“The self is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. The self is not slain when the body is slain.” This quote from the Bhagavad-Gita (2:20) as read by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda, a world-renowned yoga spiritual master, explains that the body’s essence—its life force particles—remain to exist long after the body’s death. This is what Jagad Guru spoke to his audience during a lecture on the topic of the existence of self.
On this deeply involved topic, Jagad Guru teaches that “a life particle is what brings matter to life, or makes matter appear like it’s alive. Matter by nature is dead and a life particle is, in essence, intrinsically alive.” Therefore, our body—made of matter—may die, but our essence lives on in the life particles that were previously wedded within the matter substance of our physical body. When our life force particles are “in connection with matter, then matter appears to be alive. But matter, by nature, is always dead.”
On the other hand, Jagad Guru proclaims, “My existence is not going to cease” upon physical death because we do not live in the matter of our body, but in the life force particles. “Life is alive. Life is life. So, I am life. I am a life particle….the body takes on its natural characteristic: dead, a dead body, when the life particle leaves it.” He explains that this is a very traditional view, varying slightly throughout different religious perspectives, but this was even a perspective held by Socrates.
Although variations exist, the different religions share the “general idea that there is another world view, that it’s not just matter out there. It’s not just material energy that exists, but rather there’s another fundamental element, a spiritual element, an element that continues to exist [after death of the body], that a person is of this other element, of this spiritual element, this non-material element.”
Jagad Guru goes on to explain this more thoroughly: “Whether it’s one religion or another, the basic religious idea is that: there’s another element than matter; that element is eternal: and there is an abode, or dimension, which is made up of that energy, that non-material element, and that’s called the kingdom of God, or heaven, or the spiritual sky.” This is an element that is completely different from that which the world is made of. Indeed, it is easy to see that “the material world has death and [destruction]. Because matter comes together and then it separates; it breaks apart. This is the difference between matter and life force, or spirit: the forms, material forms, are combinations of parts of matter, molecular particles, whereas spirit is not like that.”
Basic religious thought is generally centered upon this theory—that there is another non-material element that makes up a dimension not of this world. This is where the Christians may say, “It’s better to be out of the body and at home with God than it is to be in the body and away from God.” Most religions believe in the presence of“a Supreme Being and that the abode of the Supreme Being is, in fact, made of this element.” Jagad Guru says that“the living being is now in this non-correct position—this is not our real home.” If the self is made of life force particles not belonging to the material world, then possibly the self may find its true home in the non-material abode of a Supreme Being.
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