vàyuranilamamçtamathedaü bhasmàntaü ÷arãram
OM krato smara kçtaü smara krato smara kçtaü smara
(May my) Prana melt into the all-pervading Air, the eternal Sutratman, and may this body be burnt by fire to ashes. OM! O mind! remember my deeds! O mind! remember, remember my deeds! - Isavasya Upanishad
Before I get deeply into the concept of death, astral world and reincarnation, lets see the definition of Death.
According to Swami Sivananada, death is separation of the soul from the physical body. Death becomes the starting point of a new and better life. Death does not end your personality and self-consciousness. It merely opens the door to a higher form of life. Death is only the gateway to a fuller life.
Birth and death are jugglery of Maya. He who is born begins to die. He who dies begins to live. Life is death and death is life. Birth and death are merely doors of entry and exist on the stage of this world. In reality no one comes, no one goes. Brahman or the Eternal alone exists.
Just as you move from one house to another house, the soul passes from one body to another to gain experience. Just as a man casting off worn-out garments, takes new ones, so the dweller in this body, casting off worn-out bodies, enters into others which are new.
Death is not the end of life. Life is one continuous never-ending process. Death is only a passing and necessary phenomenon, which every soul has to pass to gain experience for its further evolution.
Dissolution of the body is no more than sleep. Just as man sleeps and wakes up, so is death and birth. Death is like sleep. Birth is like waking up. Death brings promotion to a new and better life. A man of discrimination and wisdom is not afraid of death. He knows that death is the gate of life. Death to him is no longer a skeleton bearing a sword to cut the thread of life, but rather an angel who has a golden key to unlock for him the door to a wider, fuller and happier existence.
Every soul is a circle. The circumference of this circle is nowhere but its centre is in the body. Death means the change of this centre from body to body. Why, then, should you be afraid of death?
The Supreme Soul or Paramatman is deathless, decayless, timeless, causeless and spaceless. It is the source and substratum for this body, mind and the whole world. There is death for the physical body only, which is a compound of five elements. How can there be death for the Eternal Soul which is beyond time, space and causation?
If you wish to free yourself from birth and death, you must become bodiless. Body is the result of Karmas or actions. You must not do any action with expectation of fruits. If you free yourself from Raga-Dvesha, or likes and dislikes, you will be free from Karma. If you kill egoism only, you can free yourself from Raga and Dvesha. If you annihilate ignorance through knowledge of the Imperishable, you can annihilate egoism. The root-cause for this body is therefore ignorance.
He who realises the Eternal Soul, which is beyond all sound, all sight, all taste, all touch, which is formless and attributeless, which is beyond Nature, which is beyond three bodies and five sheaths, which is infinite and unchanging, self-luminous, frees himself from the jaws of death.To be contd..