The subtle Brahmin is only one, yet it is not one. The subtle consciousness has many layers to it. The spirit is one, yet it is many. The whole world is permeated by the spirit by Brahman, yet to different degrees.
For example, stones have life and gender. As anthropologists and biologists know that plants and trees can be male or female, so too can be stones. The ancient people of every culture knew this. The Sculptor in India know how to identify which stone is male and which is female. The Native Americans choose certain stones for their worship and prayer program. They do the same in Kauai, Hawaii.
Stones have one unit of life.
Water has got two units of life.
Fire has three units of life.
Air has four units of life.
Space has five units of life.
Trees have six units of life.
Animals have seven units of life.
Human beings have eight units of life, and are known as, ashtavasu.
Superhuman blossomed beings, who do extraordinary work, whether it be very good or very bad, have in nine units of life.
Furthermore, humans can develop up to sixteen units of life. When we die we become more powerful in some way. We go between nine and ten units of life. This is strange, but true. That is why ancestors are worshiped. The moment this body drops, the spirit has become free, without boundaries, and nothing can stop it. The spirit moves around freely. If it is bound in the body, you have only eight units of life, you can only reach out to some. When you have nine units, you have a little more power, but if you die, then you have access to the ninth and tenth units, so you gain much more access to the planet. That is why ancestors have the capacity to bless you. They have more ‘life’ than you, because their spirit, freed from the limited body, can know; can cognize; can bless you. You can feel their presence. So when you pray to them, they can grant you certain boons. They are able to bestow unto you to whatever extent they are powerful. Ancestral worship can be found from China to Latin American countries.
In the Christian tradition, there is All Soul’s day, where you respect the souls and ask for their blessings. This is one of the reasons why bodies are buried behind a church; to make that place more powerful. Ancestors have got one more unit of power, and are called Pitras.
According to Bible worshipping ancestors involves beliefs and practices consisting of prayers and offerings to the spirits of dead relatives and is found in many cultures all across the universe. Prayers and offerings are made because it is believed the spirits of ancestors live on in the natural world and are thus able to influence the futures and fortunes of the living relatives. Ancestors’ spirits are also thought to act as mediators between the living and the Creator.
Death was not the sole criterion for being worshipped as an ancestor. The person must have lived a moral life with great social distinction in order to attain that status. Ancestors are believed to influence the lives of later generations by blessing or cursing them, in essence acting as gods. So praying to them, presenting them with gifts, and making offerings are done to appease them and gain their favor.
Evidence of ancestor worship has been found at sites in the Near East in Jericho dating to the 7th century before Christ. It existed in ancient Greek and Roman cultures as well. Ancestor worship has had its greatest influence on Chinese and African religions and is found in Japanese and Native American religions where it’s better known as ancestor reverence.
However Bible says that the spirits of the dead either go to heaven or hell or do not remain in natural world. But the general belief is that spirits continue to reside on earth after death and influence the lives of others is not scriptural. Nowhere in the Bible we are told that the dead act as intermediate between God and man.
But we are told that Jesus Christ was given that role. He was born, lived a sinless life was crucified for our sins, buried in grave, resurrected by God, seen by a multitude of witnesses, ascended into heaven and sits now at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes on the behalf of those who have placed their faith and trust in Him.