Q: What happens when someone has a premature death like in suicide or accident?
In the case of premature death, the soul has to wait for the time it was destined to live, before it can take a new body. In the case of suicide, the suffering is much more intense than what would have been if the spirit had continued living. It is like when you have a plate of food in front of you but you don’t have hands or a body to enjoy it!
In the case of accidents, the spirit has to be without body. But there is no suffering as in the case of suicide. The spirit lives in the same consciousness it would have lived had it been alive. It just waits to get the next body.
Q: Why do we do the rituals and annual rites related to departed souls?
The rituals related to departed souls are to help the people who are living to accept the departure of the person.
However, when an enlightened master does this, it helps but it is not the ritual, it is his sankalpa (vow) that works. When an enlightened master makes a sankalpa, if you are in the body, it may take time to settle because the plane in which he is in, the plane in which the sankalpa is in, is different from the plane in which you are. But for the being who is not in the body, the sankalpa has immediate effect because the being is in the same subtle energy level as the master’s.
If the being is existing in another body, the sankalpa takes time to settle. But the person unclutches from the past samskaras, and all the past samskaras are cleared. So suddenly for no reason the person feels cleared and light.
Q: Are past life regressions useful and safe?
Past life regression should not be done except by an enlightened being. It has such a strong influence it can affect this birth. For example, if you had been a blind person in a past life, when regression happens, you can become blind in this birth! An unenlightened being doing the regression will also suffer the karmas of the person he is doing the regression for. To clear past life regression, one should know how to handle it, clear the past samskaras and close it.
Q: When the master clears the karmas, do we have to go through pain?
When the master removes the karma, you call that feeling pain. Actually, the master would be removing in a second the suffering of many births, what would have otherwise taken many births to dissolve. So it is practically no suffering in comparison. Sharada Devi says, the master clearing the samskaras is like you facing a thorn prick instead of suffering a fracture.
source: Living Enlightenment