There is a dark room. We light a lamp and put it in the room. The lamp is lit and it lights up the room too. Now you take it to another room. Now the previous room is dark. The living being or jiva is like that. It comes from outside into the mother's womb and one day it also leaves the body. The entity that leaves the dead body is 'me'. You must have understood now; that which leaves the body is 'me'. But this is not really so. Why? Because when the jiva leaves, it does not leave alone. It goes accompanied by the mind, the intellect, body and senses. (Kaushitaki Upanishad 3.4)
How can this be? We see the body lying here along with the senses. No, there is a subtle body. We actually have three bodies. There is a gross body, a subtle body and a causal body. First of all, the soul gets a subtle body with senses, a mind and intellect. This doesn't make sense! All right, I will explain to you.
When you sleep you dream, don't you? When you dream, your body and senses are lying on the bed, aren't they? But in your dreams, you leave the bed and go to England, America, Canada and up in the sky, down into the subterranean regions. How do you go there? You see in your dreams and hear just as you do in your waking state. You may have experienced eating rasagulla (an Indian dessert) in your dreams sometimes and experience a beating too. You also experience yourself dying in your sleep. All these experiences are there. Where did the senses come from for this? Your mind goes to varied places but your body is here. You are not dead, the body is still breathing. Someone shakes you awake and you protest, Why did you wake me up?
So when we leave the gross body, a subtle body, mind and senses leave with us . . .
An excerpt from the English translation of a discourse originally given in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
20 October 2009
Bhakti Dham, Mangarh