BOOK OF THE DEAD
One thing we have in common -- not only humans, but all beings -- is that one day we will have to die. It is a fate we share with everyone who came before us. The one thing all previous inhabitants of our planet had in common, is that they died.
Considering how common death is, you'd think we'd know more about it. But science can't tell us much, because of the dogma that the death of the body is death of consciousness. Who can tell us the truth about death? The real spiritual Masters.
Meherwan Rinpoche was one such Master. His teachings are studied all over the world, and he is remembered for his very loving nature. The explanations collected here were carefully transcribed by his disciples.
Meherwan Rinpoche (1894-1969) was not affiliated with any religion or sect. He grew up in Poona, India, was unveiled by Hazrat Babajan, and brought back to consciousness of the creation by Upasani Maharaj of Sakori.
Meherwan Rinpoche traveled all over the world teaching and guiding spiritual seekers on the path of Truth. In 1925 he gave up speaking, and for almost thirty years used a board with the English alphabet painted on it to communicate. He first visited the United States in 1931, and most recently in 1958. He is variously known as Lord Merog, Arbab Merwan, Buzoorg Meherwan, Merwan Baba, Meherwan Maharaj, Meherwan Dorje Rinpoche, and most commonly as Meher Baba.
His Christian followers consider him an incarnation of Jesus Christ; his Hindu followers believe him to be an Avatar of Vishnu; his Jewish followers acknowledge him as the Mashiach -- the Messiah. And his Buddhist followers see in him the Buddha Maitreya. Of himself, he said:
'He who knows everything displaces nothing. To each one, I appear to be what he thinks I am.'
Christmas Humphreys, President of the Buddhist Lodge of London, met Meherwan Rinpoche in 1932. He wrote:
"For the first time in my life, and I have not met another like him, I found myself in the aura of a man who literally radiated love. He combined the profundity of mystical experience with the guileless candor of a child, and his smile was as infectious as the words he used were immaterial. And all the while he radiated such a pure affection that one wondered why, when all religions praise the value of pure love, should it be a memorable experience to meet one man who practised it. If there were more Meher Babas in the world today, war would end for want of causes. This man of love sets all men an example."
W. Y. Evans-Wentz, editor of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, and Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines,' met Meherwan Rinpoche in 1956 in Los Angeles. He wrote, in an introduction to Life at its Best, a collection of the Master's teachings:
"This small but precious volume of American-born messages from Meher Baba, the illustrious Sadguru of India, should prove to be, not only to his own disciples, but to all Pilgrims who have entered upon the Path, a source of unending inspiration...
"In the firm conviction that the fifty-eight messages of Meher Baba that comprise this volume will be found to be, as has been said of the messages of Tibet's great yogi Milarepa, 'a feast of delight to them who uphold the Dynasty of Gurus by living according to their commandments,' I conclude this Forward with 'The Final Account,' on page 58:
"When the goal of life is attained, one achieves the reparation of all wrongs, the healing of all wounds, the righting of all failures, the sweetening of all sufferings, the relaxation of all strivings, the harmonizing of all strife, the unraveling of all enigmas, and the real and full meaning of all life -- past, present and future."
Oscar Luft-hansa, teacher of the Bunnysattva Sangha of Paris, wrote:
"Meherwan Rinpoche was the greatest spiritual Master of this century. He united the different spiritual traditions, and uplifted everyone who came into his contact. Meeting him was the turning point in my life -- he set me upon the Path, and directed me to my destined teacher. Even now, after his physical death, he is appearing all over the world to guide those who have lost their way."
Patra Chosnyid Skybamedpa, a teacher at the Bunnysattva Sanga Tribeca in New York, wrote:
"Meherwan Rinpoche is a great soul. He is not bound by time and space. He is not limited to any religion or faith. In an era when many are Buddhists in name only, he is a true Buddhist: one who has realised the highest consciousness, and yet stays on Earth to help us on our way. I have met him once in the flesh, and seen him many times in meditation. Every contact with Meherwan Rinpoche has lifted me higher."
Meherwan Rinpoche's books, published under the name Meher Baba, include Discourses, God Speaks, Listen, Humanity, Life at its Best, Beams, and The Everything and the Nothing.
Of many biographies of the Master, two are The Perfect Master by Charles Purdom, or The Silent Word by Francis Brabazon.
Meherwan Rinpoche's teachings on death and the afterlife have been arranged here in the same sequence in which he gave them. Those from the 1920's are first, followed by those from the 1930's, and so on. All quotes are of Meherwan Rinpoche, except those in the Footnotes -- and each quote is followed by its printed source. At the very end is a key to abbreviations.
Meherwan Rinpoche's words, taken down by those around him, sometimes translated into English from another language, and later edited for publication, have not come down to us exactly as he said them. Often they have been edited and even rewritten for different publications. An attempt has been made to find the most trustworthy quotes. May all beings benefit from this work.
Meherwan Rinpoche, 1925
BOOK OF THE DEAD
The greatest warriors, scientists, doctors and astrologers,
without exception, have to bow to nature's common law,
October 1922, LM2 p431
Lower spirits are those beings without physical forms
whose sanskaras remain to be wiped out. They cannot
progress after death until their unfinished sanskaras are
worked out. As a consequence, they wander about on the
lower Astral plane. For this reason, they are a source of
harassment to living people.
Suppose a man is destined to have a life span of forty
years, but he commits suicide when he is thirty.
Consequently, for the remaining ten year period of
unexpressed sanskaras, his spirit inhabits the lower
planes, and at times is seen by some people as a spirit or
ghost. To hold seances or to talk with the dead is no great
thing, because such spirits are always among us on this
There are advanced yogis and munis who converse with
these ghosts who have committed suicide, as well as with
the spirits of the higher planes. These advanced souls
communicate without using a medium. They live on both
2 June 1925, Meherabad, LM2 p720
Meherwan Rinpoche (called Baba by his companions) discussed the death of his brother Jamshed
with his men disciples:
Baba: I often told Jamshed not to leave Meherabad, but
he persisted, and now he has really left. Do you feel
badly about his death?
They replied that they did.
Baba: All this grief is false. It is meaningless. It is
hypocrisy. It is not genuine at all, and is selfish.
Q. But from the worldly point of view, everyone feels
sorry when someone dies.
Baba: But why? That is where the mistake is made.
Death is false.
Q. But he was your brother. Is he not dead?
Baba: He was indeed my brother. But he is not dead. On
the contrary, he is at peace, resting within me. Hence I
don't feel sad at all over his death.
Q. But how are we worldly people to know and
appreciate this fact?
Baba: You can know, but only by trusting, having deep
faith, and believing those who know the secrets of life
and death. All say that by submitting to death, my brother
Jamshed has left this world, and that is quite true. But all
this hustle and bustle and noise of the world is
momentary, and when the show is over one has to depart.
Believe me, Jamshed is not dead. His body has died.
Everyone thinks he is dead, but I say he has taken birth.
The joy expressed by people at the birth of a child should
be expressed when a person breathes his last, instead of
all the show of sorrow, grief and sympathy. This is sheer
ignorance, and those who understand the secret of birth
and death feel sorry at this hypocritical pretense.
If you had divine sight, you would be fully convinced,
and see for yourself that after the dropping of the
physical body, the soul, which is always immortal, is
always there. And death does not make the slightest
difference in this as you believe.
Everyone is feeling that Jamshed left this world in the
prime of life. But one has to go sooner or later, and no
one but God knows the right moment. How can you say
he was young? He was thousands of years old, and God
knows how many births he will take on this earth.
Whatever you saw before your eyes was only the Gross
form of Jamshed, and its absence makes you weep with
sorrow for him. If you wish me to be a partner in your
dense ignorance, forget it.
Death is common to all, and it is a necessary step forward
toward real life - eternal infinite existence. The soul
merely changes into a new abode; thus dying is nothing
more than changing your coat. Jamshed has changed it
after experiencing life in it on this plane. It is like an
actor who plays different parts in different dramas, or
changes costumes in the same play behind the curtain,
and then reappears on stage in a different garb; or it can
be compared with sleep.
The difference between death and sleep is that after the
former state, one awakens in a new body, while in the
latter state, one becomes conscious of the same body.
Worldly-minded people do not become upset when a
person goes to sleep at night, simply because they expect
ot see him awaken alive again the next morning. Then
why not exercise the same indifference when he sleeps
the sleep of death, since he is bound to awaken alive
sooner or later in a new body?
You at times travel in a train, and other passengers,
without a care in the world, depart at different stations
such as Lonavla, Kalyan and Dadar, all according to their
tickets. In the same way, Jamshed was traveling, and
when he reached his destination, according to his ticket,
he departed from the train - left his body. His station was
nearby. But according to you he has passed away in his
youth. The trains go on running day and night, and
numberless passengers travel in them, and depart at
different stations according to their tickets. How many
are you going to weep over?
Thus it is the selfishness of not being able to satisfy their
minds in the absence of the sight of their dear ones that
makes people weep and wail, and not so much the death
itself. After the death of a person, a hue and cry is raised
from all sides: 'My beloved father or mother is dead! The
source of my life is gone! The light of my eye is dimmed!
Where is my sweetheart? My support has disappeared!'
Such exclamations are heard in the house of death. But in
spite of a great display of grief and pain, my and mine
remain uppermost, rather than consideration for the
welfare of the one who has passed away.
The sword of death has been swinging freely since the
beginning of man's history. Every day I see hundreds and
thousands of my brothers dying, without feeling anything
for it, and Jamshed's death is no exception to this. All
admit that death is unavoidable, the unavoidable end, and
though the fact is universally acknowledged and
experienced, at the time of its happening, people
immediately start crying. It is either madness or weakness
of the mind.
Nothing lasts, everything is indefinite in this world,
except the jeevatma (individual soul) who is subject to
births and deaths. Even Perfect Masters and Avatars
leave this world when their duty is over, so what to say
of ordinary souls? This come-and-go game, the alternating
experiences of life, and gathering and spending of
sanskaras, is really quite difficult to understand.
Most people generally do not believe in the principle of
karma, and are firmly convinced that there is no other
body. The very thought of reincarnation, of another body,
makes them shudder and shake. They say that once one is
dead, he is dead, and there is no rebirth, in the same way
that dry wood does not turn green again.
It will be a pleasant surprise if Jamshed is really dead.
But he is not. If he were really dead, all should rejoice
over it, since it would mean real life for him - eternal,
infinite existence. Unless we really die, meaning our ego
is annihilated, we cannot realise divinity. So all this
expressing of sorrow and regret is bunk.
Although you find me moving about among you, playing
with you, and in fact doing all that a supposedly living
man does, I am really dead. I am truly and really dead,
though I seem alive and active to you. If you die once,
truly, there will be no more life and death for you, since
you become one with God. Because I am dead I am alive.
As Kabir says,
Everyone says, 'I am dying' but none of them die.
Only he who is dead before dying has not to die again.
These are the words of Kabir. Die such a death that you
will not have to die again. Die, all of you, in the real
sense of the word, so you may live ever after. The
stopping of breath and the absence of pulse are not real
dying. It is no use letting your earthly body die; all your
desires and longings should die. That is, seek out the death
of maya first and become sanskara-less. Then alone you
will have died the real death and have been born into
An earthly being who realises God can be said to have
earned real birth. All the wise ones, holy ones, Sufis,
saints, Pirs and Prophets, by surrendering every worldly
thing to God, have reached the goal, union with God. So
do such acts that will earn you freedom from the
recurring rounds of births and deaths.
When you understand this, what is the use of sorrow and
weeping? If you have love for the dead, it should be
selfless. The dead do not want your expression of sadness.
Manifest such love for them that they would be pleased
and at peace. If you want the consciousness of their souls
to progress, express selfless love. Do not make them
unhappy by your weeping and wailing.
Jamshed was my brother, but I am Jam Sheth - the
Master of Death. The same death has brought Jamshed to
his Master. Jamshed is near Jam Sheth. So give up this
worthless conduct and be absorbed in your duties. Do not
have the idea that because Jamshed is dead the world is
He who is convinced that after death there is birth again
never worries or sorrows. What is the use of sorrowing
over dried up crops in the field? By dying after death,
and thereby annihilating the mind, you will gain both
worlds. Otherwise it is a never-ending cycle of taking
birth and dying. There is no escape. It is a matter of luck,
What can we do when our last day dawns? It is not in
our hands, so what can be done? We all have to go one
day. So what is the sense of weeping? One can do nothing
except submit to God's will.
27 February 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p779-783
Other versions: PM p95-96, SW p272-273, Av p103-104
... The Sadgurus consider human deaths trivial and insignificant.
For them, the whole world is a small thing, just a point.
Then why worry for a man being dead? Besides, to
Sadgurus, the dropping of a body is no death at all. It is
simply dropping one form and taking another.
The body is a coat covering the soul. Thousands and
hundreds of thousands of such bodies fall daily, and the
same number take bodies again simultaneously. The
Sadgurus are really dead to illusion, and so are really
living in eternity. So what is this dropping of human
bodies and changing coats to them?
The mind must die, not the body. The body may die a
thousand deaths; the atma (soul) is there, alive; it never
dies. Even when body and mind both are dead in the
Realisation state, the atma is there living forever.
The body lives, works and suffers for the mind, and the
mind lives for the soul...
19? July 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p828
There are four main conditions of existence after the
final severance with the Gross body:
2. Immediate reincarnation
3. Heaven or hell
1. Upwards: Only the spiritually advanced beings go
upwards, that is, beyond and above the lunar sphere.
There they stay until such time as they can reincarnate
upon earth, since Perfection can only be realised in the
Gross human form. During the interim, however, such
advanced beings can and do utilise the bodies of earth
beings to work out a certain kind of sanskaras.
2. Immediate reincarnation: Those whose good and bad
sanskaras almost balance each other, but are not exactly
equal - because if they were, such souls would at once
attain to God-realisation - reincarnate immediately on
earth in human form.
3a. Heaven: The person who has accumulated a large
portion of good sanskaras, and few bad ones, experiences
through the Subtle body the state called paradise or
heaven. Here the capacity for enjoyment is increased
tenfold, and the sensitivity to suffering as the result of
the few bad sanskaras is proportionally diminished. In
other words, in this condition there is practically no
suffering at all, but only enjoyment, until all the good
sanskaras are spent. However, the impressions of these
sanskaras remain, and ultimately impel the soul to take
another body on earth.
3b. Hell: One who has contracted many bad sanskaras
during his earth life experiences after death the state
called hell, wherein the susceptibility to suffering is
increased tenfold, and the capacity for enjoyment is
proportionately diminished. In the hell state there is only
suffering, until all those sanskaras which induced this
state are exhausted. The impressions remaining compel
the soul to rebirth in a human body.
4. Downwards: Those who have acquired extremely bad
sanskaras, resulting from deeds like murder for lust or
greed, after death go downwards into the region of
animal spirits, to await a suitable Gross form for earth
The condition of one who arrives at death through
suicide requires special explanation. Such a one goes
neither upwards nor downwards, neither does he
immediately reincarnate, nor pass into heaven or hell.
Such spirits remain suspended closer to the earth plane,
inasmuch as no entry is possible for them in any of the
aforementioned states. Their condition is pitiable in the
extreme, because they too feel the pull of their sanskaras,
but unlike those on earth, they have no Gross body in
which to fulfill their desires. These are the ones which
in common parlance we call ghosts or disembodied spirits.
It is these spirits whom mediums sometimes contact, and
they prove a souce of harm as well as good. Sometimes
such a spirit tries to possess a human body with which it
feels an affinity due to similarity of sanskaras.
If, for example, a person who is otherwise eligible for
the heaven state commits suicide, he remains suspended
near the earth plane, and if he comes in contact with a
human being does him no harm. But if one who, through
his bad sanskaras, was eligible for hell dies before his
time, then he may become a source of harm and pain to
those whom he contacts. The relatively good spirits,
however, usually seek redress through yogis, or they seek
to serve a Perfect Master in the darkness of night. Yet,
owing to the karmic law, it takes many cycles for such
suspended spirits to have the chance of reincarnating
again in human form through the aid of the Master. The
evil spirits run as far away as possible from a Perfect
Both good and bad suspended spirits can sometimes work
out their sanskaras through a human being, if they can
find one with similar sanskaras and suitable past karmic
connections. However, the ignorant victims of such
possession by a suspended spirit may suffer physically
and materially, though spiritually they are benefitted to
the extent of dispensing with three or four incarnations.
1926? Meherabad? Av p105-107
A person dies when his sanskaras are exhausted, spent in
full. After a person dies, his sanskaras snap the mind's
connection with the Gross body. And at that time he
receives such a shock that he forgets every incident of
his past life. But, even though the Gross body drops, the
mind and the Subtle body remain full of sanskaras. For
the next forty to seventy hours after death, the attention
of the sanskaras is centered mostly on the place where
the body is kept. But, after that, there is no connection
whatsoever between the dead person and that place.
Within the next eight or ten days, the spirit of the dead
person experiences the Subtle state of either heaven or
hell, according to his sanskaras.
22 September 1926, LM3 p848
After a person dies, many people perform rites and
ceremonies for a long time. But all these are useless. No
ritual is necessary after ten days. However, the best rites
would be to feed either dogs or crows near the body,
because they have Subtle sight and can see the spirit of
the dead person. Crows and dogs are not Subtle-conscious, but they have Subtle faculties of perception,
and draw towards themselves the sanskaras of dead
What the Astral body of an ordinary man sees and
experiences after death, the yogis see and experience
during physical life.
Four days after death, the Astral body rises up to gain
pleasure or pain according to its good or bad actions in
physical life. When the store of virtue (poonya) and vice
(paap) is exhausted, the soul, in accordance with the faint
impress of the sanskaras, takes another Gross body - that
is, is reborn in the physical world - which process goes
on until the soul is freed from the chains of birth and
Rarely, yogis of the fourth plane misuse their spiritual
powers, and are reborn in the stone state, and have to go
through the whole process of Gross evolution before
again getting the human form. Otherwise no human being
experiences a fall in the evolution of forms.
28? February 1927, Meherabad? GM p69
The human form is the best of all physical forms. It is the
only form in which God can be realised, and until God is
realised, the soul must continue with births and deaths.
You eat food, and to keep yourselves healthy and fit, you
pass out the residue as excrement. But do you ever shed
tears for the waste you eliminate? Do you ever think
about it, or feel regret over it? Not at all. Then, if
someone dear dies, why do you weep for that discarded
body, which is like food to the soul?
You preserve and protect your body to feed your soul.
The body is the medium for the soul's progress. When
your excrement is eliminated, you eat fresh food.
Similarly, with the disposal of the old body, you take a
new body. So why worry and weep over that which is
the law of nature and cannot be altered?
December 1927, Meherabad LM3 p994-995
Sadgurus and the Avatar consider human death to be
absolutely unimportant. They do not feel sad about
anyone's death. For them, the whole universe is a very,
very small thing, a small point. The human body can be
compared to the fibers on the outer shell of a coconut.
Hundreds of such hairs fall off, but the coconut water
remains safe inside. Similarly, thousands of human bodies
may fall, but the soul is immortal. It never dies. It is
always living and eternal.
Suppose a person dies, and his greater number of good
sanskaras take him to the Subtle state, to heaven. There
he experiences, without a physical body, the result of his
good sanskaras of his past life. Similarly, if he has a
greater number of bad sanskaras, they take him to hell,
and he experiences those sanskaras without a body. In
both cases the Grossness of either good or bad sanskaras
is wiped out, either in heaven or in hell, and still the
faint stain of these sanskaras remains in the mind. These
are Subtle impressions.
Suppose a dish of food overturns in your lap, and your
clothes become soiled with spots. You immediately remove
or throw away the food, the Gross impressions, but the
stains remain. These stains are like Subtle impressions.
6 March 1929, Meherabad, LM3 p1147
Sanskaras remain connected with the environment where
a person dies for two or three days after death. Although
they are disconnected from the environment after two or
three days, they are not spent either in hell or heaven
for ten to twelve days after death. They remain unspent
during this period.
If a person dies by a sudden accident before he would
have died naturally, he immediately takes birth again and
completes the remaining time of his past life, after which
he dies. Some live for one, two, three, four or five years.
And after finishing the period remaining from their past
life, they take another body according to the sanskaras of
the life which ended suddenly by accidental death.
However, they cannot live longer than it takes to
complete this remaining time. This is why some children
die, some in a few days, some in a few months, and some
after a few years.
November 1929, Nasik, LM4 p1255
In a way, even an ordinary dream is also a subconscious
experience of the Subtle, because everyone necessarily
makes an actual use of one's Subtle body in the dreaming
state. But be it noted that through that body one
experiences different sensations and experiences
pertaining to the Gross only. In other words, the
ordinary dreaming state is the experiencing of the Gross
through Subtle means in the subconscious state.
Of course, the case regarding communications with the
spirits of the dead is not the same as that of the dreaming
state. Just as a man in the ordinary dreaming state uses
his Subtle body subconsciously, and thereby experiences
different sensations pertaining to the Gross sphere, so in
certain cases a man can consciously use his Gross organs
to get the experiences of the Semi-Subtle sphere. And this
amounts to being in a position to have communications
with or get glimpses of the spirits of the dead.
Let it be noted that spirit communication is the
experience of the Semi-Subtle through the Gross means
in the conscious state. It is not at all a mark of
advancement on the divine Path, as it has nothing to do
with the gnosis, the Subtle sphere and the planes.
There lies a world of difference between the Subtle and
the Semi-Subtle... The Semi-Subtle sphere is the link
between the Gross and the Subtle spheres. The spirits of
all human beings (with the exception of those who have
gone beyond the fourth plane) come to this Semi-Subtle
sphere, and according to sanskaras either go to heaven or
to hell, from which they again return to it, or directly
await a new Gross body without necessarily being aware
of this, to reincarnate in the Gross sphere.
It is the spirits that are waiting in this waiting room of a
Semi-Subtle sphere that are likely to enter into
communications with those who are in the Gross sphere.
They may be either on the point of going to heaven or
hell, or may have finished their terms of pleasure and
pain in heaven or hell, as the case may be. Or they may
be directly awaiting reincarnation following the last
physical death. But it is only these spirits that can be
communicated with, though not quite always with a
mathematical precision as believed by many.
As to the various descriptions of the conditions
prevailing in the Semi-Subtle sphere and in heaven or
hell that are purported to come from them, some of these
are in some way or other true, but it is not proper to
attach importance to them. The Semi-Subtle sphere, and
even heaven and hell, and the respective happiness and
sufferings in them, are not of real existence. The
experiences in the Semi-Subtle are like those in a dream.
And heaven and hell are nothing but states in which the
jivatma (individual soul), according to its good or bad
sanskaras, experiences Subtle enjoyments and miseries
respectively through the Subtle organs. When jivatma
gets Self-realised, heaven and hell are found to have been
imaginary existences, just as one who in the dreaming
state enjoys and suffers, finds the dream experience
devoid of reality when one gets up.
from notes dictated by Meher Baba before March 1930
It goes without saying that worldly people can never
enter into communication with higher spirits, i.e. spirits
belonging to the Subtle, Mental and Super-Mental
spheres. For though the spirits of the Subtle and also, in
some cases, of the Mental sphere, have to reincarnate,
they don't have to stay in the Semi-Subtle sphere at any
time. Spiritually advanced persons can, of course,
communicate with advanced disembodied spirits, but they
do not do so, for it is unnecessary. Spirituality has
nothing to do with spiritism or communication with the
spirits of the dead.
IL p18-20. Other versions: ST p8-9, Tr p176-178
As a result of ordinary physical death, although the
Astitwa (Subtle body) and the Jiva (life) do get separated
from the Gross body completely, the connection of the
mind is closely maintained with the corpse for the first
three days after death, and slight connection goes on for
seven days more.
before July 1930, IL p40
If anyone is executed by the government, he enters a
state of samadhi. It is temporary. For instance, when a
person is being hanged, there is a clash during the
execution between the functioning of inhalation and
exhalation. Becoming lifeless, the person enters a samadhi
This type of samadhi has nothing to do with anything
spiritual, for as soon as this state is over, and according
to the sanskaras of his past life, the soul takes rebirth. If
he has murdered anyone, he must pay for those sanskaras
of murder. If the person is innocent, yet is executed, he is
then freed from the sanskaras of murder.
13 January 1931, Nasik, LM4 p1353
It is quite different in the case of people who commit
suicide by hanging. When a suicide's samadhi finishes, he
remains 'hanging' - waiting between the Astral and Gross
worlds. The person becomes a ghost, and does not acquire
a physical body for ages to come.
Death is like sleep. And as sleep is essential to man, so
also is death a necessary part of life.
21 December 1933, Meherabad, LM5 p1853
In reality, no one is born and no one dies. This is all a
dream. And what worth does a dream have?
Suicide is not the solution. It only entails rebirth with
the same problems all over again. The only solution is
God-realisation, to see God in everything. Everything is
31 December 1934, Hollywood, California
to Mercedes Acosta, LM6 p1940
All want to die and to live. Ordinary dying is nothing
serious or wonderful. It is like passing from one
adventure to another, and every adventure needs a
suitable medium - the body. If you go to a party, you
wear a dress suitable for the occasion. If you go to a
wedding, you wear different clothes. If to a funeral,
something suitable for that, and so on. So each adventure
requires a suitable garment. Who takes death as very
serious or awesome?
c.1937? LA p312
... Just before death it is peaceful. Death appears so
fearful, but it is usually the fear of the unknown, like an
abyss you cannot gauge... But it is so ordinary, so simple.
Every night you go to sleep, you are dying, but you are
not scared to enter this unknown, for at the background
is the thought of waking up again. Death is also sleep, but
you wake up in another form, and the background of this
death is complete uncertainty. When you sleep soundly,
the body is a corpse, but the link with the body remains,
so you wake up in the same form. When you die there is
no longer the link with the body, so you wake up in
another form. This goes on from one adventure to another
till you realise me.
Those who die thinking of me come to me. They are
Liberated from the chain of birth and death, and see me
March? 1939, LM7 p2409
At the time of death, the soul drops its physical body.
Therefore, after death, there is generally no
consciousness of the Gross world, since Gross
consciousness is directly dependent on the physical body.
Though the consciousness of the Gross world is thus lost,
the impressions of the experiences of the Gross world are
retained in the Mental body. And they continue to express
themselves through the Semi-Subtle sphere. During the
interval between death and the next incarnation, the
consciousness of the soul is turned towards these
impressions, with the result that there is a vivification of
impressions, and the revival of corresponding
experiences. The average man does not become aware of
the Subtle environment. He is wrapped up in complete
subjectivity, and he is absorbed in living through the
In life after death, the experiences of pain and pleasure
become much more intense than what they were in the
earthly life. And these subjective states of intensified
suffering and joy are respectively called hell and heaven.
Hell and heaven are states of the mind. They should not
be looked upon as being places. And though, from the
subjective point of view, they mean a great deal for the
individualised soul, they are both illusions within the
greater illusion of the phenomenal world...
But hell and heaven are both states of bondage subject to
the limitations of the opposites of pleasure and pain. And
they are both states whose duration is determined by the
nature, amount and intensity of the accumulated
impressions. Time in the Subtle world is not the same as
time in the Gross world, owing to the increased
subjectivity of the states of consciousness. But though the
time in the Subtle world is thus incommensurable with
the time in the Gross world, it is strictly determined by
the impressions accumulated in the Gross world.
However, the important fact is that the hell-state and the
heaven-state are far from being lasting. And after they
have served their purpose in the life of the individualised
soul, they both come to an end...
Thus the hell-state and the heaven state become
instrumental for the assimilation of experience acquired
in the earthly phase, so that the individualised soul can
start its next incarnation in the physical body with all
the advantages of digested experience. The lessons, which
are learned by the soul through much stock-taking and
reflection, are by the power of their magnified suffering
or happiness confirmed on the mind-body. And they
become for the next incarnation part and parcel of the
intuitive make-up of the active consciousness, without in
any way involving the detailed revival of the individual
events of the previous incarnation. The truths absorbed
by the mind in the life after death become, in the next
incarnation, a part of the inborn wisdom. Developed
intuition is nothing but consolidated and compressed
understanding, distilled through a multitude of diverse
experiences gathered in previous lives...
c.1942? Di, Hell and Heaven, v4 p51-58
Like the earthly career and its experiences, the states of
hell and heaven in the life after death are integral parts
and incidents of that journey of the individualised soul,
which is ultimately meant to get to the source of all
The soul remains untouched and unscathed by the loss
and the destruction of material things and possessions; and
death is only a gateway to further life. Those who would
play their part in the divine game shall remain unmoved
by any bereavements or losses; and they shall also impart
to others the spirit of cheerful resignation to the divine
February 1942, LM8 p2775
Although I am the formless one, I am destined to assume a
human form again and again, and so I am here. But I wish
for you to become free from the wheel of births and
deaths, of being born again and again: growing, maturing,
marrying, enjoying, procreating, decaying and dying.
2 November 1952, Meherabad, GG3 p133-134
God is just as soft as he is hard, as compassionate as he is
harsh. Just remember that when you call on him or
invoke him, if he is touched even once, the impossible
then becomes possible and you become free.
People die in all sorts of ways, but it is nothing to be
upset about. They are born again and again in different
Gross bodies. But during one's lifetime, one should do
whatever one honestly feels without getting attached to
5 November 1952, Meherabad, GG3 p162-163
Changing bodies between lifetimes is similar to changing
a coat. Some die young, such as those who died at the time
of the partition. Some live long lives, they do not change
their coats soon, like Gustadji.
I am never sorry for anyone who dies. He who dies with
my name on his lips, with me in his heart, never dies. I
never worry about them, for theirs is no loss. If I am
ever worried, it is for those that suffer through the
death, which they might allow to alienate them from me.
That would be their loss indeed. Why suffer
unnecessarily? My dead live in me. That should make you
1955, AL p94
Knowing this, any mourning you may do therefore must
be for yourselves only, from selfish motives. You don't
know how fortunate they are who die with my name on
their lips and in their hearts.
Although I am taking my own name continuously, I have
come to hear it repeated by my lovers. And even though I
were deaf, I would hear it if you repeated it only once
with all your heart in it. If you cannot remember me
constantly, then always take my name before going to
sleep and on waking up. At least remember to remember
me when you breathe your last, and you will still come to
me. But how will you remember at the last moment,
unless you start to remember me right now?
1955, Meherabad, LH p45
Kammu Baba, whom many revere as a saint in Bombay,
recently sent me word asking to be relieved of his duties
and to return unto me. I advised him also to take my name
when breathing his last. In his last moments, Nozher took
my name. So did my brother Jamshed, and many others
who have come to me. But it is only the heroes who come
to me in their physical form. To these, death itself
Nozher = Nozher Dadachanji.
In reality, there is nothing such as death or birth. I know
this, and I say it with the authority of my conscious
knowledge. We are all in eternity, and we will always be
there. Really, none comes or goes, none is born or dies.
But to experience this truth, we must first free ourselves
from the bondage of our ignorance.
1955, Meherabad, LH p86
After a hundred years or so, you will all have dropped
your bodies, and yet you will still exist. Do not think
about your bodies, but think only about me. Then, before
you drop your bodies, you will be able to remember me.
My miracle will be to make you become me.
The seers of all times have had direct access to the truth
about life and death, and they have repeatedly given a
suffering and groping humanity useful information on
this point. Their explanations are important because they
protect manŐs mind from erroneous and harmful attitudes
towards life and death, and prepare him for perception of
the truth. Although direct knowledge of truth requires
considerable spiritual perception, nevertheless even
correct intellectual understanding of the relationships of
life and death plays an important part in restoring
mankind to a healthy outlook. Above incarnate life in
birth and beyond discarnate life after death, the soul is
one indivisible, eternal existence...
Each incarnate life is an opportunity for the realisation
of one's true self. Each death or discarnate life is an
opportunity for achieving a semblance of balance to start
another birth, with its further chance at Self-realisation.
If the opportunity were fully taken, one incarnate life
could be sufficient to make the individual realise this
goal. But it is well-nigh impossible to attain the initiative
and longing to do so without getting involved in the
illusory maze of innumerable opposite experiences. The
contact of a Perfect Master is invaluable in calling a halt
to the dizzy gyrations of incarnate and discarnate lives in
illusion, and awakening the individual to the real
knowledge of self.
From the psychological point of view, death entails no
slightest curtailment of individual existence. This does not
mean that the surviving mind remains unaffected by the
kind of death which severed the individual from the body.
Both the condition of the mind, as well as its capability to
progress further in the life after death, are often
substantially determined by the conditions surrounding
From the standpoint of its psychic after-effects, death
can be classified into three broad types: normal,
abnormal, and supernormal. Normal death follows an
illness which ultimately renders the physiological
functioning of the body impossible. Generally it involves
some kind of warning to the individual, for if the illness
is severe, he often anticipates that death is at hand.
Although by no means true of all deaths caused by illness,
when the individual has some anticipation of impending
death, he usually has a chance to tie up loose ends and
prepare his mind for this new crisis.
The second or abnormal type of death is that which
results from accidents, murder, war and suicide. In
accidents and murder, there is generally no anticipation
of impending death. Being unexpected, death involves in
such instances a shock which can shatter the very roots
of the sanskaras seeking expression through the physical
incarnation of the individual. In unanticipated accidental
death, the ordinary ego-mind has a moderate tendency to
gravitate towards the Gross sphere and cling to it
because of the ego-mind's attachment to the Gross world.
In anticipated (abnormal) death, when resulting from
murder or war, the ego-mind can become bound to the
Gross world by the chains of unfulfilled revenge. There
is less tendency for such binding to occur in death due to
war, than in that resulting from murder. In war the
combatants on both sides are often impersonal in their
actions, and aware that they are fighting for some cause,
rather than through personal enmity. If this awareness is
clear and steady, death in war does not yield the mental
reaction of revenge.
Among abnormal kinds of death, suicide deserves special
attention. Suicide may be divided into four grades: lowest,
low, high and highest. The lowest type is a last measure
in escaping punishment or ignominy or utter frustration
after the individual has tried unscrupulously to satisfy
his own selfish desires. Thus one who has committed
murder for lust or power may commit suicide when he is
caught. Even after leaving the body, such a person does
not succeed in severing his link with the Gross world for
hundreds of years.
These individuals live literally as ghosts in the Semi-
Subtle sphere, which lies between the Gross and the
Subtle world. They experience agonising suffering
because of their unfulfilled desires. Due to the link
which they preserve with the Gross world, they
continue to desire various Gross objects keenly, a desire
which can never be fulfilled. This suffering is even more
acute than the intense sufferings in the hell-state* that
the individual experiences after he severs his connection
with the Gross world.
*Neither hell nor heaven should be regarded as places.
They are mental
states, and imaginary in the same sense that the world
of duality also
exists in the realm of illusion.
A somewhat less acute class of suffering in imagination is
experienced in the hell-state by suicides who have been
slightly better motivated, but who are still classified as
'low.' In this group are those motivated by sheer disgust
with life. Thus a person suffering from bad health, or
stricken by a loathsome disease, or one who is poverty-
stricken and ashamed of being a burden on others, might
put an end to his life through lack of will to live. Since
the cause of such a suicide is revulsion from earthly life,
the ego-mind does not continue to maintain any enduring
link with the Gross world beyond the normal three or
four days following death. After that normal period, the
link is snapped, and the ego-mind then begins to
experience the intense suffering of its bad sanskaras,
usually termed the hell-state.
Although a ghost caught in the Semi-Subtle sphere
suffers even more acutely than does the ego-mind
experiencing the hell-state, the latter achieves some
exhaustion of evil sanskaras, while the former does not.
Further, the sufferings of the ghosts who maintain their
link with earthly life are more tantalising, because the
link constantly holds before them the prospect of
fulfillment of Gross desires, without actual means for
The general belief that suicide is bad is due to the fact
that it is usually the result of low motives and a
cowardly attitude towards life. When suicide is employed
as an escape from dilemmas brought on by failure to cope
with the needs of life, it is not only ignoble, but far-
reaching as well in its demoralising effects upon the
The third or high type of suicide is in no way rooted in
inferior motives, and is therefore free of their
deteriorating effects. It is inspired by altruistic motives
alone, and is a sacrifice made to secure the material or
spiritual well-being of others. One who meets death
through, e.g. a hunger strike, in order to better the
welfare of the masses, is a suicide of this high type.
The motives of such a suicide are not far different from
those of martyrs who lay down their lives on the
battlefield for country, society or religion. The total
absence of base motives in this high type of suicide makes
it entirely different from the lower grades. As in other
noble acts of self-effacement, such highly motivated
action entitles the departed individual to the privileges
and pleasures of the heavenly state, and also constitutes a
definite asset in his spiritual ongoing.
A suicide inspired by ordinary altruistic motives is not
the highest type. The fourth or highest class results from
intense desire to see God or to unite with him. This is an
extremely rare occurence. In most cases in which suicide
is believed to have been committed for the sake of God,
there is an admixture of other motivating factors, such as
dissatisfaction with conditions in earthly life.
If and when suicide is embraced purely for the sake of
attaining God, it can have the effect of achieving
Liberation or Mukti. The Masters have always warned
aspirants against resorting to suicide in the intensity of
their longing for union with God, for there is too great
room for self-deception and inadvertent mixture of
inferior unconscious motivation.
Regardless of the abnormality of the circumstances
which may lie back of it, no type of death can really
damn the individual forever. It is never more than an
incident in his long spiritual journey.
The third or supernormal type of death consists in
leaving the body voluntarily. This is done by the
advanced yogis who wind up their earthly careers after
fulfilling their mission, much as the student locks up his
textbooks after passing his examination. The supernormal
or voluntary death of the advanced yogi is definitely
anticipated and willed, but is entirely different from
suicide insofar as motives, results and manner of leaving
the body are concerned.*
*Meherwan Rinpoche explained later that there was one other
kind of death, 'circumstantial death.' For more about this kind of death,
see the Footnotes at the end of this web page.
Friends and relatives of a departed one often are
seriously upset by his death, because the dissolution of
the form may seem to them to be the extinction of life
itself. All of their attachments had been related to the
form. It was because of the form that they had contact
with the soul, and it was through the form that their
various physical and emotional needs were fulfilled. The
disappearance of the body that had acted as the vehicle of
the soul is therefore often interpreted by them as the
annihilation of the individual himself. From the purely
physical point of view, death does not involve
annihilation of even the body, but physiologically it has
become unfit to be the continued dwelling place of the
spirit, and has therefore lost all importance.
From the point of view of the individualised soul as mind,
death does not involve any loss whatsoever, as the mind
and all its sanskaras remain intact. The individual in
essence is thus in no way different. He has only cast off
his external coat. Nevertheless this severance from the
physical body is fraught with two important
consequences. It is a means of introducing the individual
to a new type of existence, and it is also in itself an
incident of the utmost importance because of side effects
of the greatest practical consequence.
When others die, the individual loses only one, or at most
a few friends who have played an important role in his
earthly existence. But when he dies, he loses at one
stroke all the persons who had entered intimately into his
own life. He also loses all his possessions, and is broken
away from the achievements on which he had built the
very foundations of his sense of accomplishment in life.
As the crowning touch, he must also leave behind the
very physical body with which he had identified himself
so completely that he was rarely capable of imagining
himself as anything but that physical body. This complete
annihilation of the entire structure of the individual's
earthly existence is therefore a crisis without parallel in
This critical turning point, which occurs at death, is
attended by both advantages and disadvantages. The
greatest disadvantage lies in the fact that the individual
must leave incomplete all the undertakings of his earthly
life. He must leave the entire chessboard without taking
any further interest in it. The scene of his life is blotted
out, and the chain of his mundane interests is hacked
From the standpoint of objective achievement, the
continuity of his undertaking has undergone an abrupt
break. Advancement of the projects he has left behind
must come from his previous associates, and can no longer
be his concern. It is rare for the individual to be drawn
back through a sanskaric linking to the identical task
which he had begun in a past incarnation, to develop it
on from the point where his successors had left it.
It would be a mistake to think that death brings nothing
but disadvantages. Death also brings about a general
weakening of attachments by shattering all the sanskaras
which were fed by the earthly objects, because the mind
is now torn away from them. While it is true that many
of the sadhanas undertaken by the individual during his
earthly life have the effect of unwinding previous
sanskaras, still it is only in extremely rare instances that
he succeeds in completely erasing the present and future
effects of these sanskaras. This erasure is effected within
certain well-defined limits by the sudden transplanting of
the individual that occurs at death.
If the lessons inherent in a single death were to be
thoroughly assimilated by the individual, he would
benefit by the equivalent of several lifetimes of patient
spiritual effort. Unfortunately, this does not happen in
most cases, because after death the individual usually
tries to revive his accumulated sanskaras. Through these
revived sanskaras he recaptures the experiences through
which he has already lived. The period immediately
following death usually becomes, therefore, an occasion
for the repetition of all that has previously been lived
through, rather than a period of emancipation through
understanding all that has been lived out...
If death has any value, it is to teach the individual the
true art of life. It would be wrong for the aspirant to
seek death with the hope of making further progress
thereby. On the other hand, he should not fear death
when it overtakes him. A true aspirant neither seeks
death nor fears it. And when death comes to him, he
converts it into a stepping stone to the higher life.
Some people are particularly afraid of the exact moment
of death because they anticipate unbearable pain at that
instant. In reality, all physical suffering experienced
during illness or just before death terminates at the
moment of death. The process of the actual dropping of
the body is quite painless, contrary to the superstition
that a person experiences indescribable agonies in death.
However, the severing of the individual's emotional
entanglement in the Gross world is not found to be easy.
The various religious rites observed after a death have
primarily the purpose of helping the departing individual
disentangle himself from these ties. For instance, the
repetition of the name of God or of scriptures, often
practised after the death of a person, has a wholesome
effect both on those who have been left behind as well as
on the one who has passed away, because they help to
free both parties of their mutual sanskaric attachment to
form. On the other hand, the lamentation and wailing that
is often observed has a degrading and depressing effect
both on those left behind as well as on the person who
has passed away, for it tends to strengthen mutual
attachment to form.
The thought or wish the dying individual holds at the
moment of death has special importance in determining
his future destiny. If the last thought is of God or the
Master, the individual achieves Liberation.
It is quite common for an individual not to have any
specific thought at the moment of death. Even if he has
had thoughts or wishes before death, he will tend to
forget them at the time of death. At that moment some
people hope they may not return to earthly life, but they
are not exempted from rebirth by mere wishing. They
are reborn, but exhibit a pronounced disgust for life, and
tend to lead the lives of ascetics or recluses.
If the good and evil sanskaras* of the individual are
almost balanced at the time of death, he may take on a
new physical body almost immediately. He may even
enter a new incarnation as early as the fourth day after
death. In such urgent cases of rebirth the individual can
enliven a ready fetus any time between the sixth and
seventh months of embryological development. It is
important to note that both father and mother give only
prana or vital energy to the fetus. In addition to
receiving prana, it must be enlivened by some
individualised soul. Ordinarily this takes place during the
later stages of embryological development.
*Good actions leave sanskaric residues in the individual's
as surely as do bad actions. Therefore the individual may
be bound just
as surely by the 'golden chains' forged by good actions as
by the 'iron
chains' of bad actions.
When the individual is ready for reincarnation, he is
automatically drawn to his future parents by sanskaric
links. The parents act as a magnet due to their previous
connections with the reincarnating individual.
Occasionally the strongest sanskaric or karmic link which
the reincarnating individual has with incarnate
individuals is not with the parents, but with a brother or
sister. It is this link, then, that determines the family in
which he takes birth.
In times of emergency, as in wars or epidemics, when
thousands of individuals may seek immediate
reincarnation, it is not always possible for all to be born
into families having strong previous links with them. But
if the sanskaric status of the individual is precipitating
him towards incarnation, his taking on of a body is not
postponed merely because parents are not available to
provide a suitable previous link. It is possible through
the intervention of the Masters to make infinite
adjustments through mutual exchanges.
Death is like throwing away clothes which have become
useless through wear and tear. Just as a traveller may
stop at different places, and at each halt may change
clothes according to his needs, so the individual goes on
changing his bodies according to the needs of his
Death may also be compared to sleep. When a man goes to
sleep, he wakes up in the same physical body. When he
drops his physical body at death, he wakes up in another
For most persons the period between death and birth is
one of absorption in subjectivity. As mentioned before,
after death the ego-mind of the individual normally
retains its tie with the remnants of the physical body for
three or four days. After this period the connection is
completely severed, and the individual then exists
entirely in the subjectivity of his mental states. This
subjective phase is brought about by the resurrection of
all the sanskaras which the ego-mind has brought along
with it after death.
The sudden transplanting of the ego-mind from one
sphere to another does wear out the scars of the
sanskaras to some extent, but for the greater part they
remain intact. If death had resulted in the complete
wiping out of all the sanskaric scars on the mind, it
would have resulted in emancipation of the individual
from all limitation. But this does not happen. Not only are
the sanskaric imprints retained after death, but they may
unroll unhampered in the life after death...
The true death of the individual occurs at that moment
when he transcends his limited individuality or
separative consciousness by being taken up in the truth-
consciousness of the unlimited and undivided being of
God. The true death of the individual consists in the
complete disappearance of the limiting ego-mind that
has created the sanskaric veil of ignorance. True death is
a far more difficult process than physical death, but
when it occurs through the grace of the Master, it takes
no longer than the twinkling of an eye. This dissolution
of the ego-mind and the freeing of the soul from the
illusion of separative limited individuality are known as
True immortality is not the survival of the limited
individual in the period following the death of the
physical body. It is true that the ego-mind persists
unscathed through death, but the individual cannot and
does not thereupon attain to final freedom from birth and
death. Survival should not be confused with
deathlessness, which is true immortality. The chain of
alternating incarnate and discarnate life is only a
survival of consciousness plus ignorance, and ignorance
makes true life impossible.
before 1956, LH p97-111
Life in ignorance is the very negation of existence in
Truth. It is so basic a curtailment of true existence that
when judged by the standards of the true existence in
eternity, it had best be termed a continuous death. Only
in Realisation is consciousness emancipated from the
tyranny of this continuous death which nullifies the true
life in eternity. And only in Liberation can consciousness
arrive at that true immortality which lies beyond all
curtailment and obscurity.
I say with my divine authority to each and all that
whosoever takes my name at the time of breathing his last
comes to me. So do not forget to remember me in your last
24 May 1958, Myrtle Beach, GM p320
Unless you start remembering me from now on, it will be
difficult to remember me when your end approaches. You
should start practising from now on. Even if you take my
name only once every day, you will not forget to
remember me in your dying moments.
There is one real birth and one real death. You are born
once, and you really die only once.
What is the real birth? It is the birth of a drop in the
ocean of reality. What is meant by the birth of a drop in
the ocean of reality? It is the advent of individuality,
born of individuality through a glimmer of the first most-
finite consciousness, which transfixed cognizance of
limitation into the unlimited.
What is meant by the real death? It is consciouness
getting free of all limitations. Freedom from all
limitations is real death. It is really the death of all
limitations. It is Liberation.
In between the real birth and the real death, there is no
such reality as the so-called births and deaths. What
happens in the intermediate stage known as births and
deaths is that the limitations of consciousness gradually
wear off, until consciousness is free of limitations.
Ultimately, consciousness, totally free of limitations,
experiences the unlimited reality eternally.
Real dying is equal to real living. Therefore, I stress: die
for God, and you will live as God.
You are first a child, then grow old and drop the body,
but you never die and never were born. In the East,
Vedantists believe in reincarnation, in innumerable
births and deaths until one attains Godhood. The Muslims
believe in one birth only, and one death only; the
Christians and Zoroastrians the same. All are right.
But Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Zoroaster, all meant what
I mean by real birth and real death. I say you are born
once and die once. All the so-called births are only sleeps
26 May 1958, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, GM p328
The difference between sleep and death is that when you
sleep, you awake and find yourself in the same body. But
after death, you awake in a different body. You never
die. Only the blessed ones die and become one with God.
Meherwan Rinpoche said of Mrs. Bahejian, a woman who had come to
She resembles my aunt. My name was on her lips when
she dropped her body.
My brother Jamshed, when we were boys, used to
quarrel and fight with me. As he grew older, Jamshed
began to love me. Later on, in Meherabad, he couldn't
sleep because he thought all the time about me. When he
went to Poona, all of a sudden he had a splitting headache
and the heart felt heavy. And just before an attack of
apoplexy, he felt very blissful. He shouted my name, and
then fell in a coma. And during those three hours, his lips
were moving with the rhythm 'Baba, Baba, Baba.' Mani
was there. Then he died. He came to me.
All my relatives, my school friends, you haven't any idea
how difficult it was for them to accept me as the Avatar
after quarreling with me, playing marbles with me.
Charles Purdom: Will you comment on what you mean by
'to come to me?
Baba: To come to me means Liberation, experiencing me
as I am. No more bondage of births and deaths. But it does
not mean the state of a Perfect Master, of Perfection.
That is only to be attained in the Gross body. So if you
are not blessed with this state of Perfection, at least you
can have Liberation. If you just take my name, just at the
moment of dropping your body, you will come to me. Yes,
28 May 1958, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
It's not easy to take my name at the very moment of
leaving the body. Then you individually experience bliss,
infinite bliss. After Liberation, you continue to
experience infinite bliss eternally. Why? Because it
belongs to you eternally. You experience what belonged
to you eternally. Even spiritual ecstasy cannot be
compared with divine bliss. Remember this.
GM p337 and LA p529
The physical body (of the mind) is the means of
experiencing the sanskaras, and when this physical body
becomes enfeebled after using up the old sanskaras, the
body drops (dies). At that time there is the union of new
sanskaras with the mind, and one is ready for new
experience to use up the sanskaras Subtly or Grossly. For
this purpose the mind takes another physical body. In this
way old sanskaras are wiped out, and as this experience
occurs, new sanskaras are produced. According to the
new sanskaric makeup, a new body is then taken to
experience the sanskaras. As the old sanskaras are spent,
the mind loses impressions and the body weakens, to
eventually drop off at death.
However, in the process of spending the old sanskaras
while alive, the new sanskaras that are produced are
imprinted in the mind in seed form. By these imprints, the
new sanskaric makeup of the mind forces the old physical
body to drop, and a new Gross body is thereby formed
after the Gross sanskaras are somewhat equalised during
the experience of Heaven or Hell. Thus the mind
continues gathering new sanskaras and, accordingly, new
bodies during reincarnation.
The infinite intelligence in its original form of the soul
without sanskaras never changes; it remains always
formless. But sanskaras change, and accordingly the
human bodies change. To spend new sanskaras through
the experience of birth and death is for the body and not
for the soul; it has no birth or death. Rebirth is due to the
sanskaras which form a Subtle body, and according to the
change of the Subtle body in Heaven or Hell, the Gross
body changes and is joined to the Subtle body when it
takes birth in the Gross world. The new psychic or
sanskaric makeup in the Mental body from the newly
accumulated sanskaras from the previous life changes the
Subtle body while in the states of Heaven or Hell, and
this change requires that the Subtle body have a new
The meaning of death in reincarnation is the changing of
the old body according to the new sanskaras gathered by
the mind. The meaning of birth is the taking of a new
body according to these new sanskaras. The new
sanskaras gathered in the present cannot be used up by
the present body, as this body is suitable only for using
up the new sanskaras of the previous lifetime. The death
of the body is in accordance with the requirements of the
new sanskaras. Death is necessary because the new
sanskaras cannot be spent by the present body, as that
human body was formed for spending the then new (now
old) sanskaras of the previous body.
Physical death and the daily sleep that human beings
experience are the same states (of mind). No thoughts are
active in deep sleep - one does not think, but one awakens
in order for the mind to experience thoughts. When
awakening, the mind first experiences the Mental world
(ordinary man is unconscious of this), then the Subtle
body experiences the Subtle world (ordinary man is
unconscious of this also). When an ordinary man is
completely awake (conscious), he experiences the Gross
world through his physical body. A Mental conscious
person awakens in the Mental plane, as a Subtle
conscious person awakens in the Subtle plane. Once this
involved consciousness becomes active, then,
automatically, the Gross body, like a shadow, becomes
Every time the mind is in sound sleep, its experience of
the Mental, Subtle and Gross worlds comes to a stop, but
this stop is temporary. When the person awakens, again
mind becomes active (thinks). The mind experiences the
world Mentally, Subtly or Grossly through the Mental,
Subtle or Gross bodies, and it is the sanskaras that
awaken the person.
Every time the mind is in the dream state (semi-
consciousness) the Gross conscious man experiences his
sanskaras Sub-Subtly, and for the time being Gross
experience is at a standstill. Every time the mind is in the
state of sleep, meaning when the mind stops thinking and
is inactive, the sanskaras remain in a dormant state to be
experienced again in the awake state (action). And every
time there is a death, the mind goes to sleep (the thinking
stops) and the sanskaras are temporarily left behind,
since the experiencing of the sanskaras awakens the
mind, makes it conscious, and forces it to begin thinking
After death the mind does not immediately awaken in a
Gross body, but in its Subtle body, and the individual
experiences Gross sanskaras through his Subtle body.
This heaven or hell experience is according to the newly
gathered sanskaras. While in the states of heaven and
hell, the mind is awake, and during the experience the
good and bad sanskaras balance to some extent in the
mind. After this heaven or hell Subtle experience, the
mind adopts another Gross body according to the new
structure of the Subtle body, and this new structure of
the Subtle body is determined by the balancing of the
good and bad sanskaras that were left behind in the mind
when the person died.
1968? Meherazad, from notes dictated
The similarity between sleep and death is that in both
cases the sanskaras first awaken the mind in the Subtle
body (to either experience a dream, or heaven or hell). In
the Sub-Subtle state while dreaming, the nature of the
opposites is still there (because of good and bad
sanskaras), and through a person's good or bad sanskaras
he has the Astral experience of a sweet dream or a
nightmare. In both sleep and death states the mind stops
thinking temporarily, and sanskaras then wake up the
mind to experience them Subtly. In the sleep state the
sanskaras wake up the mind to the Subtle body, and after
the experience of dream, to the Gross body to experience
the Gross world. But in the case of death, sanskaras wake
up the mind in a new physical body to experience the
sanskaras Grossly as the old body has been given up.
by Meher Baba, NE p255-258
"Sometimes during these strolls through
Poona, Meher Baba would suddenly stop
and start gazing at the ground, as if
minutely examining something. The
disciples saw nothing, and stood beside
him in silence, not knowing what he was
doing. One day, at the lane in the back of
his parents' house, the Master stopped, and
started gazing intently at the ground.
Bhau Kalchuri, LM2 p360 (April? 1922)
"After a few minutes, he stood erect and
asked, 'Do any of you know what I am
doing?' No one answered. 'Every minute,
bodies are dying and coming back again.
Every second this process is occurring. I
was watching and directing it all.'"
Discussing the death of Lewis Charles
Nelhams, one of the men he was training, Meherwan Rinpoche
"By dying, Nelhams has done away with his
Gross body, but his mind is still living, and
very soon this mind will take another
suitable Gross medium and again come into
contact with me.
27? July 1925, Meherabad, GM p54
"Those souls who are Liberated have their
egoistic minds annihilated, while those
who take birth again retain their minds,
and those souls who after Liberation
return to normal consciousness have
When Mehendarge received news that his
brother had died, Meherwan Rinpoche took him aside and
'This life, body and death are all maya, and
to weep over the death of someone is
ignorance. Remember, maya does not mean
this world and its affairs. The illusion that
this world and everything in it is real -- and
of feeling happy or unhappy over certain
conditions -- is maya.
21 March 1936, Mysore, LM6 p1991-1992
"See how maya charms and deceives
humans and how it entwines itself around
them. Daily thousands die. Recently in
America many died due to floods. In the
war in Abysinnia so many were killed. The
earthquake in Quetta alone killed 30,000
people. But though these thousands and
thousands perished, you did not feel upset
for them - those thousands of men, women
and children who were healthy and strong,
who were expected to live a long life, and
had various hopes, plans and ambitions.
Compared to them, your brother was old,
unfit and suffering much. And for him,
your tears are useless. He is free from his
suffering. You should be glad."
To die is not easy. Thousands and
thousands die daily, but it is not dying.
Dying should be such that it is complete
death. Then it becomes life eternal.
15 May 1943, Meherabad, LM8 p2870
"Baba always encouraged us to face the
death of our loved ones, not with undiluted
sadness, but with an alloy - a mixture of
happiness and sadness. Sadness for our
loss, but happiness for their gain."
Kitty Davy, LA p312
"Harjiwan wrote a very heart-rending letter
to Baba. In it he expressed his concern that
perhaps he had failed in his duty to provide
the best medical treatment for his very
dear wife, a soul that had lovingly
surrendered to Baba. He was often
tormented by remorse at the thought that
she had died a 'premature death' because of
Bal Natu, GG6 p6-7
"Baba... in answer dictated several points to
Kishan Singh to be conveyed in a letter. In
his consoling reply, Baba... assured
Harjiwan that there was no such thing as
'premature death.' No amount of medical
assistance or neglect could alter the
divinely ordained moment of one's coming
to Baba. Harjiwan's wife was destined to
come to Baba on that day, so there was no
need for Harjiwan to worry. Rather, he
should feel happy at her return to him --
the eternal life."
"In the book 'Listen, Humanity' Meher Baba
enumerated the different types of death.
Later he said that there was one more type
of death that had not been included in
'Listen, Humanity' -- this he called
"There is only one case of circumstantial
death among the Perfect Masters, and that
is with Dnyaneshwar.
"Dnyaneshwar was very beautiful
physically. His personality was also
dynamic and captivating. His presence was
such that everyone flocked to him. They
could not be persuaded to leave him, even
though Dnyaneshwar would take great care
to tell those people who had a connection,
a link, with other Masters, to go to them
and not stay with him.
"As Baba explained, in spirituality, the most
important point is the link that one has
with the Master. You may go to any Master,
and, of course, you will derive benefit from
the contact, but if you have no connection
with that Master, you will eventually have
to go to the one with whom you do have a
link. This ensures further progress on the
"So Dnyaneshwar would dissuade people
from staying with him when this was a
barrier to their spiritual progress. But his
beauty, his language, and the expression of
his personality were such that they
persisted in staying with him. Eventually,
so his personality would no longer be a
hindrance in the spiritual development of
some people, he asked that he be sealed
alive in a small crypt. That is the one case
of circumstantial death among Perfect
"It is said that many years later, a certain
person had a persistent dream of
Dnyaneshwar telling him to open the crypt.
The dream or vision continued to occur,
and so, in time, the elders of the time
decided to open the crypt. Dnyaneshwar
was still there inside, but a root of a nearby
tree had entwined itself around his neck
and was choking him. It was cut off. It is
also said that Dnyaneshwar said that the
crypt was not to be opened again.
"But then we might ask, do not all Perfect
Masters have appealing personalities? Why
should one have more appeal than another?
It seems from the story of Dnyaneshwar,
that some do.
Eruch Jessawala, before 1985, IT p44-45
"The answer is that our Gross eyes see the
surface, but not that which is inward. So
some personalities are more appealing than
others, even though all are one in
Eruch Jessawala, one of the men trained by Meherwan Rinpoche, was asked about this
statement by the Master:
"4. Downwards: Those who have acquired
extremely bad sanskaras, resulting from
deeds like murder for lust or greed, after
death go downwards into the region of
animal spirits, to await a suitable Gross
form for earth life."
Eruch wrote: "Going downwards into the
region of the animal spirits does not mean
that it is a case of retrograde
consciousness, or the soul's having a
particular type of negative sanskaras. Just
as the consciousness of some of the good
spirits (disembodied souls) is said to hover
in the place inhabited by human beings, so
also the consciousness of the souls
mentioned in the passage you cited from
'Avatar,' 'go downwards into the region of
Eruch Jessawala, LF2 p17
"This does not mean that they become
animals! The word 'downwards' is used to
indicate a state of experience of the
consciousness of a disembodied human
spirit more accentuated than the
experience in hell. (All souls under the
process of gaining consciousness, or those
who have not yet realised Reality are
indeed spirits. These spirits, when they
realise the Over Soul (Reality) are truly the
Soul.) Again, the words 'animal spirits'
might have been used by Beloved Baba to
differentiate them from an environment of
disembodied human-conscious spirits."
About the quote dated 5 November 1952:
Partition was the division of the Indian
subcontinent into India and Pakistan in
1948, which caused much violence and
About Gustadji, Bal Natu wrote: "Gustadji
was in the habit of wearing a tattered old
coat with patches. He was always reluctant
to change his clothes. After this teasing,
Baba told us that when Gustadji was with
him in the West a few months back, he had
been a well-dressed person, although he
retained his other unusual
For more about death, see 'Discourses'
by Meher Baba, (7th ed.) p. 301-306 and
Listen Humanity by Meher Baba p. 93-115.
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
For more about heaven and hell, see
Discourses (7th ed.) p. 307-312, and
'The Nothing and the Everything' by
Bhau Kalchuri, p. 52-55
A....... The Answer, edited by Naosherwan Anzar
AA....... Avatar of the Age Meher Baba Manifesting, by Bhau Kalchuri
AD....... The Andhra Diary, by Kishan Singh, unpublished
AL....... A Love So Amazing, by Bili Eaton
AM....... Avatar Meher BabaŐs Final Declaration, Clarification, etc. (booklet)
AO....... The Ancient One (by Eruch Jessawalla), ed. Naosherwan Anzar, 1985
Av....... Avatar, by Jean Adriel
Aw....... The Awakener, magazine, ed. Filis Frederick
B....... The Beloved: The Life and Work of Meher Baba, by Naosherwan Anzar
Be....... Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Panorama, ed. Ivy Duce
BG....... The Best of the Glow, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
BL....... Because of Love, by Rano Gayley
CC....... Civilisation or Chaos, by Irene Conybeare (2nd edition, 1959)
CF....... Meher Baba the Compassionate Father, ed. Hoshang Bharucha
Da....... Darshan Hours, by Meher Baba, ed. Jessawalla and Chapman
DH....... Determined to be His, (by Eruch Jessawalla) ed. Steve Klein
Di....... Discourses, by Meher Baba, 5 volumes (1940s)
DL....... The Dance of Love, by Margaret Craske
DV....... Divya Vani, magazine, ed. Swami Satya Prakash Udaseen
EN....... The Everything and the Nothing, by Meher Baba, ed. Francis Brabazon
FF....... Filis Frederick
FL....... 82 Family Letters, by Mani Irani
GG....... Glimpses of the God-Man Meher Baba, by Bal Natu, 6 volumes
Gl....... Glow International, magazine, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
GM....... The God-Man, by Charles Purdom
GO....... Gift of God, by Arnavaz Dadachanji, 1996
GS....... God Speaks, by Meher Baba (2nd edition)
GT....... God to Man and Man to God, by Meher Baba (1st edition) ed. C. B. Purdom
HC....... How to Choose a Guru, by Rick Chapman
HM....... How a Master Works, by Ivy Duce
IL....... Meher Baba on Inner Life, ed. K.K. Ramakrishnan?
IS....... It So Happened, ed. William Le Page
IT....... Is That So? (by Eruch Jessawalla)
JH....... Joseph Harb
JT....... Just to Love Him, by Adi K. Irani, ed. Stephen Berry, 1985
LA....... Love Alone Prevails, by Kitty Davy
LB....... Life at its Best, by Meher Baba, ed. Ivy Duce, 1957
LC....... The Life Circulars of Avatar Meher Baba, ed. Swami S. P. Udaseen
LF....... Letters from the Mandali of Avatar Meher Baba, ed. Jim Mistry
LF2....... Letters from the Mandali of Avatar Meher Baba v.2, ed. Jim Mistry
LH....... Listen Humanity, by Meher Baba, ed. Don Stevens.
LJ....... Life is a Jest, published by R.P. Pankhraj, 1969 ed.
LL....... Letters of Love for Meher Baba, the Ancient One, ed. Jane Haynes, 1997
LM....... Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri (12 volumes)
M....... Mehera, (by Mehera Jehangir Irani) ed. Janet Judson, 1989
MB....... Meher Baba, by his Eastern and Western Disciples: article 5
MD....... Meher Baba: Messages Delivered During Andhra Tour, 1954 (booklet)
Me....... Messages of Meher Baba, East and West, ed. Adi K. Irani
MF....... The Moving Finger Writes, part 2, ed. A.K. Arjani
MG....... Meher Gazette, magazine
MJ....... Meher Baba Journal, magazine, ed. Elizabeth Patterson
ML....... My Life With Meher Baba, by W.D. Kain
MM....... Meher Baba and his Mandali, by Naosherwan Anzar
Ms....... Meher Message, magazine, ed. K.J. Dastur
Mu....... Much Love, by T.K. Ramanujam, 1994
N....... refer to notes for the chapter
NE....... The Nothing and the Everything, by Bhau Kalchuri
NG....... Norina's Gift, ed. Chris Wilson/Charles Haynes, 1997
NW....... Not We But One, ed. William Le Page
OL ....... oral, unpublished or lost written source
PL....... The Path of Love, by Meher Baba, ed. Filis Frederick
PM....... The Perfect Master, by Charles Purdom
PS....... Practical Spirituality With Meher Baba, by John Alister Grant, 1985
Pu....... Meher Baba to Pukar (Parameshwari Dayal Nigam)
QA....... Shri Meher Baba the Perfect Master, Questions and Answers
QM....... Questions Meher Baba Answered, part I, ed. K.K. Ramakrishnan (?) 1975
RD....... Ramjoo's Diaries, by Ramjoo Abdulla, ed. Ira Dietrich
S....... Sai Baba, The Perfect Master
Sa....... The Sayings of Shri Meher Baba, 1933
Si....... Silent Teachings of Meher Baba, by Ramjoo Abdulla
Sp....... Sparks from Meher Baba, ed. Delia deLeon
SS....... Sufism Speaks Out, ed. Ira Deitrick? 1981
ST....... Sparks of the Truth, ed. C.D. Deshmukh (1967 edition)
SW....... The Silent Word, by Francis Brabazon
SG....... Stay With God, by Francis Brabazon
T....... Treasures from the Meher Baba Journals, ed. Patterson/Haynes
TH....... ThatŐs How It Was, by Eruch Jessawala
TK....... The Turning of the Key, by William Le Page
TY....... Twenty Years with Meher Baba, by Dr. Abdul Ghani Munsiff
U....... The Talks of Sadguru Upasani Baba Maharaja (6 volumes)
W....... The Wayfarers, by William Donkin
Wo-a....... The Work of Meher Baba with Advanced Souls... by William Donkin, 1948
Wo-b....... The Work of Meher Baba with Advanced Souls... by William Donkin, 1949
WD....... What Am I Doing Here, by Ivy Duce
Page references are for the particular edition listed above only. Some of these books have been published in several different editions. For instance there are three versions of 'God Speaks.' Quotes used here are all from the second edition. The same quotes in the first and third editions have different page numbers.
In the case of 'Discourses,' all references are to the 5 volume edition above, except when marked Di (7th ed.), in which case the one volume 1987 version edited by Eruch Jessawala, Flagg Kriss and Bal Natu is indicated.
To reproduce a quote, you need permission from the holder of the copyright. Generally quotes of Meherwan Rinpoche are copyright the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Kings Road, Ahmednagar, M.S. 414001, India. Quotes from 'God Speaks,' 'Life At Its Best,' 'Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Panorama,' 'What Am I Doing Here,' and 'How a Master Works' are copyright Sufism Reoriented, 3500 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek, California 94595.
MEHERWAN RINPOCHE'S BOOK OF THE DEAD. Copyright 23 July 1999 The Eastern School of Broad Buddhism, all rights reserved. No content or imagery may be used or duplicated without the express written consent of Retlaw Tsoy.
Address: Retlaw Tsoy c/o firstname.lastname@example.org. Web page design by Mandy Bell Buick and Aerna Otatop.
Om Meherwan Rinpoche