Organ donation


What does Master or Swami Kriyananda say about organ donation after death (like after a car accident people donate their organs for another person to live). Is it bad for our astral body as we move to the astral world, or is it a good selfless service?

—Rama Bhakti, USA


Organ donation after death wasn’t done much, if at all, during Paramhansa Yogananda’s lifetime; it came well after his passing. So I’m not aware that he ever addressed the topic.

On at least one occasion, however, Swami Kriyananda has offered some thoughts on the subject. He acknowledged the noble motives behind organ donation: it could give someone a new life, or new eyesight. Selfless service, as you say.

On the other hand, he pointed out that the time of earthly passing is a sensitive time, as the soul seeks to free its awareness from bodily identification. In his own case, he would not want anything to interfere with that process.

What could interfere? Perhaps when a doctor began removing an eye, an organ, etc., a lingering sense of bodily attachment could draw the soul back to the body, even as it is trying to leave. Such a return would be anguishing, fruitless, and possibly detrimental to spiritual growth. For himself, Swamiji didn’t feel that the plusses of organ donation are worth that risk.

Such decisions are, of course, entirely individual.