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Manjula"s Question.

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Oct 13 1995 - 18:58:46 PDT

Manjula  asked an important question about " Life after Death". Her question is
particularly important in that it has intriguedl everyone  from all  walks of
life including Medical Doctors and Hindu Philosophers .
Some of the references from the Medical side for  further study  are:
1. Life after Life by Raymond Moody , Jr. M.D ,published by Bantam Books, NY
Edition 1977
2. Reflections on Life after Life, Same Author, 1978 Edition.
3. Recollections of Death by Michael B.Sabom, M.D; Published by Simon and
Schuster,NY 1983
4. The Transition called Death By Charles Hampton, Publishers: Theosophical
Society Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois. 
The Above authors coming  from the Medical side have come to the conclusion that
there is evidence for  life after death. They have learned a lot from the study
of the process of Dying  and the experience of the patients at the moment of
death as  well as those , who come back to life  after being pronounced as
clinically dead.

Some of the references from the Hindu Sampradhaya (Vedic  and Upanishadic
Sources) are:
1. Bhagavat Gita
2.Many Upanishads
3.Sri Bhashyam 
4. Maha Bharata : Yaksha Prasna
The Yaksha asks Dharmaputra:" What is the greatest of all Wonders?"
Dharmaputra answers: " Day after Day, Countless creatures die. Yet those, who
are left behind ,beleive themselves to be deathless. What can be more wonderful
than this?"
Beyond the Quizzical Question and answer, there is a reference to that Upadesa
given by Parthasarathy  in  Bhagavat Geetha: "One should strive not to identify
oneself with the Body ,which is subject to Death, but with deathless Atman."The
verses 20 to 24 of Chapter II of Bhagavat Gita elaborate on this aspect .":Even
as  a person casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others , which are new ,so
the embodied casts  off worn out bodies,and  enters into others , which are
new". Lord Krishna points out to the greiving Arjuna that," Of that which is
born, death is certain, of that  which is dead, birht is certain. Over the
unavoidable, therefore , thou ought not to greive." In the subsequent chapters ,
he points out the ways to overcome this "unending" cycles of Births  and Deaths"
and in the 56Th and the 66th slokas of chapter  18, Lord Krishna points the  way
of Prapatti to HIM as the   unfailing way to attain Moksha.

Sri Aurobindo in his Book "Life Divine" says on Rebirth, Karmas and Liberation
as follows: " It (Rebirth) is  as necessary as birth itself; for without it,
birth would be an initial step without  a sequel,the starting of  a journey
without its farther steps  and  arrival.It is rebirth that gives the birth of an
incomplete being in a body its promise of completeness and its  spiritual
significance." 

The Brahma Sutras constitute an important scriptural base for the Theory of
Rebirth, Laws of Karma and Moksha. It focusses on Karma Vichara and Brahma
Vichara and in the final adhyaya known as Phala Adhyaya deals with the fruits of
Brahma Jnana resulting from the succesful pursuit of  the appropriate Saadhanaas
. In the fourth Paada of  the fourth Adhyaya known as Bhoga Paada, The state of
blissfulness and beatitude of Moksha attained by hte liberated soul (Bhoga) is
described. It concludes by stating that this state of bliss arises from the
victory thru the 
 Saadhanaas and the blessings of a competent ands compassionate  Acharya. The
Utkranti or the ascent of the Jivan from its last physical body , its journey
thru the path of light (Archiradi Marga) , the reunion with Paramaatma are
covered in the Phala Adhyaya.  

We have a cogent and satisfying  explanation of the Life after Life in our
scriptures.

Sadagopan