Our disposition at death determines our destination after death
Our thoughts shape our actions and our actions shape our destinations. While this has become something of a cliché nowadays, Gita wisdom reveals a profound import of this common saying.
We are souls who are temporarily residing in our present material bodies. After our death, our present body is destroyed, and we are evicted from it and are transported to another body by the subtle laws of nature that work under divine supervision.
What determines our post-mortem body?
Our disposition at the time of death.
The Bhagavad-gita (08.06) delineates this principle, indicating that the state of our consciousness, as evident in our subtle body, becomes the state of our condition, as manifest in our gross body. Thus if we are infatuated with sense gratification and our mind is filled with dreams and schemes for achieving it, then material nature arranges for us to have a bodily form that is suited to fulfill that desire – a subhuman form.
The human form being capable of higher spiritual perception is suited much more for self-realization than for sense gratification. So if we have been lifelong and at the moment of death disposed more towards the flesh than towards the spirit, then naturally we are given a body to cater to that disposition.
However, such demotion from the human to the subhuman level is spiritually catastrophic because it implies that the soul has to transmigrate for many births in various species, enduring the inevitable miseries of material existence, before finally getting a chance for liberation by attaining the human form again.
Gita wisdom not only prevents the catastrophe but also makes spiritual elevation easier by recommending constant remembrance of Krishna, a process that is eminently joyful and, as the previous verse (08.05) asserts, is guaranteed to result in the supreme liberation.