Shri Mataji: "Many people ask Me questions: "What about death?” ""Jesus is a savior not because of the mortal flesh that he wears but because he can reveal the soul or spiritual person who is within, and the true home of Jesus is not this imperfect world below but the divine world of light and life. For Jesus in the Gospel of Judas, death is not tragedy, nor is it a necessary evil to bring about the forgiveness of sins. Death, as the exit from this absurd physical existence, is not to be feared or dreaded. Far from being an occasion of sadness, death is the means by which Jesus is liberated from the flesh in order that he might return to his heavenly home, and by betraying Jesus, Judas helps his friend discard his body and free his inner self, the divine self.”- Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
The invisible Spirit (Atma, Atman) is eternal, and the visible physical body, is transitory. The reality of these two is indeed certainly seen by the seers of truth. (2.16)
The Spirit by whom this entire universe is pervaded is indestructible. No one can destroy the imperishable Spirit. (2.17)
The physical bodies of the eternal, immutable, and incomprehensible Spirit are perishable. (2.18)
The one who thinks that the Spirit is a slayer, and the one who thinks the Spirit is slain, both are ignorant. Because the Spirit neither slays nor is slain. (2.19)
The Spirit is neither born nor does it die at any time. It does not come into being, or cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The Spirit is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. (2.20)
Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones; similarly, the living entity or the individual soul acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies. (2.22)
Weapons do not cut this Spirit, fire does not burn it, water does not make it wet, and the wind does not make it dry. The Spirit cannot be cut, burned, wetted, or dried. It is eternal, all pervading, unchanging, immovable, and primeval. (2.23-24)
The Spirit is said to be unexplainable, incomprehensible, and unchanging. Knowing the Spirit as such you should not grieve. (2.25)
"Judas finally betrays Jesus in the Gospel of Judas, but he does so knowingly, and at the sincere request of Jesus. Jesus is a savior not because of the mortal flesh that he wears but because he can reveal the soul or spiritual person who is within, and the true home of Jesus is not this imperfect world below but the divine world of light and life. For Jesus in the Gospel of Judas, death is not tragedy, nor is it a necessary evil to bring about the forgiveness of sins. Death, as the exit from this absurd physical existence, is not to be feared or dreaded. Far from being an occasion of sadness, death is the means by which Jesus is liberated from the flesh in order that he might return to his heavenly home, and by betraying Jesus, Judas helps his friend discard his body and free his inner self, the divine self.”
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity,
Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
Penguin Group—London, England
So this happening that we are afraid of death is absolutely absurd for Sahaja Yogis. What is there to think even about your death? There is nothing like death for you because you have got eternal life. It's not that you continue with the same body. You may go on changing your dress but you are living, you are aware. And you know even if this body is not there you will be there, all the time. I will agree for Sahaja Yoga, for anything that is to be done in the name of Reality. So you must know your position as eternal beings — what is your work, what is your idea, what you have to do. So one has to get rid of this idea of death because death does not exist for you. It is finished... your spirit is free.
And when you die what happens to you is a very simple thing; that you feel liberated, absolutely, and then you feel your freedom completely, and you can decide what to do. It's all under your own guidance, your own desires, everything works out. You don't feel that you have come out of your body and this is what I should tell you: That there should be no fear of death but on the contrary, should be welcomed because you will feel much more liberated, much more at ease...
This body is finished is a very good idea. So troublesome it is. The most sticky thing we have is this body... So to forget about death is the easiest thing to do.”
To Achieve Complete Freedom, May 7, 1995 — Cabella, Italy
"The Upanishads do not teach a death experience, but an experience of life. Ultimately there is no experience of death and the death experiment is, in the last analysis, unreal because the"subject"Who died was not real. The supreme Upanishadic experience is discovered precisely by realizing that the experiment of death is only a psychological experience, made by the immortal atman.
The Vedic experience is one of liberation, of freedom from everything. It thus includes freedom or liberation from time. What both fascinates and haunts Upanishadic Man is not anything that comes after, but that which has no after. As long as we are entrammeled in the net of mere temporal existence, we are in the clutches of death, even if we postpone death by a sequence of successive existences. An afterlife is as inauthentic a life as a prelife. The piercing of the skin of time as with a needle, without either hurting or destroying the spatiotemporal epidermis and yet transcending it, is what liberation is all about...
Now, the end is not death and dissolution, nor is it an indefinite and horizontal repetition of one and the same circle. One of the discoveries of the Vedic wisdom is precisely that, whereas time is circular, Man is not, so that for him it is not a question of beginning all over again. On the contrary, it is imperative that he escape the enclosure of the circle. The circularity of time indicates its ontic finitude, whereas Man is infinite. Man has to break the circularity of time in order to reach the ontological fullness of his being. To enter into this other nontemporal, but no less real, sphere is to attain realization, to reach liberation from the encirclement of time and freedom from temporal chains. It is a truly new life, not in the sense of a"recycled"life but in the sense of a new type, a new kind of life, indeed, the only real and authentic life.”
Professor Raimundo Panikkar, The Vedic Experience
"Modern Man wonders about death and weaves innumerable theories about it; he seems to be sure about only one thing: its factual reality and thus its inevitability. In spite of startling news produced now and then by the scientific shamans of our age, contemporary Man seems at a loss when he is confronted with one of the most ancient myths of mankind: the possibility of avoiding death. Because death is seen to be inevitable, modern society tends to wipe out from the memory of the living all dealings with the dying and the dead. The fundamental Vedic attitude is almost the opposite: it does not reckon with death's inevitability and it does not try to smuggle death away from everyday life.
According to this vision, which is common to other cultures as well, death is not inevitable; it is only accidental. You die if your life is snatched away before you reach maturity, or before you marry, or if something unexpected happens to you which prevents you from achieving what you yourself or society was expecting of your life. Death is limited to this rupture, this misfortune, this accident. Thus it is always an unnatural event, and it is always akala mrtyu, untimely death.
On the other hand the old Man," the Man of long life," as the Vedas call him, the one who has lived his life, who has fulfilled his life span, his ayus, does not die; he does not experience a break and, thus, a trauma; he has simply consumed the torch and exhausted the fuel. The flame of his life goes on and it burns in his sons, his daughters, his children's children, his friends, his work, and in his ideas which are scattered to the four winds. Even his body, with its own energy, has already enriched the earth on which he has walked, the rivers in which he has bathed, and the living beings with whom he has been in communication and communion. Only the last gifts of his body and breath still remain to be given away. The old Man does not die; he simply finishes his commerce with life and achieves the transmission of all that he himself has received, as the Upanishads describe. He cancels the constitutive rna, the debt of gratitude for the gift of his existence. The natural extinction of one particular carrier of life or the completion of one's own life is not death.
Indeed, not every Man who is old in years reaches long life, maturity, and thus immortality. It is not a question of mere number of years but of growth, for which the passing of years — the hundred autumns — is certainly required but of which it is not the only condition. Time, in fact, is more than its measurement by the passing of days and seasons; it is the qualitative coefficient of human growth itself. To disentangle the immortal from the mortal, to liberate himself from the claws of death, is the task of every Man. On the one hand there is the asu or life-principle, the power of life or vital strength, which is assimilated in some traditions to the ahamkara, the selfish ego of unfulfilled desires and unachieved projects. This ego is not pure, later periods will say, inasmuch as it consists of unburnt karmas; it is this ego that is afraid of death, because it must certainly die. There is, on the other hand, the personal atman, that spark of the paramatman, which does not die. Jiva, in spite of the variety of meanings given by different schools, could also be another word for immortal Man.”
Professor Raimundo Panikkar, The Vedic Experience
"For Hindus, death is nobly referred to as mahaprasthana," the great journey.”When the lessons of this life have been learned and karmas reach a point of intensity, the soul leaves the physical body, which then returns its elements to the earth. The awareness, will, memory and intelligence which we think of as ourselves continue to exist in the soul body. Death is a most natural experience, not to be feared. It is a quick transition from the physical world to the astral plane, like walking through a door, leaving one room and entering another. Knowing this, we approach death as a sadhana, as a spiritual opportunity, bringing a level of detachment which is difficult to achieve in the tumult of life and an urgency to strive more than ever in our search for the Divine Self. To be near a realized soul at the time he or she gives up the body yields blessings surpassing those of a thousand and eight visits to holy persons at other times. The Vedas explain," As a caterpillar coming to the end of a blade of grass draws itself together in taking the next step, so does the soul in the process of transition strike down this body and dispel its ignorance.”Aum Namah Sivaya"
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
(Himalayan Academy, 1998, www.hinduismtoday.kauai.hi.us/welcome.html)
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