You are what you desire. You take birth because you desire an experience. Depending on your desires, you take up a body; not the body you see in the mirror but what extends beyond to include the five sheaths – annamaya or physical body, pranamaya or life-force, manomaya, vigyanmaya and anandmaya. An ordinary being desires only the physical and exists at the level of the annamaya which in turn is controlled by the prana. The soul stays in the body till there is prana in it. What we call as death, is when there is no prana left in the body and the soul leaves the body.
There are many who have survived near-death experiences … healers could revive them because there was some prana left in the body and the soul took shelter in that prana. Healers then replenished the pranic body and restored the person back to health. But once the soul leaves the body, it cannot be brought back.
The soul might leave the body, but is still tied to its desires and karmas. Alexander the Great had asked his General to leave his empty hands hanging out of the coffin upon his death to show that you enter and exit empty-handed. But Vedic sages knew that you take with you your desires and karmas and they decide your next birth and body. So if all your life you have desired being looked after, in your next birth you could be a Queen but you could also be a Chihuahua!
The thought of what lies ahead troubles all. There is nothing called a solution or ‘upaya’. A problem is just a manifestation of your negative karmas – you may look at it as the fruit of your wrongdoings or a divine chance to improve your karmic balance or you may continue fooling yourself by looking for solutions. The science of mantras and healing can temporarily stop your karmas from playing out, but they cannot dissolve your karma for you will have to bear the effect of your karmas, sooner or later.
If you have strong desire for being looked after and leading a life of luxury, and have the backing of strong karmas, you might be born to a privileged family in your next birth. If, however, despite the strong desire your karmas do not allow this, you will still be given what you want, but at a lower level of existence – maybe as an exotic pet. Your desires determine what you get but your karmas decide how you get it.
There is no end to desires. King Yayati, even after enjoying youth for a thousand years, was left wanting for more. However, resources are limited, wants are unlimited. So whenever you take more than you need, you are doing it by depriving someone else and hence, adding to your negative karmas. So if you have been born to a good family and still you are busy collecting for yourself, be rest assured your next birth will be a much lower form with similar desires, but with less means to attain them. And it will become a vicious circle of births and deaths, your desires and problems remaining unchanged and your state deteriorating constantly.
You may continue going downwards or change your desires, to elevate to a higher state. So learn to transcend your desires.
Knowledge Source: Yogi Ashwini
- Believing yourself to be real – karma becomes real too! (actualfreedomjustine.com)
- Atma – Soul (atimerncans.wordpress.com)
- Joy of being: The Integral Yoga (thehindu.com)