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The Mechanism Of Reincarnation
What Happens At Death?
The soul has two kinds of body - the subtle body and the gross body. Actually the soul enjoys through the subtle body, which is composed of mind, intelligence and ego. The gross body is the instrumental outer covering. When the gross body is lost, or when it dies, the root of the gross body - the mind, intelligence and ego - continues and brings about another gross body. Although the gross bodies change, the real root of the gross body - the subtle body - is always there. The subtle body's activities - be they pious or impious - create another situation for the soul to enjoy or suffer in the next gross body. Thus the subtle body continues whereas the gross bodies change one after another. So at the time of death this subtle body carries the soul to another gross body. The process is just like air carrying a fragrance. Nobody can see how a rose fragrance is coming, but we know that it is being carried by the air. Similarly the process of transmigration of the soul is very subtle. According to the condition of the mind at the time of death, the minute soul enters into the womb of a particular mother through the semen of a father, and then the soul develops a particular type of body given by the mother. It may be the body of a human being, a cat, a dog or any other species. This is basically the mechanism of reincarnation.
The Mind Carries the Unfulfilled Plans At Death
As long as one is absorbed in the bodily conception, his activities are performed on that platform.. In the world, we see that every man is trying to advance beyond his fellow men and every nation is trying to supersede every other nation. All these activities are going on under the name of advancement of civilization. There are many plans for making the body comfortable. When the gross body is finished, the plans of the living entity are taken by the mind, and by the grace of the Lord, the living entity gets a chance to give these plans shape in the next life.
We have actually seen that when one man was about to die he requested his physician to give him a chance to live four more years so that he could finish his plans. This means that while dying he was thinking of his plans. After his body was destroyed, he doubtlessly earned his plans with him by means of the subtle body, composed of mind, intelligence and ego. Thus he would get another chance by the grace of the Supreme Lord, the Supersoul, who is always within the heart: sarvasya caharh hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanarh ca (Bhagavad-gita 15.15). In the next birth, one acquires remembrance from the Supersoul and begins to execute the plans begun in the previous life.