Each one of us will wonder at some point in life, “Why is after-current-life such a mystery? Is there anything about after-current-life that all truth seekers agree on?” After-current-life is a mystery because obviously no one came back after death to speak about what happened later! 😊

What happens after-current-life may be a mystery. But, one thing is true. There was something definitely before-current-life for each one of us. How can we be sure about it?

That’s because, each one of us look different, act different, going through different experiences and are unique in character, tastes, and everything that we can think of. Even identical twins are not 100% identical. Hence, there is something before-current-life that drove us all to such unique states. Otherwise, we would all be the same. If there is something before-current-life, then there must be something coming up too! 

What happens after-current-life?

The quest for this question is the origin of all religions, all philosophies and schools of thought. No matter what religion or philosophy one may believe in, the goal of everyone after-current-life is to be _______. What is it?

Take a minute and ponder, what would you want your next life to be like?

Better state than the current one

If you are a millionaire now, would you want to be a billionaire in next life? Is that good enough?

   Happiness

Happiness is about physical comfort. One may be physically comfortable on a nice sofa with AC on in a big house, but what if his mental state is dependent on external factors and constantly lives in fear of losing everything he “owns”? Is that good enough?

Mental peace

A peaceful mind that does not react to anything, is that good enough? Is mental peace the final goal?

Ability to control the world 

Is this practical?  Can we define the movement of the Sun, the fire, oceans, etc? Vedas state that this wish is practical. This is the kind of activity that Hiranyakasipu, Ravana tried to do but failed because they did not accept/realise the superiority of God.

Whereas, Prahlada could control the world (even without seeking it) because he truly surrendered to God (Hiranyakasipu tried to kill Prahlada by  fire, oceans and poisonous snakes – but they all worked for Prahlada). Is control over everything enough for after-current-life?

Constant service to God

Anything constant can get boring, even with God! 😊 [For the sake of all the liberated souls, God appears ever new in form and qualities, thus boredom is not an issue for them – apu:rvavad vismayam a:dhadha:naya:]. So, it’s not the constant service that is enough! It is something else that God is giving them. What is that?

Unless any of the above lead you to eternal state of joy, they can’t be termed as the best. The goal of anyone after-current-life is to be eternally blissful. This state is called parama padam, the greatest state for a soul. 

All religions aim to provide their followers with ways to attain this state of eternal bliss. All activities that a religion recommends are for this purpose. A Vyshnava celebrates ‘Paramapada Uthsavam’, when one leaves the current body to celebrate the beautiful state the soul has attained. Unless one establishes the forgotten identity of being lovingly subservient to God, the supreme entity of the entire existence, one cannot experience the eternal state of joy, the BLISS!

The family and friends of the deceased wish, hope and pray that the soul has moved to this highest state. Therefore, ‘Paramapada Uthsavam’ event is celebrated. It goes on for 11 days where a priest submits various prayers to God, elaborates the journey the soul, the steps involved in the path to eternal bliss (archiradi margam) to all the gathered friends and family. 

The long-held association with the person obviously results in shock, sadness and a feeling of loneliness to all near and dear. Thus, this becomes the right time for all the gathered to hear from Vedic scriptures about the nature of soul, the journey and goal of life, etc. 

Does it take 11 days for the soul to reach the eternal state of bliss?

No, the soul experiences blissful state with God instantly. Example: When something touches your feet, you experience the touch instantly, don’t you? The soul’s ability to experience anything is instantaneous. If the soul is ready for the state of eternal bliss, the beautiful abode of God – the experience begins instantly. The duration of 11 days is for the friends and family to understand this wisdom and wish the soul the highest state of eternal bliss.

Waw! That’s okay about after-life. For now, I seek a happy life and a peaceful end/death!

So true! Although it’s important to believe and work for an eternally joyful state during current life, what everyone hopes for is easy and peaceful death. Death that does not involve days of hard time in hospital beds, family struggling to take care of us at old-age. There is a prayer that seeks for this. Everyone including doctors say that this is a prayer that’s worth praying for everyone.

Anayasena maranam
Vina dainyena jeevanam
Dehi me! krupaya Vishno!
Tvayi bhaktim achanchalam!

అనాయాసేన మరణం
వినా దైన్యేన జీవనం !
దేహి మే! కృపయా విష్ణో!
త్వయి భక్తిం అచంచలమ్ !!

Oh Lord Vishnu, bless me to live life comfortably without begging anyone for anything, bless me a peaceful end, and an unswerving devotion towards you! 

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– 27 th January 2019, at a Paramapada Utsavam Event
– Gachibowli, Hyderabad


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