Fear of Death, Part 1
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 2000-01-29
Gurudeva answers an e-devotee's question: "Why do we fear death?" This is extremely timely as relatives of two of our Saiva Siddhanta Church families decided to leave their physical bodies behind yesterday. Gurudeva mentions that they both chose an auspicious time to do this, at the end of the eclipse cycle. Tamil Translation
Our cyberspace congregation has a very interesting question about death and dying. "How is it that we all do it? We all die, we get reborn. But, we fear death and we fear being reborn."
Well, that's very easily answered. Because, we always have a little trepidation about the unknown, a little anxiety of what's going to happen. How do we prepare to die? By living according to the laws of dharma, which are based on the understanding of karma, the understanding of reincarnation, and the existence of God everywhere.
Even though we may be of a totally different religion, if we picked up this background of a heaven and a hell, then there is really pre-programmed fear of "Maybe, we'll go to hell forever. Or, maybe, we'll get to heaven and what would that be like?" Because, the heaven and hell concept is based on "We only go around once. This is the life, that's it and then, there's the cut-off point, where we either go down or we go up."
If we come from a religious background where we know about reincarnation, life after death, the laws of karma, and the existence of God everywhere, we don't fear death. We may have a trepidation of the unknown. But, we have that trepidation going into an unknown building or going on a dark street, here in daily life. That kind of caution is very wise.
Today, at this beautiful fire-ceremony that we are having, we are having a memorial service. A service of good memory of two beautiful souls, that left a wonderful family behind them. Aditya Vinadhara's daddy and Sundari Katir's daddy, Dr. Shanmugasundaram passed on into the other world. Where did they go? They went to what they were thinking about prior to departure. They left during the final days of a full eclipse, which is a very auspicious time for them to drop off the physical body and enter into the antaraloka, full-time, in their astral body. They were received by family and friends, who departed their physical body a long time ago. Family and friends who were sleeping and in their inner body, received them as well.
To ascertain the life of an individual who has passed on to the inner world, we must look at the people that he left behind, the pattern of life which he lived, the daughters, the sons, the grandsons and how they are flourishing. In the case of these two gentlemen, their families are flourishing beautifully. That is the token and the hallmark of their entire life.