Lectures and Sermons of Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sadguru Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sl. No. 25 - Sermon - (The Other World)

Dhaka - East Bengal Brahmomandir. Lecture in the conference of the Student's Committee
Agrahayan, 1293 Bengali Calender [1887 A.D.]

Be it in our country or anywhere else, there exists a feeling of the “other world” though not termed by these words. People exist after death—this essence is present amongst the entire humanity. No doubt there must be a sound reason for this matter being in vogue among all people.

The matters about which we learn, exist outside, but the knowledge by which we learn about them belong to our soul. The moon, the sun, mountains and oceans—all these exist outside. The knowledge with which we learn the essence of these, is located in our soul. Such knowledge is not found in birds and beasts. They do not understand the use of objects or the connection between objects. They can just understand about their food, drinks and medicines and this knowledge is imparted to them by God as a matter of instinct. This is not subject to education, nor does it improve by education. Knowledge in human beings is subject to learning and can grow gradually.

Knowledge in man has two dimensions. One is spiritual or introspective knowledge and the other is knowledge of the outer world. The knowledge with which we know about the matters of the world outside is known as knowledge of the exterior. By this we can do good to the world by learning and weighing matters of the outside world. Even ignorant people, who do not wear clothes have a right to gain this knowledge. The other side of knowledge is introspective. The tree has one part under the ground and another part above. The roots remain under the trunk and branches are above the ground. The knowledge with which we learn about the truth lying in our heart is called spiritual knowledge. Guessing the cause on seeing the action, gratitude to the benefactor, appreciating the maker of a good creation, the existence of the world, existence of the soul, knowledge about the creator of the world—all these are the work of spiritual knowledge and similarly knowledge of the world beyond death too exists naturally and automatically.

Just as one progresses by the culture of external knowledge, in the same way progress is also made by the culture of internal knowledge. The knowledge of external objects like stars and planets are subject to a culture of astronomy. Similarly it is necessary to pursue spiritual matters to know the truths lying internally. All spiritual truths can be accessed by this. Conditions like gratitude, charity and various others are all present in the heart. The more you resort to the culture of spiritual knowledge, the better will you come to know the disposition of such souls. Even the illiterate and the uncivilized people accept the world beyond death. Uncivilized people like Kukis, Garos too accept this. By this, it is proved that the knowledge about the world beyond death exists naturally in human minds. But by education it becomes brightened, else, only a faint presence is felt. It is mentioned in all the scriptures of the world that there is a world beyond death. Why do the people in our country cry for a dead person with the words, “You have left us”, “Where have you gone?” etc. Why do people cry when the body of the dead person is still there? It is because they think that the one who was present in that body, no longer exists. That is why moistend cowdung is spread, taking the dead body to be impure. This itself signifies the natural knowledge about the world beyond death. Some may say, does it conclusively prove the existence of the world beyond death? Let us see if there is a proof.

First : What is death? What is dying? The body still remains after death, then what is death? It means non-existence of consciousness; what remains is only the inanimate body. The creations of the Supreme Lord have two divisions, inanimate and animate. Those matters are animate, who have the power to think, can move according to the will and have memory, and those who have no such capabilities are inanimate. Some learned men like Charvak of the ancient times, and even some from modern times, say that consciousness is not a different matter, that it is a chemical property born out of the mixing of inanimate matters. They cite the example of turmeric which is yellow and lime which is white. A new colour is formed when these two are mixed. The vermilion that is a product of the mixture of mercury and sulphur, also has a new colour. Similarly they say, though inanimate objects have no consciousness, why should it be illogical to accept that a mixture of inanimate objects can give rise to a property called consciousness? But those opposing this theory say that nothing new can come out of the mixture of the matters which do not possess the basic properties altogether. First, colour is a property of the inanimate object. Second, the new colour that is formed by mixing turmeric and lime, mercury and sulphur was faintly present in the individual matters before mixing—by mixing this has just become brighter. But that which was present has not born anew—nothing new has come into being. The human body is made of inanimate matter and inanimate matter has no property of consciousness. Therefore the property that is absent in the basic matter cannot be created by their union. According to the rule mentioned above, consciousness cannot come out of the union of inaminate matters. Why do big lumps of matters, such as the moon, the sun, the stars and planets have no consciousness, if inanimate objects could have it? Therefore consciousness is not a property of inanimate objects. It is something beyond inanimate matters—that is called the soul. What is death? It is the departure of the matters that constitute the body. The jivatma (soul) can no longer stay in a body whose molecules lose the bonding. In the manner in which we use our house or its windows, in the same way I, that is the jivatma, can also use the body as I wish. I have said already that the soul is not born out of the union of inanimate matters and therefore it cannot be analysed. Inanimate matters too are not destroyed, but they are only transformed. Therefore the soul will remain the same like this even after death. Hence the world beyond death does exist.

Second : The wish of the Supreme Lord is eternal. Since creation is His wish, then creation too is eternal; destruction is contrary to creation; therefore destruction is impossible in the kingdom of the Lord. So the soul will always exist and this proves the existence of the world beyond death.

Third : It has been proved that certain truths are inbuilt in the human mind and the world beyond death is one of them. So the world beyond death does exist.

Fourth : The Supreme Lord is just. So He rewards the doer of a good deed and punishes a sinner. The result of one’s deeds will have to be borne later if one does not get it within one’s life time. Who is to reap the result of actions if the soul does not exist after death? So the existence of soul is necessary beyond death. Hence there is a world beyond death. Many pandits have accepted the concept of the fruit of action.

Fifth : Man desires to live an endless life. There is a way for the fulfilment of this desire given by the Lord. He has given thirst and hunger and has also arranged for drinks and food. It is logical to make arrangements for the living, when He has given a desire to live endlessly. Therefore the soul will exist after death and so the world after death does exist.

What is the world after death? This signifies the period after death, like evening after morning. Parakal (the world after death) is the place where the soul stays after leaving the world. Some think of parakal as some particular place, but the truth loving people say that we cannot conclude anything or conjecture about the place until we specifically know about it. Everyone agrees that the soul will stay even after death and will have to bear the consequences of its actions, but there is no unanimity about the place. Some books describe parakal as like the earth. Arabian books in describing parakal contain imaginary things like fountains, good fruits and all which are necessary in that country. Those seeking pleasure have accepted the presence of various objects of pleasure in paralok. Some say, that the soul will travel through all the stars after death. The soul will take birth in each of the stars and learn about the star, the way it learns about the earth. This is called travelling from sphere to sphere. There is no definite conclusion about it. “Man” means what? It means not a body but the consciousness. Where does this soul (jivatma) stay? Inanimate objects cannot stay without a place. It stays in the Supersoul. So it stays in this world and in the other world—in the Supreme Lord, his haven. He is paralok. Our sages and saints too have said the last word, that God is paralok. Like the other world we can appreciate the existence of paralok but we cannot say if houses and buildings are there since this is not a part of our natural knowledge. Had it been so, all would have known about it.

As the Supreme Lord is just and kind, then be it in this world or in paralok, one must get punishment for one’s sins and reward for piety. The fruits of action do not necessaily start immediately after death, the effect of fruits of work work starts the moment feeling of sins and piety starts. We commit sins in two ways—by body and by the soul. By physical sins we undergo physical sufferings like disease and pains and by sins of the soul we suffer mentally. Why does the Lord make such arrangements for punishment? It is because He chastises us by punishment for our well being like parents do. Owing to lack of firm faith in the after world and the concept of results of actions, man happens to commit sins.

Many books contain wide descriptions of heaven and hell while giving a detailed description of paralok. I am telling a story from Mahabharata connected to this. On reaching heaven, Yudhishthira found that Duryadhana and others were present there. Yudhishthira then asked Narada, “Devarshi, where are Arjuna and others?” Then along with Yudhishthira, Narada went to Arjuna and others. Feeling uneasy by the foul smell of that place, as Yudhisthira was returning, he heard cries from all sides. “Oh king, please stay, we are feeling relieved by your presence”. Yudhisthira asked them who they were. The answer was. “I am Arjuna, I am Bheema, I am Nakul, I am Sahadeva.” Yudhishthira started to think as to why they had to stay in hell. They had committed no sins in their lifetime. Narada then said, “Can your brothers ever suffer in hell?” Indra then said, “Oh great king, the way you resorted to deception by saying Ashwathama hatah (Ashwathama is dead) in the same manner you had to have a sight of hell, though by deception.” Narada said, “Heaven or hell are nothing but states of mind. Take a bath in the Mandakini river of heaven, then everything will go away when your triguna (three primal characteristics, sattwa, rajah, tamoh) are destroyed. Some say self reproach is hell and self satisfaction is heaven. Description of heaven and hell is also available in the Puranas. The descriptions in the Puranas and Koran are similar but there are different descriptions of heaven and hell in the Bible and the Buddhist scriptures. In analysing human nature it is seen that it has the knowledge of parakal, about undergoing the consequences of actions and the desire to live, but there is no knowledge about what the paralok is like. We shall stay in this world as long as God so wishes. To summarise, we are indestructible. Leave alone human beings not a single molecule is destructible. Therefore debate about paralok is futile.

We can know about the external matters by external knowledge and the truth lying within can be accessed by spiritual knowledge. Parakal is an internal truth. This is accepted by all men. It is not that they accept it after reading books or hearing from others. The knowledge of parakal is seen even among people who have no written language, no interaction with the civilized world. Having lived among the Kukis for many days a fakir came to know of their knowledge about parakal. The information he had gathered on the matter is given here. The Kukis living in the land ruled by the English, eat cooked flesh, are known as seasoned kukis and those who live in the hills and eat raw flesh are called unseasoned kukis. When the fakir went to the hill, they were ready to cut him to pieces; he was, however saved by a female Kuki. He had noticed that in the case of a death of an honourable unseasoned Kuki, a seasoned Kuki also used to be cut and given along with dead body. They believed that the seasoned Kuki becomes a servant of that Kuki in the parakal. A westerner on alighting from a ship in an island close to Japan found some naked uncivilized men dancing while carrying an old woman with them. On being asked the reason they said, “She is our old mother and very aged. We are taking her along to send her to paralok. We shall cut and eat her to keep her in our stomach, the way she kept us in her stomach for ten months”.

They said this very seriously. The westerner tried to dissuade them from doing this in many ways, but they said, “Why? Her body has degenerated and she is suffering as a result, thus she will be living happily in the paralok after going there.”

Another westerner has described the views of various peoples on paralok. Different peoples have different imaginary descriptions about paralok. Some have written about hell containing absolute darkness, full of fire all the times, pits containing foul smelling things and heaven containing all pleasures.

The descriptions of paralok is not the same for all the people. The funeral rites are not the same for all, but all agree to the view that there is a paralok and people have to undergo the consequences of their actions. What is truth is universal. Imagination is not universal. It is seen often that an attempt to mould the taste and opinion of others according to one’s own, gives rise to groupism and communalism. In reality this does not succeed. For example, the seed contains the entire tree, everything from the root to the branches are present in the seed. That which is not present in the seed will not happen. If I think that a champak flower will come out of a coconut tree, this will not happen. Something absent in an object cannot come out of it. Similarly God has bestowed truth in the soul of every human being. How can anything that is not in the soul be revealed? Like plants, human beings also have many variations. How is it? That is, the difference is according to the time, place and taste. The body is the machine, we are the operators, we work the body. None of God’s creation is destructible. So I too cannot be destroyed. Parakal is there. So also is the result of actions and this has to be faced. The knowledge of this truth is natural and equal for all the peoples.