Monday, 23 March 2015

Reincarnation Basics 3

This is from Geoffrey Barborka's Secret Doctrine Questions and Answers book. I find Barborka's writings to be clear, concise and accurate, with an accessible pedagogical exposition, a recommended writer (Technical note: Devachan corresponds to the various 'heavens' in many religions. Kama Loka corresponds to the various 'purgatories'):

The After-Death States (part 1)
. Has anything been written about the significance of the dying man's last uppermost desire?

Answer. Although not finding anything in The Secret Doctrine to reply to this question, it is an important one to consider. As a reference to this was made in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, the following passage is supplied. It is from Letter No. XXIII-B and was written in reply to Mr. Sinnett's comment - which was made in this manner:

"You say: - 'Remember we create ourselves, our Devachan, and our Avitchi and mostly during the latter days and even moments of our sentient lives.'" (p. 147; p. 143 3rd ed.) The response follows:

"It is a widely spread belief among all the Hindus that a person's future prenatal state and birth are moulded by the last desire he may have at the time of death. But this last desire, they say, necessarily hinges on to the shape which the person may have given to his desires, passions, etc., during his past life. It is for this very reason, viz. - that our last desire may not be unfavourable to our future progress - that we have to watch our actions and control our passions and desires throughout our whole earthly career." (p. 170; p. 167 3rd ed.) - Vol. 54, No. 3

Question. Is it possible to be aware on several planes at the moment of death? If so, under what circumstances?

Answer. Since "the moment of death" is specified, the answer is directed to that specific event alone. Inasmuch as what takes place at the moment of death is stated to be involuntary it would not be possible to be aware "on several planes" at the moment of death, implying by the word "aware" that one is able to direct one's consciousness on more than one plane. Here is a citation regarding the moment of death from The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett:

"The experience of dying men - by drowning and other accidents - brought back to life, has corroborated our doctrine in almost every case. Such thoughts are involuntary and we have no more control over them than we would over the eye's retina to prevent it perceiving that colour which affects it most. At the last moment, thewhole life is reflected in our memory and emerges from all the forgotten nooks and corners picture after picture, one event after the other. The dying brain dislodges memory with a strong supreme impulse, and memory restores faithfully every impression entrusted to it during the period of the brain's activity." (p.170; p.167 3rd ed.)

The proper manner of regarding the situation posed in the question is to consider it in connection with states of consciousness rather than planes because, after all, the physical body is stationed upon the seventh cosmic plane (regarded as the lowest plane) and cannot leave that plane. When the moment of death occurs, the consciousness of the individual is no longer functioning in the Jagrat state of consciousness - the ordinary every-day "waking state"; this has been transcended. For that matter so has the svapna - the dreaming state of consciousness. It is functioning in the Sushupti; therefore it is able to have the panoramic vision which was described in the quotation. - Vol. 49, No. 6

Question. What determines the entity's state of Devachan?

Answer. Just as the entity's stay in Kamaloka is determined by the life that is lived on Earth, so too the state of Devachan is also so determined. To quote The Mahatma Letters again:

"The Devachan State can be as little described or explained, by giving a however minute and graphic description of the state of one ego taken at random, as all the human lives collectively could be described by the 'Life of Napoleon' or that of any other man. There are millions of various states of happiness and misery, emotional states having their source in the physical as well as the spiritual faculties and senses, and only the latter surviving. An honest labourer will feel differently from an honest millionaire. Miss Nightingale's state will differ considerably from that of a young bride who dies before the consummation of what she regards as happiness. The two former love their families; the philanthropist - humanity; the girl centres the whole world in her future husband; the melomanic knows of no higher state of bliss and happiness than music - the most divine and spiritual of arts. The devachan merges from its highest into its lowest degree - by insensible gradations." (ibid., pp. 187-8; p 185 3rd ed.) - Vol. 57, No. 5