over a cuppa : a talk on ´what happens after death & beyond ?´- a talk by baisakhi saha.

A Branch of the Theosophical Society has been established in Calcutta.  People taking any interest in Theosophy should become Fellows of it, and subscribe to the Theosophist — a monthly journal which contains much valuable and interesting reading, and costs only Rs. 8 per annum.  The initiation fee of a Fellow of the Society is only Rs. 10, and all receipts from this and every other source are expended upon the Society’s work; the officers receive no salaries, or other emoluments of any kind. – Norendra Nath Sen in The Indian Mirror (Calcutta), Vol. XXII, April 14, 1882.

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¨An old building in the congested college square area occupied by The Theosophical Society of India for more than ninety years. The lecture hall on the second floor , 58 feet long & 24 feet wide, with its old dusty cupboard full of books on Theosophy and faded oil paintings of potentates of Theosophy given to Satabdi on hire every Friday after much persuasion”- Badal Sircar.

Excerpts from the book ´Badal Sircar : Towards a theatre of conscience´

The Bengal Theosophical Society is now of course the owner of the building which it received as a donation from the landlord and were able to nicely settle in after a protracted legal battle. The walls are freshly painted, the books are still nicely stacked in the cupboards which are not so dusty and the oil paintings are still fading…….

We are privileged to be engaging with Bengal Theosophical Society in jointly organizing this session of ´Over A Cuppa ‘- A talk on ´What happens after death & beyond´: a talk by Baisakhi Saha on Independence Day, to celebrate the spirit of freedom & pursue new inquiries of the occult.

This session is supported by Iris Home Fragrance.

Venue : The Bengal Theosophical Society. 4/3A, Bankim Chandra Street, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073.

Date & Time : August 15, 2017 | 4 pm – 6 pm

Entry is free & open to all

About the Talk

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Do we live beyond or does it all end at death? What is the purpose of life? What happens after death and before birth? Do we reincarnate, if yes can we see our other lives and do they affect our present? Is it all recorded somewhere or lost forever when we exit our earthly life? Can we communicate with our loved ones on the other side? Is there evidence of an afterlife? What happens when one commits suicide? Are we living parallel lives & alternate realities? What is time and what is space…? 

There is not a human on this planet who hasn’t thought of his/her own death at some point of time in their life. Death is just a part of life. Anybody that takes birth, takes the risk of dying… and so life itself is a big risk! However, when we can look into the face of death and see it for what it really is, then we won’t fear it anymore and that is when we won’t fear life anymore, either!Do you see the correlation between death and life? If we are so afraid to die, then we are also afraid to live. And when we live a life full of fear, then we don’t really live, we just exist. 

Humanity has always feared death. And so we also fear disease, and disorder, because we fear suffering. So we have devised all sorts of ways to try and eliminate suffering. We have insurance, doctors, hospitals, security, banks, police, guards and all sorts of mechanisms to secure our lives. But none of those establishments can guarantee our well-being, or health, or peace of mind, or love or those things we crave while our time here on earth. You see, we have created extensive ways to stay safe, to live a safe life, so our lives won’t be at risk. At risk of what? Yes the big D… DEATH! And yet we all know that we will die one day. So then what are we trying to secure our lives from? Perhaps an untimely death? Well, what if time does not even exist the way we perceive it?

When we can perceive death as just a part of life, we can indeed live our lives fully and richly during our time here on earth, instead of spending all our life fearing the ultimate, the unknown. And now it is not even unknown anymore. Our consciousness has evolved beyond the unknown where we intrinsically know the truth. So I am not here to tell you anything new. I am just here to re-mind you of your own higher self and eternal essence that can never ever die. The word death has a very derogatory connotation. It means something that ceases to exist. And yet we never cease to exist, ever! It is an impossibility in creation. 

Everything is energy. And energy matters… literally! Depending on the frequency of the vibrations of energy, it physicalizes. Energy produces mass and mass produces energy, according to the famous theory of relativity by the father of Physics, Albert Einstein. We have all studied that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed; it can only be transformed. So all that is, IS. Everything that exists, EXISTS. Including the stars, the planets, the satellites, he meteors & meteorites, the galaxies, cosmic dust and living matter in the universe already exist. What happens is that one matter transforms to another matter or energy and vice versa. So essentially the stars and we are made of the same thing! Electrons, protons, neutrons, positrons, atoms, molecules, cells… it all depends on how these particles are vibrating and based on the frequency of their vibrations, they are transforming and forming all types of matter and anti-matter in the quantum field. The death of one thing causes the birth of another and the cycle renews, rejuvenates, recycles, refreshes itself again and again and again in this never-ending game of life and death within the cosmos. 

If we call our time here on earth as “life” then when we finish life let us say we enter the “afterlife” phase. So now the mystery is what happens to us in the afterlife? When we are existing in one form we naturally won’t know about the other form, because we haven’t gone there yet, we haven’t transformed yet. So death is nothing but a transformation. Yes?  

  • Have you ever pondered what would happen if everything that you thought was wrong was actually right?
  • Have you ever considered the possibility that when our world seems to fall apart, it is actually falling into place, perhaps for the first time? 
  • Have you ever been visited by dreams that you could have sworn was a reality and that actually was one, only that you are yet to experience it?
  • Have you ever tried pinching yourself in a dream to be sure it’s not a dream and the pain from the pinch telling you that it’s not a dream only to wake up minutes later and realizing that it indeed was a dream? What if your dreams are actually YOUR alternate realities occurring in a parallel universe simultaneously? What if you exist in more than one place in this space-time continuum?
  • Have you ever perceived your own higher self and infinite nature and eternal existence? If you don’t wake up from a dream will you ever know the difference? 
  • Have you ever woken up from a dream and gone about your duties only to realize that you were still asleep and then trying to get up but discovering that you couldn’t because you weren’t in your body?
  • Have you ever had an out-of-body experience?
  • Have you ever spoken to an angel or met one?
  • Have you ever met a stranger and felt instant connection, communicating as if you always knew each other?
  • Have you ever looked into the eyes of a soul mate that you know you have shared another lifetime with, in another universe perhaps?
  • Have you ever seriously listened to a child speaking nonsense only to realize that she was talking about a previous life?
  • Have you ever seriously peeked into the mind of a schizophrenic before calling him diseased?
  • Have you ever stared into the night sky and pondered your own past… perhaps in one of those stars??
  • Have you ever looked into a star and contemplated that you were actually looking at the past; the star you are looking at might have died several light years ago but its light still fills the sky? 
  • Have you ever made an instantaneous wish with a shooting star and known in your heart that you were walking your destiny at that instant?
  • Have you ever had the same experience more than once just so you could derive more meaning out of it?
  • Have you ever had a déjà vu? 
  • Have you ever experienced timelessness?
  • Have you ever…?

Transcendence happens to everyone, all the time, through the smallest and most insignificant of life’s experiences. when we pause and ponder, we perceive…

  • Have you ever experienced transcendence?
  • Have you ever perceived the fibonacci numbers and their strange connection with nature or the mystery in the magic number 9?

Uhave!
….I have!

Infinity intrigues. Have you ever tried to comprehend the cosmology of the universe? Is there an end to smallNESS or BIGness? Where does the spiral stop or the spider acquire its wisdom from? How do the high speed ever moving atoms in a stone cause it to stand still, so that from a microscopic glance, you exclaim, ‘it’s an entire universe out there‘?! Just like planets orbit around stars, satellites orbit around planets, electrons orbit around protons inside on an atom; so there is a microcosm and a macrocosm. Our universe is expanding, but what is it expanding into? What if it is only expanding in our minds? And the larger we can expand our minds to accommodate bigger realities and higher truths, the larger the universe grows, just perhaps? It is a conscious universe with feelings and emotions, energies in motion. That is why they call it cosmic consciousness. 

There is a deeper reality surrounding our existence, of which we only catch occasional glimpses… sometimes it can bring forth alternate perceptions that can remind us of the dynamic nature of the universe and that nothing lasts forever, everything changes, transforms, always and all ways, challenging us to higher understandings and larger nature of all things, transcending our perceptions. There is always something bigger than you know, happening here. 

“…and you have died many deaths, and lived many lives

but the question remains, which of those lives are you now re-membering

for all exist simultaneously, right here right now.”  

A talk by author & speaker Baisakhi Saha on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Besides exploring concepts like reincarnation, parallel lives and alternate realities, time and space, this presentation will directly talk about the phenomenon of death and the three stages that occur parallelly at the instant of death bringing us to the realization that… 

  • We are not our bodies
  • We are not our minds
  • We are not even our souls

Then what are we? Where do we come from and where do we go? What happens when we do the thing called ‘die’? Come and find out! 

About Baisakhi Saha

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BAISAKHI SAHA was born in Kolkata; she grew up in different states of India, each with a distinct culture, creed, color, custom, costume and cuisine, so it felt as if she was always in a new country! Her childhood was thus a preparation for what was to come in adulthood. Multilingual, she speaks six languages.

A globe-trotter, the author has lived in several countries across five continents; from Asia to Europe to Africa to North-South-Central America, she has traversed the globe on various student exchange programs, learning the language of life and love through diverse perspectives of reality. From a software graduate to a German interpreter to a marketing executive to an English teacher, to now a writer, speaker, dancer and actor, mysterious coincidences have led her from one place to another, contriving her to live her destiny, to leave a legacy…

Visit her Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/baisakhisaha

 

About The Bengal Theosophical Society

The Bengal Theosophical Society was formed on April 6, 1882 , seven years after The Theosophical Society was officially formed in New York City, United States, on 17 November 1875 . The history of the Theosophical movement and indeed that of its Bengal Chapter is the exciting and vibrant. and is closely linked to that of the Freedom movement which finally culminated in an Independence of India from its colonial government.

The Theosophists arrived in Bombay with the hope of forging an universal brotherhood, which was basically ¨an effort to get the purest´ men from all religion to come together under an umbrella to work towards an universal cause.¨ In failing  in their incipient objectives, due to immensity of the diversity Indian thought the theosophist adopted the goal for immersing themselves in occult sciences  and also  in oriental literature and philosophy to gain a deeper understanding of the society.

The idea was :

The Theosophical Society planned to solicit interest from South Asians by employing two part strategy ; using curiosity about phenomenalism performed by newly arrived western members to draw interest from South Asians. ( The hope was) ¨when natives see that an interest is taken by the English, and even some high officials in India, in their ancestral science and philosophies, they will themselves take openly to their study¨ – Steven Kempler.

Although The Theosophical society was never a political organization, yet its role in shaping of the ideology of the Indian National Congress is immense.

The Indian National Congress was a political product of the Hindu reform movements and in particular derived its inspiration from the Theosophical Society of India founded by Madam H.P. Blavatsky. The tenets of the Theosophical society that were originally formulated in America, appealed to social reformer Britons in India like Hume who went on to help in the formation of the Congress. At the same time, Blavatsky’s ideologies came across as attractive to the Western-educated Indians as well for the reason that it helped in solving their cultural crisis. While the Theosophical society was based on spirituality, Blavatsky maintained that the source of ancient wisdom was to be found in India. “It has been discovered that the very same ideas (as those the occultists had traced back to ancient Egypt), may be found in Buddhistic and Brahmanical literature,” she said. This notion of modern spirituality being sourced out of Indian traditions gave a validity to the traditional value systems of the Western-educated elite in India, a number of whom went on to join the Theosophical Society.

Further, the Theosophical Society also provided the ideological basis of religious unity by extending its message on spirituality to all other religions in India. The British often criticised India’s multi-religiosity as being the biggest hindrance to achieving a unified nationality status. The Theosophical Society provided the suitable response to this argument.

While in the beginning the Theosophical Society was restricted to the philosophical sphere, by virtue of its appeal to the educated elite in India, the organisation soon enough found itself providing a background to a political movement. As noted by political scientist Mark Bevir, “the importance of neo-Hinduism appears in the way the Theosophical Society provided the framework for action, within which some of its Indian and British members worked to form the Indian National Congress”. When the Congress was formed in 1885, its immediate motive was not independence. Rather its intent was to form a political arm that would mediate between the British authorities and the demands of the Indians. – The Indian Express , June 12, 2017

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The paradox of a movement both officially divorced from politics and yet clearly entangled with the nationalist struggle becomes even more apparent if we jump forward to the early years of the twentieth century. Annie Besant, who succeeded Olcott as President of the Theosophical Society, clearly identified its role as a religious and cultural one to the exclusion of politics. 4) At first she even said that the genius of India ‘is for religion and not for politics, and her most gifted children are needed as spiritual teachers, not as competing candidates in the political arena.’ 5) By 1915, however, she had founded the All-India Home Rule League in a clear attempt to foist a more radical political programme onto the Indian National Congress. Her success in doing so climaxed, moreover, with her being elected President of the Congress in 1917. Although the All-India Home Rule League remained independent of the Society, and although Besant generally continued to deny that the Theosophical Society was in any way political, the League relied heavily on people and networks brought together by the Society. Once again, therefore, whatever the official position of the Society, and whatever Besant might have said or intended, it quite clearly played a political role within India. –  Mark Bevir

The Bengal Theosophical Society definitely warrants more interest and participation from people of Kolkata, so that this heritage and institution is kept alive and new thoughts continue to emerge to liberate us from inertia and fundamentalism.

Postscript

Culture Monks of course is not at all a religious institution and clearly not a political one – in the sense that we are not reverent or bound to any particular organized religious thoughts, doctrines or philosophies. Structurally we are neither we are neither atheist. Being a collective different people have or do not have varying measures of religious beliefs, so we look at religion- its myths, doctrines, philosophies, etc from the context of our projects which have do with art & performance.  However religion being such a fundamental part of our lives, wither in belief or disbelief or non belief or non disbelief. and the permutations for justification which harnesses us to an identity or several identities are various – we generally don´t feel the need to be arranged in any particular way, or the  need to be apologetic in any religious discourse.  After all August 15th every year is also an Independence Day !! We are allowed some liberties i suppose. And sorry if we end up hurting some sentiments at the cost of salvaging our sanity.

For any queries please write to sudipta@culturemonks.in.

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