The Physical Body after Death
19 February 1971
Questioner: I have a question about the physical body after death. In India it is custom to burn the physical body some hours after dying, and we, in the West, have to wait three days and then the body is put into a tomb or burned. Is there a difference? We are told the body should be so long out of the ground and should not be burned before three days …
Kirpal Singh: May I give you an example? I think you will understand more fully then. The child in the womb is covered with a screen. When that breaks and the child is born, that very screen still goes on moving as though seeking the child within the womb. So that is a naturally formed habit. So, scientifically speaking, the more the object of the body in which soul lived is there – (the longer it remains), the more the soul is attracted, unless he has been quite cut off while in life. If he was cut off, then he will feel, All right, I left it, go on. Sometimes at night you'll find in the burial grounds some spirits hovering around the tombs. These are only such souls which are spirits, groveling around the earth as they have not been altogether cut off from the world. Do you follow me? So, scientifically speaking, the object of attraction should be finished off. But these are customs. Cremation has a scientific basis. You are living in the body so dear to you, and you have to leave it by force, you will still be attracted to that body. But the one who knows how to leave the body at will and has no attachment to it, won't be attracted. But how many are there who are developed like that? So, anyway, the body should be cremated, finished off. Otherwise, those who are attached to the body will hover.
Have you read theosophical literature?
Questioner: Not much.
Kirpal Singh: Yes, read it. Good things, great things are explained sometimes. So, if you have not cut off the things of attraction while alive you'll be attracted to those things after death. So such like spirits go groveling around the earth. When their wishes are not met with, they will just enter others to enjoy, you see? That is called Spiritism. Spiritualism is contact with spirits who are on a little higher level. They don't hover around but they can be called. So we must transcend, physically, astrally, and go ahead. Each man has his own custom, some reason for it. Customs remain. In India, there's a place where they keep bodies for days and days together. Relatives put some incense into the dead bodies and they dance and eat and drink. They say he has gone to the heavens. God knows if he has gone to the heavens or the hell. In this way they are enjoying for days together. This takes place on the Burma side, the Kabul side.
So it is better to be cut off from the physical world. At will leave it. It is just the clothes which have been taken off, that's all. There are many reasons why you should meditate. I was talking yesterday about it also. But these things are not given in books. References are made there but are not clarified. We can be thankful to the body, All right, thanks to you, I have made the best use of you and you have helped me. That's all right. Thank God, Thank you. Go up. So physical body is like a good horse to ride on, you see. When you have made the best use of something, leave it. That's all right. So due to customs, prevailing under some impressions, some say, All right, the dead bodies will go on lying and then they will rise into the heaven. In the meantime, the body is eaten up by the ants. So these are social customs, you see. Lay thy treasures in heaven. You know why? The house in the other world is stronger than the house here. When you've had satisfaction there, why do you care for things of this world? Here the ants will eat you at death. This is what you can infer from that exact quotation, Lay thy treasures in heaven – where it will not be eaten by ants.
This is a reply to your question. So it is the custom, you see. The more you are attached, even after leaving the body you'll be groveling. I've seen souls like that. They're worldly and they won't go away if their body is still here – they come back again and again. But these people do not know what happens after death. So any object of attraction should be finished off. In the graveyard, if you go at night, you'll sometimes find something hovering in the air. Only such like souls who are spirits not withdrawn from the body, enamoured of the body. They will come around and around and round and they will possess. They will enter drunkards. When a man becomes a drunkard, he's not the one drinking you see, he's become mad, possessed. That is what Christ meant when He said the spirit was withdrawn. He freed the earthbound spirit.
We've got a manbody. When you have got a taste of the beyond then there's nothing here to compare with that. So it is just like the dirty clothes you drop off. You've made the best use of it, All right, thank you body, you have helped me. After all, it is not our choice to live in the body. We live only up to the time; Thy days are numbered. Thy breaths are numbered based on the reactions of the past. You have to leave. Your body may be requesting you not to leave and you may be attached to it, but you will have to leave. Is it not so? Laws are based on common sense. Common sense of the awakened man. Does what I have said not appeal to you? If you are detached from the object of attraction to which you have been given up heart and soul, naturally you'll leave it. If you have learned to leave the body at will and enjoy the other world, nothing can attract you back. If you do leave the body while in that angle of vision, then there is nothing to bind you. It is just as though you go out of this room, you don't change, but you are there. The attachment's real at heart. So all this ignorance arises out of what? Wrong understanding. We are not the body but we have been identified with the body so much so that we cannot differentiate. Now you are awake, I'm making use of this body. Then? The whole angle of vision is changed. This delusion starts from the body. You're embodied in the body; you're embodied souls, not the body. But you are identified with the body so much so that you have forgotten yourself. You see things from the level of the body. Your body is changing, being made of matter. The whole world is changing but you think, Oh all, all is static, stagnant, stationary. So the basic reason for ignorance is that. All through the day do you even once think that you are not the body? Then? Really you are not the body.
There is a custom among Hindus too. The body is kept there for so long and then, further, he gets new clothing there, this and that. For whom? For those who are hovering around the world, for those who have not transcended physical plane, for those who have not transcended the astral plane and for those who have not transcended causal plane. For those, the whole thing goes on. The Way on which you have been put will enable you to go beyond that, but the ABC starts only when you rise above body consciousness. Now do you feel the necessity for meditation? How important it is and how much ignored it is. This is the very private, most private work for you and for your own self.
So some questions lead you to so many things, you see. Customs are there, that's all right. Those are for the average, everyday people. But as a man you have to go higher. Those who have got more and are imbued with the love of God leave with no love for the world. You'll see for yourself that you have the body; you are not the body. This is just coming out of the delusion. Practically speaking, when you rise above body consciousness you see you are not the body. First is assumption, the other is seeing, is it not? Rise above body consciousness daily. You will see that you are not the body. In that way, if you are convinced, then naturally all your actions will be from the level of the soul. So all of these points will give you a big book, will they not?
There lived in India Swami Shivbratlal, a disciple of Raj Saligram1, who was advanced in spirituality but he gave out all these things about which I am now referring, in story form. He would bring out these very teachings of the Master in some novel like form in the Urdu language, of course, not in English. He did a splendid work, having brought out two, three thousand books, I think. Somewhere he takes the soul as a prince so that he may bring out a story with all these teachings given here. He did a very wonderful work. He has now passed away. He loved me much. I loved him too. He loved Master too. In all love, you see, he wrote many stories like that. Novels – very interesting – in which all these teachings of the Saints were included – given out. That will draw many people to the Truth. This is giving something like, (excuse me, I give a very bad example now), putting quinine in sugar coated form: in the form of stories. That will take away your fever, will it not? I'm talking to you practically now, you can help the world in so many ways, you see, but don't do it at your own sacrifice, mind that. When your own house is on fire are you going to put down fire of other houses? It is good to put down the fire of others but you have also to mind your own. All right, this question gives you so many things to write about. Thank you.
Explanation: 1) The successor to Swami Ji.