Questions and answers concerning death

From Sant Kirpal Singh and Dr Harbhajan Singh (see also references below)
(Published in “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1997-2)

All Masters say, “Die before you really have to die!”“Die” means rising above body-consciousness while alive. In actual death the silver-cord which is based on the reaction of the past that is broken.

If you rise while alive, the silver-cord is not broken – you have to return. The question was put to Prophet Mohammed, “You and all the others have said the same thing: Learn to die while alive! What is meant by this?” Kabir said the same thing, Guru Nanak said the same thing. To this question all Masters say, “This death will not take you to the grave or cremation place, it will only just let you pass from the physical world into the beyond.”(1)

Disciple: What might be considered the “escape hatch”, you might say? At what point would the spirit leave the body?

Master: At what place? Have you seen a man dying? What happens then?

The life is withdrawn from underneath; it goes up slowly and then comes to the back of the eyes; the eyes are upturned; then the “drop-scene” comes. So, the seat of the soul is at the back of the eyes; there the “drop-scene” comes.

That is why Masters say, “Learn to die so that you may begin to live.” That is, to whatever point in the body you go at the time of death, you are to go while you are alive. When the meditation is given, you come up here, is it not so? And here the soul leaves the body.(2)

Question: Is the life span of an individual determined at birth?

Master: Yes.

Question: Nothing one can do about it to either shorten it or lengthen it?

Master: Yes. He can shorten it, He can prolong it. But it is definitely ordained – all Masters say so. Even Christ said,

“Thy days are numbered.”

Our age is fixed, not according to the number of years or months or days, mind that; it is fixed according to the number of breaths we take. Do you see?

The right use of breaths can prolong our life, and the wrong use of breaths can shorten our life. Normally we take eight to ten breaths a minute. When we are passionate, we take eighteen to twenty breaths a minute.

Is it not shortened?

If you have a rhythmic life, you take three or four breaths a minute – that prolongs it. And if you do kumbhak, you learn to control the breathing inside. I have met people who could even control their breaths for two hours; I have met people who were put underground for seven days; then, your life is prolonged.

But Masters don’t advise us to take up that way because we have to develop spiritually; by following that way you do not. It can show “miracles” to others; but, really, your inner life should change. You must come in contact with the Light and Sound Principle. Your life can be prolonged and shortened, but not beyond the number of breaths you have to take.(3)

Question: How is it possible to give help to dying people who are in their last agonies? Is it allowed to give them assistance from our side so that they can die more easily?

Dr Harbhajan Singh: The greatest aid is to give them the theoretical aspect of life to make them understand the purpose of human life. But do not give them your personal attention! With your personal attention it will not benefit them, maybe a little, but it will affect you in the worst way. So only tell them the right way of life as far as they can understand. To give them the right aspect of life, the purpose of human life, is the biggest blessing you can give to someone.

I already told you about some instances, where people, who had been told something about the Master, remembered Him, and Master appeared at their physical departure.

I told these instances in the open Satsang and Master said,

If someone remembers that Power
it doesn’t matter whether he is initiated or not —
even if he remembers Him only
a short time before his death,
that Power has to come there.
— Sant Kirpal Singh

But the question is if people who are going to die are able to think of Him, if the soul can remember Him. When some instructions are given and you put someone’s attention into the right direction, he can remember this Power.

So you can tell some good thoughts about the right way of life, the real purpose of human life and especially when one is suffering, it will affect him very much.

This was the main reason why Master used to go either to the hospital or to the cremation ground. There all people used to sit together who were in the mood to listen to such things.

Their view was entirely changed. For a short time they were cut off from the world and they were unhappy with the world and their surroundings. They had lost someone, perhaps a good friend, or a child, they might have lost someone most beloved to them. So they were moved and it was very easy for them to understand. If they could get to know something (about the purpose of human life), it was very good.(4)

Question: Many times I have heard about the importance of our last thought at the time of our dying?

Master: You see, if you have been accustomed to one thought, a ruling passion in your life, then naturally that will be the last thought with you. Anything which has been ruling your mind will come up.

Question: And you go to where your last thought was?

Master: Yes, if – I am adding “if ” now. If some conscious person is there to direct, that will help. These are exceptions, of course.(5)

One can be so much within the Guru’s radiation that even the powerful lord of death cannot come near. For example, I will tell you of one incident when I was living in Lahore. There was a lady who hailed from my village, but she was not a disciple. She became seriously ill, and her family endured constant sleepless nights in looking after her. I heard that she was sick and went to see her, accompanied by Dalip Singh (later treasurer in Sawan Ashram). I told them, “You have spent so many nights awake and must be tired, so you all sleep tonight and I will watch beside the bed.”

Dalip Singh and I sat together for some time. She was not initiated, but that did not matter, and I asked her, “Do you repeat any holy name?” She affirmed that she did. I told Dalip Singh to go and rest and return about 4 a.m., and I continued to sit beside the dying woman. She went on repeating the holy names, as I had suggested, but suddenly she said to me, “There is an old man here.” I looked up and saw the old man, and he explained to me that she was his granddaughter, and that he had come to take her away, but I told him that he could not do so as long as I was sitting there. He tried his best to take the soul out of the body, but did not succeed, so after some moments he went away. I asked the woman if she had recognized the old man and she said, “Yes, it was my grandfather; he was a very pious man.”

After some time, Yama, the angel of death, appeared in the doorway. I looked straight at him, and he ran away – he could not even enter the room. He returned several times, but could not enter.

Then Dharam Raj, the lord of death himself, appeared, but he also could not come into the room. He said, “This soul belongs to me.” I said, “Yes, that is true, for she has not been initiated, and I know also that you cannot come near her because I am sitting here, so you had better go to my Guru and ask Him what is to be done now. If He gives you permission to take this soul, then I will leave.”

My friends, just see – how great is Naam! Dharam Raj left, and in a matter of moments returned and said, “I have got the permission to take the soul.” I said, “All right, take it.” He replied, “How can I when you are still sitting there?”

Whatever is written regarding the protection power of the holy Naam is all true, for I am telling you what actually happened. Dharam Raj said, “Unless you leave, I cannot take this soul.” I asked him, “What benefit will she get from my spending the whole night beside her?” He said, “She will receive the fruit of that before any other rewards or debts are accounted.”

Just then, Dalip Singh entered the room, and I said to him, “Come brother, let us go away from this room, for while I am here she cannot die.” As we were leaving, I asked her husband to give away in her name some money which was still due from her to some needy people – that her give and take may be squared up and she may leave the body. Dalip Singh and I stepped out of the room, and in one moment she was gone.(6)

To some who die without getting initiation and without contact to Master, some hours before death they used to experience their relatives, their forefathers, whom they sometimes have never seen before. If somebody asks them who has come, they say, “My grandfather has come.” It is all (a play of the) negative power, when these souls, their friends or relatives, come to take them where they already are (into the lower regions of the astral and causal planes). So the negative power takes work from them.

Otherwise (if someone is under the protection of the Master Power) Master comes and takes the soul back.(7)

In Amritsar there was one woman. She was nearly eighty-five years old. For the last two years she had been unconscious and she had a miserable life. All members of the family were praying to God: “O God, bless her, she should leave the body. It is a big problem for us.” Day and night two persons had to serve her. She was not even able to move, what to say of going to the bathroom. She was not even able to take anything with her own hand. So everything they had to do for her.

There are some outer things (that may give a hint about the destiny), so her family asked the astrologer or other people who have this knowledge, and they said that she would not be able to leave the body till such and such time, she still would have to suffer for nearly six months.

A few months ago her daughter in law got initiation in Amritsar. When she again came to the centre in Amritsar, she asked us for advice. I simply told her, “You are initiated? You should not put your attention to her, because your attention will not work. But since you have the potent words with you, you sit by her and make Simran, may God help her!” So when she went home in the evening, she was sitting along with her and was meditating, and she did as we had told her.

Her mother-in-law was in a terrible condition, but in the morning she opened her eyes – for the first time after two years. And she saw the picture of the Master which she had never seen before because when she became unconscious, no one from her family was initiated then. She was very happy and smiled because she had seen Master within. And then slowly she said, I am going now, He has come.

Such a grace!

Who finds it? And who can help for that?

That is meant when I tell you, we have to justify all our contacts.(8)

Question: I know a man who can’t move, he can’t take food or take care, but his heart beats. Should he be let alone to die or go on living on this plane like that?

Master: Man should do his best, do what he can, in the instance of keeping life longer. If he is not to live longer, he cannot live longer. Thy days are numbered. With all your help, he won’t live longer.

Question: Is his soul still in the body as long as his heart is beating?

Master: Yes, surely. The system cannot go on without it. When that is withdrawn, everything stands still.(9)

Question: When does the soul enter the body? Upon birth, or before?

Master: When gestation started. When pregnancy started. Otherwise there were hundreds of contacts, there is no pregnancy.(10)

Once a young widow made her way, without permission, to the room for those who had been selected for initiation. Hazur (Baba Sawan Singh, the Master of Sant Kirpal Singh) opened his eyes and said that there was one lady who was there without permission: “It is better that she get up herself and go away as she will not get initiation at present.”

Everyone heard but that woman did not move. So the Master pointed towards her and asked her to stand up and go away. She was stunned but stood up and said, “Why is the Master asking me to get out, while he is giving Naam to others? Why should I not also receive?”

Hazur told her that it was not a matter to disclose. The lady insisted on knowing openly which fault she had committed and why she was deprived of initiation. “Tell me what kind of sins I have committed?”

Hazur replied, “(If you insist that I speak in front of all) then I have to tell how many babies you have killed – how many abortions you have caused.”

The woman was stunned and terribly ashamed, but she realized that the Master knew everything. She was exposed before everyone, disgraced and humiliated. She started crying and said, “Maharaj Ji, I am the worst sinner of all. There is no doubt about it. I will go. I came to you because I heard that everyone is forgiven when he goes to the Master. Please have mercy upon me and tell me the place where I could go and be forgiven.”

The Master being the Ocean of Grace said, “All right, sit down. But do no more! She received initiation. (11)

Question: Is there a particular karmic punishment because of suicide?

Master: Yes, you see, our life is more valuable than our body; our body is more valuable than outward things. If we enter into a state of mind that we even hate our life, that we are going to kill ourselves – this is a very strong action and that reaction will come. The Theosophical Society says that a man who commits suicide will commit suicide for at least one hundred births afterwards. Each time that reaction will come again. Some people commit suicide for no (obvious) reason.

Comment: Because the urge of killing is there.

Master: Yes, yes, it is a reaction. That’s a heinous crime, to kill oneself. How can you ever dream of killing your own life? It’s a very strong reaction. If the controlling Power, some higher Power or God Power or Christ Power, you might say, is there, that reaction might be softened down; that’s another thing.

Disciple: You say a hundred times thereafter?

Master: This theosophical literature tells us. That reaction comes up. We generally never want to sacrifice our life; with how much difficulty we do!

We wouldn’t like to die; we would rather sacrifice everything, all our other possessions and even have the body cut open, to save it. Nobody wants to die. But if a man wants to die (and commits suicide), it means it is a very strong action; that must react.(12)

Souls who left the physical body by meeting an unnatural death, like accident, murder, suicide, drowning or any other kind of unnatural death, are in a very miserable condition. Their past karmic reactions, the give and take process is not accounted for, so they could not overcome the attachments to this world, they are still with them.

They have only left their physical body. They have gone to the astral body, but they remain still with us in the world.

All souls departed in an unnatural way have no possibility to rise into the astral or subtle regions, and due to this they have to suffer much. We cannot see them, but they can see us. They wander from one place to another only in search of peace and love which they were afforded when they were in the physical body. But as they have laid down their physical body, they are now unable to get that love through man. It is impossible as they are now devoid of the physical body. Without body and restless, these spirits wander all about in the physical world. The physical, material body is of this earth.

Everyone will have to leave it sooner or later. No one can take this body along. It is a law of nature that we have to leave the physical body.

What happens with someone who departs from this world in an unnatural way?

When the Power enlivening the physical body – the life principle – has withdrawn from the body, and the soul then is devoid of the physical raiment, it is in its astral form and needs help, as we also need help and guidance in the physical form. If it does not get this help after the physical death, then it finds some ways and means to adjust itself to the new conditions unfamiliar to it.

Helpless and without proper guidance it can happen that little by little the soul gets under the grip of untrue and corrupt souls who are also living in this world and is overpowered by them. It then consequently becomes also corrupt and without virtue as they are. In this way corruption is increasing day by day in this world.

Accidents, suicide, all kinds of unnatural death are never in accordance with the will of God.

God Power wants everyone to go through the proper channel, to leave the body in a natural way. This happens when man fulfills the aim of his life.

The unnatural death only happens when someone is influenced by malevolent forces.

They work on weak and affected persons and then pave the road for an unnatural death. These powers come, settle in weak persons, overpower them and make them to suicide or murder. These powers in the astral form are much stronger than a soul in the physical form. They can control someone. Formerly it was said, such a person was “possessed”. Or they can mislead someone and make him die by remaining day and night in contact with such a person and influencing him from inside. If someone allows that these powers settle in him, if man paves the road for their approach, then one is put to death in this way. Whoever dies in this way, suffers the same fate as the souls who put him to death. The world is full of these problems.

The question is now: How can these misguided souls be saved from the circle of negativity and be brought into the circle of the positive power?

The answer is: Where the Positive Power creates a place in this world (see also “Kirpal Sagar — Ocean of Grace”), there the negative power cannot interfere.

It is a law. The negative power has no direct approach to a place which is established by the God Power or Master Power on earth. These places do not come from this world. They come into being by the will of God, the Almighty Power.

Those souls, who had to leave the body in such a tragic way, search a place of refuge where they can hide. They want to live together, as we want to live together, because they are like us. They have only left the physical body, but all attributes of mind are still with them.

Those souls which are devoid of their physical body have created many groups and communities. We cannot see them with our physical eyes, but we can be affected by their presence. Black magic, lodges and circles came through them. There are many places in this world, called “haunted places” which we are shunning and which have a certain power.

Many people could not get rid of their influence throughout their whole life, and so these powers are worshipped, and thousands of people come there for pilgrimage.

They get some “help” from these haunted souls which in turn is unnatural, not permitted by the God Power and not in accordance with the will of the Master.

Those who get “help” from such sources are always influenced by these powers. (13)

As all this is often wrongly termed as “spirituality”, some explanations by Sant Kirpal Singh are given here:

Spirituality is the science of developing higher consciousness in man on the level of the soul, and making one transcend from mere body-consciousness into cosmic consciousness and further on into super-consciousness, so as to enable one to understand the working of the Divine Plan.

Spiritism believes in the existence of spirits apart from matter, which, when disembodied, haunt the nether regions as ghosts, or the lower planes of the astral regions as angels. Spiritism is just a contact with the souls that are earth-bound.

Spiritualism is the belief in the survival of human personality and in communication between the living and those who have “passed on”, in the form of spirit rapping, planchette writing, etc. …

First of all, those souls can only help you to the extent they had developed while they were on earth. If I go out of this hall, I am the same as I was here, inside. At the time of leaving the body, we are what we have developed in the man-body. By leaving the body we cannot become perfect.

So, after all, if they (souls from the beyond) are to guide us, they will be able to guide us only up to the extent to which they have developed.

So it is even very difficult to contact these souls. If you contact them through a medium, you do not see those souls, and somebody might act and pose.

And also you’ll only get knowledge up to the extent that they have already gained. In the physical body you can meet someone, question him, and clarify your doubts. You can be given some experience; and face-to-face you will have something directly.(14)

Only the lower or average spirits can be contacted.

You cannot get in contact with souls who have reached a higher consciousness.(15)

In spiritism they do harm. For instance, those spirits that are drunkards will enter the bodies of drunkards (and take possession of them). Those that are very angry will enter wrathful souls.

These are what are called “bad spirits”, as Christ referred to them. This is spiritism. Things are very clear as daylight, even at the level of common sense.(16)

Question: Can angels or avataras help us?

Master: Angels? Angels worship whom? He who has appointed them as angels: God. Then if you worship God, where is the fear of the angels? You need no help from the angels when you look to the King.

Question: Is the nature of angels positive or negative?

Master: Even the avataras (the incarnations of the negative power) are under the law of cause and effect. Incarnations, what to speak of angels!

Question: Can an angel reincarnate as a man or not?

Master: Yes. If they are to go back to God, they must take the form of man. There is no other way back to God.

Question: If an angel were never incarnated in a human body, it would still be subject (to the law) of cause and effect?

Master: These are the appointments – as a man is promoted from private to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, or general.

They are all subject to the law of cause and effect. If they make any mistake, they are brought to the court.

Only God Himself is immune from that, or those who are connected with Him (and fulfill only God’s will).

Others are all under the law of cause and effect. Even incarnations (avataras), you’ll find, have to undergo the law of cause and effect.

Lord Rama struck and killed some man.

In his next birth, Rama became Lord Krishna, you see, the incarnation of that age.

And the man he had killed became a hunter and killed him. They are not immune. Even a military officer may control a town, but if he breaks any law, he is brought to court.(17)

Master said,

“The Father will not allow over-all destruction,
and it is all in His hand.”
— Sant Kirpal Singh

Those who say that the destruction of the world will come, are misled by the negative power. There are many powers which according to their own strength make lots of statements out of themselves, but all things are entirely in the hand of the Almighty God

When the negative power declared an over-all destruction, immediately Master said,

“My disciple will come up who will spread the Truth everywhere.”
— Sant Kirpal Singh

It will act like the stroke of one match that will burn all the garbage – so with a little Truth you can get rid of all evils of the world. “Destruction will not be there”, Master said.(18)


References:

(1) Sant Kirpal Singh, Lecture in London, 12 September, 1972
(2) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1976
(3) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1976
(4) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Kirpal Sagar, 15 February, 1983
(5) Sant Kirpal Singh, “The Light of Kirpal”, p. 246
(6) Sant Kirpal Singh, “The Night is a Jungle”, p. 327
(7) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Kirpal Sagar, 15 February 1983
(8) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Bonn, 18 June 1995
(9) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1972
(10) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1972
(11) Extract from a report by N. Bhatnagar, Sat Sandesh, English, July 1974
(12) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1976
(13) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Brochure about Kirpal Sagar, 1983 (see also “Kirpal Sagar — Ocean of Grace”)
(14) Sant Kirpal Singh, “Spirituality: What it is?”
(15) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, November 1976
(16) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, November 1975
(17) Sant Kirpal Singh, Sat Sandesh, English, December 1972
(18) Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Calw, 3 June 1984


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