Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Here and Hereafter

by Swami Rama

[This passage has been taken from the book Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita,pp 70 – 71, by Swami Rama, published 1985 by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA.]

At some point every human being becomes confused about his dharma or duty.  Arjuna, a warrior who specializes in the science and art of war, should learn to practice and perform his duty, so Sri Krishna instructs him not to think of renouncing his dharma.  Instead he shows him the path to follow in order to fulfil his dharma.  For Arjuna, fighting the war is the only dharma that can open the gate of heaven for him.  All heavenly joys can be experienced if one learns to perform his dharma.  As it is used here, heaven means knowledge of the higher dimensions, which frees one from the apparent reality of the external world.  All great traditions of the world conceive of a heaven that one may attain after death.  But those who understand the science and art of death and dying can glimpse the life hereafter while still living.

When one learns to study the past, present and future as different parts of one whole, he can have a vision of life hereafter, for whatever one was before, that he is today, and the way one directs the course of his life today will create his future.  After death the individual soul does not go to heaven or hell but remains in the atmosphere created by his habit patterns.  Negative habits lead to unpleasant experiences, which are called hell, and positive habits lead to pleasant or heavenly experiences.  Heaven is a predetermined factor that one creates in his unconscious where the habit patterns of merit and demerit remain lively.  No external agent can force another to go to hell or heaven.  Heaven and hell are realities that one creates with his thoughts, deeds, and habit patterns.



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