My beloved ones, a friend has asked:
According to what you have said, one can triumph over death through meditation or sadhana. But then, doesn’t the same state exist when we are in sleep? And if it does, then why can’t death be conquered through sleep?
The first thing that needs to be understood is that triumph over death does not mean there is something like death to conquer. To triumph over death simply means you will come to know there is no death. To know that death is not, is to conquer it. There is nothing like death to be conquered. As soon as one knows there is no death, our ongoing and losing battle with death ceases. Some enemies exist, and there are others that in reality do not exist but only seem to exist. Death is one of those enemies with no real existence; it only seems to exist.
And so, do not take the triumph to mean that somewhere death exists and that we shall conquer it. This would be like a man going crazy fighting with his shadow, until someone points out to him, “Look closely, the shadow has no substance. It is merely an appearance.” If the man looked at the shadow and realized what he was doing, he would laugh at himself; only then could he know he has conquered the shadow. Conquering the shadow simply means there was not even the tiniest shadow to be fought with; anyone attempting to do so would go crazy. One who fights with death will lose; one who knows death will triumph over it.
This also means that if death is not, then in reality we never ever die – whether we are aware of it or not. The world does not consist of those people who die and those who do not die – no, it’s not like that. In this world no one ever dies. There are two kinds of people, however: those who know this as a fact, and those who don’t – this is the only difference.
In sleep we reach the same place we do in meditation. The only difference is that in sleep we are unconscious, while in meditation we are fully conscious. If someone were to become fully aware, even in his sleep, he would have the same experience as in meditation.