Baba returned to Nasik from Meherabad on January 9th, (1931)  followed the next day by the whole group of men mandali. Soon after, some persons from Kolhapur came to see Baba and related the details of a murder case on trial. A relative of one person in the group was involved in the crime and had been sentenced to death. Baba advised the person to appeal to the Privy Council on his relative’s behalf, but he said that he lacked the funds for such an appeal. Baba directed him, “If you go to the Privy Council, my inner help will be there for you.” Later it was discovered that the man had lied to Baba because he had, in fact, considerable wealth. He did not listen to Baba’s advice and the accused relative was executed.

On January 13th, this news was reported to Baba. In response, Baba explained to the mandali about what happens to the consciousness of a person who is executed:

If anyone is executed by the government, he enters a state of samadhi. It is temporary. For instance, when a person is being hanged, there is a clash during the execution between the functioning of inhalation and exhalation; becoming lifeless, the person enters a samadhi state. This type of samadhi has nothing to do with anything spiritual, for as soon as this state is over and according to the sanskaras of his past life, the soul takes rebirth. If he has murdered anyone, he must pay for those sanskaras of murder. If the person is innocent, yet is executed, he is then freed from the sanskaras of murder.

It is quite different in the case of people who commit suicide by hanging. When a suicide’s samadhi finishes, he remains hanging – waiting between the astral and gross worlds. That person becomes a ghost and does not acquire another physical body for ages to come.

Lord Meher, Original Publication,Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 4, p.1353.