Life After Death - Is There Re-Birth?
Questioner: What happens after death? Is there re-birth? If so, what carries a person from one birth to another?
Sadhguru: In Yoga, we see the body as five dimensions or five sheaths. The physical body is known as Annamaya Kosha. Anna means the food, so this is the food body. The next one is called Manomaya Kosha or the mental body. The third one is called Pranamaya Kosha which means the energy body. The physical, mental and energy body are all physical dimensions of life. For example, you can clearly see that the light bulb is physical. The electricity, the electrons that flow through the wire, are also physical. So is the light that emanates from the bulb. All three are physical. Similarly, the physical body is gross, the mental body subtler, and the pranic body even more subtle, but all are physical in existence. One’s karma is imprinted on the body, on the mind, and on the energy. The karmic imprint or karmic structure is the cement which holds you to the physical body. Although karma is a bondage, at the same time it is only because of karmic substance that you can hold on to the body and be here.
The next two dimensions are called Vignanamaya Kosha and Anandamaya Kosha. Vignanamaya Kosha is non-physical but related to the physical. Vishesh Gnana or vignana means extraordinary knowledge or knowledge of that which is beyond the sense perceptions. This is the etheric body. It is a transitory body—a transition from the physical to the non-physical. It is neither physical nor non-physical. It is like a link between the two. Anandamaya Kosha is the bliss body and is completely non-physical. It has no form of its own. Only if the energy, mental, and physical body are in shape can it hold the bliss body. If these things are taken away, the bliss body will just become a part of the cosmos.
What Is Death?
When someone dies, we say, “This person is no more.” That is not true. The person is no more the way you know them, but they still very much exist. The physical body will fall apart, but the mental and pranic body go on, depending upon the strength of the karma. To find another womb, the intensity of this karmic structure should come down, it should become passive. If the karmic structure has become weak because it has run its course, then it finds another body very easily. When one completes his allotted karma for this life, he will die just like that – without disease, accident or injury. That person may find another body within hours.
If you dismantle the karmic structure one hundred percent, you merge with the existence.
If one completes his life and dies peacefully, he need not hang around, it goes on immediately. However, if the karmic structure is very intense, unfinished, then it has to finish it. Now he needs much more time to find another body. This is what you are referring to as ghosts. They are more available to your experience because they have more intense karmic structures. There are innumerable such beings all around you, whether you know it or not, but you will not feel most of them because their karma is dissipated. They are just waiting for more dissipation before they find another body.
Mahasamadhi – The Final Freedom
When you walk the spiritual path, the ultimate goal for every spiritual seeker is to break this whole process. It is like a bubble. The outer periphery of the bubble is your karmic structure, inside there is air. Suppose you burst the bubble; where is your air? There is no such thing as your air; it has become part of everything. Right now, this unbounded-ness is contained in the limited karmic structure, so it makes you believe as if you are a separate entity. If you dismantle the karmic structure one hundred percent, you merge with the existence.
Liberation means becoming free from the basic structures of body and mind, becoming free from the very process of life and birth and death.
This is what is referred to as Mahasamadhi. You slowly understand where the keys are and dismantle the karmic structure completely so that you truly become no more. In the Hindu tradition, this is referred to as Mukti. In Yogic tradition, it is referred to as Mahasamadhi. In the Buddhist way it is called as Mahaparinirvana. Generally in English, we say Liberation. Liberation means becoming free from the basic structures of body and mind, becoming free from the very process of life and birth and death.