Yogic insight into Death
Death eventually strikes us all. Yet the subject of death is mostly avoided and in some cultures even prohibited to be talked about.
My Dad who was facing health challenges for over three years with two cancers, a weak heart & a failing kidney. He passed on first week of March 2019.
It was during Mahasivratri time that he made clear he was going to die and that he needed me to leave US and come to India immediately. I absolutely needed to stay in US during this time as I was guiding humanity through this period in attaining the objective of yoga through this vortex of time of Mahasivratri – to be the Yogi.
My Dad had literally held on to his life the last three weeks waiting for me. After I arrived from Los Angeles, I was driven straight to his hospital in Madurai (South India). With tears in his eyes he said, “Now that you are here, I feel healed and complete. Now I do not have fear. I can now face anything”. He was laying on the bed unable to move as I sat by his side with my palm on his chest reciting our Siddha mantras and the other hand holding his hand. After a day, he slowly departed as I felt his last breath and his new journey beginning. He left in peace surrounded by my sister and Mother, his family. The day after, I completed his last rites- picking up his ash & bones from the crematorium. As I did, I realized that his 69 years on planet earth now has a void to fill and his legacy of love to carry.
I write from this space of grief and its wisdom, and my journey as a yogi.
A yogi is one who has ‘died’ and is the Spirit living in the human in enriched experience and wisdom. To know that each breath holds the journey of life and that beyond life is the wisdom gift of death. Yet death is always the most feared by nearly all humans. Even the person living the most miserable life does not want to die.
From the yogic perspective, to understand death is to awaken and realize our inner wisdom, called Atma Nyanam, wisdom of the Soul.
To know death while alive is to be a Jeevamukthi- the One who is free as Spirit, the Yogi.
Viktor Frankl’s message after going through the horror of the holocaust is the wisdom of death- “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
My own story of my ‘near death’ experience or rather, the through- death experience-
When aged 27, 27 years ago, at the peak of my business success, I felt struck by the notion that I was going to die. A psychic friend of mine did a tarot card reading for me. The three times I pulled out the cards- all three were death. I was frightened. My friend told me not to worry and it meant blessings of major transformation. But I felt my impending death in all its ugliness- cold, painful and remorseless. I felt like a dying man seeking anything to hold on to. When my neighbor gifted me a small wooden Siva Lingam (Lingam is the symbol of infinity holding the essence of Lord Siva). I held the lingam as my last straw praying for protection. That when I heard within me a voice that said, “I am coming to take you later today.” I thought it was the voice of God. I stayed home through the day. That evening, I heard a knock on my door. I opened the door to see a young Sage, Bhairavasekarswamy of age 27, with fire in his eye who told me, “Lord Siva sent me to take you. You have death coming for you. Will you come with me to Srikalahasti? “. (Srikalahasti was a 3 hour car journey away from Chennai, where I was living then). I said, “I have been waiting for you all my life. Lets go!”.
That evening he did rituals while having me recite a mantra. He took me through my past life deaths. Each death of my past revealed the consequences of that life. It was extremely painful and frightening to go through that experience. But the mantra he gave me started generating a small oasis like blue harmony center embryo like that felt safe and protective. Slowly that embryo grew larger and larger and that became “me”. I felt free. I felt joy for no reason. I cried out of happiness as I found something that felt complete. As I returned back home next day, I felt I was a huge Being inside a little well shaped body. Early next morning I was up wanting to meditate (something I had never done before) and there I was rushing to go inward to emerge feeling just bliss, with a pristine mind of no thoughts. My habits shifted radically- I could not smoke cigarettes any more and could not stand the sight of meat let alone eat non-vegetarian.
I was now in waves of bliss and whenever my bliss waivered, I knew I needed to stop and meditate to reconnect to Source to reset myself.
Now began my journey into myself as I connected with realized Beings who as Gurus guided me deeper- into caves, shrines and the wilderness in solitude. My journey was over 9 years, growing within myself until I woke up to understand my life purpose- to reach Consciousness to humanity.
Yogic wisdom of Death:
– The only thing that belongs to us is our breath. Greater the fullness and calm of breath in its inhale and exhale, the greater quality of thoughts and thinking pattern we produce.
– Our mind is like a vegetable that we grow in consciousness. When we meditate, we are expanding our consciousness transcending the cycles of life and death. Expanding consciousness, our mind actively evolves to enables thoughts to become wisdom from higher platforms of consciousness. .
– Each breath holds the wisdom beyond death and life. In retaining breath, yogis go to samadhi states where life is supported with minimal breathing and intake of food & water. Attainment of samadhi states, the potent deep meditative states is a gift every human innately has ability to.
– To understand death as a friend and companion in each breath makes us fearless and allows us to enjoy life in its fullness. When meditating, bring to awareness death and that beyond death.
– To tap into the meditate on the “I am” principle means, transcending death & the limited human and align to the light of infinity within. We realize death is finite, ie, a temporary phase.
– The re-birth after ‘death’ experienced within the retained breath, is to align ourselves into the Now and the magic of being in states of joy. Rebirth means the newer mind and grand perception of wisdom.
– Lord Siva, the Yogi is described as Satchidananda. It means- experiencing consciousness as bliss. This yogic experience is truth of attainments of meditation. Be the bliss form.
– The last thoughts at the time of death guides the journey after death. It is for this reason that in all Hindu households, everyone is named in God names- so each time God is called when any family member is called. Reciting mantras to Source (God in all names and in namelessness) connect creates a perfect habit for us to remember Source at all times while awakening us to be the Spirit, Source connected at all times.
– To enhance potency of meditation through chanting, feel breath & the recited mantra connected to the Spirit we are before our birth and after our death. Connecting death and birth awakens us to the eternal Soul we are drawing the wisdom of Spirit.
– Death, Lord Yama has a companion, Chitragupta, the ‘accountant’ who keeps track of our karmic pattern. In birth, the karmic pattern of past life is now passed on so the life fulfills and completes the past momentum. When we awaken as yogi, we experience the wisdom of being the Spirit. We are able to negate the limits of karma, as we transcend death in breath and as Spirit, go beyond our karmic imprints. We are able to transform our challenges in life to opportunities.
– Realizing Soul Wisdom, we realize our Oneness. We worship life and all the living as we understand our Soul the same as in all other living. Not doing harm to other living creatures blessed us with good karma. Eating food that has imprints of love and not violence grows our consciousness as what what we eat, we become.
– When we lead a life doing good & not harming others we are gifted a death of peacefulness.
– Life is measured by the number of breaths we take. Each breath is meaningful and yet limited in numbers. In understanding we each have a shelf life, celebrate life in heart’s doings and Be.
– When we realize we are the Spirit in the human experience, our individual ego dissolves to the recognition of “We”. We are now aligned to the spirit world. We tap into intuitiveness, clairvoyance and other forms of ESP that is unique to each.
“Before birth & after death is Spirit. In between – our reality experience. Life is measured by number of breaths- breath limited in numbers.
Encased in shelf life, celebrate breath of Spirit with potent thoughts, wisdom of heaven.
In Knowing, the Yogi Be!” Mastery of Consciousness
Nandhiji www.nandhiji.com is a Siddha yogi, humanitarian and visionary awakening humanity through mystic wisdom, community and service. He is an artist, ecstatic chant musician, author and teacher, representing the path of the Liberated. He lives in Los Angeles, where he shares the life-enhancing wisdom and teachings of the Siddhar sages, the liberated mystics of South India. Nandhiji was gifted with a childhood experience of the Divine when he was four years old. Later as a young adult, while leading an active family life, he was initiated through a death experience by his first Guru, and his journey into the mystical realm of the Siddhas as a yogi began. After years of seeking ‘wholeness’ through connection with the inner world, Nandhiji woke up to understand his highest purpose: to uplift humanity in consciousness. One of the fruits of his journey are offered in Mastery of Consciousness. Nandhiji says, “When we awaken the inner lamp, we liberate ourselves to the grace of our own wisdom, our Inner Guru, Consciousness!” Nandhiji envisions a humanity awake through yogic wisdom, enterprise and community.