Guruji, what happens to the soul of a person before and after death? How do prayers and good thoughts help the departed souls?

When a person is about to die, the Jiva or soul contracts and withdraws into a state of slumber, just like that of an unborn baby in the mother’s womb. The senses become dimmer until completely extinguished. In such a state, the Jiva carries concentrated records of its entire life. The astral body then passes out in a misty form. The soul which is in deep slumber does not know that its physical plane (Annamaya Kosha) is no more, and that it exists only in the mental plane (Manomaya Kosha). The weeping and wailing of relatives affect the soul adversely. So, only prayers and good thoughts should be conveyed. After waking up from its inactive state, the soul enters into astral plane. Negative vibrations caused by loud weeping and wailing, would be distressing just like a newly born infant would be distressed by the loud noises around it. Silent shedding of tears may be inevitable, but loud wailing should be completely avoided. One needs to behave with total sensitivity at such occasions, especially so because the deceased is on its final journey. Prayers and good wishes create vibrations that bring about pleasantness in the soul’s mental plane, and it is very important for people to understand and adhere to the requirement of the soul of the departed one.

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