Audio for Concious Death part 17 (click to play or right click to download)

Death’s operation is so big because the whole being has to be taken out of your body with which it has become so attached, identified. It is not simply removing a bone, it is removing the whole body from you. So nature has a process: before you die you fall unconscious, fast asleep, you are no longer in your senses, and then your being can be removed. This is not samadhi.

And remember, if a person dies in unconsciousness he is born in unconsciousness, because the birth, the coming birth, will be the same, the same quality. If in this life you die unconsciously, in the next life you will be born unconscious in a womb. If you can die consciously then you can be born consciously. And if you can die with total awareness, the whole being alert, not a single part unconscious, then you will not be born at all. Then there is no need, then you can simply discard this body and become bodiless.

Before entering samadhi – that is, conscious, alert, aware of death…. And only the person who has attained the seventh stage can enter it. He will be born no more, he will be out of the wheel of existence.

…The seeker should contemplate on aum most strenuously, and subsequently he should surrender everything, from gross to subtle to the conscious self. Taking the conscious self as his own self, he should consolidate this feeling: I am eternal, pure, enlightened, free, existential, incomparable, the most blissful Vasudeva and Pranava himself – I am the Brahman.

Before entering death the seeker should try this.

Many things. First, before you enter death ordinarily you cling to the body, you don’t want to give it up. That is the ordinary reaction of the mind, to cling. Death is snatching everything and you cling, you start a fight with death. In this fight you will be defeated. This sutra says: Give up consciously. From the gross to the subtle to the self, give up everything. Just say to death, “Take it. This is not me. Take this body, take this mind, take this self, this ego. I am not this.”

Don’t cling, let your life be a gift to death. Don’t create any fight and resistance. If you create fight you will become unconscious and you will miss an opportunity again. Give up. Give death whatsoever you have – from the gross to the subtle to the very self, go on giving. Don’t create any resistance. This is the foundational thing. Don’t create resistance, don’t fight with death. What will happen? If you can give up knowingly, consciously, blissfully, you will not fall unconscious, there is no need. Your clinging creates the problem.

The doctors were worried, and the case was serious. The appendix had to be removed soon, otherwise the man would die. And he was adamant. He said, “I can die, that is not much of a problem – but I don’t want to be unconscious.” He must have been thinking of this sutra, he must have known about this secret, that one should never die unconsciously. Death is not the problem, unconsciousness is the problem.

So he said, “It is okay. If you cannot operate then let me be as I am. I will die but I will die consciously. You give me chloroform, and if I die in the operation then who will be responsible? Can you take the responsibility? Can you give me a guarantee that I will not die through this operation?”

Nobody could give such a guarantee. The case was serious and there was a possibility that he might die in the operation. So the doctors agreed, because there was no other alternative. They said, “Let us try, there is no risk. The man is going to die within hours, so take the risk. Let us try, let him remain conscious.”

So no anesthetic was given. That was the first operation of this type in the whole history. And it was miraculous, because the king remained conscious. It was a long operation, almost two hours, and the whole stomach was opened and the appendix removed. The surgeons could not believe that the man was conscious, that he remained conscious. They asked him later on how it happened.

He said, “There is no secret about it. I was not resisting. I said, ‘Okay death, take everything – this appendix, this body, this whatsoever I have been calling me – take everything. I am ready. There is no resistance.’”

If there is no resistance there is no problem. Resistance creates conflict, conflict creates problem. So at the moment of death the seeker should contemplate on aum. He should feel himself as the aum, the universe, the very life, the very existence, the very awareness. And subsequently he should surrender everything – from gross to subtle. And this is not only for the seeker, even an enlightened person who has achieved the seventh has to surrender.

It is reported of Buddha that he told his disciples one day just in the morning, “This evening I am going to surrender my body back to nature, so if you have to ask anything you can ask. This is the last day.”

They were very worried, depressed, sad; they started weeping and crying. And Buddha said, “Don’t waste time. If you have to ask anything this is the last day. In the evening when the sun is setting I will surrender my body. I have used so many bodies and I have never thanked nature before. This is the last, now I will never move in a body again. This is the last house I have been living in, this is my last residence, so I have to thank nature and give the body back. It served many purposes, it led me really to this enlightenment. It was a means, and was a good means. It helped me in every way. So I have to thank nature and surrender the whole abode back, because it is a gift from nature and I must surrender it consciously. So there is no time….”

But nobody asked any question, they were not in the mood to ask. They were sad and they said, “You have said everything and we have not followed, so just give us your blessing that we may follow whatsoever you have said.”

Then by the evening Buddha retired. He went behind a tree to surrender. And it is said that a man named Subhadra who lived in a nearby town came running – there are many Subhadras always. He came running in the evening when Buddha had retired and he said, “I have some questions to ask.”

Buddha’s disciples said, “It is too late now, we cannot disturb him now. This is not good. You could have come before. Buddha passed through your village many times, at least ten times in his life, and we have never seen you come to him.”

The man said, “Every time Buddha was passing through my village there was something or other which prevented me. Sometimes my wife was ill, sometimes there was too much of a crowd in my shop, too many customers; sometimes I was ill, sometimes there was some other urgent thing to be done, sometimes there was some marriage going on – so I went on postponing. But now I have heard that he is going to die. There is no time to postpone now, and I must ask him. So allow me.”

They prevented him. They said, “It is impossible.”

Buddha came back from his retirement and he said, “Let it not be written in history that while I was still alive somebody came and knocked at my door and went away empty-handed. Let him ask.”

Then he again retired. First he surrendered his body. It is reported that when he surrendered his body there was a radiance around the body as if the body had become energy and was moving into the cosmos – a conscious surrender. Then he surrendered his mind. It is said a fragrance spread, went on spreading. A buddha’s mind is a fragrance, the condensed fragrance of such a great and pure and innocent life, it was felt. Then he surrendered his self. These three things surrendered, he died. This was mahaparinirvana, mahasamadhi. But it was a conscious surrender, death was given back everything that nature had given. This man will never be back again. Only such a conscious surrender can become samadhi, the ultimate samadhi.

Even if you have not attained the seventh stage, wherever you are, at any stage, when death approaches you try to be conscious, surrendering. Don’t fight with death. If you fight with death, death will conquer. If you don’t fight with death there is no possibility of conquering.

This is the way with death, to be in a let-go. And this has been done even by buddhas who have attained the seventh stage. So try it. For you it will be an effort, but worth doing. Even if you fail it is good to do, because doing it many times you will succeed. And once you succeed with death fear disappears, surrender becomes easy.

This is the difficulty with surrender. Many people come to me – one girl was here just the other day and she said, “I feel very sad because everybody else seems to be surrendered to you, trusting, in deep faith. I cannot surrender. Meditation is good, I feel good, but I cannot surrender.”

What is the problem in surrendering? Surrender is a death, you are afraid of dying. Whenever you think of surrender you feel, “Then I am no more, then I dissolve,” and you want to persist.
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If you can surrender in death you can surrender in love, you can surrender in trust, you can surrender in faith. And the reverse is also true, vice-versa is also true; if you can surrender in love, surrender in faith, you will be able to surrender in death. Surrender is the same, the same phenomenon – and surrender is the key.

Learn to surrender in death, and if you cannot surrender in death you cannot surrender in life also. Those who are afraid of death are always afraid of life. They miss everything.

And subsequently he should surrender everything, from gross to subtle to the conscious self. Taking the conscious self as his own self, he should consolidate this feeling: I am eternal….

While dying, or while in deep meditation, which is a sort of death, or while making love, which is a sort of death – wherever you feel a surrender, think:

I am the eternal, the pure, enlightened, free, existential, incomparable, the most blissful Vasudeva and Pranava himself – God himself.

It will be a thought for you, because you have not attained the seventh stage. But if you attain the seventh these will be spontaneous feelings, not thoughts. Then you will not do them, they will happen to you. This is the difference: for a seeker who is yet below the fourth stage, this will be an effort; for a seeker who has gone beyond the third, this will be a spontaneous feeling. He will feel this way – that he is God, he is Brahma himself, Vasudeva.

Since the whole visible world, comprising a beginning, a middle, and an end, is sorrow-stricken, he must renounce everything and merge into the supreme. He should feel that he is blissful, taintless, without ignorance, without appearance, inexpressible in words, and that he is Brahman, the essence of knowledge.This is the Upanishadic mystery.

Thus ends the Akshya Upanishad.

What is the Upanishadic mystery? The art of dying is the Upanishadic mystery. And one who knows how to die knows how to live. One who knows how to surrender conquers the whole.

From Osho, Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter 16

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