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					          Abstract

The innumerable recorded and researched cases of past life experiences clearly point to life after
death. In all the recorded cases of reincarnations, it was found that there was a variable time lag
between the death of the person and his next reincarnation on Earth. So, where do we go after death
till our reincarnation on Earth? Is it a single plane of existence or are there a variety of planes of
existence? If so, what are the factors that decide where we go after death? In this article, we present
the answers to these and other questions about this topic. These answers are obtained through
spiritual research done by seekers of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) with highly
developed sixth sense (ESP).

Note: In order to understand this article better, it is recommended that you read the article on the three
subtle basic components of sattva, raja and tama.



Table of contents

1. What happens after death?

2. The various planes of existence in the Universe

3. Characteristics of the seven positive planes of existence in the Universe

   3.1 Positive planes of existence and reincarnation on Earth

   3.2 The importance of the Earth plane of existence

4. What is Hell, who goes to Hell and what are the characteristics of the various planes of existence of
Hell?

5. Movement between subtle planes of existence in the Universe

6. What decides where we go after death?

   6.1 Importance of the mental state at the time of death

   6.2 Who goes to Hell

7. Suicide and the after life

8. Why is there a time lag between two reincarnations?

9. Conclusion



1. What happens after death?
    Spiritual research has shown that man is comprised of the following four basic bodies:

         Physical

         Mental

         Causal or intellectual

         Supracausal or subtle ego

    The picture below is a diagrammatic representation of what a human being is comprised of.
  When a person dies the physical body ceases to exist. However, the rest of his existence or
  consciousness continues. The existence of the person minus the physical body is known as the subtle
  body (linga deha) and it comprises of the mental, causal (intellect) and supracausal (subtle ego)
  bodies. This subtle body then goes to one of the 13 subtle planes of existence other than the Earth
  plane.



2. The 14 planes of existence in the Universe

  There are 14 main planes of existence in the Universe. Seven of them are positive planes of existence
  and seven are negative planes of existence. The seven negative planes of existence are commonly
  known as Hell (Paataal). There are numerous sub-planes within these main planes of existence.
                                                    Seven positive planes of existence: The planes of
existence occupied mostly by living persons and subtle bodies doing righteous deeds and engaged in
spiritual practice according to the positive path of spiritual practice are known as the seven positive
planes of existence or saptaloka. By positive path, we mean the orientation of spiritual practice is
towards God-realisation, which is the ultimate in spiritual growth.

The Earth plane is the only physical plane of existence in the Universe and is also the first plane of
existence in the hierarchy of the positive planes of existence in the Universe.

Seven Negative planes of existence: These are planes of existence occupied mostly by subtle
bodies that have done unrighteous deeds and are engaged in spiritual practice according to the
negative path. By negative path, we mean the orientation of spiritual practice is towards attaining
spiritual power, e.g. supernatural powers. This spiritual power is primarily used to enhance one’s
control over others or for negative purposes. Thus all subtle bodies that go to any one of the planes of
existence of Hell, by virtue of their evil intentions become ghosts.

Refer to the article on, ‘What is a ghost’?

Sub planes of existence of Hell (Narak): Every plane of existence of Hell (Paataal) has a sub-plane
known as Narak. For example, the first plane of existence of Hell will have within it a sub-plane that is
known as the first Narak. Narak is reserved for the worst ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies,
etc.) in Hell. The ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) occupying the first Narak face more
severe punishment and for a longer duration than those occupying the first plane of existence of Hell.

The diagram below shows the 14 planes of existence in the Universe.
    An explanation behind the colour scheme used

         Earth is depicted reddish as it represents action (i.e. subtle basic raja component), as it is the
      only plane where we have the physical body to do something.

         Heaven has been depicted in pink, which represents an abundance of happiness.

         Yellow represents spiritual knowledge and an increase in the subtle basic sattva component. It
      finally becomes almost white at the highest stage, which represents the close proximity to the
      unmanifest God principle.

         The regions of Hell are represented by darker shades to black, as there is an increase in the
      subtle basic tama component.



3. Heaven and the other positive planes of existence in the Universe




    Footnotes (based on the numbers in red in the above table):
1.       Each positive and negative plane of existence beyond the Earth (physical) plane of
         existence becomes more and more subtle. By subtle, we mean, that which is beyond the
         comprehension of the five senses, mind and intellect. Satyaloka is the subtlest, i.e. the most
         difficult to perceive or comprehend unless the highest sixth sense (ESP) level is attained.

2.       Due to lack of spiritual practice, most people in the current era go to either the Nether world
         or one of the planes of existence of Hell. We generally go to the Nether world after death
         when the proportion of demerits (incurred due to wrong doings on Earth) is approximately
         30%. Demerits typically include malice towards others and a lot of desires. The likelihood of
         being attacked in the Nether world by higher-level ghosts from the lower plane of existence
         of Hell is almost certain.

3.       Earth is the only plane of existence where there is an amalgamation of people with varying
         spiritual levels. However, after death we go to the precise plane of existence corresponding
         to our spiritual level.

4.       The minimum spiritual level required to attain Heaven after death is 60%. Please refer to the
         article, which describes what spiritual level is and the breakdown of the world population in
         2006 according to spiritual level. Basically from the Spiritual science perspective, meritorious
         acts to attain Heaven or the higher positive planes of existence are those acts done with the
         objective of God-realisation. The following three criteria can be applied.

              Acts done without doership, i.e. with the outlook that God Himself is getting it done
            from me and hence I cannot lay claim to any credit.

              Done without expectation of acclaim or appreciation.

              Done without expectation of results.

            More than the acts per se, it is the attitude or outlook behind the acts that counts more.

5.       To attain a higher plane of existence beyond Heaven one needs to be at a spiritual level
         higher than 80%. This can only be achieved by consistent spiritual practice according to the
         six basic laws of spiritual practice along with a major reduction in ego.

6.       By predominant body, we mean the body that is most active, i.e., mental, intellect or the
         subtle ego. For example, in the Nether plane of existence (Bhuvaloka), the subtle bodies still
         have a lot of desires and attachments. As a result, quite often they become ghosts trying to
         fulfil some desire of theirs. This leaves them open to higher-level ghosts from the lower
         rungs of Hell to take advantage of their cravings to affect people on Earth.

7.       In the Nether plane of existence we experience some happiness. However, the unhappiness
         is amplified as compared to the unhappiness experienced on Earth.
       8.   In Heaven plane of existence, subtle bodies experience an over abundance of happiness.
            This happiness is much beyond the happiness experienced on Earth in quantity, quality and
            duration. As we go up the positive planes of existence, there is an increase in the quality of
            happiness and no unhappiness.

       9.   Sattvik happiness means happiness derived from helping others without any expectations or
            strings attached. When ego is involved in the act, it becomes raajasik.

       10. Serenity is a higher experience than Bliss.


  3.1 Positive planes of existence and reincarnation on Earth

  In the planes of existence below Mahaaloka, people need to be reincarnated on the Earth plane to
  settle their destiny and complete their give-and-take accounts.

  If one attains Mahaaloka and Janaloka after death that means they are above the spiritual level of
  80%. Here people do not need to be reincarnated as all their remaining destiny can be worked out in
  these planes itself, but may do so at their own will. Their reincarnation is primarily to act as spiritual
  guides for humanity.

  If one attains Tapaloka or Satyaloka after death, then one does not take birth and continues to do
  spiritual practice at that plane of existence until one merges completely with God.
  3.2 The importance of the Earth plane of existence

  The Earth plane of existence is very important. It is the only plane of existence where we can make
  rapid spiritual growth and settle our give-and-take account in the shortest period of time. The main
  reason for this is that with the help of the physical body, we can do many things to enhance our
  spiritual growth and spiritual level and reduce the basic subtle tama component.

  Other than Earth, spiritual growth is mostly likely to occur only in the regions beyond Heaven such as
  Mahaaloka etc. This is because in Heaven, the subtle bodies run the risk of getting caught up in the
  unending pleasures it offers. In the Nether and Hell planes of existence, the punishment is so severe
  and also the distress from the other higher-level ghosts is such that it becomes very difficult to rise
  above the suffering to undertake any spiritual practice of value.



4. What is Hell, who goes to Hell and what is Hell like?
       As one goes to lower planes of existence of Hell, as the subtle basic sattva component
    progressively reduces the environment becomes less conducive to the experience of happiness.

       Within the planes of existence of Hell, there are some ghosts who do certain types of spiritual
    practice to gain spiritual power. The highest in the hierarchy of ghosts are sorcerers from the
    seventh plane of existence of Hell. They have immense spiritual power almost equivalent to a Saint
    at the 90% spiritual level. They control all the other types of ghosts with lesser spiritual power.

       As one goes deeper into the various planes of existence of Hell, i.e. from 1st to 7th, the extent
    of happiness experienced by the subtle bodies therein goes on decreasing and the extent of
    unhappiness goes on multiplying. The minimal experience of happiness is also due to being
    engrossed in memories of past positive events, pleasant memories of wealth in a past life, etc. The
    experience of unhappiness is due to memories of physical pain and insulting events, memories of
    unfulfilled desires, e.g. regarding education, house, career, expectation of happiness from children
    in past life.

       The extent of punishment/pain to be endured in the various planes of existence of Hell (Paataal)
    and their associated Narak goes on increasing with the subsequent plane of existence of Hell. Also,
    the period of punishment to be endured in each Narak is in excess compared to the corresponding
    plane of existence of Hell. If we consider the punishment in first plane of existence of Hell as 100%,
    then the punishment in the corresponding first Narak region is 50% more, i.e. 150%.
  The following table is a description of examples along with the average intensity of happiness and
  unhappiness we experience in the various planes of existence of Hell.




5. Movement between subtle planes of existence in the Universe

  One is assigned that plane of existence which matches one’s basic nature in terms of sattva, raja and
  tama. This is also a function of one’s spiritual level. Hence, subtle bodies from lower positive planes of
  existence cannot go to higher positive planes of existence and those from first or second negative
  planes of existence cannot go to the deeper planes of existence Hell. This is similar to how people
  living in the planes find breathing difficult at higher altitudes, but people staying at higher altitudes
  manage fine.
6. What decides where we go after death?

    At the time of death, as the physical body becomes inactive the vital energy used for the functioning of
    the physical body is liberated into the Universe. This vital energy at the time of death propels the subtle
    body away from the Earth region. Just as the weight of a projectile decides how far a rocket will propel
    it, similarly the weight of the subtle body decides which plane of existence it goes to in the subtle
    planes of existence in life after death.

    The ‘weight’ of the subtle body is primarily a function of the amount of the subtle basic tama component
    in our being.




                                                      The 3 subtle basic components: Each one of us is
    made up of three subtle basic components or gunas. These components are spiritual in nature and
    cannot be seen but they define our personalities. They are:

            Sattva: Purity and knowledge

            Raja: Action and passion

            Tama: Ignorance and inertia In an average person in the current era, the basic subtle tama
       component is as high as 50%.

    Please read the article on the 3 subtle basic components

    The more we are filled with the raja and tama components the more we display the following
    characteristics which add to our ‘weight’ and impact which plane of existence we go to in our life after
    death:

            More attachment to worldly things and selfishness

            More unfulfilled desires

            Feelings of revenge

            Higher amount of demerits or wrong-doings

            Higher amount of personality defects such as anger, greed, fear, etc.
         A higher amount of ego: By ego we mean how much a person identifies himself with his body,
       mind and intellect as opposed to the soul within

         Resulting in lower spiritual level

    A permanent reduction in the proportion of the subtle basic tama component and the related
    characteristics mentioned above come about only with sustained spiritual practice according to the six
    basic laws of spiritual practice. Psychological improvements with self-help books or trying to be nice
    are at best superficial and temporary.
    6.1 Importance of the mental state at the time of death

    The mental state at the point of death, apart from what has been mentioned above, is very important.
    Our mental state is generally relative to the proportion of the subtle basic components in our being.

    If a person is actually doing his spiritual practice such as chanting the Name of God at the time of
    death then the influence of desires, attachments, ghosts, etc. are minimal possible for that person
    compared to his state when not chanting. This makes his subtle body lighter. Hence, if he passes away
    while chanting, he attains better plane of existence among the sub-planes than what he would have
    attained were he to pass away without chanting.

    At the time of death, if a person is chanting the Name of God and is also in a state of surrender to
    God’s will, then he attains an even better plane of existence in his life after death and his sojourn is
    undertaken with lightening speed. This is because the person being in a state of surrender on Earth
    plane of existence itself, has very less chance of increasing his ego in his life after death. Also, the
    entire responsibility of his well-being in his life after death is undertaken by his evolved spiritual guide
    (Guru).
    6.2 Who goes to Hell?

    The following are the types of deeds in our life on Earth that typically land us in one of the planes of
    existence of Hell.
  The extent, duration and intention behind the wrong-doings are important factors deciding the planes of
  existence of Hell attained after death rather than just the action itself.



7. Suicide and the after life

  There are two types of death with regards to its timing.

  Destined final death: This is the time of death no one can escape.

  Possible death: This is where a person can possibly die. Each person may undergo a possible death
  wherein one comes close to death but is saved due to his or her merits. In cases where a person is
  going through insurmountable crisis in his life or has severe personality disorders, he may think of
  taking his own life in a depressed state. Ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) also fuel the
  depression of a suicidal person and sometimes are instrumental in pushing a person over the edge into
  committing suicide. However, suicide remains a wilful act that happens when a person is going through
  a possible death phase as per their destiny.

  The gift of life on the Earth plane of existence is precious and is given to us primarily for spiritual
  growth. By committing suicide, we squander away this opportunity and become eligible for divine
  punishment. The consequences are that a person committing suicide goes to the Narak part of the 7th
  plane of existence of Hell for a period of 60,000 Earth years in his life after death. It is a place that is
    without any light; something like solitary confinement in a prison. As there is nobody in that Narak
    region to advise about spiritual practice, the subtle body in this region remains in the darkness of
    spiritual ignorance.



8. Why is there a time lag between two reincarnations?

    In the course of research by using hypnotic trance to trace the past lives of the person, it has been
    found that the time lag between two reincarnations on Earth could be on average 50 to 400 years. The
    reasons for this time lag are as follows:

         The subtle body remains in the Heaven or the Nether plane of existence for variable periods of
       time to undergo its merits and demerits (sins).

         Circumstances on Earth plane of existence need to be favourable to complete the give-and-take
       account from previous births with various people. This is in accordance with the law of Karma. The
       reincarnation of the subtle body is postponed until the time various other people who they have a
       give-and-take account with are also preparing to take reincarnation.

         Sometimes in past life regression, a person does not report a reincarnation in the trance state.
       The reason for this is that a certain reincarnation has been very uneventful or brief and the person
       may not remember any details of it.

    In the case of subtle bodies that have been relegated to the deeper planes of existence of Hell, the
    time lag between two reincarnations may be thousands of years. They stay in their respective plane of
    existence of Hell until such time they have completed their punishment. In most cases, this means
    languishing in plane of existence of Hell in their life after death till the dissolution of the Universe some
    400,000 years later.



9. Life after death – in summary

    The above facts about the various planes of existence give us a fair idea of the possible consequences
    in our life after death of how we live our lives. Only with spiritual practice or with extreme meritorious
    deeds can one go to the higher planes of existence and thereby avoid unhappiness and punishment
    and enjoy higher levels of happiness. There are also better chances of a reincarnation on Earth plane
    of existence in circumstances conducive to spiritual practice. This is so that one moves further up in the
    subtle planes of existence in the Universe. As we go further into the current Era of Strife (Kaliyuga),
    there is lesser likelihood of people going to the higher planes of existence.

    Once we go to the lower planes of existence such as the Nether plane of existence or other planes of
    existence of Hell, we stay there and experience severe unhappiness for centuries until we completely
pay for our demerits (sins) by suffering the intense punishments meted there and get a chance to be
reincarnated on Earth.

To do consistent spiritual practice on the Earth plane of existence according to the 6 basic laws of
spiritual practice is like swimming against the tide in the current era. However, it is also a guaranteed
way of advancing to higher planes of existence in our life after death




1. Introduction

Almost all of us have at sometime wondered if we can meet our departed ancestors and loved ones
when we leave this Earth at the time of death. The purpose of this article is to explain the factors and
principles governing who we can meet and who we cannot in the afterlife.




2. Where do we go after death?

Please refer to our article on ‘Where do we go after death?’.
    As you will see, there are 13 subtle and intangible regions we can go to after death. In the current era,
    approximately only 5% of us make it to the positive regions of Heaven, Mahaaloka and above. This is
    because one needs to be at least at the 60% spiritual level (which is 5% of the world’s population) to
    attain the first positive region of the Universe, i.e. Heaven, after death. Refer to the breakdown of the
    world’s population by spiritual level.

    There is another region that is very important to mention in what happens to us after death.
    Immediately after we die, we go to a region known as Martyaloka or the ‘Region of the Dead’. This is a
    halfway house or an interim plane of existence as one makes their journey from the moment of death
    to their final resting place in one of the 13 subtle (intangible) planes of existence.

    Please refer to the article on the Region of death (Martyaloka).

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    3. Some principles that govern which of our departed ancestors we can meet in the
    afterlife

           Same region: Subtle bodies of relatives in the same region can meet each other easily. For
         example, two subtle bodies of relatives in the Nether Region (Bhuvaloka) can meet each other.

           Subtle to subtler regions: It is not possible for a person in a subtle (intangible) plane to meet a
         person in an even more subtle (intangible) plane of existence. After the Earth plane, the Nether
         region (Bhuvaloka) is the most gross (tangible). A subtle body in one of the planes in Nether region
         (Bhuvaloka) cannot go to meet a subtle body in Heaven or the ‘1st Region of Hell’ (Pataal).

           Subtle regions to more gross regions: A subtle body from a more subtle plane of existence
         can go to a grosser (less subtle) plane of existence. For example, a subtle body in the 3rd Region
         of Hell can go to meet a person in the 1st region of Hell on a temporary basis. Such visits usually
         last for as long as they are required and are also dependent on the spiritual strength of the visiting
         subtle body.

           Subtle higher regions:

                       Subtle bodies in the higher positive subtle regions of Mahaaloka are so spiritually
            advanced that they are devoid of desires including desire to meet family members. The main
            purpose in their existence is to grow spiritually.

                       Subtle bodies in Heaven (Swargaloka) experience immense happiness and are
            generally caught up in the subtle pleasures that Heaven has to offer. As a result, the desire to
            meet previous relatives just does not encroach upon their consciousness.

           Visiting Region of the Dead: Subtle bodies in any subtle region can visit the subtle bodies in
         the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) or Earth region.
         A ghost of higher spiritual strength in the lower regions of Hell can temporarily enter higher
       positive regions such as Heaven to upset the peace.

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    4. How do we recognise our previously departed ancestors when we die?

    4.1 What form do we take after we die?

    Once a subtle body enters the Region of the Dead, it begins to loose its identity with its previous
    Earthly life. By the time it crosses the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) and reaches one of the main
    subtle regions such as the Nether region (Bhuvaloka), the subtle body takes an amorphous form.

    If people have a strong attachment to their Earthly life and relatives, they are not able to move on
    beyond the Region of the Dead. Here they continue to take a form resembling their previous form. The
    form is created by the ‘energy of Desire’. Subtle bodies can get stuck in the region of the Dead for
    many years and hover around the ancestral home. As a result, those with sixth sense are able to feel
    or see their presence.


    4.2 Mechanism of meeting

         When entering the same region: When the subtle bodies of departed ancestors have an
       intense desire to meet another departed relative or friend, the energy from that single-minded
       thought creates a subtle (intangible) materialisation. At the same time the relative who has just died
       and entered that region is attracted to that particular ancestor’s subtle body because of the
       frequencies of desire emanating from the subtle body of the ancestor. The descendant who has
       recently expired then recognises his ancestor because of the familiar form that the subtle body of
       the ancestor has taken.

         At the time of death: There are generally hereditary similarities at the level of subtle basic
       sattva, raja and tama components among family members. Hence the subtle bodies of ancestors
       residing in the ‘Region of the Dead’ (Martyaloka) and Nether region, due to their over sensitiveness
       are able to perceive the changes happening in the dying person at the time of death. They are then
       pulled towards the sound of the sub-vital energies emitted and excretory gases discharged by the
       dead body. Thus they enter the Earth’s environment and come near the dying person. That is why
       many dying people get visions of their dead ancestors. If the recently dead person strongly wishes
       to meet his departed ancestors or if the departed ancestor strongly wishes to meet the dead
       person, then the ancestor on the strength of his strong ‘energy of Desire’ attains a gaseous
       apparition like form. They thus help the dead person in identifying themselves.


    4.3 Risks involved with meeting
         In some cases higher level ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies etc.) like subtle sorcerers
       can take the form of dead relatives and misguide recently departed subtle bodies. This can be best
       avoided if one has done a lot of spiritual practice on Earth and can see through their illusory form.

         Departed ancestors who are in one of the regions of Hell can also mislead recently departed
       subtle bodies.

         The sure way of ensuring one is not misled after death is to do regular spiritual practice as per
       the six basic principles of spiritual practice and attain as high a spiritual level as possible. The
       higher the spiritual level at the time of death, lower the chances of being deceived by ghosts or
       ancestors from regions of Hell. Also one is able to access a greater protection from God.




    5. Once identified do we stay together with other departed relatives in the afterlife?

    Subtle bodies from a family generally stick together. This is because there is lot of similarity among
    relatives compared with others.

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    6. How do we communicate when we meet with relatives and friends in the afterlife?

    The method of communication in the afterlife is not the language of sound that we are used to on
    Earth. The thoughts in the mental body of one are perceived by the others.




    7. Do we meet our pets in the afterlife?

    Pets' and other animals' existence comes to an end when they die. For them there is no rebirth. Hence
    there is no question of meeting them in the afterlife. If at all one sees pets this again is the doing of
    illusion creating sorcerers. Again regular spiritual practice is the assured way of avoiding being
    deceived.

What is the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka)?


    Table of contents

    1. Introduction

    2. To whom is this plane of existence most relevant?
3. The various sub-regions in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka)

4. Duration of time spent in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka)



1. Introduction

In the article on, ‘Where do we go after death?’, we described the 13 main subtle regions in the
Universe where we can go after death. However, immediately after we die, we all go through an interim
region in the Universe which is known as the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka). In this region, the subtle
body gets accustomed to its new state without a physical body. There are 10 sub-regions in this plane
of existence that a subtle body goes through.




2. To whom is this plane of existence most relevant?

This plane is most relevant to those whose final destination in the afterlife is the Nether Region. For
these subtle bodies, they move slowly through the various sub-regions of the Region of the Dead
(Martyaloka) as they shake off the vestiges and attachments of their Earthly life.

For highly evolved people due to the lightness of their subtle bodies and no attachment to worldly life,
they shoot through this region to the higher subtle regions such as Heaven, Mahaaloka etc.

Alternately, subtle bodies who go to one of the regions of Hell sink to the lower regions without
spending much time in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka). This is due to the heaviness of their subtle
body that is laden with the negative deeds in their lifetime and their ego and attachments.

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3. The various sub-regions in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka)

There are a total of ten sub-divisions in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka). We have given a basic
description of each of these subtle divisions and the general behaviour of subtle bodies in each of
these sub-divisions.

There are descriptions in ancient holy scriptures of the Holy subtle river Vaitarna that all departed
ancestors are said to cross before entering the Nether region (Bhuvaloka). This is in fact a subtle
sheath of the Absolute Cosmic Water element around the Earth region. This sheath itself is the river
Vaitarna. After death, the subtle bodies take a dip in the Vaitarna and enter the Nether region
(Bhuvaloka). The remaining excretory gases and sub-vital energies related to the physical body
accompanying the subtle body are discharged into the Vaitarna.
Thus the Vaitarna helps strip the subtle body of the last vestiges of the gross body so as to make it
subtle enough to make it possible for it to enter the Region of the Dead.




                                                                                                    ^ Top

Footnotes: M1, M2, M3.... M10




M1 refers to the first sub division of the Region of the Dead. M2 refers to the second sub division of the
Region of the Dead and so on.
3.1 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 1: The subtle bodies seen running helter-skelter


  The subtle bodies after crossing the Vaitarna enter the ‘Region of the Dead’ (Martyaloka) No 1. The
  environment in this division appears reddish purple in colour. The subtle bodies are seen running
  helter-skelter because the environment is new to them. The inherent understanding that they have to
  move is there, but they have no clue as to which is the right way. Hence all the bodies in this division
  are restless.



3.2 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 2: Impatience of subtle bodies


  The environment of this division consists of broad streaks of purple and red. The subtle bodies in this
  division are seen struggling in a drowning motion. The subtle bodies after entering this division do not
  run around like in the earlier division but nevertheless they are seen constantly moving in one place.
  Impatience is seen in them. This is because after coming to this division, they are better adjusted than
  the earlier division, but still do not have a clue about which way to move.



3.3 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 3: Unrestrained subtle bodies


  The environment in this division appears as if made from intertwining threads of purplish red colour.
  Many subtle bodies in this division appear to be moving up and down in an unrestrained manner but in
  a horizontal line. The subtle bodies have further progressed than the earlier division and try moving in a
  horizontal line.
3.4 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 4: Unstable subtle bodies


  Here the intertwining of purplish red threads is even more. The subtle bodies in this division appear
  very restless to move to the next division. The subtle bodies move in a vertical line from the upper to
  the lower portion of this division. As movement in the horizontal direction fails to take them out of the
  Region of Dead, they try vertical movement.



3.5 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 5: Efforts by the subtle bodies to adjust to the environment


  Particles of subtle basic raja-tama are seen in this division. Many streaks of purplish red threads are
  seen in it. The subtle bodies in this region appear to move ahead, then remain steady and again
  resume forward motion. They appear to be inclined more towards stability.



3.6 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 6: Subtle bodies adjusted to the pressure in the environment


  The subtle bodies in this division appear becoming stable at times in the middle zone and in the lower
  zone at other times. The environment in this division is filled with purplish red clouds.



3.7 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 7: The subtle bodies steady at times in the upper zone and in
the middle zone at other times


  In this division, the clouds become sparse and the subtle basic raja-tama particles are more. The
  subtle bodies steady at times in the upper zone and in the middle zone at other times.



3.8 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 8: Subtle bodies steady in the upper zone


  This division consists of entirely purple colour. Sparse subtle basic raja-tama particles are seen. The
  subtle bodies steady at the edge of the upper zone.



3.9 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 9: The subtle bodies realise how to cross the division


  This division is entirely purple in colour. In this division, effulgent frequencies are seen emanating from
  the external covering of the subtle bodies. The subtle bodies move to the next zone on the strength of
  these effulgent frequencies.



3.10 Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) No 10: The subtle bodies realise how to cross the division


  The aerial atmosphere of this division is faint purple in colour. The subtle bodies appear to habituate
  this division for a very short time. The subtle bodies are thrown in an upward direction with the help of
  the aerial covering of the 9th division. Their destination in the Nether region (Bhuvaloka) or other
  regions is decided as per their deeds.



3.11 Subtle space vehicle (Antariksha yaan): The subtle bodies are thrown out of this area into the
Nether region (Bhuvaloka) like comets


  This is also known as the Ancestor vehicle. It has its own energy. It is by virtue of momentum of this
  energy that the subtle bodies are thrown out of this area into the Bhuvaloka like comets. A hurricane
  like sound is heard in this region.

  The colour of Martyaloka consists of the collective flow of purple and red. It is an apt setting to the
  disintegration of the frequencies of desire. This occurs in the sheaths around the subtle bodies or on
  the centres of impressions in the covering around the subtle bodies. Besides this, it is also due to the
  continuous disintegration of the excretory gases related to the physical bodies.



4. Duration of time spent in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka)

  The duration of time spent in the Region of the Dead (Martyaloka) is anywhere between a few months
  to years.

  The factors that decide the time spent there are:

       1.     The intensity of the departed ancestors attachments: The more the attachments the slower
              the progress.

       2.     The rituals done for the ancestors: Depending on if specific rituals are done, the subtle body
              gains momentum in its onward journey.

       3.     Spiritual level: A subtle body at the 50% spiritual level will traverse the region faster than that
              of a subtle body at the 30% spiritual level. This is due to the lightness of the subtle body
              owing to dissolution of the five senses, mind and intellect.

  When we refer to ancestors being Earthbound we mean that that they are stuck in the Region of the
  Dead (Martyaloka). Here we can help them move on with specific spiritually potent rituals or by
  chanting the special protection chant of Sree Gurudev Datta.

  As in most cases in the present times, neither has the dead person done any substantial spiritual
  practice as per the six basic principles of spiritual practice nor do the descendants do any correct
  rituals or chanting of Sree Gurudev Datta. As a result, most subtle bodies languish in the Region of
  Dead for years.
  3.4 Basic principles of Spiritual Practice




  How can we ensure rapid spiritual progress towards achieving Bliss?

  Rapid spiritual progress can be achieved when we do spiritual practice according to the basic
  principles of Spirituality. Even though there are many different types of spiritual practice, whether our
  spiritual practice adheres to the basic principles of Spirituality is a true litmus test for its effectiveness. If
  not, we run the risk of putting in a lot of effort but not seeing the results that match that effort.


  The six basic principles are

       1.   There are as many paths to God as there are people
       2.   Going from many to one
       3.   Progressing from gross (tangible) to subtle (intangible)
       4.   Undertaking spiritual practice as per the spiritual level or spiritual capacity
       5.   Doing spiritual practice relevant to the times
       6.   Offering to God as per your talent or capacity

1. About spiritual level

The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) uses the term „spiritual level‟ to
describe a person‟s spiritual maturity or spiritual capacity. It acts as a scale to define
spiritual growth and gives perspective on where we are in our spiritual journey. The
higher one‟s spiritual level the greater is the amount of God principle manifest in that
individual.

2. The scale of spiritual level

The SSRF uses a scale between 1 and 100% to describe spiritual level. 1% would refer to
the spiritual level of an inanimate object, while 100% would refer to the pinnacle of
spiritual growth for a person, which is Self-Realisation or being one with God.

The majority of people in the current era, which is Kaliyuga, also known as the Era of
Strife, fall in the 20% spiritual level category. According to the science of Spirituality, a
person who is above the 70% spiritual level is known as a Saint. Just as we have people
who are at the top of their fields in the material world, so also, in Spirituality, the Saints
who live on Earth are the authorities. They are not just scholars, but practitioners of the
science of Spirituality in day-to-day life and are God-realised souls.

Those Saints active in teaching Spirituality and nurturing seekers to grow spiritually are
known as Gurus. Less than 10% of the Saints living on Earth are Gurus. Gurus are the
physical form of the Teaching aspect of God and they act as beacons of spiritual
knowledge in our highly materialistic world.

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3. Spiritual level and spiritual practice
4. How can spiritual level be measured?

Spiritual level cannot be measured by any modern scientific equipment, nor can it be
ascertained intellectually by any person. Only a Saint or a Guru can ascertain the spiritual
level of a person with the help of His highly activated sixth sense or subtle perception
ability.

Quite often the question is asked, “How can a Saint accurately measure a person‟s
spiritual level?”
Just as the eye due to its intrinsic ability can easily differentiate between a blue object and
a red object with 100% accuracy, so also a Saint with His sixth sense ability can
accurately estimate a person‟s spiritual level. The sixth sense enables one to be acutely
aware and accurately measure the unseen world.

As a rule of thumb, we have provided a scale below which will give an intellectual
understanding of one‟s spiritual level.

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With increase in one‟s spiritual level, one‟s attitude and perspective to life changes
dramatically. For example, a person at 30% spiritual level may find it very difficult to
find time in his busy schedule to attend even one spiritual discourse. The same person
having the same worldly commitments, after attaining the 40% spiritual level will easily
find time on a regular basis to attend spiritual discourses and regularly study spiritual
texts.

A person at a certain spiritual level, e.g. 30% spiritual level can only relate to a person
within a few percentage points from him. For example it is very difficult for a person at
the 30% spiritual level to relate to a person at the 40% spiritual level and vice versa.

By the use of the intellect, it is somewhat possible to estimate that another person is
slightly ahead of one spiritually; however the estimation would at best be vague.

By use of the intellect it is impossible to identify whether a person is a Saint.

Spiritual level is defined by a number of contributing factors. In the following points we
have discussed some of the more important parameters that contribute to a person‟s
spiritual level and how they vary with spiritual growth.

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4.1 Ego and spiritual level


       One of the important parameters of the spiritual level of a person is the amount of
        ego or darkness around the Soul that has been removed and how much he
        identifies himself, with the Soul within.
       By darkness around the Soul or ego, we mean the tendency of man to perceive
        himself only as his five senses, mind and intellect. This ego is also known as the
        spiritual ignorance of our true state of existence, that is the Soul. Our modern
        education system and society teaches us to identify with our body, mind and
        intellect little knowing that we are actually the Soul within.
       After studying the science of Spirituality even though we may intellectually
        understand that there is a Soul within us, we cannot perceive or experience it. As
        we do spiritual practice, this darkness or ego begins to reduce until we reach the
        highest spiritual level where we are able to fully identify with the Soul within.
       With spiritual practice our ego starts reducing, which is directly related to the
        increase in our spiritual level. The chart below shows how there is a reduction in
        ego with an increasing spiritual level.
At the 20% spiritual level one is very self-centred, self-conscious and only thinks about
oneself. As we do spiritual practice our body awareness reduces. We are not only able to
withstand discomfort and suffering but are also able to take praise without letting it go to
our head.

For example, an indication of high ego would be if a woman is told that she has put on
weight or is looking old and she gets depressed for an elongated period of time. Another
variation of ego is when one does not publicly acknowledge doing spiritual practice as it
may alienate him from his peers. In most cases we get a negative reaction if others point
out our mistakes. Not being able to accept mistakes is a sign of ego.

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4.2 Attention to one’s own happiness and spiritual level


A clear sign of a higher spiritual level than the average person is a reduced attention to
one‟s own happiness. As you can see in the chart below, the attention to one‟s own well-
being by a person who has reached the level of a Saint is only 10%. One of the reasons
for the reduced attention is that with spiritual growth, identifying oneself with one‟s
body, mind and intellect steadily starts declining.
Examples of attention to their own happiness are replete in an average person‟s life. They
include:

1. Irritation at having to nurse a family member because it means discomfort to oneself.

2. Readiness to attend a spiritual discourse only if it is in the immediate vicinity.

3. Readiness to contribute monetarily to a protest against injustice, but not ready to
volunteer one's time and effort due to fear of discomfort.

Another positive outcome of reduced attention to one‟s own happiness is one becomes
more expansive. One whole-heartedly looks for the happiness of others and society.

Paradoxically even though we attend less to our happiness as we grow spiritually, one of
the benefits of growing spiritually is that we get access to greater amounts of happiness in
our lives. The following chart shows the increase in happiness in life experienced both
qualitatively and quantitatively as our spiritual level increases. A Saint experiences Bliss,
a superlative state which is far above and beyond happiness.

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4.3 Spiritual practice and spiritual level


As our spiritual level increases, our capacity to do spiritual practice both qualitatively and
quantitatively increases. Our capacity to do more spiritual practice is like growing
„spiritual muscles‟. The more we stretch ourselves to do spiritual practice, the more we
grow our „spiritual muscles‟.

Spiritual practice really starts in the true sense at the spiritual level of 35%. By this we
mean, when one truly seeks spiritual growth and practices Spirituality on a daily basis,
according to the basic principles of Spirituality. One of the criteria of spiritual growth is
going beyond sectarian spiritual practice (that is belonging to any one religion) and
taking up progressively higher and subtle spiritual practice. For example, a person
previously worshipping God through the medium of his body – ritualistic worship, moves
on to a higher and subtler medium, that is worshiping God mentally. An example of this
is doing the spiritual practice of chanting the Name of God.

Here are a few examples that explain the difference in attitude towards spiritual practice.

       At the 20% spiritual level, there is very little or no spiritual practice. If people go
        to places of worship it is merely out of force of habit or as a past time.
       At the 30% spiritual level, there would be a general interest in going to a place of
        pilgrimage or worshipping God in a ritualistic manner.
       At the 40% spiritual level one would have a keen interest in obtaining spiritual
        knowledge and putting it into practice. They would spend a fair amount of their
        free time in spiritual pursuits.
       At the 50% spiritual level one generally goes beyond their own religion to pure
        Spirituality. One‟s primary focus in life is to grow spiritually rather than
        indulging in any worldly attachments and achievements. Accordingly, the
        majority of their time is spent in practising Spirituality irrespective of their life‟s
        situation, that is, whether they are businessmen, housewives etc. It does not
        automatically follow that those at 50% spiritual level give up material or worldly
        life or profession, only that, the focus shifts from one of achieving worldly
        progress to that of achieving spiritual progress. So the person, who previously
        cared very much about what he earned and what others thought of him, now
        would be more interested in what God thinks about him.
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4.4 Psychological emotion and spiritual level


In today‟s selfish and ruthless world to have positive emotions, especially concerning
others is commendable. But after attaining this level, which is superior to that of the
average ruthless, unemotional person, one has to keep in mind that this is not the ultimate
state. In fact, psychological emotion is a function of the mind which is part of the dark
covering around our Soul as explained in the picture above. Thus it keeps us away from
experiencing the God (Soul) within us. God is beyond psychological emotions and is in a
state of superlative happiness which is Bliss. As one grows spiritually, one is less likely
to act out of emotion. One achieves a more balanced state of mind and no longer does one
oscillate between highs and lows due to events around us.
A young woman at 20% spiritual level may throw a tantrum because her fringe is cut a
centimetre shorter than desired and be immersed in misery for days. The same young
woman after attaining a level of 50% may be stoic even at the news of being diagnosed
with an incurable illness like cancer or AIDS.

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4.5 Spiritual emotion and spiritual level


Spiritual emotion towards God is experiencing an intense awareness of the existence of
God in everything, that is feeling God‟s presence while carrying out day-to-day life
activities and experiencing life based on this awareness.

As one‟s spiritual emotion increases one is more and more able to experience God‟s hand
in every aspect of life and hence is able to surrender more to God. Once one attains the
state of surrender, the God principle can then work through him. This principle becomes
progressively more and more manifest in the person and he as well as those around him,
experience the flow of God‟s divine energy through him.




A person at the 20% spiritual level may be full of himself and his intellectual skills after
sealing a big and prestigious deal. A person at a 50% spiritual level in similar
circumstances will be overwhelmed with spiritual emotion and full of gratitude to God
for His kindness in gracing him with the deal.

If the person at the 20% spiritual level was to lose the deal, he would be full of irritation,
jealousy and unhappiness. However the person at the 50% spiritual level in similar
circumstances would still be able to see God‟s hand in the situation and understand that
the deal has gone to the deserving and he would be thankful to the Almighty for gracing
him with this point of view.
5. Some aspects of spiritual level

The spiritual level that we are at is a key function in how we live our life and how we are
impacted by life‟s situations and destiny. The following are some aspects about the
concept of spiritual level and how it affects our lives.

5.1 Spiritual level and birth


We are all born at a certain spiritual level. This is based on the spiritual level achieved in
the previous life time. So suppose a person does spiritual practice and grows to the 50%
spiritual level, then in the next lifetime he will be born at the 50% spiritual level.
Basically in Spirituality we take off from where we left, in a previous birth or lifetime.
This is unlike worldly knowledge where we have to start all over again once we are born.



5.2 Can atheists have a higher spiritual level?


Absolutely, even atheists can have a higher spiritual level even though they do not
believe in God. Sometimes atheists start spiritual practice later in their life – this is due to
destiny.

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5.3 Spiritual level and compatibility


As we have seen earlier a difference in spiritual level can dramatically influence the
outlook of two people towards life. Therefore compatibility reduces as the spiritual level
gap increases between any two people. This factor accounts for 5% of the incompatibility
between two people.

Even if two people are at the same spiritual level differences in desire for spiritual growth
could cause incompatibility.

Another reason for incompatibility between two seekers of God is if one seeker focuses
on individual spiritual practice while the other focuses on the spiritual practice for the
sake of uplifting society. This can contribute upto 8% of the incompatibility between two
people who are seekers of God.

Please refer to the detailed article on “Factors affecting compatibility”

5.4 Spiritual level and access to power in the universe
As we grow spiritually, we get access to higher levels of power in the universe. To put
things into perspective, the following come under the lowest level of power, that is
physical power. Majority of the world spend their entire lifetime trying to attain some
aspect of this power.

       Medicines to cure an illness – for example, antibiotics to kill germs
       A physical weapon used to kill
       Financial power
       Political power

For example, one of the reasons of Adolf Hitler‟s dramatic rise to power is because it was
orchestrated by a powerful sorcerer from the lower regions of hell (patal). This sorcerer
who possessed Hitler through his years in power made him invincible against any
physical power. The people who actually stopped Hitler (i.e. the sorcerer possessing
Hitler) were two Saints in India Holy Mataji and Yogi Arvind (Sri Aurobindo) through
their spiritual strength. (Ref: lightworks.com 2006, gurusoftware.com 2006,
lightendlesslight.org 2006)

Please click here to read the full article on the - ‟Hierarchy of power in the universe‟.

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5.5 Spiritual level as a protection from ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.)


The only sure and sustainable way to insulate ourselves from ghosts (demons, devils,
negative energies, etc.) is to grow spiritually. At the 20-30% spiritual level, we are very
vulnerable to an attack from all types of ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.).
At this level, any ghost can possess us as they please as we are not in a position to benefit
from the protection by God.

Please click here to read the full article - How much does spiritual level provide a
protective sheath against ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.)?



5.6 Spiritual level of a mentally challenged person


Spiritual level of a mentally challenged person is 19% as compared to the majority of
human beings who are at the 20% spiritual level. The reason for this is that the mentally
challenged person lacks in intellect. Intellect is a function of basic subtle sattva
component that enhances our spiritual level. Hence his spiritual level is less than that of
an average person.

6. Breakdown of the world population in present times by spiritual level
We have used spiritual research methodology to provide a breakdown of the world
population in the current era (Kaliyuga year 2006) by spiritual level based on 6.5 billion
people.




The chart above shows that the majority of present population is at the 20% spiritual
level. The present state of the world (which is filled with natural disasters, wars, drug
addictions, marital disharmony and communal violence) is primarily because most of the
population and its leaders are at a lower spiritual level. It follows that this state that the
world is in, can only be corrected if the average spiritual level of mankind increases.

				
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