What Happens After Death? Buddha Answers

Dear Sons, Daughters, and Devotees,
We are very fortunate to learn about the kinds of knowledge of the Supreme Buddha. Our great teacher, the Supreme Buddha, had an extraordinary knowledge to see past lives of beings. In the Bhayaberava Sutta, the Buddha tells us how he gained the knowledge to see his own past lives:
“When my mind was concentrated, purified, bright, clear, free from defilements, open, soft, steady, and unshakeable, I directed my mind to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my various past lives, that is, one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of the cycle of formation and destruction of this earth. In one life I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain,  and such the end of my life. Passing away from that life, I was reborn in another place. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, and such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I was reborn here. I remembered my different past lives in every detail. This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. My ignorance was destroyed, knowledge arose, darkness was destroyed, and light arose. All of which happens when one is mindful, passionate, and firm.”
Next, the Supreme Buddha gained the knowledge to see how other beings travel in this cycle of samsara, one life to another, because of their good and bad actions.
“When my mind was concentrated, purified, bright, clear, free from defilements, open, soft, steady, and unshakeable, I directed it to gain the knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings. With my divine eye, which is purified and surpassing the human eye, I saw beings' passing away and rebirth, and I discovered how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, and fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: beings who committed bad actions by body, speech, and mind, who insulted enlightened ones, held wrong views, and did bad deeds, with the break-up of their body, after death, have been reborn in a bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But, those beings who committed good deeds with body, speech, and mind, who did not insult enlightened ones, who held right views, and did good deeds, with the break-up of the body, after death, have been reborn in the good destinations, in the heavenly world. Therefore, with the use of my divine eye, which is purified and surpassing the human eye, I saw passing away and rebirth of beings, and I discovered how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, and fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma.” 
Finally, in the third watch of the night, Supreme Buddha realized the true nature of the life and escaped from the cycle of rebirth.
“When my concentrated mind was purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, uncomplicated, steady, and calm, I directed it to the knowledge of the destruction of taints. I directly knew as it actually is ‘This is suffering, this is the origin of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, and this is the way leading to cessation of suffering.’ I directly knew as it actually is ‘These are the taints, this is the origin of taints, this is the cessation of the taints, and this the way leading to the cessation of taints.”
“When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of existence, and from the taint of ignorance. When it was liberated, there came the knowledge ‘It is liberated.’ I directly knew ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, and there is no more coming to any state of existence.’ “This was the third true knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as it happens in one who abides diligently, ardently, and resolutely.”
The Supreme Buddha is the knower of all worlds. He knows the qualities of all the worlds and the way beings are born in these different worlds as he explains in the Maha Sihanada Sutta:
“Sariputta, there are five types of beings. What are the five? Hell beings, animals, ghosts, human beings, and gods.
I understand hell, and the path and way leading to hell. I also understand how one who has entered this path will, on the breaking up of the body, after death, reappear as a hell being.
I understand the animal world, and the path and way leading to the animal world.  I also understand how one who has entered this path will, on the breaking up of the body, after death, be reborn as an animal.
I understand the realm of ghosts, and the path and way leading to the realm of ghosts. I also understand how one who has entered this path will, on the breaking up of the body, after death, reappear in the realm of ghosts.
I understand human beings, and the path and way leading to the human world. I also understand how one who has entered this path will, on the breaking up of the body, after death, reappear among human beings.
I understand the gods, and the path and way leading to the world of the gods. I also understand how one who has entered this path will, on the breaking up of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.”
Most fortunately, Noble Disciples have the opportunity to escape from all worlds by attaining Nibbana. The Supreme Buddha is the only teacher to show the way to Nibbana.
“I understand Nibbana and the path and way leading to Nibbana. I also understand how one who has entered this path will, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, here and now, enter upon and abide in the liberation of the mind and liberation by wisdom that is taintless with the destruction of the taints.”
From this book, you are going to learn the actions that lead to the bad worlds and how beings are suffering in those worlds. You will notice that they all lived in the human world like we do now. Here, the Supreme Buddha explains the suffering of those worlds with these similes:
“Sariputta by encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature: ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a plane of misery, in an unhappy destination, in the worst destination, in hell.’ Then, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I see that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he has reappeared in a plane of misery, in an unhappy destination, in the worst destination, in hell, and is experiencing extremely painful, racking, and piercing feelings. Suppose there was a charcoal pit deeper than a man’s height, full of glowing coals without flame or smoke.  Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed to that same charcoal pit. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that he will come to this same charcoal pit’, and later on, he sees that he has fallen into that charcoal pit and is experiencing extremely painful, racking, and piercing feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... piercing feelings.”
“By encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature: ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in the animal realm.’ Then, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I see that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he has reappeared in the animal realm and is experiencing strong painful, racking, and piercing feelings. Suppose there was a cesspit deeper than a man’s height, full of filth. Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed to that same cesspit. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such... that he will come to this same cesspit’, and later on, he sees that he has fallen into that cesspit and is experiencing strong painful, racking, and piercing feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... piercing feelings.”
“By encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature: ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in the realm of ghosts.’ Then, with the divine eye... I see that... he has reappeared in the realm of ghosts and is experiencing very painful feelings. Suppose there was a tree growing on uneven ground with scanty foliage casting a dappled shade.  Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed to that same tree. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such... that he will come to this same tree’, and later on, he sees that he is sitting or lying in the shade of that tree experiencing a very painful feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... very painful feelings.”
“By encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature:  ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear among human beings.’ Then, with the divine eye...... I see that... he has reappeared among human beings and is experiencing pleasant feelings. Suppose there was a tree growing on even ground with thick foliage casting a deep shade. Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed to that same tree. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such... that he will come to this same tree’, and later on, he sees that he is sitting or lying in the shade of that tree experiencing pleasant feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... pleasant feelings.”
“By encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature: ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.’ Then, with the divine eye... I see that... he has reappeared in a happy destination, in the heavenly world and is experiencing extremely pleasant feelings. Suppose there was a mansion, and it had an upper chamber plastered within and without, shut off, secured by bars, with shuttered windows, and in it there was a couch spread with rugs, blankets, and sheets, with a deerskin coverlet, with a canopy as well as crimson pillows for both (head and feet). Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed to that same mansion. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such... that he will come to this same mansion’, and later on, he sees that he is sitting or lying in that upper chamber in that mansion experiencing extremely pleasant feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... extremely pleasant feelings.”
“By encompassing mind with mind, I understand a person by his very nature: ‘This person behaves as such, conducts himself as such, and has taken such a path that by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, he, here and now, will enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that is taintless with the destruction of the taints.’ Later on, I see that by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, he, here and now, enters upon and abides in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that is taintless with the destruction of the taints, and is experiencing extremely pleasant feelings. Suppose there was a pond with clean, agreeable, cool water, transparent, with smooth banks, delightful, and nearby a dense wood. Then, a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty came by a path going in only one way and directed towards that same pond. Then, a man with good sight on seeing him would say ‘This person behaves as such... that he will come to this same pond’, and, later on, he sees that he has plunged into the pond, bathed, drunk, and relieved all his distress, fatigue, and fever and has come out again and is sitting or lying in the wood  experiencing extremely pleasant feelings. So, too, by encompassing mind with mind... extremely pleasant feelings. Sariputta, these are the five destinations.”
Dear children, parents, and Dhamma friends, read these discourses very carefully. May the teachings of the Buddha help you to develop a fear of doing wrong actions in your precious human life. May you practice generosity. May you keep the precepts well. May you control your bad thoughts. By practicing Dhamma, may you escape from rebirth in bad worlds. 
May all of you realize The Four Noble Truths in this Gautama Buddha’s Dispensation.
With Metta,
Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnānānanda Thera
Mahamevnawa  Monastery,
Waduwawa, Yatigal-oluwa, Polgahawela,
Sri Lanka. 
2556 Buddhist Years/ 2016