Why do we die?

Oscar winning director Shekhar Kapur seeks answers about why we die, from yogi and mystic Sadhguru, as they explore the mechanics of life and death, and the process of dying.
 
Cremation at Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi - Why do we die?
 

Oscar winning director Shekhar Kapur seeks answers about why we die, from yogi and mystic Sadhguru, as they explore the mechanics of life and death, and the process of dying.

Shekhar Kapur: Health and longevity are two things everybody talks about, but the messages that are coming across are quite diverse. So I have a question: when living beyond a certain age, is there something inherent in us that actually could keep us healthy or do we always need outside help from doctors and hospitals? If there was something inherent in us, then maybe I would believe that nature has an intention to keep us alive.

Sadhguru: If nature didn’t have an intention to keep you alive, you would be dead.

Shekhar Kapur: Yeah.

Sadhguru: Even now, you are alive not because of the medicine that you take or the hospital consultation and health check-ups that you have, but because nature still intends that you should live. It is because of the life process that you are living, not because of medicine. Medicine can play around a little bit. It cannot create life as such.

The thing is, this very body that you carry was created from within, isn’t it? You provided raw material from outside, but the creation process happened from within. So, obviously, the source of creation or the manufacturer of the body is within. Trying to fix health from outside is a very effortful process. If you keep access to the innermost core, health will be a natural phenomenon. Thinking that it is something that you have to manage from outside is a very wrong perception.

Shekhar Kapur: And if I’m perfectly healthy, why do we die?

Sadhguru: You must live healthy and you must die healthy. “So even if you are healthy, why do we die?” Health has got nothing to do with death. Death will happen when your life energies lose their vibrance. To hold onto this body, a life has to be in a certain level of reverberance. As you age, as your karmic substance wears out, the intensity of the life process becomes feeble. If it becomes feeble below a certain level of intensity, it will slip out. This is called dying of old age. Someone who is medically healthy may lie down in sleep and exit peacefully.

If the life energies are still vibrant and they are capable of living, but for some reason you broke the body either because you crashed your car or broke your heart or drank too much alcohol, in some way you made the body inhospitable for life, then also life leaves. This is an unnatural death. This has its own consequences.

Another way, which is a very rare occurrence, is, your life energies became so intense that the physical cannot hold it anymore. If you leave out of intensity, an intensity beyond physical nature, then we say, you have attained. This is called mahasamadhi. If life energies become overly intense, you cannot keep the body. If life energies become feeble, you cannot keep the body. Only if it is in a certain band of intensity you can hold on to the body.

Shekhar Kapur: You’re making a big distinction between the body and life, as if life is something else and that’s something that everyone struggles with…

Sadhguru: You tell me. Did you accumulate this body?

Shekhar Kapur: Yes, I did, by eating.

Sadhguru: So, I’ll ask you again the same question. Whatever you accumulate can be yours, cannot be you, isn’t it?

Shekhar Kapur: Yes. Correct.

Sadhguru: So, I’m definitely making a distinction between what is you and what is your body because your body is just an accumulation.

The life energy or prana, carries a huge amount of information. This information is called various names but traditionally, we call this karma. Karma means “action.” You can perform physical action, mental action, emotional action and energy action. You are performing all these four actions every moment of your life, awake and asleep. The residual impact of these actions is always being recorded, and a whole unconscious software develops. The life energy, the body, what you call as your mind, your chemistry, all of it is guided by a certain dimension of information. This past information of every single perception you have had, everything you have seen, heard, smelt, tasted and touched – everything that has gone into you – is recorded in your system. Most of this information that you carry within you is unconscious, and most of your software was created unconsciously. Whatever you can create unconsciously, you can also create consciously, but it would take a certain level of striving and application to do so.

Spiritual process essentially means we want to make all the things you created unconsciously, into a conscious process, because only if it happens consciously there is freedom. If it happens unconsciously, it is compulsiveness. The journey is from compulsiveness to consciousness, nothing else.

When a person dies, all the information – these are backup systems – that are on the chemical level, body level and mind level, are all dead. The only thing that leaves is the energy. This energy is concretized because of the information that it carries. If you take away all this information from the energy, it would just merge with the cosmos.

This is what we call as mukti. Mukti means we have found a way of shaving off all the information from this energy, which is your life right now. Then it will just merge. It has no form and shape anymore. The whole effort of the spiritual process is to get to that place, where you shed all the information and when you exit, you just merge – end game!

Editor’s Note: Get the latest updates from the Isha Blog. Twitter, facebook, rss or browser extensions, take your pick.

 
 
 
 
  49 Comments
 
 
Login / to join the conversation1
 
 
4 years 6 months ago

Thanks, Nagaraj ! That's a very positive way to think about all our dear ones who leave this world before us.i will also alter my thinking from now.

4 years 2 months ago

But who is watching all this game ...?? Is there any solid reason behind birth of life ??..

4 years 6 months ago

Assume you just had a cup of tea , you felt nothing because it was as usuall! But some one else felt it was hot , taste,and was inhaling the herbal smell in it, and he even sat aside ,peacefully with his back rested on a bamboo chair and with a deep breath before he started to consume it. do you sense the difference in this short process of having a tea. :)

4 years 6 months ago

Your questions (indeed ours) remain unanswered. Those who got answers for themselves, don't explain it (because no one can understand it through anyone's explanations), and who tries to explain it haven't got the answers yet. Sadhguru throws more light on our path, guides us to seek answers ourselves, make room for more questions within, and bring everything to our awareness through one's own experience. This is exactly what drags us towards him even if we are left with more questions instead of answers. I think ready-made answers in the language that we currently are able to understand is not available.

4 years 6 months ago

So sadhguru I.just wanted you to enlighten us on if what karmic actions we do...does it have a direct effect to our lives we lead....for example drinking too much alcohol or smoking or cheating.how can life n death be affected by these

4 years 2 months ago

first of all, Im not sure on what basis you've concluded that I am an athiest. Im not. But i don't believe in the god you believe either. I dont go to a temple and pray to a stone like you do. I don't go to any religious place or worship.

secondly, please show me evidence apart from from some silly writings on temples that your God exists and I'll definitely leave everything and will start my bhajans soon.

4 years 6 months ago

The game was always there , only we who started and and ended, by identifying our self in a certain form, like we miss the ground which participated in all the game , but we often talk about the players , Ball and Bat!

3 years 3 months ago

how much of a design is required for yourself to sip your own prepared coffee ......considering to sip it in the same quantity you sip every time, can you ...even think of achieving it......we don't have the capability of seeing if its same or not.... don't quantify or qualify life in terms of just appearance, there is lot more than that...

4 years 4 months ago

Natgarajgaru, namaskaram I lost my son on the 28 th of May. While caping on Mt.Rainier near Seattle He and 5 others were sleeping in 2 tents when the volcano shook the ground a bit, something that happens for 5 mins in 365 days, they wers thus pushed by the rolling stones and snow, a kind of avalanche, and were pushed a height of 3300 ft down the face of the mountain. The 2 guides were experts and in fact one of them had actually climbed this very one 50 times. My son too had climbed many higher mountains and this was the least worrying one.i am having kala bhairavi process done for him, but my queztion is hpw does one explain
such a death?

4 years 6 months ago

How can one access inner core of creation within us to fix the bodily ailments?will it really work? Can just thought process change physiology?plz give more knowledge on this...

4 years 2 months ago

I did not say you were atheist, I said you have no valid argument to the statement that this article is outdated for this day and age. Simply put, it is much more common to hear this article's position expounded upon and espoused than not. It is quite current in our current day and age. This is true in that most believe both that there is a soul and in a heaven/hell scenario. Albeit the common view of heaven/hell or how to get to either may and does vary to the silly, they are still both the standard point of view. So I ask, how does one come to the conclusion that the idea of a soul or heaven or hell rate as outdated. In point of fact, you are more likely to meet someone who believes in an old man who lives in the clouds with a bag of change in one hand and a lightning bolt in the other (if you do well "ka-ching" if you do poorly "zap"), than to meet any other type of person. The general consensus is that one simply has a soul and an after life (or lives as the case may be). You could certainly not make a living betting against it. As for proof of a soul's existence the point is moot, either you believe or you do not. You will not create a soul will belief, nor will you remove your soul by not believing that you have one.

4 years 6 months ago

the game here was always there!!!! but it is only we who have lived in times of start and end have only option to pattern life as start and end , but it may not be like that actually...in reality!

3 years ago

Nobody can explain you about birth or death or mukthi.. If someone think he/she can understand by reading or listening others talking , it is utter foolishness. Lets assume I had one new sweet today that you are not heard or tasted earlier. No matter how long or how brilliantly I talk, it is impossible for you to have the same feeling that I had while eating. Only way to get the actual feel is to taste it by yourself. Likewise if you want to realize these concepts like birth, death , re-birth , Mukthi etc- you have to feel it. Until then we cant say it is there or not there. Both will be equally non sense because we didn't experience it. In many religions they devised a way to attain Mukthi . So you pick a way (or pick a religion) and try how it must be tried. After properly tried it in a specified manner, then you claim its there or not. Until then please don't waste time by arguing or trying to explain.

4 years 4 months ago

Namaskaram Amma!

My heart felt condolence for you,

Life is eternal it is immortal, it can never die or born, our body itself is built of billions and billions of life , which has a natural capability to dissolve and evolve, but overall we are the same body of cosmic, like what ever we feel like falling down falls into itself. it is all about the matter of perception that we would like to identify ourselfs

All that he has done with his courage will be followed upon by right spirits

(All is play)The act of play can also be demonstrated with full of joy within the person who helped the demonstration.And what ever happens, it is some thing to learn for who perceives.

4 years 6 months ago

drinking too much will affect your body , these amount of knowledge is now considered as common sense , eventually smoking as well, cheating!!!! yes! if you want to cheat someone , that's you who needs to develop an ugly idea in your mind , were you will suffer from it , because you being a ignorant to develop and nurture a knowledge self empowerment , instead you want to drag someone down and feel like you are in the high , which that person don't believe so...

4 years 2 months ago

Well everyone has their points of view and so do I. Everyone is free to express their opinions and yes, my opinion about this article is that its outdated. People once believed that a locomotive steam engine train had a life and was a monster and so was the moon. But they are not aren't they ? Moon is a mere body of mass revolving around the sun. In the same way, the concepts of soul, heaven, hell and reincarnation came into mainstream propaganda when very little was known about the functioning of the universe, the big bang and mere existence of the dimension of time and the theory of relativity. Since those ideas originated from the church and other religious scholars, there is a degree of blind faith and fear to think of anything against those theories and listen to what science proves.

But as long as you are happy with your theories good for now. Ultimately everyone needs a good nights sleep at night and so do you and me.

4 years 6 months ago

The Ambit of life energy has not got the scope to discuss with our physical form and capabilities, we should raise our consciousness much more to even think about it. consciousness connects life energies and karmic energies, you will get solutions when you really look for it.

3 years ago

Nobody can explain you about birth or death or mukthi.. If someone think he/she can understand by reading or listening others talking , it is utter foolishness. Lets assume I had one new sweet today that you are not heard or tasted earlier. No matter how long or how brilliantly I talk, it is impossible for you to have the same feeling that I had while eating. Only way to get the actual feel is to taste it by yourself. Likewise if you want to realize these concepts like birth, death , re-birth , Mukthi etc- you have to feel it. Until then we cant say it is there or not there. Both will be equally non sense because we didn't experience it. In many religions they devised a way to attain Mukthi . So you pick a way (or pick a religion) and try how it must be tried. After properly tried it in a specified manner, then you claim its there or not. Until then please don't waste time by arguing or trying to explain

4 years 2 months ago

just drink scotch and sleep next time.

4 years 6 months ago

"when you exit you just merge, END GAME!".....

3 years 11 months ago

wow what a description of life and death, Sadhguru ji you are true spiritual leader

4 years 6 months ago

I understand your point. But, how all of a sudden some energy began to take form ?? And why it has to torment itself to reach the same point from it started.
Also, who is the referee/audience/rule-maker for this GAME?

3 years ago

Shaitan666, the cpu is your body. You are the software!

4 years 2 months ago

Life makes a compromise by using the principle of death for the continuation of life . The spirit can be poised in the principle of life , not matter . Death is a process of Life and not denial of Life ....! These are the words of Sri Aurobindo more convincing than any other argument .

4 years 6 months ago

Does any one know, how/why the GAME started ???

3 years 10 months ago

If you can date with this article to its core reality you will not feel outdated,Even i am not sure if there is a soul are not, but i can't prove myself to authenticate like you did --> "there is no soul, period." <--.i am glad that you used the word complex for the human body ,and i still know that cpu's in computers could be replaced too..even the e waste or recycled and reused , i think you might know this . when such a simple device has something relevant to reincarnations and rebirth, why would a complex device like human body could not be,so ... is the question which arises in my mind with your conversation!

4 years 6 months ago

Yes it did take form, but not all of sudden , it took it's own time to take form, Why not we see life with the game that of its own design , we only always compare with models of the game that we designed .
It is unfortunate that we always want a game to see in a form of some kind of cricket or football or something that only we know!
Dont you like a game with out referee/audience/rule-maker?

3 years ago

Shaitan666, your body is the cpu. You are the software!

4 years 2 months ago

When at the final stages of shaving off the information, that last piece of it we let go,contains the actual reason why we even decided to disassociate ourselves from the whole.

In other words, god creates the playground and then plays stupid just so he can fit into it.

Us trying to remember that particular reason (each individual is unique because of it), why we doubted the unity in the first place is playing stupid and the reason why we are born in the first place,remembering that reason is the mukti, or final shaving off. . .

4 years 6 months ago

Why GAME started?

3 years 6 months ago

Too complex to think or imagine when this game has started. But only logical answer I can think of is, when the energy started becoming matter with the BIGBANG, all this game started. The formless energy started taking different forms. But why it started and what triggered it is beyond my knowledge and imagination.

4 years 6 months ago

Just a newbie here. This is clear, how we (the soul) moves on from one body to another gaining information and maturing every birth it takes. Its somewhat like moving from Class 1 to Class 10 and then graduation and then the final release. What I also know is that all the information that I have gathered through all births can be revealed to me if I concentrate (meditate). What I cannot connect to us why am I able to see the future (1-2 yrs) happenings in advance in my dreams. Sometimes, the incidents are seen in the dream exactly as they occur later, and sometimes they are kind of vague but passing the same message. How do we explain this?

2 years 1 month ago

I agree with you completely. But the explanation was necessary for us to at least know that these things exist. Otherwise, I would be watching a movie rather than reading about this. :D

4 years 2 months ago

Sorry but this article is way too outdated to be read in the current day and age. There is no soul, period. There is no heaven or hell. Human body is one complex computer that is shut down during the process of death and once the cpu is shut down permanently, there is no booting it back. No reincarnations and no rebirth. its the END. Spirituality is a mythical concept that has no relevance.

4 years 6 months ago

What im trying to ask is how does bad karma affect out lives in the future and how can we reverse the effect of bad karma

3 years 6 months ago

Dear Shaitan,

I believed the same way you believed for years. But, I have another thought process on how life works. See if this works.

Human body is very much like a computer. However unlike a computer our body is a self driven machine. We have a life energy that runs us till death similar to electricity for computer.

Death merely means that your vital organs stop working. The organs are no more capable of taking the life energy to function. Similar to a burnt motherboard on computer.

When life energy cannot be used by the body, it dissipates out of it. In spiritual world, they call it as soul. This life energy has a property to support another machine, which is another body.

What we call it as mukthi is just to make this life energy convert into non-life energy. So that, it doesn't support any more bodies.

4 years 6 months ago

Hema if you do not know about it...There is a process called kala bhairavi karma at the isha yoga centre.. Sadguru says it is to bring some pleasantness to the passed soul.. If you want to do something for your son i would recommend this...For people who passed away earlier it can be done even after many days or in fact he says even after years...What you need is some used clothes of him.... You can consult at IYC for further information... And why this process is according to him..The passed soul doesn't have any discretionary mind..So once a drop of pleasantness given it multiplies....

4 years 2 months ago

Well said! But what you said will have no takers, but people like Sadhguru ( no disrespect) will, because of the long winding explanations that keep the audience enthralled. Essentially there are two people. People like us who can acknowledge the truth and be happy for it and the second, who will try to find meaning in life and beyond because they are romantics.

4 years 6 months ago

Life is the growth of consciousness from within; the inner planes; life is a continuous process, this process does not end, it only focuses elsewhere; it does not end with what we call death; death is only the absence of life, which continues elsewhere. We attribute permanent loss and separation and feel great sorrow when we lose our loved ones as we believe that their passing from this world is in fact death. Life can never result in death as life is the continuing eternal growth of consciousness. If one discards the personal view and sees the eternal processional of souls to and from this plane, then it is clear that this is but a journey through which we pass. There is only one death; the fixity of consciousness is that death where the potency of the soul stagnates and cannot grow as per the divine law. There is no End Game, for spiritual growth is eternal.

3 years 6 months ago

If every thing is recorded, Then the re-birth of taking the form is not same as previous, Its different. What is the reason?

4 years 6 months ago

Thank You,Krishna ! We will definitely do this process. Wherever he is I want him to feel at peace.

4 years 2 months ago

What rational method of scientific deduction have you employed to come to your conclusion? I'm not aware of our current day and age having any proof either supporting or denouncing the presence of a soul. Atheism, Deism and Theism are ancient arguments not recent realizations. To say that the ancient opinion that spirituality is myth is current while spirituality is outdated is mere rhetoric. There are still more believers than non-believers and there always have been. I defy you to show any history or evidence to the contrary.

4 years 6 months ago

Sadhguru has mentioned that when the life energies are still vibrant and yet there is some unnatural death there can be consequences .Can anybody explain what might be the consequences ? My son who was a young healthy boy of 23 years recently committed suicide.. I want his soul to rest in peace.

3 years 6 months ago

The dimension that you haven't have experience doesn't exist for you is alright. But the issue is you believed that there isn't anything more than physical in life without trying to find iota of it. Had you had one moment of inner experience the theory that you are propounding would have dissolved in a moment. Nobody can give you evidence of that which doesn't come under the realm of intellect. It is a experiential dimension it only exists for the person who has penetrated little bit deeper in the self awareness and become conscious of it. Right now only thoughts, emotions and physical body is in your experience and you are passing the judgement about the deeper dimension of life. Don't waste your life with silly intellectual conclusions and misleading others. Its better to be truthful that you don't know than to claim that which you can't even comprehend

4 years 6 months ago

Please don't feel bad for him , he belongs to cosmic family now, and we all belong to that same family , while we only limit our self to the physical bonding's, that we are unconsciously bonded into.

4 years 2 months ago

But who is watching all this game ...?? Is there any solid reason behind birth of life ??

4 years 6 months ago

Before exploring i would just reduce bad or good karma as just karma, Any action that you perform is your karma, so any action that you perform affects your surroundings, may be in a good or bad way, so the only thing that we need to do is raise the conscious to the level , so that we reap good from our karma in future.

3 years 4 months ago

This is both logical and fits into scientific knowledge of all systems. <3 the response