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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1996
by Swami Krishnananda

6. After Death

(Darshan given on January 27th, 1996.)

A visitor: I want to ask you: How can one find humility?

Swamiji: In the might and grandeur and majesty of this vast creation, what is your position? You look like a little speck. Does this knowledge not bring humility to you? You are like a speck, insignificant and with no consequence before this mighty, wonderful, powerful universe; will it not make you humble? Will you show egoism before the universe? Will you show your might and egoism before the vast ocean? You will find, if you think over the matter, the reality of life is so vast and incomprehensible that you are nowhere in this universe. You are like a wisp of wind, with no significance whatsoever. The importance then, that one attaches to oneself, is a height of ignorance. If you know the truths of the universe, you will find that you are nowhere in it. Thus, become humble. Before the mighty God, should you not be humble? What do you say? Before the mighty God who created this universe, what are you? You are a very small nothing. So be humble.

Visitor: Yes, okay. Thank you.

Another visitor: Swamiji, I was thinking about what you said three days ago about time – about past, present and future being the same thing – and I was thinking what it means in the actuality of one's life, and…

Swamiji: It has no connection with your life. You are unnecessarily worrying about things which will not affect you in any way. Let time be there or not be there; how are you affected by that? There is space, there is time. How are they affecting your life? They are conditions of your existence. Without time and space you cannot even exist.

Visitor: Of course.

Swamiji: They are conditions of your very being and are, therefore, highly respectable forces. You are dependent on the operation of space and time, which means to say, you are involved in space and time. You are yourself that because of your organic involvement in the process of space and time.

[To another visitor]: Suppose there is no life. In what way are you worried about it? Suppose I say you will not exist after death. Are you satisfied? What do you want me to say? Suppose I say you are not going to exist after death; then your problems are solved in one minute because you are not going to exist at all.

Visitor: You said that there are karmas and…

Swamiji: Why are you worried? Suppose I said you are annihilated completely in death. You are creating a problem by saying you are not going to be annihilated. What do you say? You are believing that you are going to continue, isn't it?

Visitor: Not me, but what has been ingrained into us that…

Swamiji: There are people who say that nothing is going to take place after death. There are people who say that something will take place. Whom are you going to believe between these two people?

Visitor: I don't have knowledge, so I am asking you, Swamiji.

Swamiji: If I say anything, I will be creating more trouble for you. You are now happy. Okay?

Briefly, you are going to continue after death, and you will carry the impressions of whatever you thought, felt and acted to the next world. In the next world you will be exactly what you are now unless, of course, you repent and amend yourself, and you become a better person so that in the next birth also you will be a better person, without any kind of grief. But if you bungle your life, do wrong things, think wrongly, feel erroneously, do bad things, then the impression of it will be carried in your mind to the next birth and you will suffer it as a consequence of what you are in this birth. This is the fact. Nobody can be annihilated. There is no such thing as annihilation of anything. Everything is permanently existing, only it gets transformed into a new form when the body perishes.

Visitor: But Swamiji, how are new forms being created?

Swamiji: They are created by your desires. You have had so many desires which are not fulfilled, and those desires which are not fulfilled will re-create themselves after the death of the physical body. That is called rebirth. It is the re-creation of your unfulfilled desires. If a person has no desires at all, he will not be reborn. He will attain God. But everybody has a desire, so everybody has to be reborn, and they will be reborn in the same way as they have been thinking and feeling and doing in this birth. It is carrying over the balance sheet. Whatever was left over in the last year will be brought forward to this year. That is exactly what is happening. It is a balance sheet currently maintained by God. Nothing is lost, nothing is gained. Whatever is here will be carried forward.

Visitor: Swamiji, my question also was how are new, additional forms created?

Swamiji: There is no additional form. It is a manifestation of the present form only. It is not an additional form. Whatever forms of desires are left here will manifest themselves in the next birth.

Visitor: But those are the desires of the human being, Swamiji.

Swamiji: You have got many desires, don't you think? They will take form, exactly the form of what you wish. You are thinking you want something. That form of the thing that you want will be manifested in the next birth. Whatever you are thinking, that will get manifested. Whatever is the form of your thinking now, that will be manifested in the next birth because desires cannot be destroyed; they have to be manifested in experience – if not in this birth, in the next birth. So one has to be very careful in thinking and doing actions. You have to pay for it in the next birth. Whatever you have done here will be paid back to you in the next birth.

Visitor: In the next birth also there will be the human form?

Swamiji: No, not necessarily. Suppose you have been thinking like an animal and have very animalistic thoughts in your mind, very crude and barbarous; then you may become an animal in the next birth. If you are thinking only like a human being, then you will be a human being. But if your mind is very cruel and unsympathetic, then it will revert to the lower species which is the form of your present way of thinking.

Visitor: Man is the creation of God, one form of the creation of God.

Swamiji: They are the creation of your desires. Why do you bring God into it? Man is a creation of his own desires, and God has given you freedom to think whatever you like. You can stand or fall; both freedoms you have got. If you think like God, then you will not be reborn, but if you think like a man, you will be reborn as a man. It depends upon what you are thinking. You will be exactly what you are thinking. If you think like God, well, wonderful. Then you will have no rebirth because God is not reborn.

It is a very serious question which you have to think over deeply, so amend your way of life. If you think like God and act like God, then you will have no problem. But if you think like a businessman, a cheat, a deceptive man, telling lies, then you cannot become God. Just imagine what you feel when you deeply think of God. Immediately you get purified of all your desires. But if you think like a businessman with family entanglements and so many bundles of desires, then how will you get a better birth? You get what you deserve. You are only carried forward from the state which you are in. Nothing new is created.

Another visitor: So the next life is like this one.

Swamiji: It is only a continuation of the present one. Whatever you are now, that will be continued in the next birth.

Another visitor: Swamiji, what is repentance?

Swamiji: Repentance is a deep feeling for the wrongs that you have done, and the decision that you will never do it again. Feeling deeply grieved over the mistake that you have committed, and taking a promise that you will never repeat it again, that is repentance.

Another visitor: Can you control your thoughts and your desires?

Swamiji: The desires and thoughts will cease completely if your mind is united with God. Otherwise, you cannot control it. It will run after the sense objects of the world. Only God-thought is the remedy for the control of the mind; otherwise, nobody can control it. It will move wherever it likes.

Visitor: If it moves wherever it likes, it's hard for me to get the idea that you are your desires, and it continues to go on because that's an endless stream of thoughts and desires that's coming out. If you cannot control your thoughts and desires, then there is an endless stream of…

Swamiji: You can. That's what I'm telling you. Unless your soul is united with God, you will take rebirth and there will be a stream of the continuity of desires, and you will again be suffering the same thing as you are suffering now.

Visitor: Then how can you be united with God?

Swamiji: What are you studying with your Guru? You are studying that only.

Visitor: But we are studying that we are not our mind and our desires, but we can act…

Swamiji: If you are not your mind, what else are you?

Visitor: I think what is left is your true self.

Swamiji: You are a self or a mind? What are you?

Visitor: I think, the self.

Swamiji: Where is the self? When the mind has gone, where is the self? Actually, the mind itself is the self. Where is the self outside the mind? Has anybody seen it? You can very well know that there is a mind; how do you know that there is a self outside the mind? How did you come to that conclusion?

Visitor: I think it is a state of where I feel I am not my mind.

Swamiji: If you are not your mind, what are you then?

Visitor: An expression of something else.

Swamiji: No, there is no expression when the mind ceases because it is the mind that expresses itself, and the question of expressing ceases when the mind does not exist. Who is to express himself? The expresser has ceased when the mind goes. You will not be existing at all when the mind is abolished completely.

Visitor: So the mind is not the cognition of something, or an experience of something else?

Swamiji: No, the mind itself is the experience. They are not two things. Mind is nothing but a bundle of experiences, and when you abolish the experiences, the mind also goes. Vice-a-versa, when the mind goes the experiences go, etc. Then what remains of you afterwards? You said ‘self', but what do you mean by ‘self' when the mind has gone away? This must be clear in your mind. I'm not going to tell you anything; I'm only clearing your mind so that it might be bright and reflect the truth, whatever it is.

Visitor: Thank you very much.

Another visitor: If your mind is set on God, then where is the room for repentance?

Swamiji: The greatest repentance is unity with God, and there is no need for another repentance. All problems cease at that time when your mind is united with God.

Another visitor: What do you mean by ‘God'?

Swamiji: Unfortunately, I am not your Guru, so I cannot initiate you into all these problems. I am only discussing in a friendly way some minor things, but I am not prepared to dig God into your mind now. I think it is not my duty. I am going beyond the limit of my contract with you. It is a serious matter. It cannot be spoken in a few minutes. You have to stay with the Master for years together in order to understand what it means. You cannot be travelling from place to place. You will get nothing out of it. Why do people travel from place to place and waste their time? Stay in one place with one Master until you get what you want. So much travelling is not good because all your money goes, and you get nothing out of it. You must meet the target of your requirement. One Guru, one thought, one method of meditation, and one aim of life. You should not have two Gurus and two thoughts, two aims. It should not be like that. You should aim like an arrow piercing its target, only one point. If your mind is one-pointed on the great goal of life, whatever it is, that is called meditation. Meditation is not discussion, it is not argument, it is not logic; it is nothing of the kind. It is the directing of consciousness on one thing only, whatever that be according to your conception.

Another visitor: Swamiji, what you think about modern yoga as it is practised now?

Swamiji: Why are you calling it modern? It is ancient.

Visitor: Yes, but the way it is practised nowadays, do you think it still the same?

Swamiji: What is the way in which it is practised these days?

Visitor: In a classroom with many people, for example, rather than the shisha and Guru relationship.

Swamiji: There is no harm if all people sit together and do yoga. What is the difficulty? Let others also join you. Why are you objecting to it? And why do you call it modern? It is an acceptable thing, and if you don't want to do it in the presence of other people, you are free to do it individually. It is according to your convenience. There is nothing called modern and ancient in yoga. It is just what it is, like medical science. If you feel it is convenient to do it in the presence of other people and have discussion, etc., very good. But if you feel that the presence of other people is a distraction, you need not go for it. You do it independently. It is left to your choice.

Another visitor: Swamiji, you mentioned about thought, that we become what we think and what we desire. So would you say that thought creates karma?

Swamiji: Thought creates karma, you are perfectly right. The movement of thought is itself a karma. It is a kind of action. Thought itself is an action.

Visitor: Thought is action?

Swamiji: Yes.

Visitor: But you also said we always think, that there is always an endless stream of thoughts and desires.

Swamiji: That means you are endlessly doing something.

Visitor: But that would mean there is no way out.

Swamiji: Meditation on the universal Absolute – that is the way.

Visitor: So you are saying I have to meditate until I don't have thoughts anymore?

Swamiji: When you do meditation, the thoughts will not be there at all.

Visitor: But when I meditate, there are thoughts.

Swamiji: That means you are not properly concentrating the mind. There is some insufficiency there. Your concentration is not enough.

Everything you can understand, even the stars you can count, but you cannot know yourself. You are the greatest mystery in the world. The stars in the heavens are not the mysteries. You are the mystery. You are the greatest mystery. The sky is so vast, and you are the person who is aware the sky is so vast, so there is something in you as vast as the sky; otherwise, you cannot know that the sky is vast. You cannot know that the star is very distant unless you are also distant in some way. You are larger than your little body. Your consciousness is spreading up to the stars. Your dimension is as vast as the starry heaven; otherwise, you will not even know that there are stars. Like that, you analyse yourself. This is what is called self-analysis. And then see that there is something great and grand in you. A spark of divinity is already there, and it can become a conflagration and a great fire of God that is burning inside you. Why are you crying and weeping? This you have to tell yourself. This is the process of self-purification, and the way to meditation, finally.

Now you have to collect yourself. Make yourself a single focus of attention on that which you are aspiring for. I think this is more than anything else. There is nothing like meditation. It brings you everything, all the wealth of the world, and the wealth of the heavens also. When you sit, breath calmly, close your eyes, and feel that you are in the presence of this tremendous universe, of which you are also made. The earth and the water, fire and air and sky, and sun and moon and stars are touching you, as it were. They are not away from you even by one inch. It is the false imagination of the distance in space that makes us feel that we are outside and we are humble and simple, and all that. “The whole sky and stars are touching me, and I'm charged with the power of the whole cosmos, and the soul of the universe is within me.” This much affirmation is sufficient for meditation.