EYE ON SPIRITUALITY: MAKING PEACE WITH DEATH
It’s been a tough week. At least three people that I was close to at some point in my life have passed and I have heard of a few other great souls passing.
One of my dear Pundit friends, Gananathamritananda Swamiji, noted that there is a Vedic calendar component of this:
We are now coming to the time of year that Rishi Charaka has called the Yamadamshtra (the tooth of Lord Yama). This occurs every year in Oct / Nov during the last 8 days of the month of Kartik and the first eight days of the month of Margashirsha month. Calculations for these lunar months may vary slightly depending on whether people follow the amanta or purnimanta system. From what I have noticed this period often seems to stretch for some time before and after the dates mentioned by Sage Charaka. They say at this time of year, Lord Yama comes close to the physical realm in search of souls that are ready to pass from the physical realm. There are greater chances that a sick old or weak person may die at this time of year than any other.
When we are young, we live our lives thinking that we have come to the planet a very long time and we are eternal. As we get older and we see our friends and relatives pass, we get a wake-up call about how relatively short our time on this planet is and it forces us to reflect on our lives.
What are we doing here? If you think that being here is about accumulating a lot of money and building up a strong material foundation, then at some point Saturn will remind you that things can quickly change. This was no more evident in the Gulf War when the rich Kuwaiti oil barons were fighting in the desert over a loaf of bread. With the war in Ukraine, we can see how quickly things can change. We are here to practice kindness and compassion and to help others and you can tell from the way the world is moving, that we had better get our act together.
We live in a very changing and anxious world and I know that many of you know or lost someone to Covid and know I find people mysteriously dying from heart conditions and cancers and it is a bit surprising.
I am in my 60s and have many friends in their 70s and it does not take much to push on something serious. Saturn takes over for everyone at age 70 in the Nasargika Dasha which reflects the natural cycles of life. We have to remember that Saturn is the grand recycling agent that makes sure that there are always fresh cookies coming out of the oven. Who wants to eat 90-year-old cookies? What kind of shape are the pressed flowers from thirty years ago that we cherish in an old book that we have saved?
Timing death in Vedic astrology is a very difficult art and is not taught as much as in ancient times. In my first reading with Chakrapani Ullal in 1985, he told me that I would live to 88 and after studying death cycles, I see that he was correct. Yet, I feel that we have several X-Factors now with fears of nuclear war, bioweapons, and many evil people in world governments today who do not value human life.
As a Scorpion, with Mars in Bharani Nakshatra, connected to Lord Yama, the God of Death and Transformation, I have always had a fascination with death. During one 1.5-year period around 2013-14, I had 20 plus friends and family members pass and I was forced to make peace with death or be dysfunctional. My spiritual Guru has helped a great deal.
It is clearer to me every day, that we have to live every moment in joy and appreciation for simple things: our walks in nature, the beauty of summer flowers, the enthusiastic yelps of our beloved pet dogs, the smells of fresh baked goods, the hugs from our family and the continued connection with the Divine through our meditation practices. If we turn on the TV and get caught up in their propaganda, we are doomed to live a life of fear and cringing in the corner of our homes. I have acquaintances that were so afraid to go out of their houses during Covid, that they had not been outside for 15 months. The media has created a mass psychosis that wants us to be glued to the tube for their ratings while they fill our hearts with fear. Is this how we want to live?
My spiritual teacher reflecting on death notes:
We die every day when we go to sleep. The last thing we think about before we go to sleep is often the first thing that we remember when we wake up.
Death is like sleep. What we think about when we die and when we are reborn creates primary desires for the next life. When life is a game and you live it fully then you can embrace death with no fear and not be part of the continuum.
We need to remember to drop every regret from the past and live in the present and see the past as a dream and then you are dying every moment and are renewed.
Are you afraid to go to bed? Are you afraid you will not wake up? Are you afraid of death? If you awaken inside and get a glimpse of your very being then you will not be scared of death and the beyond. The eternal Self is beyond Death.
We have to remember there is no such thing as death. The Soul never ceases to exist and death is the biggest illusion. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in interviewing people who died on the operating table and then were resurrected, reminds us how inspiring the experience can be. She notes that people’s lives are flashed in front of them as they pass but only the moments where they gave unconditional love and were kind. One lady was shown a time at summer camp when she gave up her overnight trip to take care of a handicapped lady who could not go. This is the biggest wake-up call in that we need to remember it’s not about how much stuff we accumulate but how much love kindness and compassion we deliver every day!
We all have an expiration date and one of the Secret of Death is in people’s Jyotish charts. It is not something I want to predict or feel confident with anymore with so many X – X-factors in the world. When our time is up, we move on to evolve on another plane. Life is eternal and continues.
Dying is nothing more than taking your coat off and changing clothes leaving a smoky and stuffed room and going out into the fresh air and sunlight and being free. The heaviness is released and one is ready to take flight with the song.
There is nothing to be apprehensive about with death. It has been going on since time immemorial and it is just about taking another step into your eternal existence. There is nothing to tremble about. If we live each day as if there will be no other with joy and love and laughter, we will have no regrets. More than ever, it is important to keep telling all of those around us how much we love them let go of petty fights and bitterness, and just realize how precious we all are. Makeup with those with whom you hold grudges. They may not be here next year.
Move beyond fear and into love. I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books, Emmanuel’s Book,
You will not exhaust the love in the universe if you were to absorb it from now until the end of time. Love is all that exists. Love is universal communication. It is the energy that has created the universe and is keeping it going. God is love. All matter is formed by love. There is an organic love that speaks to everyone if they can but hear. A leaf is held together by the power of love. . . .
The greatest need in a soul is to achieve that loving of self which will bring about unity wherein the judgments that have caused such pain are eliminated.
Enjoy my YouTube video, Secrets of Death from my Astrology Class on Health.