You can only cope with death if you understand what death is about. To us poor mortals, death seems so frightening, and that is because you are frightened of the unknown, and that which is unknown is always fearful. Knowing the unknown is not difficult at all, and once you see a thing, you lose the fear of the item. We feel terrified if we have to go up a very steep hill. How are we ever going to climb that rock-faced mountain and feel afraid? But once we have some practice in climbing that rock face, the fear will go away.

Therefore, how about trying to die while you are living? When you reach the highest height of meditation, you are dead and yet alive. After every meditation, you rise again from the ashes of death and find renewed life. So, when we finally leave this physical frame, there will not be any fear, for death is such a beautiful experience. It is passing from the shackles of this body and letting the mind go free. There are no heavens and no hells at all. Heavens and hells are always here in this body, and whichever thought we train our mind to, we shall find on the other side.


If you feel fearful of the red guy with horns and a tail, you are going to meet that. And if you think, believe, and experience that beautiful bliss during your spiritual practices, you will find that, too, when your mental body is in another plane of existence. So, while in your body, you create the conditions of your experiences or encounters on the other side.

This means that the plane of existence beyond this body is a projection of our minds. If you believe in an older man sitting on a throne with a long beard, that is precisely what you will see. If you think you will find beautiful mansions and gardens filled with the most exquisite flowers up there, that is what you will encounter. You will discover this because the mental body, or the subtle body as we call it, goes beyond the physical body and is conditioned. Whatever conditions it makes for itself, it has to pass through those conditions. Remember that, like the physical body, the subtle body is also conditioned until the person is fully enlightened.

So as the old saying goes, “Whatever we think, we are,” and that applies not only to the physical body but also to the subtle body. When a person is in the subtle body, there is no evolution, only evaluation. At the moment of death – and I have died a thousand times – your entire life flashes across your mind; every detail in a second, you will see the entirety of your whole life that you have lived on this earth. And then, the subtle body leaves the physical body, and we regard the person as dead.

In the evaluation of the subtle body, you will see in front of you all the lifetimes you had lived since the time you were the primal atom that came about through the Big Bang, through that explosion when you, that tiny atom, shot forth, and that shooting forth, that journey itself is evolving. So, when that journey, that force behind that atom, going through various stages of existence, when it loses its momentum, settles back into its source. Evolution is nothing else but the primary momentum that you started with, but in this journey, you have encountered many things. And when one comes to that complete stillness, one has merged into the original energy that we have come from, called Nirvana, into that nothingness which is the everythingness of all existence.


A few books, such as “Life after Life” and “Life after Death,” have been written by doctors examining and questioning people on the verge of death, and then they sort of came back. I am sure many of you have read them, and the reports they got from people were that everyone seemed to go through a tunnel, and at the other end of the tunnel, a light came to them. That is the experience of people that the doctors have reported. But that is not true. There is no tunnel. What seems to be a tunnel is the sinking of your conscious mind into the subconscious mind and then the subconscious mind sinking into the Superconscious Mind.

The deliberate sinking into the subconscious and then the subconscious and the conscious descent into the Superconscious, that sinking seems to be a tunnel. No light comes to you, and what you see is your inner Light at the finest level of the Superconscious Mind. Nothing comes to you because everything already exists within you.


I said before that whatever you desire is precisely what you will see; if your desire before death is powerful to see Auntie Mary, you will see Auntie Mary. If you want to see husband John or wife Alice, you will see her. But it is not the honest John or the real Alice you knew on this earth. You will see the projection of your mind of John, Alice, or Auntie Mary. In other words, you are conjuring up Auntie Mary, John, and Alice. Because those souls of John or Alice might have been reborn again, or if not, they are so busy evaluating themselves to take the next birth because nothing happens but an evaluation in that plane of existence. And when that subtle body finalises itself or comes to terms with itself, it will only seek the right channel, according to its karma, the right track of parents to be born through. So, your parents do not choose you, but you choose your parents.

While the other souls are so busy evaluating themselves, they got no time for you. But if you have that strong desire and want to see them, you will see them as a projection of your mind and your subtle body. Your subtle body becomes a projector. The film is not outside you on the wall. The film is on the projector, projects it outside, and you see that. And then you have a chat with John or Alice. “How are you, darling? Are you happy up here? How have you been doing? I have been pining away for you and praying I should leave my body to meet you.” And John will reply to you, and Alice will reply, “oh, I am doing fine up here; it is quite cosy.” But you are answering yourself because, in your mind, you have the expectation, even if it is a subconscious expectation, that John or Alice would be okay. So you are projecting the image of John or Alice, speaking to John and Alice, and answering yourself. It is so simple.

What is there to fear if these things happen by ourselves and within our subtle bodies? Nothing to fear.


The soul is different from the Spirit. The soul is the subtle body, the mental body; call it any kind of body you like. The soul contains within itself all the karmas and samskaras we have spoken about before, and they must work themselves out to find freedom. And the human body is so precious that the subtle body can never find evolution without having a human body. Because the subtle body cannot evolve on its own, it needs the aid of the physical body, and when the physical body gets tired, the organs start decaying, and it has to drop them. Your suit gets old, so you drop the suit and buy another suit.

Then you will ask what happens in the case of an accident. A young man gets knocked down by a car. He did not want to die; his body was not decayed. The cause of that is, and do not be disappointed that there was an unconscious desire on the young man’s part to die suddenly. He does not know it consciously. His karma and his samskaras had conditioned him to have that accident. You have always heard the saying, “Some people are prone to accidents, ” which is what it means. The proneness comes from within you. So, when we consciously cling to life, it has no value. The more excellent value lies in the subtle body in which all the samskaras and karmas are, which makes you prone to accidents or whatever happens in your life.

The mechanism of the subtle body can be altered by having a physical body. Because the conscious mind is the only tool, we have to be able to change the tendencies of the subtle body, and this we do through our meditations and spiritual practices. As we dive deeper and deeper within ourselves through our mantras, our vibrations, we will find it altering our subtle bodies’ patterns and tendencies. You will find it burning up the seeds of karma. You will find it changing the pattern of the samskaras.

If a water channel flows in one direction, it can always change focus to another. We are all born into this life with certain tendencies, which are the product of our karmas and samskaras. But those tendencies do not mean that that is precisely what will happen. Therefore, when people talk of fortune-telling, I say it is all hogwash.


Things around us influence everything we do. We should stop ourselves from being affected, look at ourselves, and work according to our minds. When you have a problem or a decision, listen to a hundred people, but do what you want. In other words, be yourself. There is no more significant achievement for a person than to be oneself. We cannot thrive or progress on outer influences, but we can succeed by being ourselves and being ourselves means that we are standing on our own two feet and dare to face whatever circumstances. And as you develop one little bit of courage, it grows; it grows into greater and greater courage and strength.

We gain this strength using the help of the inner Self, and the mind becomes more and more peaceful; that is growth. It is not always easy. If you want to clean a pot, perhaps you must use steel wool to scrub it, but the pot becomes clean. Because of our samskaras, it might be a bit hard for some people to clean them away, and for some people, it is straightforward, and it makes it much easier to have the right attitude. I am me. I am not anyone else, and I love myself. No one can live my life for me. No one will evolve me except me, not even my guru. No. He can only send you the strength through Gurushakti to help you along, plod you, push you ahead, even using a pin; come on, wake up.


So, when the end comes, as the Scriptures would say, “Regard this moment to be your last moment and live accordingly.” Then if this moment is going to be the last, we will try to make it a good moment, and if we live every moment in that way collectively, life becomes so beautiful. So, when the angel of death comes along, as the saying goes – no angel comes really – but you will smile at him and say, “Come on pal, let us go.”

Passing over becomes so joyous. It becomes joyous because we have conditioned our minds. Our minds are patterned and will always stay in patterns, but we can repattern it with a better attitude towards life. In reality, there is no death. All is life. There is no death at all. It is just passing away from one room or changing one set of clothes into another. But you remain the same. Because the essential part of you as a physical entity is your subtle body, not your physical body. Many people pride themselves on their beauty, how pretty they are, and how handsome they are. It means nothing. As the old saying goes, “Beauty is skin deep.” I have known a very grotesque, ugly person in a wheelchair and deformed, but that was one of the most beautiful people I have met. I could see through her soul over-bubbling with joy and happiness. That is a natural beauty. Sometimes you look at a photograph, and a picture does not reflect the person’s personality. A person can look fabulous in a photo, but they are not so beautiful when you meet them in person.


Most of the time, we live falsely to ourselves. We imagine ourselves as something far better than ourselves to boost our little egos. Through these spiritual practices, when we subdue the ego and can look at ourselves, then we can say, “I am me,” and when we start realising that I am me, all our fears will be gone and especially as we are discussing the subject of death, your fear of death will be gone. You will welcome it. You will receive it with open arms. I remember still when I was speaking to Charles’s eighty-three-year-old mother, who was going to do her final exit from this life, and she said these beautiful words, “I am looking forward to it. It is going to be an adventure.” Beautiful. It is an adventure into the unknown, perhaps, but be sure to have that attitude; it will be a beautiful adventure.

No one needs to fear death. If you lose a loved one, you should not be sad. Do you know why you are unhappy? Speaking, examine yourselves because most people will deny this. You are sad, not because of losing that person or loved one, but because of yourself. Because you are the one feeling the loss, and you are sad because of your loss and attachment. You have been so attached to the person or even a thing. You are so tied to this beautiful antique chair that it catches the Light and burns up, making you feel sore. You feel hurt, oh my chair, I have treasured it. I paid two hundred pounds for it; if I had sold it now, I might have got a thousand pounds. All those thoughts go through the mind. It is your attachment. So losing the loved one is no loss to the one that is gone, and that loss you feel is not because of the person that is gone, but the loss of your self-preservation of ego.


There is a sect in India where when a child is born, everybody weeps, “oh, this soul has come into so much trouble and turmoil,” and there is another sect in India where they rejoice when a person dies, “ah, he has been set free from the shackles of this worldly body.” Do you see the difference in people’s minds and thoughts? When my guru passed away, I was here in England, and a telegram came that very morning, and when I sat down to talk, I said, “The Course will go on as it always has gone on. To me, my guru is not dead. He is alive.” Because I have looked at my guru not only as a physical entity, his physical body meant nothing. But I found the real God and Guru within himself, which could never die. It is always present with me, and it is still present with me. So, there was not a teardrop in my eyes because I know that the Spirit is everlasting, immortal, and never dying, and because it is never dying, my love for him is also undying.

One must never fear death because you will be pleasantly surprised at the beauty on the other side. It is as if the prison doors have been opened, and you can breathe fresh air outside. So, fear not, and the greatest fear is to fear.

If we are devoid of fear and develop that inner strength, then the anxiety will evaporate in the heat of that inner strength – that is strength. Fearlessness is a blood brother of courage, adventure, and the secret of success.


The basics of all religions are always to seek the Light within, and the closer you get to the Light, the more pleasurable death becomes, for it is a joy. You are free from the chains of the body, and you have a chance. And this happens all the time. During the day, your day is full of activity; at night-time, you sleep, and everything disappears. All the activity, the whole room, the environment, your family, your friends, your beloveds, they all disappear. Death is the same, but death has more excellent value than sleep. Sleep only nourishes the body and mind and feeds the body and mind. As Shakespeare said, “Sleep is the best nourishment in Life’s Feast.” So that is needed. But in death, it is the most excellent nourishment in our entirety, where you are preparing to take on another body. If you have prepared in this lifetime by becoming closer to that Light within yourself, your next life will be far more glorious than this one.


Some religions believe that if you have done evil deeds, then when you die, you will take birth as a dog or a cat or a cow. That is all nonsense, and do not believe it. And I have challenged many Hindu Pandits on the subject. Evolution is progressive, and once you are human, you will never return to the animal kingdom. But you will progress on to higher levels of the human kingdom.

You can fluctuate up and down within levels of the human kingdom. If you do not live your good life, have not made any effort to come closer to that within yourself, and perhaps have done evil deeds, in the next life, you might become a person of a lower category than where you left off. But you never go down to the animal.


But when you pass above the human kingdom, you merge into Divinity. And there is a saying that even angels envy men, and angels envy humans because there is no evolution in that state of being an angel. Only in the human kingdom is there progress, evolution, and the shortcut, the nearest to God. You are essentially Divine, and you are very near God, and you just do not know it. A thin film is dividing you. Chuck off this film and burn it up.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1984 – 14