31st, May, 2011: Against the backdrop of the Castle of Ranī Lakṣmi Baī of Jhānsi, under an overcast dusky sky with occasional thundering and cool refreshing breeze, Mahārāja Jī spoke on the science of death and the practical philosophy of action and fate. The train of thoughts was set on track by Sādhvī Yogānjalī Chaitanyā’s clarion call to put action first, and putting focus upon ‘work’, rather than results or fate. Inspiring the audience to realize that our grandest fate was that we all were the children and parts of the Lord and our grandest work was to realize and experience first-hand the truth of this, she spoke with strength and heart. The magic of Swami Suryendu Puri Ji’s oratory followed. In his trademark style he welcomed the Jhānsi devotees by invoking the memory of Lakṣmaṇa Dās Saddi Jī or Pitājī who was one big figure through whom majority of the Jhānsi devotees came into contact with Swamī Dyalu Purī Jī. His discourse was focused on an explanation behind the process of decay and death and the path to a total victory over them. In this way, the stage was all set and the audience was all-eager to imbibe the nectar emanating from Mahārāja Jī.
The Master began in his custom with chanting Om that ended on what sounded like the 5th or the 6th octave of the musical scale. This was followed with the amazingly melodious invocation mantras from the Vedas which the Master sings prior to a discourse. The Master said:
We have gathered here today, against the backdrop of the Jhansi Castle in this playground of children to hear and talk about those things which were once talked off and discussed in solitary forests, or on battle-fields like that of Kurukshetra when the Lord bestowed this wisdom to Arjuna. We are to discuss about the science of death and the dynamics of fate and action. Now what is more strong: the present or the past? What is more significant for me: the time that is today or that has already left or the death that will come in the future? Is it in my hands to control the the arrow that has already left the bow? What is in my hands is the target on which I can aim the arrow. Certainly, the present is more significant, which we can utlize. The Castle that is today in ruins stands nowhere in importance to me than my own house where I live.
We wish to live a free, blissful , independent life. For this there is the sutra: to realize that the present time, and the action in which I am engaged presently is the most significant thing for me. It is therefore essential to learn to live in the present. Therefore, this kaliyuga too is more significant for us. Even if there is an obstacle in the present in the path of our action, do not procrastinate and wait for the tide to recede, because if we prolong today then the tomorrow that shall come will be no less troublesome. The essence is not to fear obstacles. For otherwise, the roots of fear will continue to haunt us even when we land up in externally friendly circumstances.
The sutra is that the atman, or any object is not to be attained by the weak. Lord Krishna also asked Arjuna to give up all weakness and rise up. How would this weakness be removed? That comes by understanding that I am the part or the child of the Lord and am not this material body of flesh, bones and marrow. The source of unlimited power is within me. If there is any obstacle I am not to fear it. If we forget this basic fundamental fact and are thus fearful and act in weakness then our end would be on the funeral pyre; the dead body that burns in the fire will be the end of our journey. If we, on the other hand believe that the Lord is our goal then the end of our journey would also be in unlimited bliss. It is quite possible that this mortal body has to be left behind while the journey is still incomplete, the infinite bliss has not yet been attained, but still if our goal is the attainment of the Lord then even though the body might be left behind still we would go deeper. If we come to understand that this body is a means and I myself am the part of the Lord and along with that if we learn to live in the present and also perform our actions with full strength and ecstasy then the fear of death will easily relieve us.
What is the fear of the death? It is in fact this fear that manifests in different ways; I may not fail, I may not be criticized…at the base of all is the fear of the death – that I may not be destroyed. Then the problem intensifies when one comes to believe that the external objects are also mine. The essence of all practices is to know how to die. Death is not merely leaving the body behind. No one can leave his body of his own will; neither can you prolong your life of your own will. We can neither prolong our lives of our own will, neither can we die of our own will. It is beyond our control. Our will fails in these matters. It is the will of the Lord that works here.
Now the question is: we all believe that the Lord is most compassionate. If death is brought by the will of the Lord who is compassionate, then death cannot be fearsome. It cannot be so. Leaving behind a useless body is not a painful act. It is rather an opportunity to continue our journey in a new body. Just like say we had been leaving in an old, tattered house and if the government calls us to new apartments that it has built for us, initially we shall resist and even wail and cry, but upon reaching there we shall be happy.
During the time of death, the path to meet the Lord opens up. Understand, what death is, over which we have to gain victory. Death really implies to forget that I am a part of the Lord because of delusion. To believe that I am a body of flesh and bones – is real death. This is the root of the tree of death. The stems are the ‘I’ and ‘mine’, attachment-aversion, and outward focus of the senses, mind and prana. Thinking that happiness will be found outside, one becomes empty inside. The inner power thus weakens due to this outward focus. The body decays, diseases rise, and ultimately it becomes so weak. The mind is full of tensions and stress and is a web of death. Man gets so entangled in this web, that he does not see and understands anything. At that last time, when he can’t even breathe, because the body has become so useless – that is death. But it is really Lord’s compassion that he relieves us of such a body and then gives us a new body.
To really win over death, understand that I am the part of the Lord. Understand this through the intellect and with this as the basis perform good works, purify the mind, strengthen the prana, purify the senses and gradually the breath should be made so deep (because death implies lack of ability to draw breath) so that the consciousness and the power wake from the base of the spine and rise and get assimilated in the head. This is samadhi. If we become successful in drawing deep breath, then so much fire will be awakened such that we can even subsist on air. Breathe through nose till the brahmarandra, close the eyes and connect them till brahmarandra. Tongue is turned within and connected to the Brahmarandra. Then such a state is really possible where there is no hunger, no thirst, no suffering, no disease, no decay, and no death too.
Turn the consciousness within. Assimilate the breath. Then disease will be left far far behind. Then one even does not need to eat. But if not this, one should atleast attain this that one can assimilate totally what one’s eat. Drawing in the air implies Sanjivani Kriya, Drawing in the Fire implies Agni Kriya. At the base of all this is the understanding that I am the part of the Lord.
To conclude, let’s understand what we should do at the time of the death if still victory over death has not been attained. Do not fear death. Do not desire it either. Remain aware within. Give up solid forms of food to take the consciousness within. When the doctors have also given up, then sustain yourself on liquid diet, and slowly live only on water, and keep on remembering the Lord through Japa. If time has come for death, then the road will be cleared to come closer to the Lord. If time has not yet come, the disease will be cured.
It is the present time that is most significant. The Lord has given us this great opportunity to work in the present. So let us utilize this to the full. Now, we end with the prayer for the well being of all.