A Mysorean, Mr M had read some theosophical books and stayed here for some months trying to digest them. He wanted to know about rebirths.
M - Theosophy speaks of 50 to 10,000-year intervals between death and rebirth. Why is this so?
Bh. - There is no relation between the standard of measurements of one state of consciousness and another. All such measurements are hypothetical. It is true that some individuals take more time and some less. But it must be distinctly understood that it is not the soul that comes and goes, but the thinking mind of the individual, which makes it appear to do so. On whatever plane the mind happens to act, it creates a body for itself: In the physical world a physical body, in the dream world a dream body, which becomes wet with dream rain and sick with dream diseases. After the death of the physical body, the mind remains inactive for some time, as in dreamless sleep, when it remains worldless and therefore bodiless. But soon it becomes active again in a new world and a new body – the astral, – till it assumes another body in what is called a “rebirth”. But the Jnani, the Self- Realised man, whose mind has already ceased to act, remains unaffected by death: It has dropped never to rise again to cause births and deaths. The chain of illusions has snapped forever for him.
It is now clear that there is neither real birth, nor real death. It is the mind which creates and maintains the illusion of reality in this process, till it is destroyed by Self-Realisation.
12th April, 1937: A Dutch lady, Mrs. Gonggrijp, a resident of Adyar, is here on a three-day visit. She wants to know the cause of the urge to live, known in the Pali scriptures by the name of Tanha, which is inherent in all life.
Mrs. G. - What is the cause of tanha, thirst for life, thirst for rebirth?
Bh. - Real rebirth is dying from the ego into the Spirit. This is the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus. Whenever identification with the body exists, a body is always available, whether in this or in any other one, till the body-sense disappears by merging into the Source – the Spirit, or Self. The stone which is projected upwards remains in constant motion, till it returns to its source, the earth, and rests. Headache continues to give trouble, till the pre-headache state is regained.
Thirst for life is inherent in the very nature of life, which is Absolute Existence – Sat. Although indestructible by nature, by false identification with its destructible instrument, the body, consciousness imbibes a false apprehension of its destructibility, hence it tries to perpetuate that instrument, which results in a succession of births. But however long these bodies may last, they eventually come to an end and yield to the Self, which alone eternally exists.
The article is taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma