Many “hereditary” pandits who practice astrology have told me that in their experience, maarkesh or the period of death comes three times in most people’s lives. While the first two can often be averted there’s no way of warding off death for a third time. But what after death? In spirit form, do we have a free will, can we do what we want to do, or do we have to bow to a greater force? If so, to what extent ?
After death, we do have a free will but at the moment when our soul leaves our body, we have to submit to a system over which we have no control. For instance, we are not allowed to linger endlessly over our dead body or around loved ones. After all, there is a long journey ahead and the escorts for that journey arrive well in time, well before the actual death takes place.
Just as we cannot choose the time and the manner of our death, and we’re not discussing suicides here, we do not have a say in choosing our destination either. We go where our karmas take us, to heaven or to hell being a popular concept. Without getting into the deeper question of heaven and hell, it seems true that what we do on earth determines our forward movement.
Many of us have read, sometimes through the “Gates of Heaven” jokes, about how one is quizzed about what one has done or not done on earth before being allowed or denied entry to heaven. Once our journey to the astral plane is complete, this seems to be an essential procedure. We must give an honest account of our deeds or misdeeds and if we plead “we cannot remember” or put a different interpretation on what we have done and give ourselves higher marks than we deserve, our lives our “re-played” before us to put our actions into perspective. You are then asked what you want to do and it is here that you can use your free will and make your choices, subject of course, to consent from higher beings.
Generally, although they do give suggestions, they do not often interfere with your decisions and leave you free to move on your own. The time for judgment comes later. Some people opt to stay in the astral world for a long period, working on something they want to perfect, or counseling others, or learning from others. But the duration of this stay cannot be endless. You have to return to earth at some point to allow the soul to continue with its progression and if possible arm itself for entry into the higher astral realms.
After death, we do have a free will but at the moment when our soul leaves our body, we have to submit to a system over which we have no control.
I knew a sage who decided to leave his body of his own accord, a procedure very different from suicide. When I asked him why he said he had learnt all he could during this lifetime and must now re-charge himself in the astral realms before returning to earth. Obviously, after death we do we have a free will, we can do what we want to do, but we have also have to bow to a greater force.
If we are on the right path, making the right choices, growing and contributing to others growth, the higher or more evolved forces bless us in our onwards journey, sometimes assign us with a special mission. If we are not on the right path, are harming others or wasting our lives, attempts are made to guide us correctly and when ignored, life’s journey is not terminated but the consequences will have to be borne. Broadly speaking, the vital equation is— the extent of free will after death depends on our actions on earth.
We know through several well substantiated accounts that spirits do return to earth to avenge a wrong, with documented incidents where someone takes re-birth with the avowed purpose of righting a wrong. Some people opt to be re-born almost immediately, usually to avenge a wrong or continue some good work that was interrupted by death.
Spirits have also been known to return to earth to fulfill an intense desire, such as being present at a favourite son’s wedding or to ensure completion of a “dream” house or repay a debt. We also know that in most cases such visitations are not commonplace, and settling the “right or wrong” issue or fulfilling a wish is left to the karmic cycle which is linked to the wheel of time and can take many births and re-births.
Conditions apply to such spirits’ return, the chief one being that the time duration will be limited, but that’s another story. By all accounts, there are rules in “after life”, but what governs who can return to earth while still in the “other world” to take revenge or right a wrong or fulfill a wish? Many of the revelations connected with this make fascinating reading, but that must be left to another time.