law of nature is very precise in what it sends forward, nevertheless the Vitarag, the Omniscient Lord, cautions us to maintain awareness as we approach the age of fifty.
If a person is to live seventy-five years, the first imprint, photograph (for next life) will be created at age fifty. For a life span of sixty years the first snap is taken at the age of forty. For a life span of eighty-one years, it takes place at age of fifty-four.
Until the time of this first photograph, your life is free; it does not cost you anything. The first two-thirds of your life is free. It is the last third that is consequential; your actions during the last third of your life are imprinted on the balance sheet, which will come in front of you in the last hour of your life. Is this a fair or an oppressive law? It is not oppressive is it? It is fair, is it not? It says that we have no objection to your reckless ways during the first two-thirds of your life but you had better shape up during the remaining third of your life, before you die.
Questioner: Can we not say that it is the body that dies?
Dadashri: Those who are not Self-realized, face two kinds of death:
The first one is the one that takes place every moment of his life when he says, ‘I am Chandulal’. This is called bhaav maran.
Then the worldly death takes place when the body dies.
That is why Krupadu Dev, Srimad Rajchandra wrote,
‘Why oh why are you so absorbed in this worldly life, where horrible death is occurring every moment of your life as ‘I am Chandulal’?’
You can tell death, ‘Come whenever you want to, early or late, but come as samadhi death.’
Samadhi death means that at the time of death the dying one remembers nothing but his Soul. His chit, the component of the mind that has knowledge and vision is focused on nothing but his Pure Soul. His mind, his chit, his intellect, and his ego are completely still. This is eternal bliss. Even problems created by external forces on his body (upaadhi) have no effect on him. Is the body not full of problems?
Dadashri: It is full of not only physical but also mental ailments. Neither physical nor mental suffering touches the Gnani or the Self-realized one. The non-self-realized person will invite mental suffering even when it is not there. Samadhi deathmeans there is a constant awareness of, ‘I am the pure Soul (Shuddhatma).’ So many of our mahatmas who have passed away, did so with the awareness of being the pure Soul.
Questioner: At the time of death, is it possible for us to know whether the departed soul has acquired a higher life form?
Dadashri: If the dying old man says, ‘Alas I could not get my fourth daughter married’; he will bind a life in the lower life form. If a person has anxieties and worries about his family in the final moments of his death, we should realize that he is bound for a lower life form. This is all invited misery. But if his awareness is fixed on the Soul, he goes to a higher life form.
Questioner: But what if he remains unconscious for a few days?
Dadashri: Even if he is unconscious, if he remains in Gnan(the awareness of the knowledge of the Self), then there is no problem. It does not matter if he is unconscious, as long as he has taken Gnan.
Questioner: Why do people fear death?
Dadashri: It is the ego that fears death, not the Soul. It is the ego that has the fear of ‘I am going to die, I am going to die’.
What is God’s vision about death? In God’s vision, no one ever dies. If God were to give you this vision, some day, then no number of deaths would affect you in this world. This is because of this right vision (Gnan).
Sooner or later, you will have to resolve the issues behind life and death. In reality one does not die nor does one live. This is all just a mistake in one’s belief. He believes that he is living, a mortal (jiva), but in reality, he is immortal (Shiva).
Questioner: This world would not function if everyone had this understanding!
Dadashri: Yes, it would not! But then, this is not something that everyone would understand. This entire world is a puzzle. It is very mysterious. It is because this deep mystery has not been understood, that this world is in such a state of chaos.
The Soul does not take birth nor does it die. The Soul is a permanent entity. This phenomenon of taking birth and dying is of the ego. It is the ego that is born and it is the ego that dies. In reality the Soul does not die at all.
Questioner: What is birth and death?
Dadashri: Birth and death do occur, there is no question about it. We all witness its occurrence. Death takes place when all the accounts of karma of a person’s life are finished. Whatever account he had bound for the current life, comes to an end and therefore death occurs.
Questioner: What is death?
Dadashri: Death is like this: When you sew a shirt, you can say that the shirt is created or born. Death is inevitable to whatever is born. The Soul is free from the bondage of birth and death. It is eternal; it has no death. Anything that is born has to die, and because there is death, there will also be birth. So death is connected to birth. Wherever there is birth there is death.
Question: Why is there death?
Dadashri: Birth and death are events. Every event has an end. The inherent nature of any thing that begins i.e. an event, is that it always comes to an end. Was it not a beginning when you went to school and did that event not come to an end? Everything has a beginning and an end. Do you understand?
Dadashri: All these things have a beginning and an end. Who is the Knower of this beginning and the end? You are that Knower.
Things that have a beginning and an end are all temporary. Anything that has a beginning has an end. Who is the knower of the temporary nature of everything? You the permanent are that Knower. You are permanent because you see all as temporary. If everything was temporary, then there is no need to call anything temporary. Temporary is a relative word. It is because of the presence of the permanent, that there is something temporary.
Questioner: So why does death occur?
Dadashri: There are three batteries: the mind, speech and the body, at the time of a person’s birth. These batteries begin to discharge, present their effect in the womb and continue to do so throughout life. The effect will finally come to an end with death. A person’s karmic account is exhausted through these three batteries. When the effect of these batteries comes to an end, it is death. These batteries will last until death. However, as these batteries are discharging, new batteries for the coming life are being charged simultaneously. In this manner the charge (causes of karma) and discharge (effects of karma) continue to take place. The charging or causes take place because of the person’s ignorance of his real Self. As long as his wrong belief, ‘I am Chandulal’ prevails, attachmentand abhorrence continue to occur, giving rise to new causes. Once this wrong belief is replaced with the right belief, ‘I am pure Soul’; attachment and abhorrence and consequently new causes cease to occur.
Questioner: Does the unliberated soul return after death?
Dadashri: Those who do not believe in reincarnation believe that it does not return. Therefore according to the foreigners it does not, according to the Moslems it does not, but for the rest of Indians, the Hindus, it does return. This is the result of the grace of your God that you believe in reincarnation. The moment you die, the soul immediately enters another womb.
Now in fact, all souls do return. The belief of the non-Hindus’ belief is that once dead they do not return, but they do return. They do not understand this because they do not understand the process of reincarnation. You understand reincarnation.
When the body dies, it becomes lifeless and from that one can easily deduce that there was life within, which has now departed and gone elsewhere. Those who do not believe in reincarnation believe that the very life force (jiva) within was living and is now dead. We do not accept this. We are spiritually developed. It is because of this spiritual development that we believe in reincarnation. It is because of this that we understand the science of the Vitarag (the Omniscient) Lords. This science states that it is because of reincarnation that we all come together. Such is our belief and it is on the strength of this belief that we believe in the Soul. How can reincarnation be supported without the belief in the Soul?
Who is it that reincarnates? It is because there is the Soul that there is reincarnation. We witness the death of the body, which is burnt. So only the soul can come and go in different forms.
When you understand the nature of the Soul, all puzzles are solved. It is however, hard to understand. That is why all the scriptures tell you to understand the Soul. Now without this knowledge, anything done is done in vain. It does not help. First realize the Soul, and then all puzzles will be solved.
Questioner: Who takes rebirth? Is it the Soul or the life force (jiva)?
Dadashri: No, nobody has to take it, it just happens. This whole universe functions automatically; everything just happens on its own.
Questioner: Yes, but who makes it happen? Is it done by the jiva (mortal entity) or the Soul?
Dadashri: No, the Soul has nothing to do with it. Everything happens because of the jiva. This comprises of the Soul, the causal body and the electrical body. This entity that desires worldly happiness has the ‘right’ to enter the womb and when worldly happiness is not desired, it loses the right for a rebirth.
Questioner: Is each successive birth of a human linked to the next birth?
Dadashri: Every birth is the result of previous birth. Therefore the link of every birth begins with the previous birth.
Questioner: But what is the relationship between this birth and the previous birth?
Dadashri: This current birth is the result of previous birth and the cause of the next birth.
Questioner: Yes, that is true but is there anything that occurs in the previous life that has any relationship to this life?
Dadashri: A tremendous relationship! Seeds sown in the previous life, result in a full-fledged fruit in this life. So is there not a difference between the seed and its fruit? When we sow a seed of wheat, that is the previous life, and the plant, which grows from it, is this life. Now from this plant, the seeds that are shed is the current life, will grow as a plant and that will be the new life and so on. Did you understand this or not?
Questioner: From many that are walking a snake bites only one person. Is that the result from a previous life?
Dadashri: Yes, that is precisely what I am trying to explain. That is reincarnation. And that is why the snake bites him. If it were not for reincarnation, the snake would not have bitten him. In essence, the man is being paid back from the account of his previous life in the same way that a debt gets paid off. Through spiritual development we can understand all these accounts and their repayments. This is why people in India believe in reincarnation, but they are not able to categorically state that indeed there is reincarnation. They cannot prove that it does in fact exist. But based on the experiences in their lives, their faith in reincarnation has strengthened.
A woman may ask why her friend was blessed with such a nice mother-in-law, whereas she is not so fortunate. So there will be all kinds of circumstances based on accounts of previous life.
Questioner: When life enters another body, do the five senses and the mind go with it?
Dadashri: No, nothing like that whatsoever. The senses become exhausted and die; the senses do not carry forward. Only the anger, pride, attachment and greed carry forward. Only the causal body, which is the subtle body and it includes anger, pride, attachment and greed, is carried forward. It remains with the soul wherever it is born, until final liberation is attained.
The soul alone does not leave the body. The causal body composed of all the karmas and the electrical body leaves together with the soul at the moment of death. As long as there is worldly life, the electrical body will be present in every living being. The electrical body is always present when the causal body is formed. Every living being has an electrical body, which carries out the natural bodily functions, such as digestion and circulation etc. The electrical body is also responsible for your vision and other physiologic activities. The soul does not have any anger, pride, attachment or greed. These anger, pride, attachment and greed are all mediated through the electrical body, although they are carried forward through the causal body.
Questioner: So is the electrical body active in the process of charging karma?
Dadashri: Karmas are only charged if the electrical body is present. Nothing will work in the absence of the electrical body and the same applies to the soul. Even if the soul was absent, but the electrical body was there, it would not work either. These are all a collection of causes.
Questioner: Life only comes into existence when it takes a breath. That is what is written in the Vedas.
Dadashri: No, such statements are not based on experience. They are not true. That understanding is a worldly understanding. An embryo never develops without the presence of a life. Prior to that it is like an egg, it remains in a state of dormancy.
Questioner: Does life enter the egg of a chicken through a hole?
Dadashri: No, that is all worldly thinking. Such statements are written because of inadequate understanding. For the embryo to form multiple evidences are necessary, including time. These are all scientific circumstantial evidences.
Life matures during the nine months it lives in the womb. At seven months, it is considered premature; the brain, the limbs and all other organs are inadequately developed. So a baby born at seven months is considered premature because it has not developed fully. And those which are born at eighteen months – they are something else! They have extraordinary brains. Those, which go beyond nine months, have a very highly developed brain.
What’s wrong? Did you not know that? Why are you not saying anything? Have you heard the saying, ‘This baby is eighteen months old’? Have you not heard such a saying? They’ll say he is very smart; he would not come out of his mother’s womb – for eighteen months he carried on pompously!
Questioner: How long does it take for the soul to leave one body and enter another?
Dadashri: No time at all. As it is leaving one body, it is also simultaneously present in another womb. This occurrence is in concurrence with the moment of the union of the sperm and the egg. When the time comes for the soul to depart from one body, the circumstances and the event at the other end is also taking place the reception of the soul. Therefore after the body’s death the soul goes directly into another embryo. So there is no need to worry about what may happen in the time ahead. After death another womb is acquired and upon entering that womb, all the nourishment and everything necessary for its life there is immediately provided for.
The world is full of illusion and it always looks at external actions. It does not consider the inner intentions or meditation.The inner meditation is the real endeavor (purushaarth), for the next life and will bring forth fruits in the next life. During meditation, the subatomic particles of matter from the outside are pulled inwards into the body. They take on the form of whatever kind of meditation is in progress and accumulate subtly. This is how the causal body is created. Because of connections from the past life, it enters the mother’s womb and this is where the effective body forms. Upon death, the soul, the subtle body and the causal body all go together. The subtle body is the same for everyone, but the causal body is different for each person, depending upon his causes from his current life. The electrical body is the subtle body.
There is birth after death and death after birth. Why does this cycle continue relentlessly? It is because of ‘causes and effects, and effects and causes’ that the cycle perpetuates. If causes were destroyed, effect too would come to an end and another birth would cease to occur.
A person creates causes during his entire life. What becomes of these causes? Once the causes are created, there is no escaping from its ensuing consequences of its effect.
Causes are created in every action. If someone insults you by saying, ‘you are stupid’, it is an effect. He has said this within the laws governing the science of karma. It is your past account. During this occurrence of insult, the negative reaction that occurs within you like, ‘your father is stupid’, is your cause for the next life. This may even spill out in reactionary words. These words are an effect of past life. The deep inner intent in any event is the cause. All else is an effect.
What was dealt to you was well within the laws of karma. Your reaction transgressed that law.
Did you understand this? Why are you silent?
Questioner: Yes, I understand.
Dadashri: So the causes are created in this life, and the effects of these causes will have to be endured in the next life.
People erroneously believe the effect to be the cause and they try to change the effect. In anger they believe, ‘I became angry’. This is an illusion. The anger exists as long as this illusion exists. Really there is no anger. It is only an effect. And when the cause stops, only the effect remains and one is not responsible for these effects. These effects will not refrain from manifesting their intrinsic nature.
Questioner: There is a relationship between the body and soul, is there not?
Dadashri: This body is the result and effect of the ignorance of the Self, the Soul. It is the effect of whatever causes that were created. If someone were to give you a lot of respect, you would feel happy and if someone were to insult you, you would become angry. The outward expression of your anger or happiness is not important; it is your internal bhaav (deep inner intent, meditation) that charges or causes new karma, which will then discharge in your next life. The discharge will be in the form of an effect at that time. Your mind, your speech and your bodyare all an effect. Any suffering or enjoyment experienced during the discharge of an effect, leads to new causes, which in turn will become ‘effective’ in the next life. In this manner, the cycle of ‘cause and effect’, ‘effect and cause’ perpetuates.
Causes of new karma can only be stopped in the human life. There is only effect in all other life forms. In human beings there is both causes and effects. When I give you the knowledge of your real Self, Gnan, new causes will stop, and no new effects will occur.
The effective body refers to the three charged batteries of the mind, speech and the body, which create new causes. So in this life, these batteries continue to discharge while simultaneously new batteries are being charged. The Gnani Purush puts a stop to the charging and so only the old ones continue to discharge.
After death, the soul enters another womb. Until one becomes Self-realized, it continues to wander from womb to womb. One becomes one with the mind, with the intellect and this is the reason why new causes are created and the worldly life continues over and over again. To become one with the mind and the intellect is to plant a seed in a womb. Lord Krishna has said that as the seeds fall into the womb, the worldly life continues.
When the sowing of new seeds ceases, the worldly life will cease.
Questioner: According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, life develops from a single sensory organism until it reaches the human form. On the other hand there is the belief that one goes back to animal form after human birth. Can you clear the contradiction in these two?
Dadashri: No, there is no contradiction in it. The Theory of Evolution is correct. But it is only correct up to the point where it reaches the human form. There is no knowledge about what happens beyond this point.
Questioner: Is it true that a person can go back into an animal form from a human form?
Dadashri: First, as it is stated according to Darwin’s theory, life develops to the point of a human form.
From here onwards, here is my explanation. After coming to the human form, because of the presence of the ego, he becomes the doer. He becomes the doer of karmas and this is the cause and therefore he has to endure the effects of his causes. If he creates a debit (paap, demerit karma or sins) he reincarnates in the animal form and if he creates credits (punyas, meritorious deeds), he is born as a celestial being, or as a human being again, where he will enjoy material comforts and luxuries. So after coming into the human form, everything depends upon these debits and credits.
Questioner: Is it not said that one has become the human form after wandering through 8.4 million wombs, and then he has to undergo the same amount of wandering before he returns to the human form.
Dadashri: No, it is not like that. Having achieved the human form once, one does not have to go through the cycle of 8.4 million births again to be born as a human again. If a person has an animal-like mentality, he will reincarnate in the animal form for a maximum of eight births. And that too will only be for a period of one to two hundred years. After that, he returns back to the human form. Once the human form is achieved, he does not have to wander 8.4 million lives.
Questioner: Does the same soul wander for 8.4 million times?
Dadashri: Yes, the same soul.
Questioner: But the Soul is pure, is it not?
Dadashri: The Soul is pure, even now. It has remained pure even after wandering through 8.4 million wombs. It has been pure, it is pure and it will always be pure.
Questioner: Is a person’s rebirth based on hisdesires and passions present within him at the time of his death?
Dadashri: Yes. But when people say that the person who died had such and such wishes, such last minute wishes cannot be created. They occur as a consequence of the balance sheet. It is the balance sheet of his entire life that comes forward in the final hour before his death, and it is this balance sheet that determines which life form he will enter.
Questioner: Do humans go only into another human form?
Dadashri: No, you are mistaken. But only a human can be born from a woman’s womb. A donkey cannot take birth there. If a person thinks that when he dies, he will return into a human form, then he is wrong. The fool! If his thinking is comparable to that of a donkey, how is he going to be born as a human again? The thoughts he has about depriving others, and coveting other people’s possessions, will all lead him to the lower life form.
Questioner: Is there a sequence to a life, that once born into the human form, it will take you back to the human form, or does it take you elsewhere?
Dadashri: Once born as a human in Hindustan, one has to move around in the four different life forms: human, celestial, animal and hell. Foreigners, who do not believe in reincarnation, are not subject to this, with the exception of about two to five percent of the people. They are only going higher.
Questioner:When people refer to Vidhata, whom do they refer to?
Dadashri: It is nature that they call Vidhata. There is no such goddess called Vidhata. Scientific circumstantial evidence is Vidhata. People believe that on the sixth day after the birth of a baby, Vidhata comes and writes the future life of the newborn infant. This is correct by their imagination, but not according to facts.
In reality and according to nature’s law, if you deprive others of things that you have no right to, then you will go into the animal form. But even that is not a permanent state. At the most, it will be for duration of two hundred years or at least for seven to eight lives before being born as a human. Sometimes it may even be for as little as five minutes in the animal form before he returns into the human form. There are some organisms that in a span of one minute will change seventeen life forms. Therefore not everyone will spend the maximum time of two hundred years in the animal form.
Questioner: Give us a scientific proof that will convince us that a human will take birth into an animal form.
Dadashri: Have you encountered anyone who appears to be barking like a dog when he speaks? People will say that he is always barking. He has carried forward these traits from his previous life as a dog. Some even behave like monkeys, so they have been monkeys before. Some sit quiet as a cat, ready to pounce at the slightest opportunity. One can determine where a person has come from or where he is headed, based on his characteristic traits. Even so it is not a permanent thing.
People of the current time cycle of Kaliyugdo not know how to sin and yet that is all they do. So what will the fruit of their deeds be? At the most, they will spend fifty to a hundred years in the animal form. They will not spend thousands of years there before they come back as humans. Many even return after spending just five years in the animal form. So do not consider their actions as a crime, because these poor people immediately return back into the human form. It is because their sins are not so grave.
Questioner: The human population has continued to increase, does that mean that the population of the animals is decreasing?
Dadashri: Yes, that is true. The number of souls remains the same, but they continue to convert. Sometimes as the human population increases, the animal population is reduced and vice versa. This process of conversion continues.
Questioner: Why do innocent children have to suffer physical ailments?
Dadashri: A child suffers the consequences of the effects of his own karmas and the mother suffers through witnessing it. The main karma belongs to the child and because the mother had played a role in supporting that karma, she too has to suffer. Karmas are bound through the act of doing, through the act of making others do or through the act of supporting others do the act.
One returns into the human form, after having wandered through other life forms. And it is also through the human form, that one is released from this cycle of wandering. If one knows how to fulfill his human birth, then he can achieve liberation but if he does not, then that life becomes a vehicle for endless wandering. He dissipates his karmas in all other life forms, but it is only in the human form that he binds as well as dissipates karmas.
This human body has been acquired with great difficulty, so use it to accomplish your work. The soul has spent endless births to acquire this human body. If only, this body spends one birth for the Soul, your work will be done in this very birth.
If as a human one meets a Gnani Purush, then he can acquire liberation. Even the celestial beings have an intense desire to acquire a human form. Through establishing a connection with a GnaniPurush, the body that had been a foe for endless previous births now becomes an absolute friend. It is through this body that you have met a GnaniPurush, so get your work done.
Questioner: But who has to undergo the cycle of birth and death?
Dadashri: The cycle of birth and death is for the ego. The Soul is in its own state. When the ego stops, this cycle also stops.
Questioner: After acquiring Gnan one experiences bliss. Is this only for this birth or for all the births to come?
Dadashri: It is permanent. After Gnan, one becomes a non-doer and consequently will not bind new karmas. He will attain moksha within one or two births. There is no choice in the matter. This path is not for those who do not desire liberation. Those who do not like liberation should not take this path.
Questioner: Will we remember this Gnan in our next life?
Dadashri: Everything will be the same. There will be no changes. Because you have stopped binding new karmas, no confusion will ever arise again.
Questioner: So does that mean that in our past lives, we have created karmas, which continue to perpetuate the confusion?
Dadashri: In your past lives, karmas were bound because of your ignorance of your real Self and in this life you are experiencing the effect of those karmas. The effects have to be endured. If a person has not met a Gnani, he will continue to bind new causes simultaneously as he is faced to endure the effects of his past karma. The causes he creates in this life will result as effects in his next life. And thus the cycle of cause and effect, effect and cause will continue, until he meets a Gnani Purush. The Gnani Purush puts a stop to the creation of causes and all that remains will be the effects, which one will have to endure. New karmas will no longer be bound.
Therefore, not only will you remember this entire Gnan, but also you will become the embodiment of that Gnan. Then you will not fear anything.
Questioner: Dada how will all the karma bound in this life, prior to receiving this Gnan, be destroyed?
Dadashri: While you are still alive, you should destroy them through repentance and pratikraman. Not all of them will be destroyed, but they will definitely become weaker. Then in the next life, because they are already weak, they will just crumble away.
Questioner: Does the bondage of karmas weaken through repentance?
Dadashri: Yes, they become weak. Only certain kinds of bondage are weakened at their roots through repentance. There is tremendous strength in our pratikraman. Do it with Dada Bhagwan as your witness and it will bring tremendous results.
Due to the forces of karma, there may still be one or two more births left for you. Let them be. But after that you will definitely go to Simandhar Swami, the current and present Tirthankar living in Mahavideh Kshetra. From now on all accounts you have brought with you, no matter how strong and hard, will eventually come to an end. There is no other way for them!
Questioner: Do the forces of karmadiminish through pratikraman?
Dadashri: Yes they do! And they will be concluded fast.
The more mistakes you destroy through pratikraman, the closer you come to liberation.
Questioner: Will these ‘sticky files’ (close relatives, like a husband or a wife) stick to us again in the next life?
Dadashri: Why do we have to worry about the next birth? Do enough pratikraman here only. Any free moment you have, keep on doing pratikraman. You have to tell ‘Chandubhai’ (your relative self) to do pratikraman for everyone in the family and for any hurt that he has caused in his previous lives. He has to ask for forgiveness for all the faults related to his attachment and abhorrence, sex, anger, pride, and greed, done in this life and numerous other lives. Everyday take one member of the family and do pratikraman to them. Then do pratikraman towards all the people around you. Do the same for the neighbors, with the same awareness. Keep doing this and the burden of your load will become lighter. It will not become lighter without your doing so.
First I cleared the bonds of the whole world in this way, and then I became liberated. As long as in your mind, I am at fault, it does not allow me to be at peace. So whenever I do pratikraman in this way, everything gets erased.
Questioner: How can you ask for forgiveness from those who have died?
Dadashri: Even though they are dead, you can still do so because you have their photographs and you can remember their faces. Even if you do not remember their face, but you know their name, you can still use their name and do pratikraman, and it will reach them.
Questioner: So how do you do pratikraman for the ones who have died?
Dadashri: First recall their pure Soul, which is completely separate from the mind, body, speech and all karmas, of the dead person. Then recall and confess your mistakes (alochana).Ask for forgiveness (pratikraman) for that mistake and resolve not to repeat that mistake ever again (pratyakhyan).
‘You’, the pure Soul should remain the Knower and the Seer of ‘Chandubhai’ (the relative self) and know how many pratikraman he does, how sincerely he does them and how many times he does them.
Jai Sat Chit Anand
Dear Dada Bhagwan, Dear Simandhar Swami, I surrender my thoughts, speech and actions, my name, all ignorance related to my worldly name, all karma unto the lotus feet of You, the divine manifest form of the supreme Lord.
Dear Dada Bhagwan, Dear Simandhar Swami, I hereby accept your exclusive protection. May this surrender of mine be exclusive for you only. Please be present for me at the final moment of my life. Be with me until my final liberation.
Dear Lord, I have no desire for anything temporary in this world. All I desire is moksha. May my next life be under your guidance only, and at your feet.
Along with this above recite:
Dada Bhagwan na Aseem Jai Jaikar Ho
The person, whose final hour in life has arrived, should say the above prayer and substitute their name here.
The above has to be done repeatedly, or someone close by has to do this for the dying person.
With the live presence of Dada Bhagwan and Lord Simandhar as my witness, we all invoke the pure Soul that is separate from * recall the name of the dead person’s thoughts, speech and acts, and all karmas. Dear pure Soul, may bliss and peace be with you, wherever you may be. May you attain moksha without any impediments. Dear Lord Simandhar, please grant him/her your exclusive protection.
Up until this day and this moment, if I have committed any faults related to attachment, abhorrence, anger, greed, false pride and deceit towards* recall the dead person’s name*, I ask for your forgiveness. I am sincerely repentant for this and please forgive me. Grant me the strength never to repeat these faults ever again.
This prayer may be repeated every time the dead person comes in memory.
Oh Pure Soul within me! You reside within all living beings, just as you reside in me. Your divine form is my real form . My Real form is “Shuddhatma.” (Pure Atma).
Oh Shuddhatma Bhagwan ! With infinite devotion and oneness, I offer my salutations to you. I confess unto you, all mistakes * that I have committed in my ignorant state. I sincerely repent for these mistakes and ask for your pardon. Oh Lord ! Please forgive me, forgive me, forgive me and give me the strength not to repeat these mistakes again.
Oh Shuddhatma Bhagwan ! Please bless us all with such grace that this separation from you disappears and we attain oneness with you. May we remain One with you at all times.
(* Recall the past mistakes that you have committed)
With Dada Bhagwan as my witness, I offer my salutations to the Pure Soul who is totally separate from the mind, speech, and body of * _________
I recall my mistakes (aalochana)
I apologize for these mistakes (pratikraman)
I affirm not to repeat these mistakes again (Pratyakhyaan)
Dearest Dada Bhagwan ! Grant me the strength to act in accordance with this firm resolution.
recall the mistakes you committed with this person.
In the book “Death: Before, During & After”, Gnani Purush (embodiment of Self knowledge) Dada Bhagwan addresses age-old unanswered questions related to death and dying. Dadashri offers in-depth answers to questions such as: “What is death?”, “What are the stages of dying and the signs of death?”, “What happens when you die?”, “Is there life after death, and can you provide proof of life after death?”, “Please explain reincarnation and describe the journey of souls?” He also provides solutions to common concerns like: “How to stop anxiety about dying - how can I face my fear of death?”, “How to deal with stress, and manage grief and loss after losing a loved-one?”, “I’m facing death, please tell me how to become more spiritual?” In this invaluable resource, Dadashri places death in a larger spiritual context by describing how to attain the Self; he explains that the knowledge of Self is the spirituality that liberates one from all suffering related to death and dying.