Pt. Mohan Ramphal

Promoting Hinduisim

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IS THERE Life After Death?


Our Scripture:

 Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate. Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate
From the Whole comes the whole, yet the Whole remains the whole.

The human intellect is too small to understand the pre-birth condition of the universe. To understand the universe, one should practice transcendental meditation. Upanishad

Science: In 2007 the theory of Biocentrism by Dr Robert Lanza, USA, took the scientific community by storm. It espouses that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe. This idea concurs with what Vedantic Texts have proclaimed since the beginning of time, which is that is it is consciousness that creates the material universe, not the other way around. Biocentrism proclaims that we all carry space and time around with us like covers or shells, meaning that when the shell comes off (space and time), we still exist. This implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, and consequently their consciousness will disappear too. If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a radio receives signals, then consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, according to Hindu Dharma Shastras, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere all at every time, including the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local.


Scripture: 

NAINAM CHINDANTI SHSTAANI
NAINAM DAHATI PAAVAKAH
NA CHAINAM KLEDAYANTY-AAPO
NA SHOSHAYATI MARUTAH

The soul can never be cut by weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. Gita: 2.23

VAASAANSI JEERNAANI YATHAA VIHAAYA
NAVAANI GRIHAATI NARO’PARAANI;
TATHAA SHREERAANIVIHAAYA JEERANAAN-
YAANI SANYAATI NAVAANI DEHEE


As a person discards old clothes and puts on new garments, so too the soul discard an old and aged body and gets into a new one. Gita 2;22


Science: According to these scientists, because of this non-local nature of space and time, multiple universes can also exist simultaneously. In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated into this universe. This means that a “dead person” while traveling through the same tunnel ends up not in hell or in heaven, but in a similar world he or she once inhabited, but this time alive.
It follows form these discussions that there is abundance of places or other universes where our soul could migrate after death, according to the theory of neo-biocentrism. 


Scripture:


ANEKA-BAHUDARA-VAKTRA-NETRAM
PASYAMI TVAM SARVATO NANTA-RUPAM
NANTAḾ NA MADHYAḾ NA PUNAS TAVADIM
PASYĀMI VISVESVARA VISVA-RUPA


O Lord of the universe, O universal form, I see in Your body  many arms, bellies, mouths and eyes, expanded everywhere, without limit. I see in You no end, no middle and no beginning Gita 11:16


Science: But does the soul exist? Is there any scientific theory of consciousness that could accommodate such a claim? According to Dr. Stuart Hameroff, a near-death experience happens when the quantum information that inhabits the nervous system leaves the body and dissipates into the universe. 


Contrary to materialistic accounts of consciousness, Dr. Hameroff offers an alternative explanation of consciousness that can perhaps appeal to both the rational scientific mind and personal intuitions. Consciousness resides, according to Stuart and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, in the microtubules of the brain cells, which are the primary sites of quantum processing. Upon death, this information is released from your body, meaning that your consciousness goes with it. They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR). Consciousness, or at least proto-consciousness is theorized by them to be a fundamental property of the universe, present even at the first moment of the universe during the Big Bang. “In one such scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity.” 


Our souls are in fact an integral part of the very fabric of the universe – and have existed since the beginning of time. Our brains are just receivers and amplifiers for the proto-consciousness that is intrinsic to the fabric of space-time. So is there really a part of your consciousness that is non-material and will live on after the death of your physical body? Dr Hameroff told the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole documentary: “Let's say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can't be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large”. Robert Dr. Lanza would add here that not only does it exist in the universe; it exists perhaps in another universe. If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says “I had a near death experience”‘ He adds: “If they're not revived, and the patient dies, it's possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.” This account of quantum consciousness explains things like near-death experiences, astral projection, out of body experiences, and even reincarnation without needing to appeal to religious ideology. The energy of your consciousness potentially gets recycled back into a different body at some point, and in the mean time it exists outside of the physical body on some other level of reality, and possibly in another universe.


Scripture:


IMAM VIVASVATE YOGAM
PROKTAVAN AHAM AVYAYAM
VIVASVAN MANAVE PRAHA
MANUR IKṢVAKAVE BRAVĪT

(Oh Arjuna) I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku  (ofthe Solar dynasty. Sri Rama, hero of the Ramayana belonged to this dynasty).
Gita 4:1


The common ordinary person with an open mind:
From the above, the obvious questions are:
1. Is there any merit in performing sraad or shraad as commonly being done by Hindus?
2. Do the performances of these sacred ceremonies have to be done as delineated in our dharma shastras?