Articles by Sri Rajen Vakil

The Astral Body

Article 49 - The Astral Body


This will be the last article in our series on Death.

We had mentioned last time that after 55 days, nothing else needs to be done. In the mother’s womb, the male and the female cell have met to make one master cell. This master cell moves in geometric progression and in nine months, a human form is ready to be born. What science cannot see is that together with the formation of the physical body, an astral body is also being formed. Time moves very fast in the mother’s womb and the amount of activity that happens in nine months is more than what we do in a lifetime of 70 years.

Yoga says that with the first multiplication of the master cell into two cells on the physical level, two chakras called muladhara and swadhishthana are formed in the astral. Just as the physical body takes nine months to grow, the astral is totally ready at the seventh month. In the seventh month, the old astral body passes on all its memory to the newly formed one and then disintegrates completely. That is why in the seventh month, we do the garbha srimantha (godh bharai) ceremony. Further, it is at this time that the racial characteristics of the new mother and father are given to the soul and are thus impregnated on the new astral. These racial characteristics are what science calls DNA.

As we have seen earlier, the spirit or the atma is still waiting in the svaha or electronic universe. It only enters the child after it comes out of the mother’s womb at the time of the first cry. It lights the spark of life at muladhara and swadhishthana and it is because of this that there is a loud cry. The child is now a new living human being.

If for some reason the old astral decides not to disintegrate, the newly formed one will have to destroy itself in its place. In such a scenario, the child will be still-born or will die immediately on being born.

In these articles, many ideas have been presented which are thought provoking. My only effort is to give an outline where we can practise to experience that very powerful finale we call death.


Article 48 - The Last Ten Days


As explained last week, we have tried to help the departed soul by sitting silently every day for five minutes. The last thing you do is ask the soul if what you have said has reached it. You will get some indication that it has understood what you have said – a smell may emanate, the shape of the photo may momentarily change, and we may feel a gust of breeze or an ant pinching or crawling over us. Keep doing this for 45 days.

In the next ten days, continue the practice but add something to it. Here nature plays a trick and awakens the dreaming soul a little and tells it to choose. Within its 55-day dream, it starts seeing images like a stream of pictures. Not like a regular movie, but cloudy images, like old negatives, of couples having sex. Nature then asks the soul to choose a womb so it can be born again. It is at this point that you can try to help the departed soul make the right choice.

Tell the soul that the time has come for it to choose a place to be born. If any womb pulls it with force, just by willing it to stop, it will stop immediately. Then tell the soul to close those scenes where the sex is aggressive or animalistic. Next, tell it that if it asks any scene to pause, it will and the soul will know more about the couple. Then tell the soul not to simply follow his desires and go where there is only money and luxury, but to choose a womb where there is growth and maturity. Finally, say that the guru is next to you and if you cannot decide, ask for his help.

The soul then makes its choice and at this point, the sex is decided. If the soul is attracted to the male, then it is born a female and if to the female, it takes a male form.

Once 55 days are complete, stop everything. On the following Saturday, perform some act of charity. Then call all your friends and relatives for dinner and celebrate. Nothing else needs to be done now.

Article 47 - How to Help After Death


After death, the soul passes through a 55-day dream in which it experiences all its samskaras or memory patterns. For example, if I have gotten angry a thousand times in my life, I do not carry a thousand angers but they distil into a single drop which becomes a part of the library of samskaras which every soul carries. In this long dream, the soul experiences all these samskaras in different dream forms.

If the soul is totally hypnotised by the dream, it cannot do anything to redeem these memories arising in dream symbols, but in these 55 days, we can help the person who has just died. The Mahabharata deals a lot with how the father’s form repeats in his son. Thus the right thing would be that every son does these practices for his father.

First, choose one corner of a room, preferably that of the departed. Keep his photo and something he used, such as a napkin or vest, next to it. Put some food next to the photo. Sit silently in front of the photo for five minutes every day, preferably at the same time. Try to sense him, as a presence, not a photo, as the person in the photo has already been cremated or buried. Now tell him that the food is for him. Say it in a resonating way as he does not have a brain that understands language but he can feel the vibrations. Tell him the food is for him. He will come to eat the food and just by smelling it, his hunger will be appeased.

Now, in the same resonation, tell him that everything is allright here. Tell him he is in a dream and whatever he is seeing is his own mind (brain and mind being separate) and he should not feel frightened. If he is seeing a terrible form, tell him that just by asking, it will change immediately. Say to him that these are all only his own samskaras and this is a good opportunity to be free of them by just observing and not getting involved. Finally, tell him the guru is next to him and he should ask for his help. Do this for 45 days. In the next ten days, we add something.

The Clear Light

Article 46 - The Clear Light


During the first hour after death where speeds are the fastest, the soul and the spirit leave the physical form and are in the electronic universe or Swaha. It is in this hour that the consciousness of the person who has died can experience the state of pure light. In yoga, this state comes after hard practice but here it happens automatically. The atma or the spirit is left in this loka or universe. The soul, covered by an astral body, falls to the Bhuvaha loka or the molecular universe.

This falling happens in three stages. Just as a ball bounces up and down, the soul leaves the spirit and starts falling towards Bhuvaha loka. (Please visualise this as the slowing of speed rather than real falling). It then bounces up again, starts falling, then bounces back and finally leaves Swaha to spend about 55 days in Bhuvaha. Thus the soul sees the light three times. In the first it sees it directly, in the second there is a thin translucent film covering the spirit. This is the causal body. In the final viewing, it cannot see the light directly but sees the colours of dawn and infers there was light. All this happens in the first hour after death.

Now the soul, covered with an astral body, sojourns in the dream world for 55 days. If the person has practised holding consciousness in his dreams, then it is very possible that his consciousness will come to meet him at this stage and he will pass through this period awake. For most of us, it is just another dream and we are in a swoon.

The Tibetans have again divided this period into 49 days, where the soul passes through seven chambers each with seven divisions. It passes through all its collected patterns or samskaras which come in seven forms - ego, greed, desire, anger, temptation, envy and self-love. If at this stage we are conscious, then we can change each form and samskara as it arises. Otherwise, we just pass through good and bad dreams. We pass through life without consciousness of our psychic states which open up in various forms. (More next week)