Soul, Spirit, and Life After Death


its always said "ur soul" question is if i am the soul why is it said "your soul" ?what is the difference between ego(my self awareness)and soul(true self)? what is spirit? is it another name for god?? at death(if i have done a good few years of kriya yoga) what happens to my identity of I ness?? do i remember this life in the astral world before i am reborn?also did yogananda teach any kriya which allows the conscious exit of the soul from the body at will at the time of death.

—Souvik Biswas, India


Hello Souvik,

My, that’s quite a list of questions! Good ones, though, and I’ll answer them in order.

Paramhansa Yogananda said that ego is not something separate from soul. Rather, it is the soul in the state of being identified with the body.

Yes, Spirit is another name for God.

At death, you do not lose your sense of “I.” Almost all people keep the limited sense of “I”: the ego. Highly advanced souls may drop that limited sense once and for all, and enter into the cosmic, all-pervading “I” of Spirit, of oneness with all that is.

You might well remember this life in the astral world after you pass. It depends on how you lived this life. Highly advanced souls may remember a great deal about this life, and that memory might extend even into their next earthly incarnation (if there is to be one). Highly deluded souls may experience nothing but confusion, even suffering, in the astral world after death. Most of us will be somewhere between those two extremes. We are especially likely to remember loved ones, should we happen to encounter them in the astral world.

Yes, the Kriya Yoga taught by Paramhansa Yogananda can indeed allow one to exit the body consciously at death – particularly the higher initiations of Kriya. Kriya is not the only way to do this, but it is a highly effective way.

Blessings on your quest,