What's New on
AYP Teacher Training
Training & Retreats
Start Lessons Here
Desire - Bhakti
Asanas - Postures
Uddiyana - Nauli
Eight Limbs of Yoga
Samyama & Siddhi
Whole Body Mudra
Spirits & Entities
End of Suffering
Dare to Dream
Evolution of Action
Prayer & Healing
Yoga for Children
Summary of Practices
AYP on Radio
AYP Books & Audio
AYP Books Flyer
Articles & Media
Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original
Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Beyond Death (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
376.1 - On Pain,
Suffering, Death and Suicide (Audio)
376.2 - Transcending the Body/Mind and then Putting
It to Good Use (Audio)
January 8, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
The much bigger question is whether there is life before death, as in right now.
By "life," I mean life free from fear and suffering, life radiating in perpetual happiness,
regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.
That can be lived through the systematic application of spiritual practices.
Then the rest of life and death on the material plane will take care of itself. Try and see.
Q: For me, the practice of attaining enlightenment (or
liberation, union with god, or whatever term we may use) must go beyond the
physical body and touch the non-physical existence of ours. The body is
impermanent. We have to leave it sooner or later.
However, in your
writings you also indicate that the "experience of god" depends on the
nervous system. To a certain degree I do agree that an agitated mind/emotion
is unlikely to see/experience truth clearly. But what about death? This is
an extremely important question in my opinion. Spiritual practice must have
connection/correlation with the beyond-bodily-existence, but certainly not
in a fanatical/dogmatic/merely belief way (as if mere belief is going to
I'm likely to believe that the spiritual path develops our
astral and mental body, as opposed to just physical body, which makes the
path possible after death, as the astral/mental body doesn't die.
Ultimately, as our practice progresses, we sheath those bodies and become
pure spirit/soul and "merge with Brahman."
This, of course is a
point of view of mine, and it's only recently I begin to consider adopting
it, as it is helpful in reconciling "before" with "after-death" spiritual
What are your thoughts?
the nervous system is the doorway to the divine,
but this one we are in right now has a time limit.
Without it, we will
not be here at all, and the spiritual path
as we know it will not be possible.
So not a minute to waste.
talk about the nervous system and the neurobiology here, it goes all the way
into stillness (pure bliss consciousness), so includes the cultivation of
awareness (beingness) beyond the subtle strata that survive the body after death. That's why we say that what we gain in spiritual practices in this body we take with us from this life. Hence there is a logic for people being born in different stages of consciousness, with different gifts and challenges. Not that anyone has to believe in life after death or reincarnation to benefit from spiritual practices.
We don't look much beyond this life for specific things to do. It is a bridge
we will cross when we get to it. But there is much we can do in the here and
now, and that is the focus of yoga. Looking
at it from another point of view, one we can cultivate as a direct
experience in this lifetime, we have always been pure bliss consciousness,
and are only imagining we are this body/mind and personality. From that
point of view, we have never been born, and therefore shall never die.
Neither do we exist in the subtle planes before birth or after death.
that is "cheap logic," you know, even though it sits at the center of
advaita-vedanta and jnana yoga philosophies, and is where we all are
heading. I say "cheap logic," because few can express this from beyond the
realm of ideas without substantial preparation in the form of spiritual
practices. It means little until we begin to come into direct experience of our self as the
eternal unborn condition. Then we can say we are That and easily
release what is not true in our life.
Practice daily, and it will happen. Not overnight, but in time with prudent
application of time-tested methods. This is the best preparation for death,
and will transcend it altogether during this life, because ultimately we are
That which is beyond birth and death, here and now. So there is no
before or after. Only now.
It can be done. It is being done, by many everywhere around the world today. Well
begun is nearly done.
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed discussion on the practical utilization of self-inquiry, see the
and the Liberation book.
For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice
routine with self-pacing, see the Eight
Limbs of Yoga book. Also see
AYP PLUS PREVIEW
eBooks - PDF, EPUB
FREE eBooks with
SAVE with Bundled
AYP Book Translations
(PDF Books Flyer)
Questions & Answers