The time of death can be a pretty intense time. If I understand correctly, if you would be
able to merge with God in samadhi, you would also be able to merge with God at the time
At the time of death, the five elements of the body start changing very fast. Each element has a
color and is associated with a guna. So it's a very confused state of mind in the average person.
But for those who practice meditation or tread in the path of devotion, the thought of God makes
a deep groove in the mind. No matter how much the mind gets confused, the thought of God still
exists. Such devoted people in the next birth carry the same devotional state.
Regarding the time of death, some older people really seem to welcome death. So is there
some point before death at which the attachment reappears.
Yes. Only those who renounce the world completely in their heart, they don't get fear. We do get
dispassion by the miseries of life, but when the mind looks to the attachment to the world, it still
wants it. So really dispassion starts by God consciousness and not by the miseries in life.
Miseries in life push a person to seek for God.
So their desire is freedom from pain and death is seen as a way out of pain?
In the example of the woman who lost her mind before she died, it doesn't seem like she
would have a thought at the time of death. So is there a different point at which she died, in
the sense of losing her mental connection with the world?
As long as there was an awareness of the world, she was living. When that awareness was gone,
only the body was living.
So at the time she lost awareness of the world, was that the time the samskara was
Yes. After that point, she was not creating any samskaras either.
When my sister died, it seems she would be in pain and agitated and then alternately calm
and peaceful. She was comatose.
In a state of coma, the mind doesn't relate to the outer world. What goes on inside the person is
So would it matter if she actually died when the mind was agitated or peaceful?
Dying in peace is better because the mind which identifies that peace will create samskaras of
peace and in the next birth, the person will achieve more peace.
Is it hard to focus on Om while you are dying?
In theory it is not hard. But when death approaches, so many thoughts appear and confuse the
mind that the person forgets about God. So the mind is prepared by keeping continuous
remembrance of God. Om is the word which indicates God. That is why yogis practice japa or
repetition of Om continuously all the time.
Would it help if people practiced Omkar (chanting of Om) while a person is dying?
Yes, the sound energy will purify. Also the group mind will become one which creates a positive
affect on the dying person.
I was working with a man who was dying. He told me that he was scared and began talking
about his life, reviewing all that had happened. When he finished he was ready to accept
that his life was coming to an end. Is this a method we could use to review our own past in
order to free ourselves from it?
Yes. We have created that fear of death by our own ignorance. We never think about our own
death. We dream about the earthquake. Everyone dies. But we never dream that I am among the
dead. Somehow, I am alive. Because to live forever is a strong desire within us. We don't want to
die, so we don't think about it. By thinking about one's own death, the fear starts getting weaker.
Is developing dispassion and creating a conscious attitude toward physical death really the
Yes. But the mind can always trick. It can be dispassionate for some time and still there is a
subtle desire to live. If we accept the truth as truth, then there is no fear. Accepting the truth is
frightening. We always push behind the mortality of life and always think 'I may live forever.' It
creates deep attachment to the world.
Is there a way to release the feelings of loss in one's life when someone dies or leaves your
We are attached to this worldly reality so tightly that we forget that everything will die away
some day. We cling to its immortality. But when the object is removed, we see the empty space
and cry for the object to fill that vacuum. We cling to something which is unreal. But that
unreality is very real to us, like a mirage in the desert.
How do we learn to live with that empty space?
By understanding that it always was an empty space and our attachment falsely created an
object in it. You have a car. Your attachment creates immortality in that car. If the car gets a
dent, you get upset. You don't get upset if someone else's car is totally destroyed.
© 1995 Sri Rama Publishing
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