The idea of reincarnation has gained more acceptance in main stream America today. Per this idea, a Jiva or a departed Soul rests in a different realm until the right conditions arise for its next birth. However, time moves differently for a Soul in the other domain than in the material domain. This is not much different from the fact that the length of day is different on different planets. For example, the length of the day on Venus is 116 days and on Jupiter only 10 hours.
A Jiva or a departed soul perceives the length of a day in the higher domain to be also 365 days long. However, an year in the earth plane is equivalent to only one day in the realm of ancestors. Vedic texts say that the psyche takes some time to adjust to the new length of the day in the other realm. This adjusting happens over twelve lunar months. This is similar to a traveler gradually adjusting to a new time zone during the Jetlag period.
Releasing impressions from psyche after death
Purana texts also refer to this abstract idea of the slow transition. However, these texts convey the slow transition as an year long journey. Secondly, this journey carries a psyche through the realm of Yama, the Deva of death. Thirdly, a Jiva must cross twelve milestones during this journey. It must cross one milestone every 29.5 human days. In addition, a departed soul also crosses four important mini milestones. These extra milestones are at the end of 27, 40, 170 and 340 days from the end of its last lifetime.
A Jiva uses all these milestones as an opportunity to release unwanted impressions. During this time, a Jiva releases a lifetime of impressions from its psyche through dream like experiences. A son or a daughter performs rituals to a departed soul or Jiva at these milestones. Such rituals can strengthen the “spirit” of the Jiva. These rituals allow the Jiva to ready its psyche for another lifetime, when another opportunity arises in the material domain.