When speaking about what happens after death, a variety of ideas surround it, and the idea of reincarnation, or life after life, is one of them. Since the Holy Teaching says it is life after life until a person masters the teaching, I am one-hundred percent certain that is what happens, but out of curiosity, I wonder how long it takes to reincarnate in a new mortal body. Needless to say, there are a variety of ideas.
A student of many years of spiritual learning with his guru says that getting a new body after death depends on the Karmic account of the soul and the state of mind at the time of death. For souls who leave the body in the remembrance of God (on whomever they have faith), gets a body after 13 days. For souls who commit suicide, they get a body after a very prolonged suffering. For souls who kill themselves as a suicide bomber, it is even more prolonged and with lots of suffering. For souls who leave the body with a feeling of vengeance or too much attachment to property or a person may end up becoming a ghost…
Someone else says reincarnation is instant. The moment you die you are immediately reborn. You will not be thinking “oh great! I’m reborn!”. It will be like when you were born this last time. What do you remember of that? Each new life is a clean slate without memory or conception. We are empty vessels ready to absorb all that life will have for us. I hope the world is a better place for you whatever you may be.
Someone else says it takes a minimum of one year according to Hindu scriptures. It can take more time for some people if they manage to get to heaven or hell. Some people may even have to take animal birth in which case the time taken to reincarnate might be even longer than in other cases.
Another person says that according to Jainism it takes one to four ‘samay’ for a soul to incarnate after death. Samay is the smallest fraction of time, thus, reincarnation is almost instant.
Another says that in Tibetan Buddhism an individual can spend up to forty-nine days in an intermediate state between their previous life and their new life called the bardo.
Another says there is a thousand years between births, and the ideas abound.
Although the Veda, the Sacred Knowledge, says breathing creatures are born again and again, I have not found a mantra that says how long it might take to be reborn a mortal being. Since the soul of a person or creature is immortal, there is no reason to be dead for very long, because nothing happens. The Veda says all is darkness. Without a body and the five senses floating in the ether there is nothing to hear, see, smell, feel, touch, so all is black. So, anyone making claims of a lower world than the earth called hell and suffering after death is mistaken because with no body there is no suffering.
Nothing happens after death, so maybe after a short while of nothing, boredom sets in, and the spirit is drawn back to the world of mortality by the sound of their future parents making love with the Sacred AH Sound. The Veda says a being will go towards at conception, so it seems reasonable to think the length of time it takes to be reborn on the earth will largely depend upon what a person is going to be born as. If he or she is going to be a person again, it takes about nine months. It will take the same amount of time to be born as a cow. If you eat a lot of beef and love steak, maybe in your next life you will be a steer and slaughtered for future beef lovers to eat. If you like to eat bacon and pork, maybe you will be born as a pig, and it takes about three months, three weeks, and three days from conception to birth. As a pig you will enjoy life in the sunshine for four to seven months before being slaughtered. If you are going to be a cat or a dog it takes about 65 days. To be a bear takes about seven months, a donkey over a year. There are lots of rats and weasels in the human world, so the likelihood of being reborn as one is high, and it will only take 23 days for rats and 35 days for weasels… no wonder there are so many.
The way to know for sure what happens and avoid being reborn on the earth is following and mastering the Holy Teaching of kindness to all creatures that grasp for the breath and cry, and the meditations and be reborn in the heavenly state.
To be born for the cause to serve or born again of a mother of a monkey and allotted a body and a cause to roar.