Thoughts on Karma and Reincarnation
Reading taken from Sw. Visnudevananda’s Upadeshas; his thoughts on Karma and Reincarnation . Sw. Vishnu was a disciple of Sw. Sivananda of the Saraswati Lineage.
There is one thing that is certain in life and that is death. Our life span is 100 years, give or take a few years. Of these, we spend 50 years of our life in sleep, and then there is childhood, which is like a dream. Then we have gone. So what is this experience of death? If it is a release, where we are removed from all our pain and suffering, then it is desirable to go there, is it not?? No taxes to pay, no insurance, no mortgage, no more worries. But life does not end with death. Life continues after the physical body has died. In yoga, man has three bodies - the gross physical body, the astral body and the causal body. The astral and causal bodies travel together after the cessation of the physical bodily functions.
We talk about “seventh heaven”. That implies that there must be six heavens below the seventh one. In yoga, we call them dimensions. There are seven dimensions of existence, each vibrating at a different rate. Which one of the dimensions of heaven that we go to, at the time of death on the physical plane, depends on our rate of vibration at that time. These other dimensions are not “out there”, but are right here, each vibrating at a different rate. It is like tuning a radio. All the different frequencies are in the same atmosphere, but we turn the dial on the radio and tune in to one wavelength. There are infinite planets and galaxies in the universe, but the seven heavens or dimensions are right here.
Take the example of a fan. We can plug 3 fans into the same outlet with the use of a multiplug. One spins at 500 rpm, another at 1000 and another one at 3000 rpm. Now if we simultaneously pull the plugs out of the socket, they will not all stop turning at once. First, the one travelling at 500 rpm, the lowest rate, will stop. Then, the one at 1000 rpm, and so on, upto the highest. The fan going at 3000 rpm will continue to turn as the momentum that it was travelling at was the greatest. At the same time of death, our vibratory rate determines the dimension to which we will go. The higher our vibratory rate, the longer it takes before the soul reincarnates as the momentum set up takes longer to wind down. Through prayer and other spiritual practices, we try to raise our vibratory level so that when we die we will go to the higher dimensions. Ultimately, we want to transcend all these “heavens” and merge with Brahman.