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Feb 09, 2003 12:49 PM
by dalval14





The necessity for this state after death is one of the necessities of
evolution growing out of the nature of Mind and Soul. The very nature
of manas requires a devachanic state as soon as the body is lost, and
it is simply the effect of loosening the bonds placed upon the mind by
its physical and astral encasement. In life we can but to a fractional
extent act out the thoughts we have each moment; and still less can we
exhaust the psychic energies engendered by each day's aspirations and
dreams. The energy thus engendered is not lost or annihilated, but is
stored in Manas, but the body, brain, and astral body permit no full
development of the force. Hence, held latent until death, it bursts
then from the weakened bonds and plunges Manas, the thinker, into the
expansion, use, and development of the thought-force set up in life.

The whole process is remedial, restful, and beneficial. For if the
average man returned at once to another body in the same civilization
he had just quitted, his soul would be completely tired out and
deprived of the needed opportunity for the development of the higher
part of his nature.

Now the Ego clothes itself in devachan with a vesture which can be
styled means or vehicle, and it functions entirely on the plane of
mind and soul. Everything is as real then to the being as this world
seems to be to us. It has obtained the opportunity to make its own
world for itself unhampered by the clogs of physical life. Its state
may be compared to that of the poet or artist who, rapt in ecstasy
cares not for and knows not of either time or objects of the world.

This question while dealing with what earth-men call time does not, of
course, touch the real meaning of time itself, that is, of what may be
in fact for this solar system the ultimate order, precedence,
succession, and length of moments. But the Ego remains in devachan for
a time exactly proportioned to the psychic impulses generated during
life. Now this being a matter which deals with the mathematics of the
soul, no one but a Master can tell what the time would be for the
average man of this century in every land. That average, is fifteen
hundred years in general and not a fixed one.

Desperately materialistic thinkers will remain in the devachanic
condition stupefied or asleep, as it were, as they have no forces in
them appropriate to that state save in a very vague fashion, and for
them it can be very truly said that there is no state after death so
far as mind is concerned; they are torpid for a while, and then they
live again on earth.

Existence in Devachan is an actual stage in the life of man, and when
we are there this present life is a dream. It is not in any sense
monotonous. Contrasted with the continuous strain of earth life,
Nature, always kind, leads us soon again into "heaven" for a rest, for
the flowering of the best and highest in our natures.

Devachan is then neither meaningless nor useless. "In it we are
rested; that part of us which could not bloom under the chilling skies
of earth-life bursts forth into flower and goes back with us to
earth-life stronger and more a part of our nature than before. Why
should we repine that Nature kindly aids us in the interminable
struggle, why keep the mind revolving about the present petty
personality and its good and evil fortunes? " (Letter from Mahatma K.
H. See PATH, p. 191, Vol. 5.)

A question to consider is whether we here can reach those in devachan
or do they come here. We cannot reach them nor affect them unless we
are Adepts. The claim of mediums to hold communion with the SPIRITS of
the dead is baseless, and still less valid is the claim of ability to
help those who have gone to devachan. The Mahatma, a being who has
developed all his powers and is free from illusion, can go into the
devachanic state and then communicate with the Egos there. Such is one
of their functions. They deal with certain entities in devachan for
the purpose of getting them out of the state so as to return to earth
for the benefit of the race. The Egos they thus deal with are those
whose nature is great and deep but who are not wise enough to be able
to overcome the natural illusions of devachan.

The whole period allotted by the soul's forces being ended in
devachan, the magnetic threads which bind it to earth begin to assert
their power. The Self wakes from the dream, it is borne swiftly off to
a new body, and then, just before birth, it sees for a moment all the
causes that led it to devachan and back to the life it is about to
begin, and knowing it to be all just, to be the result of its own past
life, it repines not but takes up the cross again -- and another soul
has come back to earth.


Theosophy applies to the self -- the Thinker -- the same laws which
are seen everywhere in operation throughout nature, and those are all
varieties of the great law that effects follow causes and no effect is
without a cause.

Viewing life and its probable object, with all the varied experience
possible for man, one must be forced to the conclusion that a single
life is not enough for carrying out all that is intended by Nature, to
say nothing of what man himself desires to do. The scale of variety in
experience is enormous.

There is a vast range of powers latent in man which we see may be
developed if opportunity be given. Knowledge infinite in scope and
diversity lies before us, and especially in these days when special
investigation is the rule.

We perceive that we have high aspirations with no time to reach up to
their measure, while the great troop of passions and desires, selfish
motives and ambitions, war with us and among themselves, pursuing us
even to the door of death. All these have to be tried, conquered,
used, subdued. One life is not enough for all this.

We come back to earth because on it and with the beings upon it our
deeds were performed; because it is the only proper place where
punishment and reward can be justly meted out; because here is the
only natural spot in which to continue the struggle toward perfection,
toward the development of the faculties we have and the destruction of
the wickedness we created, and which is attached to us.

Justice to ourselves and to all other beings demands it, for we cannot
live for ourselves, and it would be unjust to permit some of us to
escape, leaving those who were participants with us to remain or to be
plunged into a hell where the victim receives no compensation.

And lastly, the fact that certain Inherent Ideas are common to the
whole race is explained by the Sages as due to recollection of such
ideas which were implanted in the human mind, by those Brothers and
Sages who learned their lessons and were perfected in former ages,
long before the development of this globe began. These Inherent
Ideas -- virtues and brotherhood -- will always be recollected as they
accompany the Ego through the long pilgrimage to Perfection.


In chronological order we go into kama-loka -- or the plane of
desire -- first on the demise of the body, and then, the higher
principles, the Real Man, falls into the state of Devachan.

The breath leaves the body and we say the man is dead, but that is
only the beginning of death; it proceeds on other planes. When the
frame is cold and eyes closed, all the forces of the body and mind
rush through the brain, and by a series of pictures the whole life
just ended is imprinted indelibly on the Inner Man, not only in a
general outline, but down to the smallest detail of even the most
minute and fleeting impression.

At this moment, the real man is busy in the brain, and not until his
work there is ended is the person gone. When this solemn work is over
the astral body detaches itself from the physical, and, life energy
having departed, the remaining five principles are in the plane of
kama loka. This process takes about half an hour.

The natural separation of the principles brought about by death
divides the total man into three parts:

* First, the visible body with all its elements left to further
disintegration on the earth plane, where all that it is composed of is
in time resolved into the different physical departments of nature.
* Second, the kama rupa made up of the astral body and the passions
and desires, which also begins at once to go to pieces on the astral
* Third, the real man, the upper triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, deathless
but now out of earth conditions, devoid of body, begins in devachan to
function solely as mind clothed in a very ethereal vesture which it
will shake off when the time comes for it to return to earth.
Kama loka -- or the place of desire -- is the astral region
penetrating and surrounding the earth. As a place it is on and in and
about the earth. Its extent is to a measurable distance from the
earth, but the ordinary laws obtaining here do not obtain there, and
entities therein are not under the same conditions as to space and
time as we are.


It is called the plane of desire because it relates to the fourth
principle, and in it the ruling force is desire devoid of and divorced
from intelligence. It is an astral sphere intermediate between earthly
and heavenly life. The fact underlying this is that the soul may be
detained in kama loka by the enormous force of some unsatisfied
desire, and cannot get rid of the astral and kamic clothing until that
desire is satisfied by some one on earth or by the soul itself.

But if the person was pure minded and of high aspirations, the
separation of the principles on that plane is soon completed,
permitting the Higher Triad to go into Devachan.

Being the purely astral sphere, it partakes of the nature of the
astral matter which is essentially earthly and devilish, and in it all
the forces work undirected by soul or conscience. It is the slag-pit,
as it were, of the great furnace of life. In kama loka all the
hidden desires and passions are let loose in consequence of the
absence of body, and for that reason the state is vastly more
diversified than the life plane.

It is generally supposed that the desires and passions are inherent
tendencies in the individual, and they have an altogether unreal and
misty appearance for the ordinary student. While the man is living in
the world, the desires and passions -- the principle kama -- have no
separate life apart from the astral and inner man, being diffused
throughout his being.

During mortal life the desires and passions are guided by the mind and
soul; after death they work without guidance from the former master;
while we live we are responsible for them and their effects, and when
we have left this life we are still responsible, although they go on
working and making effects on others and without our direct guidance.
In this is seen the continuance of responsibility.

In kama are the really active and important tendencies and Skandhas
are being made from day to day under the law that every thought
combines instantly with one of the elemental forces of nature,
becoming to that extent an entity which will endure in accordance with
the strength of the thought as it leaves the brain, and all of these
are inseparably connected with the being who evolved them. There is no
way of escaping; all we can do is to have thoughts of good quality,
for the highest of the Masters themselves are not exempt from this
law, but they "people their current in space" with entities powerful
for good alone.

Now in kama loka this mass of desire and thought exists very
definitely. Hence it is said to remain until the being comes out of
devachan, and then at once by the law of attraction it is drawn to the
being, who from it as basis builds up a new set of skandhas for the
new life. Every atom going to make up the man has a memory of its own
which is capable of lasting a length of time in proportion to the
force given it.

In the case of a very material and gross or selfish person the force
lasts longer than in any other. Its purely astral portion contains and
carries the record of all that ever passed before the person when
living, for one of the qualities of the astral substance is to absorb
all scenes and pictures and the impressions of all thoughts, to keep
them, and to throw them forth by reflection when the conditions


Struggling out of the body Atma-Buddhi-Manas, begins to think in a
manner different from that which the body and brain permitted in life.
This is the state of Devachan, Sanskrit : "the place of the gods."
The Self in Devachan is devoid of a mortal body. The stay in
Devachan is proportionate to the merit earned by the being in its last
life [from a few year to as much as 100 centuries -- the average being
about 1500 years] and when the mental forces peculiar to the state are
exhausted, "the being is drawn down again to be reborn in the world of

Devachan is therefore an interlude between births in the world. The
law of karma which forces us all to enter the world, being ceaseless
in its operation and also universal in scope, acts also on the being
in devachan, for only by the force or operation of Karma are we taken
out of devachan.

The last series of powerful and deeply imprinted thoughts are those
which give color and trend to the whole life in devachan. The last
moment will color each subsequent moment. On those the soul and mind
fix themselves and weave of them a whole set of events and
experiences, expanding them to their highest limit, carrying out all
that was not possible in life.

(extracts from The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY (Judge)

End of Part 2.

Best wishes,


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