Updated: Jun 29
Many of us wonder what happens to all the knowledge which the being acquires during a lifetime? What happens when a person dies.
What is it that dies?
What happens to the knowledge that we acquire in a lifetime?
What happens to the soul?
The real life story of my niece, Harpreet.
No one can say with certainty what happens. My learning, and experience leads me to the following understanding.
For us humans each one of us is made up of 3 components, they are body, mind and soul.
Think of the three travelling together in a vehicle.
The soul is the silent, non participating owner, master, and passenger.
The body with the brain is the vehicle.
The human brain is like a computer hardware, it's just a processor. As with all creatures the human brain comes at birth with a certain prepackaged set of biological instructions that facilitates body function. These are breathing, vision, digestion, sleep, etc.
Humans are the only known creatures to possess imagination and consciousness.
Therefore unlike other animals, we alone have the potential to evolve and be more than the mere biological functions that we are born with.
I would like to clarify here, that what we think of as the mind is not the brain. All evolution, knowledge, and wisdom is generated, experienced, and stored by the mind.
The mind is in every cell of our body. For we begin life from a single cell multiplying into approximately 5 trillion cells. Each cell is a living being.
The mind is a continuously expanding software program both in memory storage and in processing capability.
The mind is the driver of the vehicle.
The mind because it's an extension of the body also perishes when the body perishes.
The mind is constantly expanding its knowledge but its function is the protection, enhancement of the body and to provide direction and pace to the soul.
Therefore the consequences of our actions and inactions, which we call as Karma, the mind sets the direction and location of where the soul will travel to, and what support and resistance it will receive in its journey.
Because of excessive or under stimulus to the body and mind caused by pollution, chemicals, drugs, and unnatural lifestyle, the body, and the mind cannot communicate effectively. As a result the mind tends to become confused, or worse, deadened, which loses most of its connection with the soul the master.
To continue with our analogy of the vehicle to explain.
Like a drunken driver in a bad vehicle, the mind is unable to direct nor control the vehicle. As a result the master is flung about and out onto the road.
This soul which has no vehicle lands itself in another new vehicle. It then begins another journey in another time and place. With the death of the body the mind also perishes.
The Atman (soul) feels nothing, remembers nothing, its only function is to provide consciousness.
Having said that, there are two real life examples directly from my own circle of life. which oppose what I have just mentioned. Therein lies the dichotomy.
With Ayurveda and all forms of healthy living permits the mind, body and soul working together as whole (hence holy). The ancients in many parts of the world learnt that the mind and body can unshackle the soul from the body and mind at will.
Sometimes but rarely the mind can go with the Atman. They can journey together.
My niece Harpreet (name changed) was born a day after her mother witnessed a horrific road accident of a young woman hit by a speeding bus and died later that night in the hospital.
My cousin shocked by having witnessed the accident immediately went into labour and was rushed to hospital. She delivered my niece Harpreet a day later with great difficulty.
When she was born Harpreet had extensive blue and black marks over her body, particularly the thighs, the chest, abdomen, stomach, and on the back.
Fortunately for Harpreet now 41 years of age, most of the blue and black marks began to fade away starting from age 4 and almost disappeared by the time she was 8. She still has some light marks on her thigh and stomach.
A strange thing happened when she was 2. She kept on crying 'longing for her children', often saying "My children are hungry, they are missing me. I want to go to them."
At first Harpreet's behaviour was cute and entertaining, but soon the parents grew concerned and then seized by panic.
At first they felt that she had become possessed by some evil spirits. However that thought ran counter to what a lifetime of Sikhism had taught them. They had faith in the Guru.
Her parents religious Sikhs were deeply concerned. All sorts of prayers were offered. She was taken to various pilgrimages, but the child kept on moaning and wailing.
After about 6 months, a wise old aunt counselled the parents not to dismiss Harpreet's utterances. Maybe they should probe further.
The aunt conversed with now 3 year old Harpreet and tried to make sense of her uttering.
Surprisingly Harpreet was able to describe the area and landmarks near the place where her children lived. A bit of detective work and they reached the place and the child pointed the way until they reached a small but decent house in the old city part of Pune.
Speaking to neighbours and the residents of the house. It emerged that the house was that of the young lady that had died in the bus accident which my cousin had witnessed.
At the home of the deceased woman Harpreet was almost instantly drawn to and became friendly and loving towards the 3 children of the home.
The husband and the in-laws of the deceased young lady confirmed that she had died after the horrible accident because of a lot of internal bleeding making her entire body black and blue.
Harpreet's father could not reconcile himself with the contradiction with what he had witnessed and what he had grown up learning. After they returned home he announced that never again would the family discuss this matter again with anyone.
However the matter is most important and relevant and I have shared it after taking permission of Harpreet on the condition that her real name and details would never be revealed.
Why must they, Rest in Peace? - Guru Wonder