Life after death
Mother: All people, excepting highly evolved souls, live in the spirit body for a year. After that, food and water are offered in Gaya for the satisfaction of the departed souls and religious festivals are arranged. By this means the souls of the departed are released from their spirit body. They go to other planes of existence and experience pleasure or pain, and in course of time, are born again in human forms according to their desires. Others attain salvation from those planes. But if a person has some meritorious action to his credit in this life, he does not lose spiritual consciousness altogether in his spirit body.
Here the Mother again referred to the priest of the Govinda temple in Brindavan.
Disciple : Is it possible for one to attain to a higher state if one’s Sraddha ceremony is performed in Gaya ?
Mother : Yes, that is true.1
1 In this connection I am reminded of another incident. The Holy Mother was in Banaras. I had left a day or two before for Gaya to perform the Sraddha ceremony for my dead ancestors. I had said to the Holy Mother before my departure, ” Mother, please give your blessings that my ancestors may attain heaven.” On the very night of the day I offered food and drink in Gaya for the gratification of my departed ancestors, Bhudev, the Mother’s nephew, who had accompanied her to Banaras saw the
Holy Mother in a dream, engaged in Japa, with a crowd of people around her, saying, ” Please give me salvation ! Please give me salvation!” The Mother sprinkled over them the holy water kept in a jar and said, ” Go away, you are saved ! ” Then they departed in great happiness. Then another man appeared. The Mother said to him, ” I cannot continue like this any longer.” He begged of her a long time and at last received her grace* The next day Bhudev narrated this dream to the Holy Mother
and she said in reply, ” R.-has gone to Gaya to perform the Sraddha ceremony of his ancestors. Therefore all these people have obtained their salvation.” In fact, while offering oblations for my departed ancestors with great sincerity, I also offered food and drink for the salvation of all persons whose names I could remember at that time. I prayed for the salvation of all of them.
Disciple: Then what is the necessity of spiritual practices ?
Mother: These dead souls, no doubt, attain to a higher state and live there for some time, but afterwards they are again born in this world according to their past desires. After their birth in a human body some of them obtain salvation in this life, whereas others take inferior births to reap the results of their Karma. This world is moving around like a wheel. That indeed is the last birth in which one gets completely rid of all desires.
Disciple: You just referred to the dead souls attaining to a divine state. Do they go there by themselves or does someone lead them ?
Mother: No, they go by themselves. The subtle body is like a body made of air.
Disciple: What happens to those for whom no Sraddha ceremony is performed in Gaya ?
Mother: They live in the spirit body until some fortunate ones born in their family perform the
Sraddha ceremony in Gaya or some other forms of obsequies.
Disciple: We hear of ghosts and spooks. Are they the attendants of Siva or simply spirits ? Or are they the spirits of dead people ?
Mother: They are the spirits of the dead. The spirit attendants of Siva belong to a special group. One must live very carefully. Every action produces its result. It is not good to use harsh words towards others or be responsible for their suffering.
Disciple: Mother, a margosa tree does not produce a mango, nor does a mango tree produce a margosa fruit. Everyone reaps the result of his own Karma.