A kind of ghost or spirit.
▵ What Happens After Death?
“Everybody who dies is a ghost, if you want to call them that. It is just that if someone dies out of old age, the life energy or pranic (energy) body has lost its vibrance so you can’t feel them much. But when everything was going well, then for some reason the body is suddenly broken, either by crashing, or somebody shot you dead or something, now the pranic body is still in full vibrance. When it breaks this way, people may feel this much more than a person who left the body after dissipating his term of life.”
What you are referring to as “death” is when the physical body, your accumulated body, is incapable of supporting life for some reason, either because of old age, disease, injury, or something. You broke the body. Either you broke the body by crashing your car, or by drinking alcohol or because you fell in love with somebody – whichever way – let’s say you broke your heart! Then the body becomes unsuitable for life to continue. Or it could have happened out of old age – whichever way it happens.
Now what you call as “myself” somehow seems to be a little more than the body, isn’t it? So let us say that has slipped out of the body. If it slips out, where will it go? That depends on where its natural urges will take it. Right now when you are in the physical body you have a certain discretion. Your tendency is pulling you towards the ice cream jar but you say “No!” You have a choice, isn’t it? Once you leave the body, you have no discretion; you just go by your tendencies. Whichever way your tendencies are, whichever way your karmic stuff is, you will float around in that direction.
Everybody who dies is a ghost, if you want to call them that. It is just that if someone dies out of old age, the life energy or pranic (energy) body has lost its vibrance so you can’t feel them much. But when everything was going well, then for some reason the body is suddenly broken, either by crashing, or somebody shot you dead or something, now the pranic body is still in full vibrance. When it breaks this way, people may feel this much more than a person who left the body after dissipating his term of life. When your pranic body is in a certain level of vibrance, it can sustain the body very well. As it becomes feeble, it cannot hold on to the body. Below a certain level of intensity it cannot sustain the body – it will slip out.
If this same pranic body is raised beyond a certain pitch of intensity, to a certain height, once again you cannot hold on to the body. This is what people refer to as Jeevasamadhi; somebody leaves the body from the upper end because his energies have become so intense that the physical cannot contain him anymore. That’s one way of leaving. Or your energies have become so feeble that you leave the body – this is old age and death. Or you damaged your body so you had to leave. If you damage your body and leave, which way you damage it – murder, suicide, accident or you had a heart attack – doesn’t matter. When a person’s pranic body is in full vibrance and it breaks, this person’s presence will be felt much more than the presence of a person who has left after a certain age. That is why people believe that those who die in accidents or suicide become ghosts – it is not so, everybody does. It is just that this presence is more felt.
They are not interested in you; they have no interest in you. Your connection with people is very physical. Somebody is your mother, father, husband, brother, wife. This is purely physical, please see that. You may have emotions attached to it, but the emotions don’t mean anything. If I wipe out your memory, your emotions will be forgotten. It is very much on the surface, even if you are giving it enormous importance. Your deepest connection is physical – your connection to your mother is a physical thing, emotions have come later. Once you lose the physical body, who is your mother?
That is the reason why if somebody on the spiritual path wants to take Sanyas*, he will first perform rites for his living parents. It means he doesn’t want to identify himself with his physical body. He wants to focus his whole attention on that dimension which is far deeper than the physical. If I am something more than the physical, who is my father? Who is my mother? There is no such thing. You don’t like that? Whether you like it or not, you will leave them, or they will leave you. It was not invented by me; life process will take them anyway.
Now when you say spirits or ghosts, they still have a body, but it is in a subtler form. They are still physical; that is why sometimes some people can still see and feel them. If they were totally non-physical, you wouldn’t see them or feel them. There is a physical dimension to them – a very subtle physical dimension. But they are trapped in it – they are unable to come out of it. So can we bring you out of your body? If you cooperate, yes. Even then it can be done, but that’s not good for you. It won’t be good for you. (Audience member asks if it is hypnotism). Hypnosis is just on the level of your mind. If someone has complete mastery over his own energies, he can very easily have mastery over your energy and pull you out when he decides. But that’s not good for you. That will not be done unless it’s some extreme situation.
Only in those kinds of situations, when we see that their tendencies are moving in a particular way but they are struggling, we pull them out. Not otherwise. Otherwise life should take its natural course. When one makes a conscious effort, you can support them. If one is not making a conscious effort, you never push them, because it doesn’t work like that.
* Path of monk-hood
▵ What Happens After Death? (Isha)