Question: How does death affect a human being's quest to aspire and to come face to face with God?

Sri Chinmoy: Yesterday I gave a talk on this matter at Kent University. The subject was, "Is Death the End?" I spoke elaborately on this yesterday, but now I wish to say regarding death that nothing is ended. If someone has aspired here, say for ten, fifteen or twenty years and has not yet realised the highest truth, he will come back again. He has to realise the Highest here on earth; God-realisation has to take place here, here on earth.

Death is like a stopping place on the road of Eternity and life is the traveller, the eternal traveller. The soul is the guide. When the traveller becomes tired and exhausted, the guide says, "Take a rest, for a long or a short time, and then afterwards start your journey again."

In our spiritual life, when we meditate, we see that we have gone far beyond the domain of death. The eternal Life, the boundless Life, is here in our consciousness. We come into existence and here we stay and play our roles of transitory life for fifty, sixty or seventy years. Then we pass through a transitory period of death, which is rest.

The body dies. The soul goes back to its own region. The soul knows how much it has achieved or how much it has offered to the world at large here. Now, before it enters into the world again, it will have an interview with the Highest Supreme and will make a solemn promise to Him concerning what it will do in its next incarnation here on earth. Then, with the Blessings of God, it will come down again.

So now, the progress that the soul has made through its aspiration here, towards its own self-revelation, is not lost at all at death because the soul has carried with it all the light that it has acquired.

If we live the life of aspiration, nothing is lost. Nothing. Temporary rest we take, like a soldier who is tired and takes rest for some time and then returns to the battlefield. Here, the soldier has to fight against doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, imperfections, limitations and ignorance. These are the enemies he has to conquer.

But, to come back to your question, nothing is lost. The soul will come back again to this earth arena which it has left. It will return with a higher promise, a higher light, a deeper message from God.