Life After Life

[Continuing from the previous conversation Pseudo Spirituality on Apr 4, 2004]

Guruji was reading the morning paper. “Amazing news today,” he said. “A man came alive after being declared dead for 2 hours. The family was about getting ready for his final rituals when he woke up.”

I said that these kinds of incidents seem to happen to lot in India.

Guruji replied: “They are happening more frequently these days. In Mahabharata, Yudhisthira asked Bhishma Pitamah if he had seen anyone who came back from dead. After thinking for a moment, Bhishma said a long time back he had seen a child who came back after dying. Never after that. On the other hand in the last 50 years we have seen numerous such examples. May be it’s a tactic, to get people pay attention to the supernatural. I have seen 5 such people myself, even around here in Vraj.”

“Can yamadūtas (messengers of death) really make mistakes?”

“It’s a deliberate mistake, so that a common man who is completely materialistic starts to realize that there is something after death and all these [spiritual] things are not just figments of imagination. These stories do make one pause to think. In Gujarat an old lady came back after death. She asked Yamaraj (god of death) what should I do after going back? Yamaraj said whoever you bless will have a son. She has since blessed thousands of women and they all had boys. Now all these kids must be hearing her story from childhood, how she rose from dead and how they were born by her blessing. It creates a natural faith and respect for spirituality.”

“That’s true, Guruji,” I said. “I wonder why I don’t hear these kinds of stories in the US. May be they don’t publish them?”

Guruji said: “There have been many such cases there as well. Raymond Moody has written extensively about it, about near-death and after-death experiences. People there also wonder about these things.”

Creating Ghosts, Selling Faith

Q: “Guruji, we were talking about ghosts. In Christianity, for example, there’s no concept of pitra tarpaṇa (ancestral offerings).”

Guruji: “And neither is there any ritual to ensure gati (transition, to the other world). The complete ritual is to create earthbound ghosts, and that’s why they don’t have reincarnations. They wait for the judgement day.”

Q: “How it must feel to be confined in a box for such a long time!”

Guruji: “This also creates a negative influence on the society. There are miles-long graveyards in the US! In our tradition, bodies of only those people used to be preserved who had attained great knowledge, and whose bodies had become extremely pure. So, if they were preserved for a long time, they’d have a positive, pure mental effect on the surroundings. There, even evildoers are also getting buried, and their bodies are decomposing for a long time, so they’ll will have their own influence on society, which will only increase over time.

“Also, as we discussed before, those who are buried are confined only to the lower two elements – Earth and Water, while those who are cremated go to the higher two – Air and Sky.”

Q: “Is this the main reason for degeneration we are seeing in society today?”

Guruji: “It’s also a tāṁtrika experiment: keep any human bone nearby and you’ll only have bad dreams. If only a bone can have that kind of effect, imagine what will be the impact if an entire body is buried nearby.”

* * * * * *
Guruji: “We were looking at Kriya websites, found one about Yogananda which also had a few video clippings of him, with Ramana Maharshi, Yukteshwar Giri, etc, one going into super-conscious state. They were all good; felt good after seeing them.”

Q: “Guruji, earlier you had said that Paramhansa Yogananda commercialized Kriya yoga which was not the right thing to do.”

Guruji: “That he did. That is one aspect of his personality, this is another. How can we understand in totality by looking at only one thing? One aspect of his commercialization is that he’s the only one who has been able to get his gurus worshiped alongside Jesus Christ. No one before him could do that. We should think from all angles. We also shouldn’t forget that his book (Autobiography of a Yogi) inspired so many people, including myself! How can one deny that? Even today it feels good to read that book.

“The videos are good, especially what he said in the one about super-consciousness, that yoga is not magic, it is a art of high living.”

* * * * * *
Guruji: “The annual puja of Hanuman-ji is on the 6th (Dec). Many people will come for that. It’s been going on since 1996. This is the 7th one. It just started automatically.. still going on. Best thing is it’s only one day long.

“One strange thing happened: A 16 year girl who was possessed went to Mehendipur Balaji to remove her affliction. The temple caretakers took advantage of her and left her to die in front of the Bhairav temple. This is the first time this kind of case has come out from that place. Rather, this is the first time it came to be publicly known, things like this must have been going on there for some time. Police has arrested some people, there’s a lot of uneasiness in that area.

“I’m observing that since we started Shiva-ji’s puja and started sounding bull-horn, a lot of deep-rooted corruption like this is getting exposed and uprooted all around. There’s a change in the air; may be the time has changed since 2000. Every day we hear about some famous sadhu caught in some dirty deed and exposed to the public. A common man doesn’t have that much respect for famous sadhus as he used to. This the main article in today’s paper:

Selling Faith in the Shop of Lies and Corruption
In these times, the guru market is blooming. God gives in plenty, but the godman gets even more. Not only in India, but also in foreign countries there’s no escape from these dealers of emancipation. Big ashrams are being built, expensive cars are being bought. They’ve kept God in one corner, and are competing to decorate the rest of the shop as lavishly as possible. Devotees are told, ‘World is an illusion, what you are seeing is illusion, all relationships are evil and selfish. Break all relations and make relationship with God.’ But so called gurus don’t tell why this illusion, this attachment doesn’t apply to themselves? Why is this world not a false reality for them? Why do they need air-conditioned palaces? Why need dozens or servants, luxury cars? For the devotee, the world is an illusion. For the guru, it’s the biggest truth! How is that possible?
Time is limited. Time to wake up. World is not illusion. God’s creation, in which He manifests Himself even in the smallest atom, how can that be a lie?

“This is a commonplace talk now. And this is where the difference in the general approach and a yogi’s approach lies. Our approach is right, Earth is the truth and our God.”