Question: If a seeker dies, do all his responsibilities and work cease in the period between his death and his rebirth? Or is he able to work consciously, or in some way continue the work that he started, before he comes back to earth?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the achievement of the individual seeker. Suppose an advanced seeker has left the body, and suppose there were many things he had wanted to accomplish on earth when he was there, but he could not. What will he do? When he leaves the body, he has to go through the physical sheath, vital sheath, mental sheath and other sheaths, and then he will enter into the soul’s region. If it is not his own will to come back to the earth for ten or twenty years, and if it is also not God’s Will for him to come back, then in the meantime he can get his work done on earth through someone still on earth who is dearest to him. Because he is an advanced soul, he can apply his soul’s will from where he is to his dearest one on earth. But ordinary human beings cannot do this when they leave the body.

Say, for example, someone wants his children to get their Master’s degree. Then after leaving the body, as long as the soul is in the vital world, in the subtle sheath, it can send these desires and ordinary wishes to the children. Through the vital, the soul still keeps some physical contact with earth. Ordinary earthly desires can be fulfilled or enhanced by the will of the deceased person who has left the body a year or two earlier. But when the soul goes back to the higher planes, at that time it will not desire, it will not operate in this way on sons or daughters who are still on earth. The soul will not care for the children’s earthly satisfaction, for the fulfilment of their teeming earthly desires. But if the soul has heavenly aspiration for its dear ones, from the higher worlds it will try to increase their aspiration and help them in every possible way. The soul will go to mighty souls who are still on earth, and beg them to help the dear ones in the spiritual world. But if the soul is very highly evolved and it sees that somebody is really sincere and aspiring, then the soul itself can help that person.