Death is an unavoidable event for all who has born in this earth. We feel like our entire struggle for life, ego, strive for material wealth would be ended by this phenomenon. In the spiritual context, we all are from the Paramatma and the soul inside us never born or it never dies. It only continues its journey towards perfection through various bodies in various space and time. The same is described in Srimad Bhagavadgeeta as:
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि ग्रुह्णाति नरॊपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि दॆही ॥
Means, as the person abandons an old faded cloth and wears a new cloth, the soul within the body leaves rotten body and enters a new one. This metaphor clearly describes about the death phenomenon. When the Atman inside us thinks like he has no other useful accomplishments can be achieved through the current physical body or the goal of learning is achieved and it is unable to sustain in the same body, he will leave this and enters a new one in different or same space and time. Many times I had a question: though some people are healthy enough and have the energy to continue in the same body, how they will depart from their dearer ones with a nimitta [cause] like an accident or a disease or even a massive heart attack? One of my elder gentlemen answered me this question: whatever we see or feel is only like an iceberg which appears to be float above the ocean. But the real iceberg is much more in size than we could visualize and is submerged in the water. Likewise, whatever we see a life of a person is a small portion in the entire journey of that soul. We don’t know the past and future of that journey. If the current situation of the soul is not hygienic to accomplish a noble task, it will leave the body and take a rebirth in a more convenient environment to achieve its goal. Or due its sanchita karma [which is caused by our actions in the past incarnation], it will be released from the body. By this explanation, I found a convincing answer for my long awaiting quest on death. Also it is said that for all those who born, death is awaiting and for the dead ones, a rebirth is awaiting. So we should not regret for this inevitable fact [Please refer Geeta – 2-27].
Also, in spiritual terms, death is not the final destiny. All our good and bad deeds will be recorded and they will serve as a baseline for our future lives. So we need not worry if we failed to achieve a goal in a single birth. We have infinite time ahead of us to get the ultimate truth, which is the motive behind this leela of Janma-Mrutyu chakra. We should devote ourselves to come out of this cycle. That particular state is referred to as Brahmi stiti or Moksha. Let the words of the God 'न हि कल्याणकृत् कश्चित् दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति' [O Dear! those who performs good deeds will never fail.] be affixed in our mind while we are developing in the path of spirituality. We all are human beings prone to create mistakes. That is OK, but we have to keep on correcting ourselves and should proceed in the path of light. Also, it is stated that we will attain our rebirth based on the thought while we are leaving our body. Definitely good thought would enter into our mind if we would have leaded a truthful, prompt life which is in accordance with our Atman [Anthahsakshi]. This is clearly indicated in Geeta as:
यं यं वापि स्मरन् भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलॆवरम् ।
तं तमॆवैति कौन्तॆय सदा तद्भावभावितः ॥
Means, O son of Kunti! Person will definitely attain the status in his next incarnation based on the thoughts in which he leaves the body. We heard the story of a great saadhaka, Bharath maharaja. Though he has achieved a good spiritual state of mind through his Tapas in that lifetime, he took birth as deer in the next incarnation, because he was thinking of his lovely deer in his Ashrama, while he was about to take his last breaths.
These are the few insights about death from the holy Geeta. I know that this is not a full picture on death because of my limited knowledge on the Geeta, life and death as well! However, if it arises a little thought on our mind about sarthaka jeevana [contented life] and the nature of death, then I feel the motive behind this write-up is achieved. Let us all pray the Paramatma to ‘अनायासॆन मरणं विना दैन्यॆन जीवनम्’ [Dying without difficulties and living without begging for others mercy!]
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” -> Albert Pike
Author would like to thank Sri K.T. Nagendra Rao, Golgar who has provoked a thought on this subject and was inspiration for writing this article.
*************************************************Published in Sadguru's Blessings....