A short summary from the Garud Puran
The Garuda Purana is one of the Vishnu Puranas.
It is in the form of a dialog between Vishnu and Garud, the King of Birds; about death, afterlife etc, Yam, the head of the Patal lok, his assistant Chitragupt, description of the City of Yam, the various kinds of punishments meted out to the sinners, how to avoid sin upon earth, what types of funeral rites should be performed for the departed and what happens when they are not performed and so on.
Portions of the Garuda Puran are used by some Hindus as funeral liturgy. In fact, some consider it unlucky to read this text except during funerals.
The paragraph given below is like a summary of a few important facts on death and rebirth, which all Hindus need to be aware of.
(I am just sharing this information for basic knowledge. It does not have the details and depth that the original Puran has)
What happens after death?… Garuda Puran
*What Happens After Death ??*
What is death ?
Is there life after death ?
Is death painful?
What happens after death ?
How does rebirth happen ?
Where do we go after death ?
These kind of questions related to the most feared event that ends our life always fill our mind, especially when any of our near or dear ones die.
We feel that suddenly the relationship has broken abruptly n wish there could be a connection again. In this quest, our journey to find answers to the above questions begin
*So, what happens after death ?*
Death is actually a very interesting process !!
*Disconnection of the earth sole chakras*
Approximately 4-5 hours before death, the earth sole chakras situated below the feet gets detached … symbolizing disconnection from the earth plane !!
A few hours before an individual dies, their feet turn cold. When the actual time to depart arrives, its said that Yama, the God of death appears to guide the soul.
*The Astral Cord*
Death severs the astral cord, which is the connection of the soul to the body. Once this cord is cut the soul becomes free of the body n moves up n out of the body.
If the soul is attached to the physical body it occupied for this lifetime, it refuses to leave n tries to get into the body n move it n stay in it. We may observe this as a very subtle or slight movement of the face, hand or leg after the person has died.
The soul is unable to accept that it is dead. There is still a feeling of being alive. Since the astral cord has been severed, the soul cannot stay here n is pushed upwards n out of the body. There is a pull from above … a magnetic pull to go up.
*End of the physical body*
At this stage the soul hears many voices, all at the same time. These are the thoughts of all the individuals present in the room.
The soul on its part talks to his loved ones like he always did n shouts out “I am not dead” !! but alas, nobody hears him.
Slowly n steadily the soul realizes that it is dead n there is no way back n at this stage, the soul is floating at approx 12 feet or at the height of the ceiling, seeing n hearing everything happening around.
Generally the soul floats around the body till it is cremated.
So, the next time if you see a body being carried for cremation, be informed that the soul is also part of the procession seeing, hearing n witnessing everything n everyone.
*Detachment from the body*
Once the cremation is complete, the soul is convinced that the main essence of its survival on earth is lost n the body it occupied for so many years has merged into the five elements.
The soul experiences complete freedom, the boundaries it had while being in the body are gone n it can travel anywhere by mere thought.
For 7 days the soul, moves about its places of interest like its favorite joint, morning walk garden, office, etc..If the soul is possessive of his money, it will just stay near his cupboard, or if he is possessive of his children, it will just be in their room, clinging on to them.
By the end of the 7th day, the soul says bye to his family n moves further upwards to the periphery of the earth plane to cross over to the other side.
Its said that there is a big tunnel here which it has to cross before reaching the astral plane. Hence its said that the first 12 days after death are extremely crucial.
*we have to carry out the rituals correctly n pray n ask forgiveness from the soul* so that it does not carry negative emotions like hurt, hatred, anger, etc atleast from the near n dear ones.
All the rituals, prayers n positive energy act like food for the soul which will help it in its onward journey. At the end of the tunnel is a huge bright light signifying the entry into the astral world.
*Meeting the Ancestors*
On the 11th n 12th day Hindus conduct homas n prayers n rituals through which the soul is united with its ancestors, close friends, relatives n the guides.
All the passed away ancestors welcome the soul to the upper plane n they greet n hug them exactly like we do here on seeing our family members after a long time.
The soul then along with its guides are taken for a thorough life review of the life just completed on earth in the presence of the *Great Karmic Board.* It is here in the pure light that the whole past life is viewed !!
There is no judge, there is no God here. The soul judges himself, the way he judged others in his lifetime. He asks for revenge for people who troubled him in that life, he experiences guilt for all wrongdoings he did to people n asks for self punishment to learn that lesson. Since the soul is not bound by the body n the ego, the final judgment becomes the basis of the next lifetime.
Based on this, a complete life structure is created by the soul himself, called the blue print. All the incidents to be faced, all problems to be faced, all challenges to be overcome are written in this agreement.
In fact the soul chooses all the minute details like age, person n circumstances for all incidents to be experienced.
Example : An individual had severe headache in his present birth, nothing helped him, no medicines, no way out. In a session of past life regression, he saw himself killing his neighbour in a previous birth by smashing his head with a huge stone.
In the life review, when he saw this he became very guilty n asked for the same pain to be experienced by him by way of a never ending headache in this life.
This is the way we judge ourselves n in guilt ask for punishment. The amount of guilt in the soul decides the severity of the punishment n level of suffering. Hence forgiveness is very vital. We must forgive n seek forgiveness !!
Clear your thoughts n emotions, as we carry them forward to the other side too. Once this review is done n our blue print for the next life is formed, then there is a cooling period.
We are born depending on what we have asked for in the agreement. The cooling off period also depends on our urgency to evolve.
We choose our parents n enter the mothers womb either at the time of egg formation or during the 4-5th month or sometimes even at the last moment just before birth.
The universe is so perfect ,so beautifully designed that the time n place of birth constitutes our horoscope, which actually is a blue print of this life. Most of us think that our stars are bad n we are unlucky but in actuality, they just mirror your agreement.
Once we are reborn, for around 40 days the baby remembers its past life n laughs n cries by itself without anyone forcing it to. The memory of the past life is completely cut after this n we experience life as though we did not exist in the past.
*The agreement starts..*
Its here that we are completely in the earth plane n the contract comes into full effect. We then blame God/ people for our difficult situations n curse God for giving us such a difficult life …
So, the next time before pointing to the Divine, understand that our circumstances are just helping us complete n honor our agreement, which is fully n completely written by us. Whatever we have asked for n pre decided is exactly what we receive !!
Friends, relatives, foes, parents, spouses all have been selected by us in the blue print n come in our lives based on this agreement. They are just playing their parts n are merely actors in this film written, produced n directed by us !!
*Do the Dead need healing / prayers / protection ?*
The dead always need serious healing n prayers for a variety of reasons, the most important one being … To be free n not earthbound !! … that is stuck in the earth plane n unable to leave.
There are many reasons for the soul to be earthbound like unfinished business, excessive grief, trauma on death, sudden death, fear of moving on to the astral plane, guilt, one of the most important being improper finishing of last rites n rituals.
The soul feels it needs a little more time to wait n finish before moving on. This keeps them hovering on the earth plane. But the time is limited n it is very very important that they cross over within 12 days to their astral plane of existence, as the entry to the astral world closes a few days after this.
Earthbound spirits lead a very miserable existence as they are neither in their actual plane nor in a body to lead an earthly life. They may not be negative or harmful but they are stuck n miserable. Hence healing n prayers are of utmost importance during this period so that the departed soul crosses over to the designated astral plane peacefully.
Prayers by the whole family is very vital to help the dead cross over. The protection of the soul to help it reach its destination in the astral world is achieved through prayers.
Please Do Not Take Death Lightly … Now more than ever most souls are stuck on the earth plane due to lack of belief and family neglect.
Finally, for someone who has lost a near and dear one, don’t feel sad … We never die, we live on, death does not end anything, it is just a little break before we meet again !!
This article has been extracted from …*The Garuda Puran*
Bless you all