Life and Death – An Enigma by Swami Sukhabodhananda

Life and death – an enigma by swami sukhabodhananda

Q: At times, even when we are thinking positively, negative thoughts and images intrude into our minds and spoil the whole atmosphere. How can we prevent this unwarranted intrusion of negative thoughts into positive territory?


A: I will begin my answer with an analogy. You have a computer and you switch it on. Windows 98 comes on. You don’t want Windows 98. You get angry. You switch off the computer, and switch it on again. Still you see only Windows 98 on

the screen. Then you buy a new computer, and that also displays only Windows 98. All the computers of the time work on Windows 98. Switching the computer on and off repeatedly will not change the situation. For, the built-in programming environment is Windows 98. You have to change the programming. As we know

from the history of modern computing, when the programming changed, we got Windows Millennium versions or professional versions.


Similarly, the psychological programming inside you, your subconscious mind, should change before any real change can happen. Your subconscious mind

comprises engrams. Engrams are mental traces that have been created over life experiences. These consist of both positive and negative associations.

These psychological representations act like the programming like in computers. So long as the programming remains the same, the computer will function only in the manner dictated by that program.


Life and Death – An Enigma


Q: What happens to our soul when our body turns into ashes on the funeral pyre? Where does it go? Is the soul different from person to person, being to being? If there is a person who has not found fulfilment in life, what happens to his/her soul?


A: Our physical body is called sthulashariram – gross body. Our limited self is called sukshmashariram – subtle body. There is a third entity called karanashariram – casual body. Now the sthulashariram is the abode of jeevatma - the spirit of life. It is not the body, but it gets identified with the body. The soul, along with the mind, is the seat of consciousness. The body - shariram is only a vehicle, and when it is consigned to flames after our physical death, the soul is set free from its mortal coil. Then it searches for another body that will be its vehicle for another life time. At the end of this search, depending upon its karma in life till then, it is assigned to a particular body. The soul begins life anew in that body. In reality, the soul has no death.


Let us look at an example. There is space in this room. The space in the room appears limited by the room. Is the space enclosed within the four walls of the room or is the room a small enclosure in the vast unlimited space in the universe? The room actually is a tiny speck in space.

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