Chapter 1: Secrets of Death and Karma
Patanjali says that even the exact date, the hour, the minute, the second of death can be known beforehand. If you know exactly when death is coming you can prepare. Death has to be received like a great guest. It is not the enemy. In fact it is a God-given gift. It is a great opportunity to pass through. It can become a breakthrough: if you can die alert, conscious, aware, you will never be born again - and there will be no death anymore. If you miss, you will be born again. If you go on missing, you will be continuously born again and again, unless you learn the lesson of death.
Let me say it in this way: the whole of life is nothing but a learning about death, a preparation for death. That’s why death comes in the end. It is the pinnacle, the crescendo, the very climax, the peak.
In the West particularly, contemporary psychologists have become aware that in a deep sex act a certain peak can be attained, a climax, a great orgasm, which is tremendously fulfilling, exhilarating, ecstatic. You are cleansed; you come out of it rejuvenated, fresh, again young, again alive - all the dust gone, as if you have taken a great shower, an energy shower. But they have not yet come to know that the sex act is a very minor death; and one who can achieve deep orgasm is one who allows himself to die in love. It is a minor death, nothing to be compared with death. Death is the greatest orgasm there is.
The intensity of death is such that most people become unconscious. They cannot face it. The moment death comes, you are so afraid, so full of anxiety, to avoid you become unconscious. Almost ninety-nine percent of people die unconsciously. They miss the opportunity.
To know death beforehand is just a method to help you prepare, so when death comes you are perfectly alert and aware, waiting, ready to go with.ready to surrender, ready to embrace death. Once you have accepted death in awareness, there is no longer any birth for you - you have learned the lesson. Now there is no coming back to the school again. This life is just a school, a discipline - a discipline to learn death. It is not morbid.
The whole of religion is concerned with death, and if some religion is not concerned with death, then it is not religion at all. It may be sociology, an ethics, a morality, a politics, but it cannot be religion. Religion is the search for the deathless, but that deathless is possible only through the door of death.
The first sutra says, “By performing samyama on the two types of karma, active and dormant, or upon omens and portents, the exact time of death can be predicted.” The Eastern analysis of karma says that there are three types of karma. Let us understand them.
The first is called sanchit: sanchit means the total, the total of all your past lives. Whatsoever you have done, howsoever you have reacted to situations, whatsoever you have thought and desired, achieved, missed - the total - the total of your doings, thinkings, feelings of all your lives is called sanchit. Sanchit: the word means the all, the accumulated all.