How to Die Peacefully: Ensuring a peaceful death for a loved one

Death is inevitable, but only a few people have the fortune of a graceful death. Sadhguru tells us about how to ensure a graceful exit for a dying person, and the importance of taking away the "choppiness" of death.
Die Peacefully

Sadhguru looks at what care must be taken to ensure a peaceful death for a loved one, and explains how Indian culture has set up various processes for those looking at how to die peacefully.

Questioner: I have a parent who is nearing her death. What is the best way to prepare her for a peaceful death?

Sadhguru: Everywhere in the world, people have talked about how to die peacefully. All they are talking about is they do not want to die in a choppy manner; they want to recede gently. To take away the choppiness of death, one simple thing you can do is to have a lamp – preferably with ghee but you can also use butter – burning constantly, 24 hours of the day next to that person. This creates a certain aura so that the choppy nature of withdrawal can be regulated to some extent. Another thing you can do is to set up some kind of a universal chant – something like Brahmananda Swarupa on a CD – at a very mild volume. A consecrated sound like this in the background will also make sure that choppy withdrawal can be avoided.


Having a lamp and a simple chant going should continue up to 14 days after one has been certified dead, because he may be medically dead but not existentially dead; he is not completely dead. Death happens slowly. The withdrawal of the life process from this lump of earth – the body – happens step-by-step. For all practical purposes, the activity of the lungs, heart and brain has stopped so they are declared dead, but it is not yet so. Even if the person’s body is burnt, he is still not dead because his movement into the other realm has not started.

It is based on this that there are various kinds of rituals in India up to 14 days after somebody dies. Unfortunately, the knowledge and power behind these rituals have mostly been lost and people are just doing things for their livelihood. Very few people truly understand the significance of what it is. Unless one leaves absolutely consciously that he is instantly off, for such a person we do not do anything, but for all others, these things are done because you have to show them the way.

So the first thing that is done when somebody dies is, anything that has been intimately in touch with their body, such as underclothes, is burnt. Other clothes, jewelry, everything is distributed – not just to one person – but among many people within three days. Everything is distributed as quickly as possible so that they get confused. They will not know where to hang around anymore. If you were to give a bundle of their belongings to someone, they would go there because the energy of their own body still exists in the clothes. These things were done not only to settle the dead but also to settle the family and relatives, so that they understand that it is over. It doesn’t matter how involved and attached you were to somebody, when it is done, it is done – the game is up.

Even if it is your enemy who is dying right now, you must create a peaceful atmosphere for him.

Generally, everywhere in the world irrespective of which culture, it is said, “even if it is your enemy who is dying right now, you must create an appropriate atmosphere and see how he can die peacefully. You don’t do ugly things.” Maybe you shot him in battle, but you take off your hat when he is leaving or you say, “Ram Ram,” or whatever you know. When somebody is dying, at that moment the whistle has already been blown and the game is over. There is no point kicking now.

That is the reason why, when you see that even the dead are not treated with respect, something within you shakes. Not because you have to treat a body with respect but because he is exiting slowly. It doesn’t matter how he lived, at least that must happen well. Every human being must have that much intention.

Editor's note: Kayantha Sthanam is Isha’s Cremation Service ​that r​evive​s ancient traditions and death rituals with a powerful energy basis, conducting them in the spirit of service rather than as a commercial venture. ​We request your support and contributions to help us offer​ these services to more people. For more info, visit Kayantha Sthanam – Isha’s Cremation Services.

Use the links below for a free download of the Brahmananda Swarupa chant, as an mp3 or free mobile app.

Isha Chants – Free Mobile App
Vairagya - mp3 download


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6 years ago

No, no, life is not a is a beautiful gift..see, you are in Sadhguru's grace now, so you will be taken care of, and all your loved ones your sadhana and go for sathsangs...we all have to go one day, so be it!

7 years 5 months ago

The point about distributing personal belongings of a deceased is very interesting. Though Sadhguru talks about giving away things that were in intimate contact to the person who passed away, I remember wanting to clear mom's closet soon after her death. I had to stop myself as I was told that the deceased person's soul lingers around for 13 days so I should not disturb anything. It was a very natural process for me - and not because I needed the closet space.

I had not thought about this till now but was it that I knew instinctively that I should do this?

3 years 2 months ago

We are sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Please do not be so despondent. Being joyful would be the best way for yourself and to people around you. Please read through these articles and videos of Sadhguru which can help with coping with your problem.…

7 years 5 months ago

hi nobel..usually it is not encouraged in can share your exp with isha meditators/teachers..but when you share with others they will be confused..

6 years 10 months ago

two years back my grandfather died.i saw him dying.i wish i had done if i had known these things.but thankfully my uncle did the kala bhairav karma for him.
my mother had passed off 8 years ago.nothing has been done for her.if devi wishes i may do the kala bhairav shanthi for her.

7 years 5 months ago

Hi Nobel,

Sadhguru recently mentioned that it is best to ignore the dreams.For if it has some significance, it will anyway manifest in our life (NOT THE EXACT WORDS, JUST THE CRUX).


6 years ago

Go for BSP and you will get more clarity...

7 years 5 months ago

My brother passed away last November. He committed suicide. I could not attend his last rights since I was in US and My wife was suppose to deliver that time. I made an inquiry immediately on Kala Bhairava Karma from the Swamis whom I have contact with. They guided me to reach out to the Kala Bhairava process. I requested my parents to carry out the Kala Bhairava karma. The karma was performed to my brother by my parents within 14 days of his death. I was not able to console the pain and suffering they had. I could see the pain in their voices slowly disappeared after they attended the process. They are calm now and recovered better. They are feeling better that what ever they can do to him now has been done. Wish I attend Kala Bhairava Shanthi next year by person.

7 years 5 months ago

Do you mean, I can just ignore and dont worry if i share my experiences too?

7 years 5 months ago

Dear fellow meditators,
As far as I know, you can share about the benefits with any one, but not the details of what you do, just say what you felt or experienced, for e.g, I have become more energetic, joyful, healthy, like that.

6 years 9 months ago

I would like to learn the Kala Bhairava Karma process what is the requirement ?

7 years 5 months ago

Namaskaram! My beloved mother died in March 2000 and she did a lot to us but in return I couldn't do anything in return. I know she is dead but do not know whether she has moved on. Also I never knew about Isha or Sadhguru at that time so is there anything I could do right now to help her move on if she is still around. I think Kala Bhairava Karma will not help as it is for recently dead people but I might know so will appreciate if someone here could guide me. Thanks much.


6 years ago

Very well said...

7 years 5 months ago

Nine days back, on 30th December, I lost my father, he was fighting cancer. On the last night, when we shifted him to the ICU after a complication, I just knew that i had to light a lamp all night, I called home and requested my husband to keep the linga bhairavi lamp on through the night....and as the night passed, we realised, my father was slowly moving out of our control....he passed away around 10am the next morning. We just returned from Ashram last evening after performing Kala Bhairava karma...Praying that his soul rests in peace. To Sadhguru, who is always available in million different ways to show me the way....

7 years 5 months ago

Thanks Iswari for the response. It was a wonderful explanation. But Since you mentioned you still remember instructions of teachers, did they ever speak about any harm in sharing the visions and dreams with others. Sorry to bug you again. :)

2 years 11 months ago

Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
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7 years 5 months ago

My grandfather expired 28 years ago and my father 15 years ago. We still have some articles like spectacles and clothes which belonged to them. Should we dispose of these objects? How would the presence of these objects have impacted our lives all these years? Please clear my doubts...

6 years 1 month ago

My husband passed on8thOctober 2013.He was 42yrs old n healthy.He had dengue on 27 sept n we immediately admitted him to one of the best hospitalsHe was cured of dengue as on 2nd October his platelets count rose to above danger level.But on 3rd October he developed breathing complications n his lungs were not absorbing oxygen.He was rushed to ICU n put in a ventilator.Gradually his vital organs collapsed one by one n he died of cardiac arrest on 8th October.I have 2 daughters.Elder one is 14 & younger is 8.Though I have put a brave face in front of everyone but I am broken from inside.How do I console myself n be brave for the sake of my daughters.My husband was a real helpful n jolly person.Who would rush to help anyone in need.I feel life is a punishment for me now after his demise.Please guide me.

7 years 5 months ago

Having volunteered Shambhavi Mahamudra classes, I clearly remember this instruction from teachers. The same was reinforced at the closing session of BSP too and that is..."SHARE THE TRANSFORMATION IN YOU. SHARE HOW YOUR EXPERIENCE OF LIFE HAS CHANGED." I wish I'm not misunderstood in any way, for what I'm to say now. I realized the significance of this instruction only very recently. Please understand that our loved ones aren't always interested in our "spiritual experiences, visions or dreams of that kind". But they are ever concerned about us and our well-being. So, just go on with your practice and one day, your transformation will draw their attention, then they will themselves ask you what fueled it. Then, take them to the next program or simply direct them to

5 years 10 months ago

I was born 2feb but I want improvement in health and wealth

7 years 5 months ago

I wanted to ask fellow mediators about this question, didnt know where to ask hence posting it here.

Can every one let me know there views if Sadhguru has ever specifically mentioned about refraining from taking about the spiritual experiences or visions that one
sees and experience after attending his practices, with others? Did he clearly mention it any time. I just want to know if he has ever mentioned it any of his program or Sathsangs, and that I have missed his very obvious teaching for which I might regret later or have a negative consequence?

I used to share these experiences with my wife and friends in order to get them interested in ISHA and Sadhguru. But recently Guru has indirectly communicated that what I was doing was wrong. I learnt it the hard way. I would sincerely ask fellow mediators advice on this, which would be of immense help.

7 years 5 months ago

I do remember him asking us not to unnecessarily share 'experiences' with others ...especially other meditators as otherwise it creates disappointment in others if they have not had similar experiences. i do not remember him asking us to not talk about it to anyone though it may have been implied. I too have spoken about my experiences but people tend to find it weird and get more averse to Isha..labelling it as a hallucination factory...or then they expect the same experiences immediately on getting initiated. That said, a measured amount of sharing seems ok to me as long asks we are not too pushy or hell bent upon converting others...that's all...

2 years 9 months ago

Dear Doctor,

I must respect your noble feelings. Keep this up. End of Life is God's order and need not be interfered with.


7 years 5 months ago

My grandfather had passed away 4 years back.he was quite heavy and was bedrid and we were getting annoyed with his memory loss and strange activities,my mother and i thought he was faking it to irritate us.But my grandfather was a very lovable person,during his healthy I guess his karma saved him.A doctor visited us and explained to us that my grandpa's strange behaviour was due to lack of oxygen supply to his brain.I had already read about ,how the person's state of mind mattered before leaving .After realising my grandpa was going to die,we gave back all the love he gave us during his lifetime.The last word he told me is,"I feel so peaceful".we had prayer service at home after he died dad later said,my grandpa appeared in bright white clothes farewell with a smiling face and disappeared.
I guess a man who lives well.....also dies well.

6 years 1 month ago

Few days back 7 members of the same family were burnt alive in a devastating fire at a cloth store in Paratwada (Dist. Amravati, State Maharashtra). Many of the members who were not my blood relatives but used to love each other a lot. I could feel their presence around me for many days after their death. Sadhguru please throw some light on that.

7 years 5 months ago

Having volunteered Shambhavi Mahamudra classes, I clearly remember this instruction from teachers. The same was reinforced at the closing session of BSP too and that is..."SHARE THE TRANSFORMATION IN YOU. SHARE HOW YOUR EXPERIENCE OF LIFE HAS CHANGED." I wish I'm not misunderstood in any way, for what I'm to say now. I realized the significance of this instruction only very recently. Please understand that our loved ones aren't always interested in our "spiritual experiences, visions or dreams of that kind". But they are ever concerned about us and our well-being. So, just go on with your practice and one day, your transformation will draw their attention, then they will themselves ask you what fueled it. Then, take them to the next program or simply direct them to ISHA KRIYA-website.

5 years 8 months ago grandmother expired recently.... We kept her body for one day after she died and then did the funeral .... Before the funeral began I kissed my grandmother on the forehead and moved my hand over her head....... Did I do anything wrong in that..... Is it a normal practice...? Or there is anything wrong in touching a dead body...?

7 years 5 months ago

When he writes- "That is the reason why, when you see that even the dead are not treated with respect, something within you shakes." I have experienced that. As a physician many times I was at the bedside of a person who was dying. I was ok with patients dying but we often did CPR. And many times we ran long codes of CPR, that has always bothered me. We knew that the person has died it is futile to do CPR but then there will be these few heartbeats and then we would do long codes. I could never express that it bothered me. I just slowly moved my practice away so I donot have to deal with dying people and keep running CPR code because the health proxy(family) keeps requesting it. I have not found a way to express myself to be able to be helpful or change practice. CPR definitely has a place, but often times I feel that it interferes with respecting the fact that a person has now died.

7 years 5 months ago

Thanks for sharing, Anukampa. You have put it beautifully. I am going to follow it as per your advise.

7 years 5 months ago

sorry ,my grandpa appeared to my dad in his dream.i am ignorant of life after death,so please excuse me if i have got any details wrong.

6 years 1 month ago

In the world of deceased, one year of our time is one day for them. Least that is expected from us is, to observe the loss for an year. If you truly loved someone, you will have to refrain from any celebrations during this time. And pray for them.

7 years 5 months ago

Kala Bhairava Shanthi can be done. Contact Linga Bhairavi Shrine and get more information.

5 years 7 months ago

My father passed away in 2012 and my elder brother passed away in 2014, both were shocking experience. I kept asking the priest on certain rituals, but it was done so nonchalantly by them and I kept asking myself if there are things I could do all by myself with dedication as a mark of respect to the departed souls. What are the major duties of a kartha ?

7 years 5 months ago

This is a great article!!
Now I know why we have the 16th day prayers for the aathma...
But can someone shed some light on why we can't celebrate Deepavali or attend festivals such as Thaipusam for one year after a beloved passes on?

7 years 5 months ago

Checked your reply only now and happy to see Anukampa's explanation help you out.

7 years 5 months ago

my mother-in-law kalavathi died a couple of years back,with cancer.sadhguru can u send her to god,i think she's till hanging around us,......please don't dissolute her.

7 years 5 months ago

I recently lost my paternal Grandpa. He was always with us. When he was there, he would always want me beside him. He was feeling lonely. But, I didn't get that. I then couldn't really feel that loneliness. I would reply his queries, but had responded not that often to his loneliness. At most times, I was "busy" with my own things. And a few months ago, he told me that I would regret his loss. I didn't take it with any seriousness. I believed that he would be there for long. But now, he's no more a part of the family.
When some loved ones looked down upon me for my failures, I made it to BSP. After BSP, father and mother became more important than myself. My time with Grandpa improved significantly, but still I regret. I could have atleast done my work in his company. I feel sorry. Somewhere, I have allowed my goals to take me for themselves. But DHYANALINGA and BHAIRAVI, and SADHGURU blessed Grandpa to bask in Grace.


I had the opportunity to take Grandpa to Dhyanalinga Temple on 10 August 2008. Then, visitors could go in and out of the temple at own will. The 15 minutes' time-slot wasn't in practice. I don't think he spent much time in. But when his memory dulled last year, he recalled the visit more often. He had forgotten many things that were once his passion. But, he wished he made it to the Temple once again. He encouraged mother to visit the temple, when he learnt she hasn't been there yet. This was surprising all of us. "A man not too involved in any spiritual pursuits, wants to see Dhyanalinga again and wants a trip planned for HIM."-we were all amazed. Sadhguru has said that on coming into the sphere of the Dhyanalinga, no one can escape the sowing of the spiritual seed. This should be the outcome of the spiritual seed.


On Full Moon Days, I used to make special "prasadham" for Bhairavi here(Linga Bhairavi Gudi). After offering it to her, I would distribute it to my family-members. This is on for some time now. On 28 November 2012, Grandpa had the prasadham. He passed away on 18 December 2012. And, when I rang up the Shrine for performing his Kala Bhairava Karma, Grandpa's process was given a time-slot on 28 December 2012, the next Full Moon Day. And on that day, the process came to a close by noon and the process' prasadham was with BHAIRAVI until the NOON ABHISHEKHAM before it was handed over to us.


Grandpa succumbed to a clot in his brain. But, he didn't spend much time suffering. Some other relative had blood oozing out of the head on death. Grandpa didn't undergo such a thing. Another spent years unconsciously. Grandpa spent not more than 10 days like that. After Kala Bhairava Karma, I feel relieved of the immense pain. I know "THATHA" is enjoying Sadhguru's Grace now. On 1 January 2011, Sadhguru said in a Chennai Sathsang that if one isn't initiated during his lifetime, then Sadhguru will ensure that on death at the Kala Bhairava Karma Process. Remembering Dhyanalinga, enjoying Bhairavi's love, Grandpa spent those last years. And at Kala Bhairava Karma, I feel he has surrendered to Sadhguru's Grace in entirety. So... happy to have Sadhguru. Very... blessed to share this with all.

5 years 7 months ago

When my mother was in death bed, in 2007, all of our family members sat encircling her. All our family members chanted whatever they knew one with a mantra, one some sloka like that. My dad chanted sankataharastotram. My self n my spouse chanted shambo..Shiva mother looked very normal, a pleasantness we all could feel that time. She saw all of us with a happy note. She smiled at us and slowly closed her eyes..
We all felt she left her body inch by inch....there was no tears in our eyes..
The whole hall was pleasant. She looked smiling...we never saw n experienced such a great last moments....

7 years 5 months ago

Namaskaram, Meditator
It's better you donot share or teach others what you have learnt from Isha and what you have experienced. If you need to teach you should become an Yoga Teacher trained by Isha. Yoga Teachers are trained for a minimum of 4 to 5 years and we attend calss for about 7 days @ 3hrs per day and become Yoga Teacher. Just not possible. Besides you will not be able to handle people once they start ask questions and you will end up in serious arguments . We as Meditators need to maintain SANCTITY of Isha Yoga and personally I believe we ( deluxe Yogis) should be very respectful to Isha Yoga, Sadguruji.

7 years 5 months ago

i am from a different race and culture and religion but to die gracefully is every human being's wish. i would really agree with Sadhguru for saying that to create a peaceful atmosphere is really important.

7 years 5 months ago

nice picture.thank u sadhguru,i pray i have a beautiful exit like the picture above.but hope to see some masters before quitting.thank u for u'r guidance,truly grateful for it.will write it down and pass it over to my kids....

7 years 5 months ago

I hold a great respect for Sadhguru, he is a man of much wisdom. My grandmother who brought me up passed away 2 months ago. She'd spent her entire life doing good. She believe unflinchingly in God. Yet her death was painful, filled with confusion.. That really shook my faith.. A person who has lived so faultlessly, harmlessly, should go through death in such a painful and undignified manner.. I couldn't get my head around it. For months I have suffered and been tormented by this..

One thing that we did do, which was a wish she's expressed in the event of her death was to do a Kirtan, and distribute food after. I light candles for her to this day 3 times a day. I cannot get rid of her things yet. This being was nothing short of a goddess for me.. Her things have become objects of worship and care for me. In the end, nobody knows what happens after death, because no one has died, had their body cremated/buried and then come back to say what happened..

The Tibetans say that the "soul" exists in a Bardo state for 49 days.. Some ppl say 1 week, some say 2.. My thought on this is, do what brings you comfort. The loved one that is now gone, has had their connection with this world severed.. In all honesty I really don't know anything.. I miss her terribly some days.. Some days I am fine.. The gratitude and love I have for this being only I know..

5 years 6 months ago

हे भगवान , हे भगवानो ,
हम भगवान नही है ,भाग्य़ से बलवान नही है ,
भाग्य़ से बलवान होते , अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान होते , मत मारो हमे ,
मत फैकौ हमे नरको मे ,मत बनाओ हमे और बुरा इंसान
मत दबाऑ जमीनो मे , मत बरबाद करो
अगर होता कोई हमारा अच्छा भगवान या अच्छा इंसान , हम भी होते अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान

7 years 5 months ago

What about people who donate organs before death or brain dead? Has their soul already left the body and the body is still alive and breathing?

7 years 3 months ago

I have a few QUESTIONs about my brother who committed suicide 2 years ago:

a) I come from a christianity-based environment, where it is said that "suicide is the ultimate deadly sin". Is there any substance for such a strong statement, i.e. any very heavy consequences for the soul who committed suicide?

b) my mom and I were geographically far away from my brother at the time of his death, so I just got to manage the funeral in a city foreign to me. The whole experience was just hectic, not nice, we could not run typical after-death traditions.
A while ago a sorf of a healer told me the soul of my brother had not found its way to the Light and was still hanging around on the Earth. She did some healing procedures that I don't understand and assured she assisted my brother's soul to the Light. Yet I am still unsure whether my brother managed to the destination and kind of regret not having been able to make his transition smooth. Can/Should I do anything about it?
Thanks a lot!

7 years 5 months ago

Thanks for your response, Rave. I have read the book a couple of times. But i dont think i have come across such a question or topic being discussed in the books. I would appreciate if you could guide me in case you find it.

7 years 5 months ago

Oh Sadhguru... you disappoint me a bit this morning as you perpetuate the great fallacy of death...

There is no "death"; awaken to that. World religions spanning back thousands and thousands of years teach to life beyond human death. Science shows us the same in that IT HAS NEVER OBSERVED THE DEATH OF ANYTHING--matter transforms and energy transitions. Ultimately, every*thing* you realize in your experience is energy at the most fundamental level.

So what is this "death" you write about as you try and comfort those suffering such a great misunderstanding? For many, death has become their FAITH. A faith in death is the end of faith.

Read/consider *my* note:…

4 years 2 months ago

Dear Sadhguru, do also tell whether last rites of a person are to be performed by son only... Is it important for the deceased. What If someone doesnt have a son??!

7 years 5 months ago


Thank you for answering to my question. Just wanted to confirm, You dont remember of Sadhguru or the teachers speaking about it right?

As I mentioned earlier i just used to share it with my wife who doesnt believe in these things. So in order to get her interested i share it with her to show here what is possible and what I am gaining out of it.

6 years 1 month ago

Can you explain me about Kalabhairava Shanthi?

7 years 5 months ago


3 years 3 months ago

I need an advice Urgently.
My brother died 13.03.2017, I buried him. He was 49 years old and died in Reanimation, he was in come for 3 days since 09.03.17. High fever, sinusitis and meningitis was the cause, infection risen to his brain.
Please tell me what I can do for him before it is late, how to help his soul to get peace and go to the light, feel good,etc
I want to do something and feeling helpless , I dont have much knowledge of all this.
Please describe all what I need to do every day, how long, etc
Please help.
Thank you very much.

7 years 5 months ago

@facebook-100002686242563:disqus Please readh Mystic Musings Book I remember this is covered in that Book...

7 years 2 months ago

I pray that people become aware of the significance of these rituals in celebrating death , just like they learn and practice celebrating birth days and anniversaries and all other days for celebrating life. thank you Jaggi Vasudev ji for such enlightening messages !

7 years 5 months ago


Thanks for the response.

I understand we should not be teaching others and also not give any details of what goes on the ISHA programs. But what about, say we had a some kind of strange vision we had in the dream, or may be seeing a vision of Christ in the dream, or set of amazing lights or beautiful butterfiles etc. Sorry for asking such a childish question. But it means a lot to me. Just don't want to regret later for having shared such experiences. Sadhguru never mentioned about it any of the programs. I am assuming its okay. Kindly share your views.

6 years ago


7 years 5 months ago

What he means when he says 'taking away the choppiness of death' is just ensuring a smooth exit. He never meant death as an 'end' of that which is really You.

7 years 5 months ago

There is a typo above, Its talking instead of taking. Sorry If I wasnt clear earlier. My question is if we can share our experiences with others.

6 years 11 months ago

My Mum passed away yesterday. I am flying to India today for the funeral. This article greatly helped. Eternally grateful to Sadhguru..I hope to be and see Sadhguru at Isha soon