Question: Even if a seeker hasn't realised God while on earth, will his soul see God or realise God after it leaves the body?

Sri Chinmoy: Every soul is bound to see God, because the soul must come directly from God. When the soul leaves the body, it goes to the vital world, the mental world, the psychic world and finally to the soul’s own world. Here it rests for a while. Then, before it comes down for its next incarnation, the soul will have an interview with God. The soul has to stand in front of the Supreme and say how much it has achieved in its past incarnation. It will see the possibilities of its coming incarnation, and make promises to the Supreme. The aims and ideals that the soul expresses for its role in the world of revelation and manifestation have to be approved by the Supreme. Sometimes the Supreme Himself says: “I expect this from you. Try to accomplish it for My sake there on earth.”

The soul that sees God and has a conversation with Him is like a stranger to us, for most of us have not seen the soul on earth. Unless we have free access to the soul, unless we hear the voice of the soul and try to listen to its inner dictates, it is simply impossible for us to realise God. After it leaves the body, every soul will see God in the sense that I see you because I am standing in front of you. But the thing is that when one realises God in the physical, here on earth, it is a totally different matter. Here the whole consciousness — the physical consciousness, the individual consciousness — merges into the infinite Light and Bliss. When we read spiritual books or listen to others, we may feel that God is ours. But our conscious oneness is something else. When we consciously feel God as our very own, then at every moment in our inner life, our inner existence, we feel boundless Peace. Outwardly we may be excited or talking, but in our inner life we are a sea of Peace, Light and Delight. When this sea of Peace, Light and Delight comes into our physical being, our physical consciousness, then our inner divinity can be manifested on earth. In Heaven we cannot manifest anything, and also we cannot realise anything. If the soul does not realise God while it is here on earth in the shackles of the finite, it will not realise God when it is in its own world. Realisation can only be achieved through the physical.