Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Ordinarily, life in the physical body is terminated only when the sanskaras released for expression in that incarnation are all worked out. In some exceptional cases the soul gives up its gross body before the working out of these sanskaras is completed. For example, an individual who commits suicide cuts short the period of his life artificially and thereby prevents the working out of those sanskaras that were released for fructification.

When, due to untimely death, the sanskaras released for fructification are withheld from expression, the discarnate soul remains subject to the propelling force of these sanskaras even after the physical body has been discarded. The momentum of the sanskaras that were prevented from being worked out is retained even in life after death, with the result that the departed spirit greatly desires the things of the gross world.

In such cases, the discarnate soul experiences an irresistible impulsion toward the gross world and craves gross objects so badly that it seeks gratification of its desires through the gross bodies of those souls still incarnate. Thus, for example, the discarnate soul may want so much to drink alcohol that it takes to unnatural methods of gratifying the craving. It awaits its opportunity. When it finds someone who is a suitable medium drinking alcohol in the gross world, the spirit satisfies its own desire through that person by possessing his physical body. In the same way, if it wants to experience the gross manifestations of crude anger, it does so through someone in the gross world who is feeling angry.

Such souls are constantly waiting to harass incarnate persons with similar sanskaras, and they try to maintain their contact with the gross world through others as long as possible. In life after death, any lingering entanglement with the gross world is a serious hindrance to the natural flow of the soul's onward life.

Those who are subject to this precarious condition must be looked upon as particularly unfortunate, since they invite upon themselves and others much unnecessary suffering by seeking unnatural gratification of coarser desires through others who are still incarnate. Compared with these unfortunate souls, the posthumous life of other souls is much smoother.


DISCOURSES, 7th ed, p. 305
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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