AREN’T we all fascinated by this question: what happens after death? What becomes of me? Don’t we ponder also: what was I before I was born?
Time is a big thing. In the Gita, Lord Krishna says, “kalo’smi,” meaning “I am time.” Time creates and time alone kills. This is the inevitable law of time. What happens at the moment of death? It’s worth exploring. When death is about to come, first of all the element of Earth is withdrawn from the Base Plexus. We call this Plexus the Mooladhara Chakra. Once this earth element is withdrawn from Mooladhara Chakra, it moves up to the Swadisthana Chakra or Hypogastric Plexus. This is the place of the Water element. The Earth element is then converted into Water. The hands and feet become cold.
Haven’t you felt this when someone is dying? You will notice that their hands and feet will suddenly become cold. This is the dissolution of Water. Then, when Water is withdrawn from the Hypogastric Plexus or Swadisthana Chakra, it is accumulated here at the Solar Plexus, at the region of the navel or Nabhi Chakra. It then becomes Fire. In the region above the navel, it will become warmer. This is the dissolution of Fire.
Then the Fire is gradually withdrawn and moves upward to the Cardiac Plexus or Anahataor Hridaya Chakra, where it mixes with the Air of the Heart Region. 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 After that, the Air of the Cardiac Plexus is withdrawn to the Ether element, and it somehow dissolves the Ether element, which is present at Kantha Chakra or Pharyngeal Plexus. There, a sound is produced at this Vishuddhi Chakra. Once this sound is produced, what happens? The soul takes an exit either through the eyes, or through the ears, or through mouth. The eyes are turned backward.
Now the element of Brahm, which is found in the individual soul, is also withdrawn. It is at this point precisely that the eyes turn back and now they merge in the Virat element. If the soul is liberated, then mixing with the Virat element becomes possible after exiting from Brahmarandhra, which is from the back of the head. Generally, you must have seen elderly people in bygone days who used to keep a choti or ponytail on the back. Exactly there this Brahmarandhra is. Liberated souls exit from this particular point.
Unfortunately, tradition holds onto this idea so strongly that even after death, even when the body is totally burnt, when some parts of the skull remain, they will smash it. They smash it in such a way that the soul gets to leave from this 12th or Brahmarandhra Chakra. But this is inhuman. This is violent. A liberated soul doesn’t need such a blow from a heavy instrument. It just evaporates. It just transcends automatically at the very moment of death and mixes or merges with the Virat element.
So this, in brief, is what really happens at the moment of death. Depending on the vibratory level of our atman;if it is sattvik, there too there is a whole spectrum of sattvikta. If it is tamasic, there is a whole spectrum of tamasicta. And if it is rajasic, there is also a spectrum.
To what extent is it tamasic or rajasic or sattvik? Taking a combination of it all, there are infinite possibilities and, accordingly, there are infinite dimensions. Based on the vibratory level of the soul, it will reach out to that dimension which is compatible to that vibration. Nowhere else will it go. The whole process is reversed when we incarnate. In the next topic we will talk about reincarnation, how we are conceived and how the soul comes into picture.
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today