Death; An Inside Story: A Book for All Those Who Shall Die by Sadhguru

Image of Death: Inside Story by Sadhguru

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Do you know that about 160,000 people in the world, who were alive yesterday, are not there today? Each second, two people die in the world. And one day, it is going to happen to you and me too. 

This might make you a little uncomfortable because until now, we all had a belief that it’s bad to even talk about death. In fact, in some religions, if you are talking openly about death without any fear then that means you are inviting the God of death to take away your life.

But why do we treat death as a taboo? 

If you think death is bad or taboo just because it will make you cold as ice and you will be buried like you never existed then Sadhguru’s book, Death proves you wrong.

First let me walk you through what death really is and then I will tell you how death is just a fiction word that scared people have created.

What is Death?

Death, what comes to your mind when you hear this word? Some people might imagine the loss of a loved one while some may only feel fear just by imagining what if they die one day?

Although, we believe death means not being able to breath, move, think or do anything that proves your existence anymore yet death is way beyond that.

In his book Death, Sadhguru discusses the five energies, Samana Vayu, Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu, Apana Vayu, and Vyana Vayu. Sadhguru says that until all these 5 energies leave your body, you wouldn’t be dead even if you STOP breathing.

Yes, you heard me right. In fact, the world has come across such cases when a person was declared dead but his finger was moving. There was a case in India when a girl was on her deathbed, everyone was crying including her parents but suddenly she woke up and came back to life.

Some people consider such incidents as God’s miracle and call it fake too but these incidents are true because there is a science behind that Indians had known from thousands of years.

According to Sadhguru, such incidents are normal because breath may have stopped but as the other 4 energies didn’t leave the girl’s body, she was alive.

Surprisingly, in the olden days, people believed if the breath stopped, the person would die. But then some people who were declared ‘dead’ by this definition came back to life and a whole lot of chaos ensued. So doctors went a step further and said if the pulse stops, i.e. the heart stops, then it is death.

But again people came back to life even after their heart and breath had stopped. Today, they have a battery of terms-clinical death, brain death, somatic death, heart-lung failure, whole-brain death, higher brain death, and so on. 

As per Sadhguru and Indian culture, Death doesn’t mean the inability to breathe. Death happens in a sequence and it might shatter your mind but it takes more than a few days for your soul to leave your body as per the sequence. Due to this reason, Indians used to do the funeral at least after 2 days of death but these days, as soon as you stop breathing, you are just a body and people would try to get rid of you as soon as possible.

Why Do People Try To Skip Death?

No matter how uncomfortable the mere word, Death may sound to us but deep down we all know that we will have to die one day. There is no substitute. You can’t hire someone else to die on behalf of you. When your time comes, not even a single doctor or any amount of money will be able to save you.

But wait! Why do we want to be SAVED?

Why do we treat death as a monster that’s been chasing us since the day we are born? 

While in the West, people treat death as a monster, in India, some sadhus and sages are waiting for death to come and liberate them from this cycle of death-birth.

This situation is best expressed in the Indian epic Mahabharata.

The five Pandava princes, who are the protagonists, are lost in the forests. Severely starved and parched, they scour the nearby hills for water and food. They spot a lake and, as they try to drink from it, they are confronted by a yaksha (a celestial being) in the form of a white crane who insists they answer his questions first. Refusing to be stopped by a mere bird, one by one, they try to drink from the lake and drop dead. Only Yudhishthira, the eldest of them, is left. Always the humble and righteous one, Yudhishthira ignores his thirst and engages with the yaksha, who fires a volley of questions about life at him. 

One of those questions being, ‘What is the biggest wonder of life?’ Without hesitation, Yudhishthira famously answers, ‘Hundreds and thousands of living beings meet death at every moment, yet the foolish man thinks himself deathless and does not prepare for death. This is the biggest wonder of life.’ The yaksha is pleased with this answer, so he allows him to drink from the lake and also restores the lives of his dead brothers. This happened 5000 years ago, but the human psyche regarding death has changed very little since then.

Sadhguru says “It is only because you tried to keep death away, life has also stayed from you”

Now, you must be thinking “Ohh yeah yeah, I know I am going to be dead one day”

But that’s where our ignorance plays a role, we all know we are going to die but we don’t accept it. And acceptance comes from experience.

To which Sadhuguru shared one of his personal stories. He says when he was in school, he used to play with a girl but suddenly the girl stopped coming. One day, her elder brother who used to study in a similar school told Sadhguru that she is dead. 

This one incident took Sadhguru by surprise. Although, even as a kid, he used to sit on cremation grounds and watch how people burn a person (Indian people burn the dead people) yet he couldn’t believe someone he used to play with vanished away just like that. He was in complete awe of how a person of his age could die. 

And this is what happens in reality too. Until death comes on our doorstep or to someone we love, we never think that one day we can vanish away just like that. 

However, still death doesn’t happen suddenly. A person who lives a conscious life can observe when death will approach him. 

The Quality of Death

After reading Death, I laughed a little on how humans spend their whole life to maintain a standard lifestyle but never give a thought about the quality of death.

As per Sadhguru, as no two people live their lives in a similar way, no two people die in a similar way. Even if you and I die from a similar disease at the exact same time yet the quality of our death would be entirely different.

And the quality of your death will determine what kind of person you are going to be in the next life. The whole science behind this is being described in Death: An inside story.

Just to extend this a little, there are two types of death, untimely and timely. Now, untimely death doesn’t mean a person dying at the age of 10, or timely death doesn’t mean a person dying at the age of 80.

Timely death means when you know death is approaching you and instead of fighting against it, you invite it and hug it.

However, as we, humans have become too materialistic and attached with everything that we are never ready to leave this world. We call a death untimely when a person has the intent to live but suddenly something strikes them down and they die. And the untimely death creates a whole different set of problems for the person in his/her next life. 

But Sadhguru has discussed how you can avoid untimely death in his book, Death. So, you can have another reason to read this book.

How Death Is A Fiction Word?

Death is a fictional word because death doesn’t exist. You must be thinking I have gone nuts. You have read the whole article on how death is inevitable, and the title of the book says, “a book for all those who shall die”. 

5000 years ago, Lord Krishna explained how no one ever dies to his student Arjuna who was not able to bear the fact that his great grandfather is dead. 

Lord Krishna says that you are not your body nor your mind. You are a soul who is wearing this body as clothes. Just as you throw away your old clothes, your soul leaves this old, useless body and enters into another body as a new born baby.

For example: If I stop breathing today that doesn’t mean I am dead. It just means an identity that you and the world knew as Renuka is dead. But the soul will always keep on living by taking birth as a newborn from time to time. 

Now you must be thinking then why don’t people remember anything from their past life?

Well, Sadhguru has the answers to your questions. He says we have different types of memories like genetic memory which is responsible for our physical looks, Karmic memory which is an accumulation of all the impressions that you have gathered, not just since birth but all through your previous lives. 

In simple words, whoever you know if die today, they will not actually be dead. They will wear another body as clothes and be born again. Hence death doesn’t exist. What you call death is merely an end of a materialistic body and nothing else. 

Death is an illusion created and accepted by ignorant people. 

Conclusion

It is quite unfortunate how humans try to avoid death their entire life without knowing what death actually means. In fact, in the race of creating a safe and tension free world, we humans have forgotten that the only safe place on this planet is our grave. Nothing happens there. 

We always live with a fear of what can happen next but in the grave, everything is peaceful, and safe. Perhaps, this is the reason why we must enjoy uncertainties, adverse situations and do some adventure while we are still alive.

All our lives, we pray to God to take away all our worries without thinking that if there is no worry, there is no fun. We will be as good as a dead mind then. To quote it in Sadhguru’s words,

“If you die, there is really no tragedy. That is the end of whatever problems you are experiencing in life. But if you are alive and not experiencing life in its totality, that is a true tragedy”

This book is a gentle reminder that not only we all will be dead but we need to live life to the fullest so that in our last few moments, we don’t regret. 

In our so-called society, we have two types of people,

  1. People who pray to God so that they can have a beautiful afterlife in heaven. And Sadhguru says that nothing is more sinful than cheating life and thinking there can be anything more beautiful than the life you are living.
  2. People who do wrong to others for their benefits because they want to create a luxurious life. Sadhguru shares a beautiful example to describe the situation of such a person.

Sadhguru says once after the death of a person, he was rewarded with all the things he always wanted when he was alive. A beautiful lady comes to her and says, from now on, you will live in this luxurious place. You will be given the most delicious food, all the expensive gadgets and if you need anything else just say my name.

The man was on the seventh cloud after hearing this. Although, he knew he had done horrible things to people when he was alive yet he was rewarded with heaven.

Initially, the man enjoyed the place but after a few days, he called the beautiful lady and asked her to give him some work or someone to talk to. The lady says, “No, you will have to live alone here and you don’t have to work just as you always wanted”

The man screamed in frustration and said “Ohh, God, this is hell”

And the lady replied, “What else did you think it is? You are in hell”

This is exactly what we all pray for in our day-to-day lives. Now, you are smart enough to decide what kind of life you want?

There are a bunch of recommendations on Google, Instagram, and YouTube on books to read before you die but Death: An Inside Story is really a book that you must read before you die. This book will change your perception on death, how to live, how to die, and how to be kind to others.