It would soon become clear that the world in which the soul lives after the death in the material world is not a remote existence somewhere far above in the space. Astral World is obviously different from the real world.We know for instance, that X-rays penetrate through solid objects, whereas for a living person even a wall restricts movement. Heat and cold too pass through physical barriers to a certain extent. That is to say, the movements of extra-sensory finer elements cannot be stopped by physical objects. On the other hand, though material barriers obstruct our activities, we hardly ever feel the presence of the finer elements of the beautiful nature around us until we greet death like an old friend and depart from this life.
Thus, we move around freely like a fish in a vast ocean of air enveloping us without being conscious of our surroundings. The souls of the dead people are composed of extra-sensory finer elements and, therefore, have a total freedom of movement in this world. The world beyond does not have an existence in some remote part of space. It is a separate world within this world itself. The world of souls is omnipresent on this very earth and is present in the cosmic space beyond this planet. Residents of this world can choose their abode anywhere-on earth, in water, on hills, planets, stars or intervening cosmic space and make arrangements for their existence according to their convenience.
One must be aware that a soul also carries with itself the ideas, traits, convictions,memories and experiences of his or her mortal life after his death. During his life span,a man is engaged in many activities of housing, clothing and food , habits and convictions pertaining to these activities create deep roots in his psyche, which is an integral part of his soul. It is difficult for a common man to think of his life without house, food and clothing.
The human soul takes up a body form — known in the spiritual parlance as Shukshma Sharira (Body).
He/she acquires his sense-perceptions (Indriyas) from the person whose body it was associated with before death.The habits,mind-set and convictions creates a virtual house, food and clothes as and when desired. The activities of living, eating and clothing are, however, imaginary, since a non- materialistic human being does not require material objects,nor can he make use of them.
Some souls assume the state of ghosts and spirits (Prait) because of a strong worldly link and choose specific places for their stay.
The other souls select any place for their living and have no specific choice. Their original sex is retained, though this too is conceptual in the astral body. The effeminate men and masculine women choose their sexual status after a brief period of asexuality (gender-less-ness). In the next birth the he or she adopts the sex according to this changed outlook. Such events are, however, exceptions to the norm. Generally very few are interested in changing their gender.
In the other world one becomes free of all physical pains of this life. For instance, handicapped,retarded, crippled and physically disabled individuals are relieved of their infirmity in the astral body.Such shortcomings are possible in the physical existence only. Besides physical disabilities are temporary and for this birth only. They are not carried forward in your future life-cycles.
In the astral world, whenever desired, a soul can interact with another soul. However, the souls perceive or find each other only for exchange of thoughts,knowledge and ideas . This inter- perception among the souls and a spiritual telepathic interaction is possible only when the souls themselves want to do so. Otherwise they remain totally unaware of each other’s presence. This interaction between the two souls takes place as a union of two energy-forms. During the inter-communication the souls are indifferent to each other’s body forms, since in the astral world, body forms have no relevance whatsoever. Similarly, their name, clothes,habits and food are each soul’s prerogative and personal conceptions, and thus cannot be seen by others. It is, however, possible to judge whether one is happy or unhappy, peaceful or troubled, from the kind of glow emanating from the astral bodies.
The concepts of heaven or hell are soul’s own, and are invisible to the others. Though the astral bodies can communicate with each other, it is not possible for them to share happiness or sorrow. Some souls prefer to live with their previously dead friends and relatives by forming communities. Such communities, however, exist only in the lower state of the astral world. Considering the futility of attachments in course of several cycles of life and death, the elevated souls prefer to live in isolation for further enlightenment. The souls do not remain confined to any geographical boundaries.They can travel anywhere they want to. They are not under the command of any superior entity. They are controlled by their own conscience and consciousness.
The spiritual benefits of rites and rituals, like Faith and those performed for the dead (like placing wreaths, or building monuments for the deceased) are received by the deceased in this world only. Thus as usually thought otherwise, acts of virtue or donations hardly help the souls living in the astral world, since they are not performed by them. It is an established law of spirituality that fruits of virtue are non-transferable. Nevertheless, such expressions of gratitude and reciprocation of goodwill by the survivors of the family do provide a sense of contentment and peace to the departed soul.
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Acts of mourning,crying and sorrow hurt the departed souls. It disturbs their peace. It is, therefore, advisable to severe feelings of attachment from the dead as early as possible and only pray to God for them to rest in peace.