Q: Sadhguru, how do we get over the death of a dear one?
A: [Sadhguru breathes in and out heavily and asks] “What is this? Life? Right?”
[Sadhguru breathes out once and stops for a while before asking] “What is this? Death? Right?”
“Now, someone or the other is dying in my family on a daily basis. What should I do about it? You don’t understand? This universe full of people is my family. How should I get over it? Get over what? You mean to get over the fact that the body, mind and emotions that you recognised the person by is no longer here, right? But when you could feel all of that of that person what did you do with that? The very fact that you want to get over it means that there is something that you did not do for the person which you ideally wanted to do when the person was alive. Do you know what that means? The person died but is alive inside you.
Everything happening in this world is happening where? Inside you. Am I right? I am talking here, where is it happening? Inside you. The tree is there but where is it actually? In your eyes, again inside you, right? You know all that nonsense of light falling on that image is getting reflected and creating an inverted image on your retina that is being read by your mind and shown to you in the way that it is, right? So where is everything happening? Where is the world? Inside you. Whatever is happening here is actually happening inside you. The moment it comes into your experience the world is inside you. So where is death of a dear one happening? Inside you?
This January when I was at the World Economic Forum, there was this nonagenarian lady who came upto me and narrated her experience. As a 13 year old she was from some part in Europe that was being conquered by Hitler and they were systematically exterminating the Jews and other people as well. It was at a time when her parents had disappeared, assumed dead, and she was left with her 8 year old brother at the railway station for around 4 to 5 days waiting for a train that would take her somewhere. As soon as they got on to the train, she noticed that her kid brother was not wearing shoes. He had missed it somewhere. The temperatures there are freezing cold. She got enraged and wrenched her brother’s ears for not wearing his shoes and scolded him almost throughout the journey. The boy did not respond even a single line. As the train reached its destination the boys and the girls were separated and taken away to their respective camps for extermination. The girl survived the camp and came out alive after 4 or 5 years and never saw her brother again.
To this day she remembers this incident with lot of emotions. But she said that she made an important decision from then. The last thing that she ever gave her brother was admonishment and hence whoever she met from that day on she spoke to them as if it was the last word she would ever speak to them. Please see how you interact with people at home, neighbours, colleagues, people on the road and others. Imagine if it was the last word you would ever speak to them and speak to them from now on. How would you speak? Would you still speak the same way or would there be a change in the way you spoke to them? In fact it is a reality. Look at it - you are here now, I am speaking to you. Is there any guarantee that you will be here next moment or tomorrow? Not that I want all of you to die or disappear suddenly, in fact I wish and pray that all of you lead long and happy lives [folds his hands in prayer], but can you guarantee me that you will be alive the next moment for me to speak to you?
Now the reason that you want to get over the death of a dear one is because somewhere deep down you feel you have not done or said something that you ideally wanted to do for the departed. Now that the person has departed you feel you have lost the opportunity of doing whatever you wanted to do. Imagine if you spoke and lived as if it was the last time you ever saw the person. Would there be any reason for you to get over death at all?
While doing this program, Anandha Alai, two of my volunteers have had an accident and have broken their skulls and died. Two others of my family, very loved ones, very dear ones have passed away recently. If we have done whatever we wanted to do for them then we continue to live joyously, right? We don’t have to let sadness affect us because they have passed away. We can be joyful and happy when our conscience is clear”