This article discusses an assorted range of post-mortem topics : the difference between sleep and death, the state just before death, the difference between cremation and burial, the need for funeral ceremonies, and resurrection.
Benjamin Franklin famously said that there are two things we cannot escape: death and taxes (he didn’t know about tax shelters). In this article, we cover observations made by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa on some taxing questions related to death – suicide, euthanasia and capital punishment.
Noted reincarnation researcher, Dr Ian Stevenson(1918-2007), identified several cases of children whose birthmarks or birth defects seemed to coincide with the death wounds of the person they claimed to be in their previous incarnation. We shall discuss some cases here along with a possible explanation for the birthmarks in light of the insights of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In the centuries-old Indian city of Varanasi, there is a hotel with a weird check-out policy: if you don’t die within two weeks, the manager will politely ask you to leave. The hotel caters to a clientele of faithful Hindus who travel to Varanasi specifically to die (more on that hotel later). They are solemnly adhering to the norms laid down in the hoary scriptures that state that death in Varanasi (aka Kashi, Banaras) and some other holy cities can guarantee liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. Is this fast-track to liberation a parochial and outdated belief, or does it imply that anyone living anywhere in the world can attain liberation from rebirth by dying in an Indian holy city? In this article, we examine the continuing validity of such affirmations.
An Indian spiritual Guru, who shall remain unnamed, was recently asked the question by someone in an American audience: “When does the soul choose a body? After conception, is it ok to abort a foetus if we already have children and do not want an accidental pregnancy?“. The question assumes significance because unlike Christianity, which declares that life begins at conception, Hinduism avers that the souls reincarnate into newer bodies through reincarnation. Since abortion is a politically charged issue, a hushed murmur rippled through the crowd before the Guru gently defused the tension by leaving the question unanswered. (see also Religion_and_abortion)
In this article, we present some fascinating cases of people being reborn into a different religion which were investigated by Dr Antonia Mills, currently Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia. When evidence of this kind surfaces, it can spur introspection into the validity of varying religious practices that people fastidiously observe because we are abruptly confronted with the fact that behind those holy foods and holy clothes and prayer rituals, we are indeed innately the same – all orphans of the One Divine; that our religious beliefs are just condensed thought-forms affirmed consistently in the mind, which, if relinquished, might obliviously open us to the nature of the Ultimate Reality.
People who are acquainted with the theory of reincarnation are apt to look at the increasing lifespan and the rising population on Earth and wonder if the population growth invalidates the theory of reincarnation. We all know where babies come from but where are all the new souls which inhabit these bodies coming from? In this article, we address this demand-supply problem.