DAAJI KAMLESH PATEL offers insights on the end of life, about what happens at the moment of death, and more — questions that engage us
Who isn’t fascinated by what happens at the moment of death, and what happens after death? Yogic scientist Ram Chandra was able to describe the process that happens when our souls are ready to leave their physical bodies, in his book, Truth Eternal. He reminds us, “Time creates and time alone kills. This is the inevitable law of time,” and then proceeds to describe the process of death, step by step.
According to Ram Chandra, it is through the chakra system of a human being that the soul withdraws from the base upwards. First, the element of earth is withdrawn from the Muladhara chakra, the root plexus, and this is the dissolution of the earth element. It moves upwards to the Svadhishthana chakra, the sacral plexus, the place of the water element. The earth element is converted into water. You may feel this when someone is dying, because their hands and feet will suddenly become cold. This is the dissolution of the water element.
Then, the water element is withdrawn upwards from the svadhishthana chakra and it accumulates in the Nabhi chakra, in the region of the solar plexus, above the navel.
Water is then converted into the fire element, and the region above the navel becomes warm.
This is the dissolution of the fire element. Then, fire is gradually withdrawn from the solar plexus to the Anahata, Hridaya chakra, the heart plexus, where it is converted into the air element, mixing with the breath of the heart region. Often, the whole body begins to tremble. This is the dissolution of the air element.
After that, the air of the cardiac plexus is withdrawn to the Vishuddhi chakra, the throat plexus, as ether. A sound is produced in the throat, indicating the dissolution of the ether element. The lower portion of the body is now dead and these pancha bhutas, five elements have been dissolved.
Once the sound in the throat is produced, what happens next? The principle of Brahmn, the Brahmtattva that is found in the individual soul is then withdrawn — it merges back into the Virat principle. At this precise moment, the ‘eyes are turned back’. The soul may exit through the eyes, ears or mouth. If the soul has been liberated, it exits from the point on the back of the head known as Brahmarandhra, which is at the twelfth chakra. You may have seen people in bygone days wearing a choti, small ponytail on the back of their head. That is the place of brahmarandhra.
Then, what happens after death? Our physical bodies are recycled back into the pool of atoms of matter, but what about the other bodies — subtle bodies and soul? Depending on their vibratory level, there are infinite possibilities for their onward journey at the moment of death. We create a vibratory blueprint according to how we live our life on Earth, and at the moment of death, our subtle bodies and souls go to the dimension that corresponds with that blueprint. The soul finds its level and its dimension according to the level of purity of the subtle body and its own potency.
Some of us will return to a physical existence, because we are attached to people and things in this physical world that draw us back. That is the play of our samskaras. We may have died many times before this life, and after we die, we will become someone else. This cycle goes on and on, life after life, until we reach the state of moksha that yogis have perfected. Then we become eligible to carry on to the other subtler dimensions, where there is no need for a physical body. It all depends on the vibrational potency, we have created during the life we lived. There are many possibilities. And what about those souls that are liberated? Does it mean they will not be reincarnated? Not necessarily. A liberated soul has the total, absolute freedom to be born again or not. My teacher, who was Ram Chandra’s disciple, called it ‘freedom from freedom’. His name was also Ram Chandra.
There have been many attempts by philosophers, religious leaders and sages to describe how best to lead our lives on Earth. In yogic texts, a person’s character is usually defined according to the three gunas, the three manifested forces in Nature — saatvik, rajasik, and tamasik. But this is a broad categorisation, and often portrayed in a limited, judgemental way: for example, a saatvik person is seen as holy and pure, a rajasik person is seen as restless and desire-based, and a tamasik person is seen as ignorant and stupid. This view does not appreciate the balancing, complementary nature of all three gunas and their role in our lives. Also, even if we are saatvik in nature, there is a whole spectrum of saatvikta; if we are tamasik, there is a whole spectrum of tamasikta; if we are rajasik, there is a whole spectrum of rajasikta. Each of us is a unique blend of the three gunas, so there are infinite combinations of the three. Accordingly, there are infinite dimensions to which souls are attracted. Based on the vibratory level of the subtle bodies and the soul, they will find a matching dimension — they cannot go anywhere else.
Another question people ask me is: “Can I purify myself at the moment of death so that my soul reaches a vibratory level in tune with a higher dimension?” It doesn’t work that way, because you cannot achieve something at the last moment.
Death may happen at any moment — where is the guarantee that you will kick the bucket at the age of 99 or 100? So, to be ready for the next dimension, it is better to prepare yourself well by cultivating a pure, refined vibratory level. And what is that pure vibration? It is the vibration of love. Such a preparation means living a lifestyle where you are always ready for the last moment. ■