|03-07-2007, 02:46 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Very interesting piece on the Astral Worlds
By Goswami Kriyananda
From website: http://www.yogachicago.com/may06/kriyananda.shtml
Q: Dear Goswami, I read your article about death, dying and rebirth in the last issue and found it very interesting. My question is, “How do you know what you see on the other side is true and real?”
Back in the late 30’s, when my consciousness first entered the inner planes (the astral), I asked the same question: Was my mind just experiencing interesting hallucinations or was there a deeper truth? My doubts stemmed from the Western religious beliefs that one could not enter the afterlife until one had died. I almost stopped my exploration of inner space. However, I realized that these deeper states of consciousness were quite organized, orderly and had a special pattern to them. I continued the exploration and came to the realization that our thoughts and beliefs are forces that limit what we can perceive and what we can do. Thus, with renewed yoga practice, my mind became tranquil and able to enter into deeper space where I gained added insights.
It soon became clear that heavy emotions were forces that blocked deeper and clearer awareness. Once again, through yoga, I was able to soften and remove these emotional states, and my mind was able to expand to higher realms and gather subtler information from and about the afterlife. Thus, I became convinced that humans were able to enter the afterlife and collect verifiable data, which was “real and true,” to use your words. To put it another way, I am convinced that I am now awake; however, at any moment it is possible that I will wake up and realize that I was dreaming. Until that happens, I will assume I’m awake and move forward. In mysticism, there is no difference between the awakened state and the sleep state or between the earth life and the so-called afterlife.
My mind understood that if these states of consciousness were in the astral world, then the future would also be there. For example, if I were to go into the astral and find the thought-streams of the (potential) future of someone, then I would have specific facts as to his or her future. I tried this with a number of people and determined specific experiences that these people would most likely have in this incarnation. Years later that which I had seen and recorded manifested. This verification boosted my certainty in the ability for humans to gain awareness of the astral world as well as a non-physical world. (I used the term “potential” future because, mystically speaking, to know that future gives one the power to change the future.)
Later on, I encountered disembodied souls who told me about their children and what was going to happen to their children. Years later, these events manifested exactly the way the parents said they would. This evidence absolutely confirmed the afterlife’s existence and its link to human earth life and earth life to the afterlife. It was those experiences that removed any remaining doubt that humans were able to see into the afterlife.
Yoga points out that every action leaves an imprint of a subconscious habit or mood (called samskaras) on the subtle astral mind. These imprints gather together to form vasanas, which are latent, subliminal traits and tendencies left behind when desire has been exercised. Sooner or later these vasanas manifest as a given event known as a karma action or a karma event. The mind is like a field and all actions--physical, verbal or mental--sow seeds in that field. Positive actions sow seeds of future positivity; negative actions sow seeds of future negativity. These seeds remain dormant until the circumstances necessary for their ripening manifest. Some seeds manifest in this lifetime, other seeds manifest in future incarnations.
The karmic seeds that ripen as our physical body dies are significant because they tend to determine the type of rebirth we will have on the astral as well as in future incarnations on the earth plane. Our state of mind at the time of the death of our physical body determines which specific karmic seeds will ripen. The state of mind at this time is revealed, symbolically and actually, by our state of mind when we go to sleep at night and when we first awaken in the morning. Restlessness, nightmares, confusion and forgetfulness arise from a non-peaceful mind. Thus, the small death (sleeping state) reveals the expected events of the big sleep. This is one reason yoga emphasizes the cultivation of contentment and peacefulness.
If the mind is peaceful at the time of the death of the physical body, there will be an accelerated maturing of positive karmic seeds, thus positive experiences will manifest in the astral and during rebirth. If the mind is emotional at that time, there will be an accelerated maturing of negative karmic seeds, thus negative experiences will manifest in the astral and during rebirth on earth. The correlation of falling asleep with the death of the physical body is not accidental, nor is it symbolical. It is actual because the process of sleep, dreaming and waking are microcosmic reproductions of the macrocosmic pattern of the death, dying and rebirth process of the physical body.
As one falls asleep, the life energy (prana) withdraws itself from the physical body and brain and momentarily transfers itself to the astral body and mind. While asleep, the person resembles a person who is dead. When one begins to awaken from the sleep state, the life energy recedes from the astral body, moves back into the physical body and becomes re-vivified. (Keep in mind that the direction of the flow of the life force moves from the subtle to the dense, from the inner world to the outer world, from higher worlds to the lower worlds.) In this process, the person passes through the levels of the astral state, including the dream levels, and automatically returns back into the physical body. Automatically the memory and mental control are restored to the brain and physical body. When this happens the memory of the dream world vanishes.
With one critical exception, the exact same procedure occurs when our physical bodies die. With the death of the physical body, the silver cord that connects the physical body to the astral body is damaged and thus we cannot re-enter the physical body through this tunnel. During the process of sleep, dreaming and waking, the silver cord existing between our astral body and the physical body is not broken. Thus we can move through the tunnel back into the physical mind-body complex. (The silver cord connects the ajna chakra (the sun center), which is colored gold and located between the eyebrows of the physical body, to the chandra chakra (the moon center), which is silver and located at the base of the skull of the astral body.)
Just as one passes through the dream state and automatically returns to the physical world when one has rested enough, and just as memory and mental functions are automatically restored when the mind is awakened, so likewise when one has “rested” enough, gathered and condensed the incarnation’s experiences and collected the guidance from the astral world, one automatically re-awakens to a new incarnation with the memory of previous earth samskaras positively modified with the new astral samskaras. When one wakes from the death of the physical body, the astral world fades away and again one perceives the physical world. Yes, the astral world fades away unless one has learned to remain awake in the sleep/dream state. Again, this is one of the chief reasons yoga emphasizes meditation and awareness of the inner states, including the dream state.