When Your Earth Visa Expires

Where do we go when our Earth visa expires? Most religions suggest that our souls live on and travel into another realm. While this is the common belief, it is not as simple as it sounds. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity talk about multiple levels, dimensions or frequencies of existence after the soul leaves Earth. The Quran and Bible have instances where the term “Seventh heaven” is used. Hinduism talks of various astral planets and even higher spiritual planets or ‘loks’ where souls travel to after physical life comes to an end.

There have also been accounts on record of near-death experiences (NDEs) where those declared clinically dead have subsequently returned to life. In ‘Life after Life’ Raymond Moody recounts NDE cases in which patients described seeing their own body after being pronounced dead, then travelling through a tunnel into a room full of light where their dead relatives and friends came to receive them. Then a life review happens, in which they see instances that occurred in the incarnation just passed. Then many see a ‘Being of Light’, emitting a powerful feeling of love. They are told their time has not yet come and they return to their bodies.

In ‘Journey of Souls’ Michael Newton talks about the period between incarnations. Newton uses past life regression techniques to take people back to the time after their death in their last life and before the time of their current birth. An account of the spirit realm describes split incarnations where one soul occupies two or more bodies at the same time, soul families, groups, colours are seen based on levels of spiritual development, spirit guides, council of elders, healing areas, library and temple. Finally, the place where the soul decides the type of experiences it needs in the next incarnation and actually chooses parents and circumstances needed for the new incarnation to meet its karmic requirements.

Do our souls actually ‘travel’ somewhere? It’s like asking if you are actually travelling somewhere when you dream. There is obviously something happening to your awareness. The field of awareness shifts from one plane to another. First you are awake and then you enter dreamland. But when you transition from this world to the next, are you actually travelling in the spatial sense or just shifting the frequency of your awareness?

When TV channels are changed, it is only awareness that is shifting from one channel to another. The old channel doesn’t cease to exist because the new channel is being viewed. It is just that the screen is now displaying a different frequency. This is the same principle that happens when we die. Our awareness is tuned into a different frequency of creation. The Earth plane does not cease to exist, but for the person who has passed on, the frequency of awareness has shifted. The reality they perceive is now different.Similarly, for those on Earth, the person seems to have gone, but in reality the soul has just moved onto another frequency of awareness. It leaves behind the empty human body, a kind of virtual reality device, through which the soul experienced life on the Earth.The opposite of life is not death.

The opposite of birth is death. Life is eternal. Birth and death are just entry and exit points of incarnations.

(Published in The Speaking Tree column, The Times of India March 27, 2012)

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Astral and Physical Worlds

Astral life begins once physical life ends. There have been many accounts of the astral plane, which describe its luminous nature. One of the most famous accounts is in the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda.

In the astral plane, we inhabit astral bodies that are much like the physical ones we currently inhabit, but those are much subtler and radiant. These astral bodies are not confined within the narrow limits of current space-time continuum that governs the physical cosmos. In the astral plane, inhabitants communicate through telepathy and since we recognise people who were our family and friends in different incarnations; we learn to love them all equally. There are astral worlds of light, which have colours and music beyond our present comprehension. The astral plane is one of great beauty and joy. It is the place where many souls consider their “true home”. It is also much larger than the physical universe.

So what about our current life on Earth? It is one in which the physical elements of life are manifested. But thanks to technology, it seems that our current life on planet Earth is becoming gradually ‘astralised’. How is this? Well, let us take a closer look at our lives today.

In today’s technology dominated society, we use computers, digital cameras, internet and mobile phones, for instance. We watch news, TV shows and movies. We listen to music, mostly in digital format. We have passionate opinions about people we don’t really know, whom we’ve never met — be they politicians, media personalities, movie actors, business leaders, even terrorists and criminals. How many of us have actually seen and heard or touched these famous or notorious people physically? Yet we seem to ‘know’ them today through their projected images and sounds that are readily available to us through technology. Is it not like we know them in an astral or more subtle form? Even if you never met them in the flesh, you would continue to ‘get to know’ them through their light and sound images.

The same extends to people who are not necessarily well known. Today’s social networking sites are a testimony to this. Think of how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends you have who you don’t really ‘know’ in the physical sense. We are now growing so accustomed to electronic lifestyles that we are beginning to experience life and relationships as a form of virtual or electronic or energy life. We are now open to accepting life forms interacting with us in their electronic forms as long as we know that there is some real intelligence and individuality being expressed. Your relationship with someone would continue to grow more intimate through these electronic platforms even if you never interacted in the so-called ‘real’ world of flesh and blood.

This seems to be the first step in the astral conditioning process. As we advance technologically, we create things that make our earthly experiences a little more like the astral experiences that we have had in the past and will continue to have in the future after our Earth visa expires. In that non-material realm, we learn that the reality is not the flesh, but the radiant energy that is our true nature. Our modern day technology is a reminder of that and just a pre-cursor to that awesome astral realm that we will all return to someday.

(Published in The Speaking Tree column, The Times of India May 31, 2011)

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Yin and Yang


(published in The Speaking Tree newspaper, a part of The Times of India November 21, 2010)

We all have a Father and a Mother God within us; the merging of these energies results in spiritual awakening, says Prashant Solomon.

Recently,I had a very powerful dream, a dream in which I was in a strange realm, where I could feel something called the ‘female healing energy’ or FHE. This energy represents the feminine aspect of creation and is crucial for the process of healing.

It is clear — from the knowledge I acquired in that dream state — that all created beings have been made not only male or female — but male and female.

Each of us has a masculine and feminine side. The Chinese call this feminine side, Yin, and the masculine side, Yang. To become whole, we need to balance our Yin and Yang. The Divine Mother shows us how to do this. We all have aspects of both Father God and Mother God within us. Paramahansa Yogananda writes in Autobiography of a Yogi, “The Divine Mother is as much an aspect of God as the Heavenly Father.”

Our feminine side is creative, intuitive, sensitive, nurturing, comforting, caring and patient. The Divine Mother is the healer as well as the teacher. Our masculine side, on the other hand, is associated with reasoning and being analytical. The Heavenly Father is power, strength, protection and discipline. Our spiritual awakening comes from a merging of our divine masculine and feminine energies deep within our being. The opposites unite within us and help us find our spiritual centre.
Through weakness, we gain strength, through surrendering to dullness, we find creativity, and when we are receptive, we manifest abundance!

We should not resist uniting with our FHE. Resistance only causes struggle and pain in our daily experiences in this era of global spiritual awakening. As we discover the balance of Yin and Yang within us, a wholeness and harmony envelopes us and we radiate that warm and peaceful energy to others around us.

The Divine Mother element of God is something that quite frankly, I was not very familiar with until I experienced it in my dream. In that realm of existence, healing of beings was done swiftly and smoothly through the FHE that resides within us. The FHE is a part of the female aspect within us. It is akin to a mother’s tender love that nurtures our soul’s growth and provides us warmth and comfort. It is the female aspect of our creation that gives us feeling and intuition, and it is precisely this that heals us.

Paramahansa Yogananda, using the analogy of the Garden of Eden suggests that Adam is reason and Eve is feeling, and it is in the union of these elements that we exist as humans.

Just imagine a female deity of your choice or just feel the Motherly Love that the universe gives you freely and you can do healing wonders through that energy of the Divine Mother.

As I woke up, I saw a small porcelain statue of Mother Mary in my room and felt instinctively drawn towards it. I kissed it and held it close to my chest. I felt the love of the Divine Mother and felt the FHE flow within me.

Faith, Reticence and Work


(published in The Speaking Tree column, The Times of India March 31, 2010)

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ performed many miracles, including healing the sick and even raising the dead. Christ tells healed people two things: ”According to your faith be it unto you”, and ”your faith hath made thee whole”. Then he charges them by saying, ”Tell no man about what has happened to you.” Faith has a vital role to play here.

The Roman centurion whose servant was ill had so much faith in Christ that though Christ offered to come to his house the centurion said, ”I am not worthy that you come to my house, but simply say the word and it shall be done. Like I am a man in authority and when I tell my subordinates do this or do that, I know it shall be done.”

Jesus was so impressed by the centurion’s faith that he declared to all those assembled there, ”I have never seen so much faith. No, not in Israel.” Within the hour, the servant had miraculously been healed.

However, there are also some cases in the Bible where Jesus could not cure people ”because of their unbelief. Jesus also said to ”tell no man”. This is so because at times sharing things with others can be counterproductive as other people’s envy, doubts, fears and negativity can adversely affect the healed person’s mind and could also create some kind of negativity which could hinder the healing or other desire of the seeker as a negative suggestion is also powerful and can choke the flow of positive energy or belief. This is why reticence is important. Claude M Bristol says in his book, The Magic of Believing: “It cannot be too strongly emphasised that you should not give anyone an inkling of your plans or desires. To do so may end disastrously for you.” Because the negative vibrations that other people can send you could be powerful and can deter your plans. This is perhaps the same reason that Jesus instructs the healed person to ”tell no man”.

When a woman touched the robe of Jesus, she was cured and Jesus asked: “Who touched me for I could feel virtue flowing out of me.” Now the word ‘virtue’ is not the best translation of the original Greek word dynamis which means power or strength. Incidentally, all the verses that talk of Jesus’s ‘mighty works’ also are translations of the same Greek word dynamis. Each time in the original Greek text, it was this word that was actually used. This word is used throughout the New Testament. So there is a kind of power that flows into the faithful, it is this faith that attracts the flow of the healing power and it is this ‘power’ itself that is the originator of the mighty works of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. It is likewise lack of faith that blocks the flow of healing power.

The woman believed that Christ would cure her, but she also acted by touching his robe. The centurion had faith in Jesus, but acted by asking Jesus to heal him. There must be some kind of action or request (prayer) on the part of the receiver. ”Ask and it shall be given”, ”seek and you shall find”. While we need to have faith in God, we need to act as well for without action on our part, faith itself is of no use ”For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Ultimate faith in the divine will

(published in The Speaking Tree column, The Times of India October 31, 2008)

Why do we pray? Some want health, others wealth. Some pray for the longevity of their parents, the safety of their children or that some other desire of theirs gets fulfilled. These prayers, like all others, have power and energy that bring them to life.
The only difference between a prayer and a desire is that a prayer is directed towards God with faith. Faith plays an important role in whether the prayer is answered or not. But do we always know what is best for us?

Suppose there is a new video game in town that every child wants. But this game is not without its dangers – it has gore, violence and profanity and might not be in the best interest of the child. But the child still wants it and repeatedly asks his parents for it. They may refuse a few times, but chances are that after a while, may give in to their child’s demands. Not all parents will give in, but some will. So, the child’s ‘prayer’ was ultimately answered by faith and perseverance. But is the video game good for the child?
We ask God for things that we want, but are those things always the best for our spiritual growth? As the saying goes, ‘be careful of what you wish for, because you might get it’. We may be intensely praying for things or relationships that may not be good for us. But the intensity of our prayers creates a vibratory ripple in the Cosmos that will have its answer, its result – the fruit of the desire seed. This is why it is important for our spiritual growth to let God decide what is best for us.

When Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his crucifixion, he knew the fate he would suffer the next day. Though he was divine in nature, he was also in human form and naturally did not want to die. So, in Luke 22:42, we learn that he said the following prayer: “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my Will, but Thine, be done.” Christ put God’s will above his own. “Thy Will be done” is also part of the Lord’s Prayer. This is the essence of faith in its truest and purest form.

Putting everything into God’s hands and saying simply, “Let Thy Will be done” requires a tremendous amount of courage. It requires a lot of faith. Because somewhere deep down inside your heart and mind, you wish and hope that the Lord’s Will coincides with your own. But true and pure faith knows (not believes, because believing is not being entirely sure) that the Will of God is best for you. That is true faith. Like in the case of Christ, if he had not died on the cross, he would not have therefore been glorified through resurrection and thus his mission would not have been accomplished. So, his will in this case, would not have been the best for him. God knew what was best and since Christ said, “Let Thy will be done”, it was done.

At the same time it is fine to put your request before the Lord like Christ did when he said, “If Thou be willing, remove this cup from me.” So you can ask God – “If Thou Art be willing then let Thy Will be done, not mine.” This prayer – if said with utmost faith and sincerity and with the knowledge that God loves you and will do whatever is in your best interest – will yield the sweetest fruit.