Reincarnation is coming again into a body. Our mind is energy and, by the law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be destroyed. So, what happens to this energy when someone dies? It moves on. 

Death is almost like sleep. What happens when you sleep? While sleeping, your consciousness and your attention shrinks and you shut out from your outer experiences and move inward into a void. And when you wake up in the morning, the same consciousness that had shrunk starts expanding and opens up, and you wake up. 

If you carefully observe the mechanism, the last thought that you get just before falling asleep becomes the first thought when you wake up. This gives you a clue about your reincarnation. That is why it is said that the last thought is most important. Whatever you do throughout your life, at least in the last moment of your life, you should be free and happy. If you are happy in the last moment, before you leave the body, then you get a better body the next time around. 

The soul can enter the womb at any one of three times: at the time of conceiving, the 3rd month of pregnancy, or at the time of birth. Many souls race and from these souls only one gets the body. In a race only one comes first. Sometimes there are two, then there are twins! 

It’s possible to know past loved ones who have reincarnated and meet us. Haven’t you felt that you go somewhere and suddenly you feel someone is very close to somebody? We’re all connected in some time or another. In the past, we’ve all been connected. Now we are connected whether we acknowledge that or not!

What happens after?

Each person’s mode of death is already predetermined. Mainly five things come to us in our life from the Sanchita Karma, from the Karma you have acquired from previous lives. Birth and the place of birth, and the parents you are born to is from past Karma. Your education and line of education, degree of education, how much you acquire knowledge. And then the wealth, the source of wealth. Finally your longevity and mode of death. These five things come from Sanchita Karma, the karma we have acquired. 

Our birth, time and mode of death are therefore predetermined. How one will exit the planet gets determined with the birth. A higher power can grant an extension of life. There are many stories in the puranas about this. A boy called Markandeya was given only 16 years to live. He prayed to Lord Shiva who granted him more life. Meditation, prayer, sankalpa, your intention — can all extend the duration of life. It’s possible. 

There is no fixed rule on how long does it take for a soul to reincarnate. It can take just a few hours or may take thousands of years. It depends on the karma. There are people who reincarnate in a few hours.

We create our own heaven

There is no place called hell or heaven waiting for us after death. Hell is all unpleasant impressions in the mind, painful impressions in the Consciousness. Heaven is all the pleasant impressions in the mind, in the Consciousness. There is not a place out there beyond the moon or somewhere where you’ll be taken in and will be chopped off and then fried like chickens. There is no such place. 

Hell is created by our own mind, the pain and those impressions. Our own consciousness brings heaven. 

Just remember there is nothing hard in life. And if you think something is hard, there will also be a love and strength that will come and help you. It’s always there. The Divine protection to you is always there in every situation. 

The universe has not just Karma. It has Prema also, Love also. When you have ultimate awareness, you don’t reincarnate. Then you have the freedom to come back. You will choose not to come back when you are scared about the world. When you know it’s just a play field and say let me go help out many people there.

Human or animal?

Humans are rarely reincarnated as animals, but animals do incarnate as human beings. If you observe the tribals in remote parts of this world, you will see very innocent people. They have no lines in their hand or very few lines. They don’t have anger, jealousy or greed. Their mind is different. Their quality of consciousness is very different. They are fresh life. 

The fear in the animal is responsible for its next birth. A rat is always incarnated as cat. Because the rat is afraid of the cat. A snake often incarnates as mongoose. Because the fear forms the greatest and deepest impression, it takes on that body. Suppose a beast is killed by a lion or tiger and it scared by that afraid, then it incarnates as that animal. That’s why you would see, often a tiger jumps from the back of its prey. A lion or tiger never attacks a beast from the front. 

An animal doesn’t know who has killed it. They don’t know the tiger has killed it. That’s why tigers don’t increase in population much. 

A saint, an enlightened being, was sitting on a bank of the river. He was a very pious person. He was free, totally free. Then he saw a deer and then he got attached to that deer. The deer was wounded. So he took care of the deer. It is said that next life he became a deer. So this man, his compassion, his attachment to deer became so much that this enlightened person became a deer.

Preparing for the end

The world of spirits is very mystical and deep. Our consciousness has many treasures, it’s like fathoming the ocean. People who study oceanography at least know something about the ocean. But with the consciousness there are so many levels of spirits – several levels of souls. Some souls can choose to become mediums. They can speak through people. But many times the mediums themselves are not very pure and clear. So they get all mixed up. So it will not be purely channeling a particular entity. It could be their own mind, their own cravings and aversions. They may be able to predict the past correctly but not the future. 

How can we ensure that we don’t carry strong unfulfilled desires into the next lifetime. For that we must see the goal of that desire. The goal is to have happiness, bliss? That you can have anyway. So we must see whether this desire is really needed for us or is it futile. This we can call wisdom. Let’s say you want to build a house on top of a hill at the fag end of the life and it doesn’t fructify. Then next life you will do it. But if you see that it is alright not to have the house on the hill then something better may come. Perhaps a house on the beach may happen. 

If you want to do something bad and you resist it, that’s good. That’s your good karma. You are much bigger than those thoughts. As long as you don’t flow with those thoughts  and identify with them or take them as your own you are safe.  

It’s not necessary that all the enlightened come back to help others. Some do out of compassion. The others, if they are designated they come.