This is really an eternal question. This question is being asked by many philosophers, theologists and psychologists again and again through out history. But the quest continuous and seems to be unending. There was no time in the history that this question was not asked. This question is a part of our past, present and future. But still the question remains unanswered and the quest continuous. The answer to this question remains elusive. To me the question is being asked in a wrong manner. To me the quest seems to be moving in a wrong direction.
Many ask this wrong question: Is there life after death? But nobody asks the right question: Is there life before death? Because my insight and understanding is that if there is no life before death, then it is 100% certain that there is life after death.
Death is a great renewing process. Renewal to know and feel the life itself. Each moment something is dying in us and simultaneously something new is being born. The whole purpose of death is to get to new life again. The whole purpose of death is get in touch with life again. The whole purpose of death is to get an opportunity to experience life again. And the whole purpose of life is to know more life, to understand the richness of life, to feel the height and depth of life, to feel the mystery of life and finally in the process to know and feel the deathless within our own being. This deathless in all of us is that soul. Knowing and feeling this deathless is knowing the soul. And knowing this soul in us is knowing true life. This is the whole purpose of life. Unless we attain to this deathless, we can never know what death is and what life is. The whole process of knowing and experiencing this deathless in us is spirituality. Spirituality simply means knowing the spirit within. We can never be able to conquer death. This has never been possible to anybody. Death is inevitable. Life is uncertain but death is certain. Death is the only thing that is certain. Life is probable. Life is neither birth nor death. It is something beyond both. It is transcendental. True life is possible through efforts. True life is possible only through contemplation and meditation.
Only the body dies and not the soul. Even to say that the body dies is a wrong thing. The body only gets transformed. The physical state gets transformed to the spiritual state. The physical being only gets transformed to a spiritual being. It is a great transformation. It is a great metamorphosis. It is a great transmutation. It is a great change. It is a great synthesis. Nothing really dies. It is only our perception that something dies. According to science matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. All matter is energy. All energy is some form of matter. Only one form of energy is transformed to another form of energy. This process of change is an alchemy. Every day thousands of cells in our body are dying and thousands of new cells are being born. The whole body is getting rejuvenated every day. We can at the most increase the span of our life by good food and good health care. This also we can only try. The result is not certain. The result is not in our hands. The result is in the hands of the unknown. The result is in the hands of the divine. The result is only a probability. By following a right discipline: right food, right exercise, right sleep, right thinking, right feeling and right meditation, we can increase the span of our life to some extent and we can lead a healthy life. This we can only try. And this whole thing may result into a right living. The outcome of all this can be our spiritual well-being. Doctors and scientists have tried to see the death process of our body. They have tried various ways of making our body deathless. They are trying to conquer death. There are some animals like alligators whose cells are not dying but only growing. The same process can not be applied to human beings. The only cells that do not die in the human body are the cancer cells. The life of the animals can be extended but the same process can not be applied to the human beings. If the same process is applied there is every possibility of developing cancer cells within the human body. These experiments are conducted on mice, etc. To some extent they are successful but the same can not be applied to the human beings. According to the scientists the dying process of the human beings is very different and very mysterious. They do not have much clue and insight into the dying process of the human beings. It is still under the process of their study and understanding.
According to Spirituality the death is a different thing altogether. It is not the death of the body. It is the death of something within the body and the realization of something deathless within the body. The body will any way die one day. The physical body is only a transition. It is a temporal thing. Let us take one small example to understand this process of change properly. Take the example of a cow. The milk-giving cow has milk glands within her body. The glands are full of milk but the milk is still inside her body and has yet not come outside her body. This milk can still stay there forever till the milk glands have the capability to produce the milk. By seeing her calf out of love her milk glands get activated and the milk comes out easily. This milk which has come out has a little life and the milk can get spoiled unless consumed or transformed into some other more stable form. This milk can be consumed by the calf for his health and the same can also be consumed by the human beings for their health. Any milk left out has a little life unless preserved. What are the ways? If we boil the milk its life gets extended. If we keep it in a refrigerator its life can be extended. If it is converted into 'Paneer' its life can be further extended. If the milk is converted into curd its life is also extended. If the curd is converted into buttermilk and butter its life is further extended. If the milk is converted into milk-powder its life is further extended. If the butter is converted into Ghee its life is further extended and it can be preserved for many more days and months. Milk-powder, Curd, Buttermilk, Paneer, Butter and Ghee are various forms of the same milk. Only the forms are changed and the life is extended. Only the states are changed and the life is extended. It is the same matter and same energy but in a different form and in a different state. Each form and each state serves its own purpose. If we evaluate the various forms of milk on the basis of the length of life of the milk then Ghee is on a much better footing than the milk and the other forms of milk. Same is the case with our spiritual process of change. The physical being to a spiritual being is a great process of change. Meditation is the catalytic agent of this process of change. The whole change is moving from a lower state to the higher state.
It is not only the body that is changing but our mind is also changing every moment. Negative thoughts go and give place to positive thoughts. Negative emotions go and give place to positive emotions. Lower thoughts go and give place to higher thoughts. Lower emotions go and give place higher emotions. In the process we attain to the stillness of our being. The outcome of all this is attaining to extremely positive thoughts and emotions. These positive thoughts and emotions are not in contrast to the negative thoughts and emotions. It is state where there is no opposite. The other has gone. The opposite has gone. The competitor has gone. What remains behind is an eternal awareness and consciousness. True love has no opposite. True compassion has no opposite. The knowing, feeling and existential experience of this state is deathless and immortal. This is our soul. It is unborn, deathless and immortal. This is an existential experience within the same physical being. This experience is deathless. This soul is deathless. Our body in any way will die and there is no doubt about that. It is a transition. It is a temporary thing. But before it dies we can try for this experience. This experience is possible through meditation. The process of moving on this path of change is called Spirituality.