Conquering death: Why happens when we die? We find out why it is important to know that...

We do not realise that the body is a rented house which we occupy only for a limited period and once that period is over, it must be vacated
For representation purposes
For representation purposes

There has been an inherent desire for immortality in man since the dawn of history. Throughout the history people have been ignorant about death and have tried to avoid facing its inevitability. Death does not wait for anyone. We find daily, kings and queens, politicians and religious heads, scholars and scientists, all have to succumb to it; nobody can escape death. Life appears to be a game of musical chairs wherein at every round another chair is taken away and someone loses his seat. 

Death is not only inevitable; it is also a painful process. The Hindu scriptures say that the pain a person undergoes at the time of death equals the simultaneous stinging of a million scorpions. It is a pity that while living in the world we forget the reality of death. Gurbani has said, “Life is falsehood and death is only reality.” We have forgotten that we are souls and not the body. We consider ourselves to be the body and we become engrossed in the sensuous pleasures of mind and matter. We do not realise that the body is a rented house which we occupy only for a limited period and once that period is over, it must be vacated.

The human body is the golden opportunity given to us to know God and attain immortality. Unfortunately, we waste this golden opportunity. Our scriptures tell us that God made man in His own image and that man is superior to angels. It is said that when man was created, God asked the angels to pay obeisance to the human form. If the angels want salvation, even they must be born as human beings, because it is only in the human form that one can realise God. But how many of us make the best use of time allotted to us in life. Most of us wake up when it is too late. If we want immortal life, eternal peace, bliss and ecstasy, we will have to solve the mystery of life and death while we are living in this body. 

How can we solve this mystery? Before solving this, we should know what happens at the time of death. We have motor currents and sensory currents which are flowing in our bodies. The motor currents keep us alive, by controlling our involuntarily body functions, such as growth of nails and hair, our breathing and blood circulation. The sensory currents give us sensation in the body. It is the sensory currents which make us aware of the sense of light, hearing, smell, taste and touch. At the time of death sensory currents withdraw from the body. In this process the sensory currents first start withdrawing from the toes, feet, legs and come upwards and we find that our feet and legs grow numb. Then the navel, heart and throat centres of the body become numb. Finally, the soul enters the eye centre and it passes out of the body from here resulting in physical death of a person. 

We can attain ultimate victory over earth by learning the art of meditation. Meditation is the process of inverting our attention from the outer world and body and focusing it at a point between and behind the two eyebrows. The process of inversion of the senses during meditation is the same process that we undergo at the time of death when sensory currents withdraw from the body. By focusing our attention there, we come in contact with a current of Light and Sound which will lead us from our physical consciousness into higher consciousness and into beyond.

The current of Light and Sound which emanated from God at the dawn of creation, flows like a stream from Him and returns to Him. When our soul comes in contact with this stream, it can travel back to the source. Saints say that nature has designed man to leave his physical body at will, transcend to higher spiritual planes and then return to body. Saints can rise above body consciousness, soar into higher regions and return to the body in a twinkling of an eye. That is why it is called dying while living. It has been said, “Learn to die so that you may begin to live.”

The author is a renowned spiritual leader working towards inner and outer peace. He can be contacted at

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