Updated: Nov 8
Death is the total cessation of life processes that finally occurs in all living beings. Generally, people think that if a person dies, the soul has departed from the body and further believe that the invisible part of a person or spirit manifest in that body continues to exist in some other form after the body has died.
Lord Sri Krishna gives a very clear definition of death in Chapter 2 Verse 27 as follows:
"Jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mritasya cha
tasmad apariharye 'rthe na tvam shochitumarhasi"
One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore one need not lament for the unvoidable process of birth and death.
The soul known as the Atman is the eternal and divine essence within each living body. It is considered to be the individual's true self, distinct from the physical body and the mind.
Though many people have some knowledge about the teachings of Lord Srikrishna, with regard to birth and death, It is natural that if a person dies in a family, all the blood relations and other members will cry for the deceased. The people very close feel great pain for the loss of their well-wisher or friend. Going through the pain of loss and the intense emotions of grief changes life in unexpected ways i.e., priorities in life change, things that used to be important no longer seem important and the world seems upside down. Grief can be more intense if the loss is sudden, and the death is in a violent way.
If we go through Chapter 3 of Asramavasika Parva in Mahabharatha, we can find Sage Vyasa used his divine powers to bring back all the dead warriors from the Kurukshetra War for one night from the Ganges water on the request of Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Kunthi, and others. The event is known as the Great Assembly, where all the deceased warriors with their celestial bodies met their kith and kin and spent that night happily.
In Section 6 chapter 16 of Srimad Bhagavatham, we can notice that King Chitrakethu ruled the province of Surasena. Though he had ten million wives, he had no children. By the grace of Sage Angirasa, the King's first wife, Kradyuti gave birth to a son. Later the envious co-wives of Kratadyuti, administered poison to the child. When Chitrakethu heard of his son's death from unknown causes, he became almost blind. When his lamentation grew like a blazing fire, he fell to the ground and became unconscious. Sage Narada by his mystic power, made the living entity to re-enter in the dead body for a short time and spoke in reply to Narada Muni's request.
The above two incidents show that in the Vedic Era, there were great Rishis to bring the celestial bodies of the departed souls and also recall life back into the deceased as and when the necessity arose. Now the question is, in this Modern Era are there such great sages who are capable of bringing back the departed souls when some loved ones die? Everyone knows that the answer is 'no'.
But Sri Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian Hindu Monk and Yogi in the 19th Century who introduced millions to Meditation and Kriya Yoga through his Organization. He says that the attachment to human affection is such that losing our loved ones brings a severe longing in the heart. There is life beyond this world and all of our loved ones do, indeed, continue to live on, though they have shed their physical bodies.
To send your thoughts to loved ones who have passed on, sit quietly in your room and meditate upon God. When you feel His peace within you, concentrate deeply at the Christ Center, the Center of will at the point between the two eyebrows, and broadcast your love to those dear ones who are gone. Visualise at the Christ Center the person you wish to contact. Send to that soul your vibrations of love, and of strength and courage. If you do this continuously and if you don't lose the intensity of your interest in that loved one, that soul will definitely receive your vibrations. Such thoughts give your loved ones a sense of well-being, a sense of being loved. There is still a dim memory in their consciousness of the loved ones they have left behind.
When you want to feel a response from such souls, concentrate on the Heart Center (Anahat Chakra). When you concentrate deeply enough, they may first appear in dreams. It is possible for them to do so. If your mind is calm and attuned, you will know someone is trying to get in touch with you through that dream. As you develop spiritually, your loved ones may appear to you in visions in meditation. And when you are very highly developed, you can behold those souls right here in front of you.
Instead of weeping and feeling a sense of loss after the death of those who are dear to you, always send them your love. By doing so you can help the progress of their souls, and they can help you. Just say to them ' I love you'. Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so. Mentally tell them "We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another". If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again. You will know that this life is not the end, but merely one link in the eternal chain of your relationship with your loved ones.
But what if the souls of some that you loved are reborn on earth while you are still seeking them?
If your love for them is strong they will be brought to you. They will be drawn into your life once again, in this incarnation or the next.
Imagine how confusing it would be if you remembered all the roles you and your loved ones played in past lives. You would not know which mother, father, spouse, or child to love. God prevents this chaos by dimming our memory so that we are free to perfect the relationships of our present incarnation.
But even though we may not remember anything specific about previous life relationships, love between souls--or even a deep attraction of hate--draws those souls to one another life after life. This is why, in this incarnation, you have felt strongly attracted to certain souls and not to others. A close relationship/friendship is impossible with anyone you have not met in your previous lives.