In 2047 Ascending Treta Yuga, Sabella Lovingheart is nearing the close of her life, when the High Council of earth asks her to complete one final, important mission. Her assignment is to explore the universally misunderstood realities of death and dying. To accomplish her task, she must travel beyond death and explore various lokas (locations) in the astral and causal universes, return to the Council to report what she has learned, and then create institutions and programs that can help to educate the inhabitants of earth about death. Sabella chooses her great-granddaughter Bellina as her companion and chronicler. They closely observe the dying process and travel into the dimensions beyond death. During their amazing adventures, Bellina’s intelligence, courage, and spiritual depth make it clear to all that she is her great-grandmother’s worthy successor.
Through the Gates of Death
What is a Yuga?
When I die,
Look into mine eyes,
They will mutely say,
“I will be Thine always!”
~Paramhansa Yogananda, from Cosmic Chants
“We are going to visit an old friend of mine, whom you have never met. When I spoke with him recently, he told me that his time to depart this plane of existence is very near. Not only is he is not fearful, he is looking forward to his transition with eager anticipation.
“I asked him if you and I could be with him during his dying process. I explained the mission the High Council assigned us, to study death, dying, and the afterlife.
“He laughed when I petitioned him with my unusual request. Even though he is old, weak, and near death, he has maintained his healthy sense of humor.
“He answered me, saying, ‘Sabella, I would be honored by your presence at my transition. It will be my joy to have your assistance at this crucial time, supporting me through your meditations, your prayers, and your enchanting and inspiring voice, singing and calling to God.
‘Also, please do your best to keep my weepy, needy relatives away from me when my time comes. I do not want them holding me back, and I want to be able to take advantage of your and your great-granddaughter’s presence and support. I hear she looks very much like you, when you and I were together at school, all those years ago. I may be old and dying, but I can still appreciate having two lovely ladies with inspiring and lively spirits nearby!’”
“What is your friend’s name, Gigi?” Bellina’s eyes were soft with sympathy.
“His name is Loralon. He was a fellow-student in the Halls of Wisdom, when Thomas and I were both young and very inexperienced. We were classmates during the time I told you about, when Simeon first introduced us to the art and science of time travel.
“Your great-grandfather, Thomas, never became friends with Loralon. Their conflicting personality types, or perhaps past karma, caused them to disagree quite often. Simeon worked hard to create harmony between them.
“Nevertheless, I liked Loralon. We got along well with each other, although I will admit, he could be annoying at times. Of course, I am sure he could say the same thing about me!
“As the years went by, I lost touch with him, but a few years ago, I heard that he had fallen ill. I have visited him several times since then. Yes, I am sad to see that he is near death, but he is happy with his life—I believe that he has very few regrets. Moreover, he is definitely ready to make his transition to the astral world, to enjoy a time of rest, recuperation, and a respite from his illness and the tests and trials of his present life.”
Bellina wondered, “Does everyone need a time of rest after death? I mean, is dying always a hard thing to do?”
“Not always. The dying process, just like the living process, has infinite variations. Each is unique. Remember that many people, such as you and I, have experienced countless deaths and rebirths, encompassing a vast range of happy and horrible events, and everything in between.
“I sincerely believe that Loralon is an old soul, with no fear of death at all! Simeon taught all his students, clearly and carefully, that death is simply a process we all go through millions of lifetimes, until we are liberated forever from the cycles of reincarnation. That’s why Loralon will be such an excellent candidate for us to observe.” Sabella paused a moment, picking up Bellina’s mental wish to discuss what it takes to achieve final liberation.
“Sorry, Bellina,” she said, “that discussion will have to wait for another time. I received a mental message from Loralon just a few hours ago, saying that today is most likely his day to die. We must be on our way now, to be by his side when he makes his transition!”
Grasping Bellina’s hand in her own, she transported them to a place on earth, which had once been a country called Italia. Distinct governments, countries, boundaries, and different languages were non-existent in Treta Yuga, although some locations retained their same or similar ancient names.
They found themselves in a beautiful villa by the sea, in a large room with very high ceilings. The walls were transparent or open completely to admit the spicy sea breezes, and the ceiling contained numerous skylights with different colors of glass set with large prisms. The room was bathed in rainbow rays of light.
To enhance the vibrant effects of the rainbows, banks of flowers of every imaginable color and fragrance were displayed around the room. These were not cut flowers; rather they were flowers blooming on live plants, full of vibrating life force, so much so, that there seemed to be a soft hum of energy or even some kind of soft music coming from the flowers.
Bellina knew immediately that it was Loralon, resting in a large and luxurious bed, next to one of the transparent walls. He had his eyes closed and was breathing shallowly.
“What an incredibly beautiful place this is!” Bellina could not stifle her mental exclamation.
“Glad you like it!” Loralon’s soft voice said. “Welcome Sabella and Bellina!”
Loralon’s eyes fluttered open and he smiled at them in warm greeting. “You are just in time. I sensed you were coming and sent my troublesome relatives away on various errands, claiming that I needed to sleep. Ha! What do they know about the ‘Big Sleep,’ which I am approaching now?
“Sabella, it is wonderful to see you again! And Bellina, you are, as I have heard, both beautiful and strikingly similar in appearance to Sabella when she and I were in school together. Thank you for being here with me for this important occasion.
“Forgive all the flowers—I realize that they are, perhaps, a bit excessive! However, you see, my family made a significant fortune in the flowering plant business. All my life, I loved plants and enjoyed nurturing and nourishing them, encouraging them to produce great masses of colorful, fragrant blossoms, such as these you see all around us. I suppose it’s only fitting that some of my plant friends join me here at this important time.”
As he looked at them, Bellina noticed that Loralon’s smiling, radiant eyes were dark green, with tiny flecks of color in them—very much like the foliage of his plant-friends. Although his eyes were beautiful, Bellina could see that they were slowly fading, as he withdrew his vision, toward his inner eye.
“You are welcome here!” Loralon said. “Make yourself comfortable. I will be leaving soon, so you will not be waiting very long! For most people, the ‘mystic summons’ does not offer an exact timing. That would be the case for me, except that I cheated a little by inwardly asking Simeon to visit me.
“He came quietly last night when I was alone and all was dark and quiet. What a thrill to see him again! He blessed me for my coming transition. It was a blissful occasion for me!
“Before Simeon left, he gave me a remarkable gift. He said that most people have to be considerably more spiritually advanced than I am to know the exact time of their departure from this world. Knowing that I had invited you to be at my side at this time, and wanting you to learn more, first-hand, about dying, he revealed my time of death. He knew that your being present with me for my transition would undoubtedly help you with this aspect of your mission.”
“…and because he loves you, Loralon—you know that! He never forgets any of his students.” Sabella said quietly.
“Yes, Sabella. I do know that, and I am very grateful!
“My wife and many of my dearest loved ones have preceded me in death. Other relatives and friends will know soon enough that I have gone. So all is well. We are alone here, as I had hoped, and I am at peace with myself and with God,” his mental words grew weaker and weaker.
“We are honored to be here at your side. What can we do for you now?” Sabella asked Loralon gently
“Sabella, Bellina, come and sit here, on either side of me. Hold my hands and sing for me. That is all I want now. I will be gone very soon, slipping away into the land beyond my dreams. Pray for me…,” Loralon finished his final words to them with a gentle sigh.
Following his requests, they sat on either side of him, and while each one of them held a hand, they began to sing to him softly:
In the land beyond my dreams,
Where no clouds come,
And golden dreams dwell,
I sit by life’s well,
In the land beyond my dreams.
Sabella transmitted these words to Bellina only: “Although we will hold his hands, pray, and sing, as he has requested, I also want you to watch him closely. Sensitively and intuitively, tune into the physiological and psychological processes that he will go through, as he slips away from this material plane.
“Pay careful attention to the moment when his lungs are no longer able to inhale or exhale and his heart stops. It is at that time he will go through his life-review.”
Bellina was curious, “Will we also get to see Loralon’s life-review? How long will it take?”
“No, his life-review is private—for his eyes only—at least while it is happening. Once he is in the astral planes, we can ask him to tell us more about it, and possibly even observe it later as a mind-movie, if he allows us.
“As for how long it will take, because there is no time and space in a superconscious event like a dying person’s life-review, to him and to us observing him it will seem to be almost instantaneous. We will talk more about this important part of a human being’s dying process at a more appropriate time.
“When I know he has fully disconnected from his physical body, I will chant “AUM! AUM! AUM!” many times, in his right ear. Both you and I will bless him by anointing his heart and his spiritual eye him with King Nakula’s holy water. I brought it with me especially for this occasion. It comes from the Second Chakra Pyramid and has been blessed by Nakula himself.
“A few minutes after his life review is complete and he has fully disconnected from his physical body and this material plane, we will bless him in the ways I mentioned, pray for his smooth transition from this life into the appropriate astral loka, and then follow him to the astral plane.
“Loralon will not know that we are following him at that point. He will have more important things to focus on at that time. We do not want to distract him in any way!”
“Follow him into an astral loka?” Bellina’s mental voice squeaked slightly. “Are we going to die, too?”
“No, dear-heart, I thought you understood that we are only observing, not participating. Today is not our day to die! We will only pay a brief visit to an astral loka beyond this physical world—the one to which Loralon is going. His soul has been attracted to this particular astral world, because it is the one best suited to his present level of spiritual development.
“It will be an inspiring place to visit, for Loralon is a good man, and he made significant spiritual progress in this lifetime. You’ll see what I mean soon enough.”
“For me, death was always a subject best left for later contemplation. I chose to put it off! However at 70, I began to notice that my lifelong friends started ‘leaving town.’ Their deaths and their absences weighed heavily on me. During my time of despair, Through the Gates of Death—And Beyond was recommended to me. I’ve never been one to grab hold of any religious dogma as a life-saver or as a panacea for prophesizing an acceptable hereafter, largely because they are never convincing. However, this book is quite convincing!. It is creative, well written, informative, and factually believable. It has helped me to accept death, prepared me for the event, and showed me exactly how we all live through and beyond it. Through its easily understandable presentation of some deep truths, I have come to realize that there is a cycle of birth and death and birth, of living and dying, and that our friends will always be with us in some way.”
—Dr. Charles Scott McElroy, Isla Taboga, Republic of Panama
“Through the Gates of Death — And Beyond” is a unique and totally absorbing book about death and dying. It offers a whole pantheon of good news for every single soul walking on Planet Earth today. It weaves all the details of the dying process as revealed to us by the Great Masters of the East in a kind of ‘Love Story’ format that takes all the fear out of it! It literally becomes a “graduation ceremony or welcome home!” kind of experience. I finished the book in a few days and then reread it again a week later! Thank you, Savitri! Bravo!”
—Robert Kelaghan, Certified Yoga Teacher, Singer-Songwriter, Author of My Secret Life as a Sugar Addict, Penn Valley, CA
“Nayaswami Savitri’s latest novel answered my questions about what happens when one leaves the earthly plane, confirmed for me that the soul does lives on, and focused on the importance of meditation for understanding and ‘living through’ the process in the best possible way. I was greatly inspired by what she expressed and dove into my meditation practice with increased vigor and enthusiasm. Savitri, thank you for your wisdom and love!”
—Sandy Koshari, Santa Rosa, CA
“With Through the Gates of Death—And Beyond, Savitri Simpson has done it again! She takes readers on a tour that gently yet clearly and succinctly introduces the teachings of the Ananda Sangha lineage, this time on the subject of death and after (this) life. What could be thought to be obtuse in the abstract becomes comprehensible in story form as we allegorically journey with grandmother Sabella and great-granddaughter Bellina, not only to distant places but to other dimensions in search of understanding. What exactly is reincarnation? What is karma? How are the two related? What is the relationship of body and soul, and where do souls go after death? Why, how, and where do souls reincarnate? To answer these and a host of other questions, her characters journey to astral and causal realms, and through great time spans. In this lovely and very readable book, the journey is her continuing metaphor, and she once again, Simpson uses it effortlessly to address many difficult questions.”
—Anne Benvenuti, author of Spirit Unleashed: Reimagining Human-Animal Relations, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
“This is a story of a Great-Grandmother, an advanced soul living in a higher age, who trains her great granddaughter, who is destined to also become a great teacher, in the spiritual truths of life, death and beyond. Some of the teachings, which are all from the great spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, are familiar to his many followers and are made fresh and vibrant in this entertaining story. Savitri has also incorporated many lesser-known and subtle teachings, highlighting them for us. Best of all, these truths are shared in a very engaging way with characters we can relate to; thus these teachings just flow naturally into one’s consciousness. We get to experience with Great Granddaughter and Great Grand-Mother the fascinating realms beyond death. Through their experiences, we learn about our soul’s journey here on earth and beyond. Armed with the teachings shared in this book, we can truly live without fear.”
—Mukti Deranja, Teacher, Counselor, and Lightbearer, Ananda’s Expanding Light Retreat, Nevada City, CA
“She did a great job with a tough subject. Is it OK for a husband to say that about his author-wife? I hope so, because I really did find it to be an entertaining ‘page-turner,’ in addition to being full of important information that everyone should know.”
—Nayaswami Sudarshan Simpson, Author of The Seclusion Booklet, Ananda Village, CA