The Art of Dying – Part II by Dr. Newton Kondaveti, MD
Previously we learnt how to live without fear of death and how to overcome grief. Today, Dr. Newton shares his concept of Heaven and Hell and how families can play an important role in curbing suicidal tendencies.
Thriive: What is your take on the concept of Heaven and Hell?
Dr. Newton: People who have gone through near-death experiences or have astral-/soul-travelled during meditation have reported that there are planes of consciousness known as the higher and lower vibratory energetic planes which people go to after death.
The lower vibratory energetic planes are a little dense. People who are on this plane carry guilt and other identifications such as clingings, cravings, attachments and desires of the Earth plane.
They do not have a quick transition and so they spend more time here. They go through some kinds of dark experiences, which might not really be dark but they make it so with their beliefs that they are going to be condemned for eternity for whatever blunders or mistakes they’ve made.
Many go to higher planes which we generally call Swarg Lok or Heaven. There they are welcomed with music by the Higher Beings who are members of their own soul family (those members who have passed on to the other side). One feels very happy here.
So you see, heaven and hell is a very limiting terminology and it scares a dying person (even the living, sometimes).
But people need not be scared because with awareness, they can dissolve their guilt before they die so that when they go into the After-Death stage, they don’t experience hellish or dark realms. They can quickly transit to the higher plane.
Thriive: How can people lose their guilt?
Dr. Newton: The practice of meditation makes people realize that life itself is a learning process. Our primary teacher is our own meditation. It teaches us to correct ourselves if we are deviating from the right path, if we are violating any cosmic law or universal principles. This awareness becomes our guide.
Thriive: So, what exactly happens after death?
Dr. Newton: After death, and this has been validated by research, people pass through the Gateway of Death. At that moment, they undergo a Life review moment – they witness a review of their life in the presence of many Higher Beings who are also known as Guides. In life, the souls might have done many blunders without realizing it. In this After-Death stage they realize they have caused pain to others through their words and actions and begin to feel guilty. The Guides play a major role here by making them understand that instead of feeling guilty they should learn the lessons. If the souls recognize that there are lessons they missed out on learning, they can transform their guilt into compassion. This is a beautiful process of self-forgiveness and the transition to the higher plane is quicker.
But some beings refuse to learn the lessons despite the intervention of the Guides. This happens rarely, though. Such beings take many lifetimes to evolve as they get stuck in those same patterns of negativity and of inflicting pain on others. And because Free Will exists they can at that very moment decide to go on to the Higher Path, or not.
Thriive: How does the death process heal at the soul level?
Dr. Newton: Death involves the soul leaving the body and that may cause it to feel free. But when a person is about to die, because of disease or a chronic illness, they try to attempt to heal themselves by putting all their efforts, learning all the lessons. But when they realize that it is not working, they finally bow down to the death process. The lesson they need to accept at that time is that of “Acceptance” – the acceptance of the inevitability of death and this can bring about a kind of deep soul healing.
Thriive: What happens to the soul in case of suicide, which is the unnatural termination of a natural process?
Dr. Newton: Every death, in a certain way, is optional. Freewill exists so some people choose to die soon. A strong death urge makes them highly suicidal and they develop a pattern of dying young through lifetimes either because they find the existence on the earth plane to be very scary or not worth living. Some lose a sense of purpose in life. They then attract death at a young age through illness or accidents.
This violates the Universal law of honoring life. The death urge needs to be transformed into the life urge through right understanding. Life is a beautiful gift given to us and we need to honour and respect it and live it fully giving it our 100% till our last breath.
In at least one incarnation of almost every soul, there is an impulsive moment in which the person committed suicide and so they are going to be carrying a lot of guilt. They might not find it easy to forgive themselves but the Guides in the Life After Death stage, which I mentioned earlier, help them to get over their guilt and also bestow on them the knowledge of resisting suicidal impulses and honoring life. They are also taught that enduring painful situations in life can often present to them important, valuable insights. People can thus overcome this tendency towards premature death.
Dying can be a very gracious process and advanced souls or sincere meditators by virtue of their practice of honoring life, know when the moment in their life arrives when they have to move on. They go through a beautiful transition at the ‘Life After Death’ stage as there is no fear of dying.
Thriive: What role does the family play in this dynamic of suicidal tendencies?
Dr. Newton: Most families lack the knowledge of life, death, life beyond death and how to make oneself happy and peaceful. Meditation and a spiritual education should be an integral part of every family system. Most of the people who are happy and peaceful never get suicidal thoughts. They participate fully in life and rarely contemplate death. Parents, must therefore, really encourage their children to be immersed in life and seek answers and understandings. They must equip them with spiritual tools at a very young age.