Chapter 11: At the Door of Samadhi
In death, the body disintegrates but the mind continues its journey. The age of your body may be fifty years but that of your mind can be five million. The sum total of all the minds born in all your births is there in you even today. Buddha has given a very significant name to this happening. He was the first to do so. He named it the storehouse of consciousness. Like a storehouse, your mind has stored all the memories of all your past births - so your mind is very old. And it is not that your mind is the storehouse of only human births: if you were born as animals or as trees, as is surely the case, the memories of all those births are also present within you.
People who have conducted profound inquiries into the process of the storehouse of consciousness say that if all of a sudden the feeling of love swells in the mind of any man on seeing a rose, the reason is that there is a memory deep within him of himself being a rose in the past, which is rekindled on feeling its resonance in a rose. It is not accidental if a person loves dogs very much. There are memories in his storehouse of consciousness which make him aware of his great kinship with dogs. Whatever happens in our lives is not accidental. A subtle process of cause and effect is working behind these happenings. Though the body perishes in death, the mind continues its journey and goes on collecting memories. This is why sometimes you see forms in your mind of which you would say, “They are not mine.” Sometimes you do certain things that cause you to feel strange and say, “This has been done in spite of me.” Suppose a person quarrels with somebody and bites him. Afterwards he thinks, “How strange that I could bite him! Am I a wild animal?” He is not today, but once he was; and a moment may come when his hidden memory becomes so active that he behaves exactly like an animal. All of us behave like animals on many occasions. That behavior does not descend from the sky, it comes from the store within our mind.
Our death is the death of our body only. Our mind full of ego and desires does not die then, so there would have been no opportunity for the sage to joke in this way if he were simply facing physical death. This sutra is said at the time of samadhi. There is one distinguishing feature of samadhi: its arrival can be announced beforehand. Death surprises, samadhi is invited. Death happens, samadhi is planned. Progressing step by step in meditation, man reaches to the state of samadhi.
Understand the great significance of the word samadhi. At times the word samadhi is also used to mean a grave. The grave of a sage is called a samadhi. It is rightly called so. Samadhi is a kind of death, but a profound and remarkable one. The body remains here after death, but the mind within is destroyed. At this moment of the mind’s destruction the sage says, “O my mind full of ego and desires, remember the actions done by you in the past.” He is saying this because the mind has deceived him in the past again and again; but today this very mind is being destroyed.
“Depending and relying on my mind I lived my life. Through victory and defeat, happiness and unhappiness, success and failure, hopes and disappointments, I believed it would be always with me; but now I see it was deceiving me. Leaning on it for support I made such a long journey, but today I find that my support is perishing - disintegrating forever. I thought it to be a sturdy boat, but today I find that it is itself water merging into the river.”