Chapter 9: He Died Enlightened
The first question:
Would you say something about your father’s death yesterday?
It was not a death at all. Or it was the total death. And both mean the same thing. I was hoping that he would die in this way. He died a death that everybody should be ambitious for; he died in samadhi, he died utterly detached from the body and the mind.
I went to see him only three times during this whole month he was in the hospital. Whenever I felt that he was just on the verge, I went to see him. The first two times I was a little afraid that if he died he would have to be born again; a little attachment to the body was there. His meditation was deepening every day, but a few chains with the body were still intact, were not broken.
Yesterday I went to see him. I was immensely happy that now he could die a right death. He was no longer concerned with the body. Yesterday, early in the morning at three o’clock, he attained his first glimpse of the eternal - and immediately he became aware that now he was going to die. This was the first time he had called me to come; the other two times I had gone on my own. Yesterday he called me to come because he was certain that he was going to die. He wanted to say good-bye, and he said it beautifully - with no tears in the eyes, with no longing for life anymore.
Hence, in a way it is not a death but a birth into eternity. He died in time and was born into eternity. Or it is a total death - total in the sense that now he will not be coming anymore. And that is the ultimate achievement; there is nothing higher than it.
He left the world in utter silence, in joy, in peace. He left the world like a lotus flower - it was worth celebrating. And these are the occasions for you to learn how to live and how to die. Each death should be a celebration, but it can be a celebration only if it leads you to higher planes of existence.
He died enlightened. And that’s how I would like each of my sannyasins to die. Life is ugly if you are unenlightened, and even death becomes beautiful if you are enlightened. Life is ugly if you are unenlightened because it is a misery, a hell. Death becomes a door to the divine if you are enlightened; it is no longer a misery, it is no longer a hell. In fact, on the contrary, it is getting out of all hell, out of all misery.
I am immensely glad that he died the way he died. Remember it: as meditation deepens, you become farther and farther away from your body-mind composite. And when meditation reaches its ultimate peak, you can see everything.