There are seven layers or bodies in you.
The body of flesh, bones and blood that you see is the physical body.
The energy moving in you as prana or life energy is the pranic body. There are five kinds of prana or air movements that happen in the body: air that enters into the body, air that circulates inside the body, air that spreads all over the body as life force, air that comes out of the body, and air that cleanses. These form the second body or the pranic body.
The third body is the body where inner chatter continuously happens. Inner chatter is nothing but the continuous stream of words or thoughts that move within you.
The fourth body is made up of emotions like fear, anger and greed which spread as feelings all over the body without even words coming into play. An emotion by itself can simply shake you. This is the emotional layer.
The fifth layer is the body that you experience in deep sleep. This is where all the engraved memories or engrams are stored in the seed or causal level. The engrams are not active but they are not dead either. It is like a deep coma where you are neither living what you want nor are you dead. You are just stuck in this layer.
From the causal body, the individual soul moves to the cosmic body. The sixth layer is the cosmic body where you experience bliss. This is what continuously inspires you to be a seeker. If you are a seeker, understand that this layer is strong in you. If you enrich this layer, your life will be blissful. If you have any engram remaining in this layer, you will assume another body and come back.
If you continuously enjoy pleasurable experiences, then you are said to be in heaven. If you are stuck in pain, then you are said to be in hell. Depending on how much pain you experienced in life, you will stay that long in the pain body or hell at the time of death. Depending on how much pleasure you experienced in life, you will stay that long in the cosmic body or heaven.
Hell and heaven are purely psychological. This is the truth. Based on what engrams you have, you experience heaven and hell. That is why different cultures visualize heaven in their own way because heaven is not a place, it is an experience.
The seventh layer is the nirvanic layer which corresponds to enlightenment.
At the time of death, there is a powerful fight between the owner or the individual soul and the object or the body. The object says, ‘I am tired, I can’t function any more.’ The owner says, ‘No, I want to use you.’
When the object wins, the physical body dies and the individual soul moves to the next layer, the pranic body. This is the layer you are in when you normally dream. While dreaming, your logic loses its power over you but your desires remain active. The very definition of dream is, the state where logic has no power but desires and engrams remain active. Even when you are unconscious or in coma, your logic will not be active.
As long as you are in the physical body, you will have desires with the logic to analyze whether the desires are needed or not and which one of the desires should be fulfilled etc. Desires are under your control, there is a balancing mechanism. But when the desires exist without the supporting logic, the individual soul will be kicked around like a football by the desires. On one side there will be guilt and on the other side, desires that play on the individual soul.
When I saw the man dying, I could see that the individual soul was slowly moving out, layer by layer. I could see the soul suffering intensely when it went through the unfulfilled desires. The soul was literally being eaten by guilt when it realized, ‘I did not fulfill the purpose and mission of my life.’ Understand, you will remember the purpose of your birth only during death.
When you are born, your body travels through the birth canal of the mother, and because of the intense pain that you go through, you go into coma or the deepest unconscious state, and you forget the whole purpose of taking birth. It is like this: you booked the flight ticket and sat inside the aircraft also, but during the flight you were put in coma and so when you landed, you forgot all about why you came to that particular place! Only when you leave the place and board the flight again, you suddenly remember why you had come to that place!
In the same way, when you die, you feel the strong guilt of not fulfilling the purpose of your birth or what we call the prarabdha.
After passing through this guilt, next, all the pain experiences of your life will come up. So at the time of death, you first pass through physical pain, then through all desires, next through all guilt, then through all emotional pain and finally through all the pleasures that you experienced in this birth.
Normally, as soon as you reach the cosmic body or the sixth layer itself, you return to assume the next body, the next birth. The individual soul returns to assume the next body. Sometimes, rarely, you go beyond the sixth layer into the nirvanic body. Then you don’t come back to assume another body.
When you travel through these various bodies and experience your unfulfilled desires, deep guilt and intense pain, you decide strongly, ‘Let me take another body, another birth. When I do, I will not forget the purpose of my life and get caught in these illusive games. I will straightaway follow the path of Truth.’ But when you actually take birth the next time, again because of the intense pain during birth, you drop into coma and forget all about your decision!
Finally, the man died. But the experience left a strong scar in me. It left a very strong impression in my mind. The fortunate thing was that the elderly monk became alright and he was discharged from the hospital. I continued my journey, and after a few months, I had my own death experience and I became enlightened, thus realizing the mission and purpose of my life. My life as a liberated being started at the age of twelve itself when I had my deep spiritual experience. But the clarity about the mission, and what was exactly going to happen through my body, dawned when I became enlightened.
source: Living Enlightenment