Fear of Death – Part 2 of 2

Can the fear of death be overcome?

Yes, it can. It is actually very simple. All that is needed is a little knowledge and a little experience. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a little quiver of trepidation when the time comes, but that’s just the body having its say.

Stories and teachings about death and the afterlife are found in sacred writings of most spiritual and religious traditions, so finding a spiritual path and bothering yourself to try to understand the teachings of that path is a good source of knowledge. If an experienced teacher comes with the package, all the better.

Knowledge is a good thing, but personal experience is even more convincing. The practice that will give you the necessary experience to relieve the fear of death, is meditation. The sages tell us that even a little bit of meditation can accomplish this. Unfortunately, what many people think of as meditation isn’t really meditation at all. It is authentic meditation to which the sages refer.

Before you get in a swivet about having to ferret out this meditation business and then go the trouble of doing it, let me reassure you that it is no trouble at all. When I discovered that I didn’t have to twist the body into a pretzel or make it rigid with pain in order to meditate, I got excited. I could actually do this!

With everything one has to do to navigate life, it may seem like a challenge to find the time to meditate, but if I could only convey with words, all the gifts and wonders that it will bring you, you would be jumping up and down with delight, eager to begin.

Through meditation you can reap a huge harvest of benefits and wonders beyond your imagining. All you have to do is do it. It will be the smartest thing you’ve ever done in your life. I speak from experience. But let me be more specific:

♦ Through this practice, you will experience for yourself, that you do not need a body to see, hear, feel, smell or taste.

♦ You do not need a body to go places. In fact, you can go to more places more easily without one.

♦ You will even discover a multitude of undreamed of places that surpass imagination.

♦ With time, possibly only a year or two, you will experience what it is like on the other side of life without having to die for a few minutes and come back.

♦ With this practice, you will discover through your own experience, that your body is just a temporary residence and that YOU NEVER DIE.

Granted, you have to do this practice for a substantial amount of time on a daily basis. Some exceptions are inevitable, but you get my drift.

What Is a Substantial Amount of Time?

You need two hours a day. You can cut this time shorter, but I recommend that you don’t. Most people who cut the time shorter give up out of impatience. We are an instant gratification society. If you are patient and persistent, you might get away with it. If you are young, you may be tempted to put it off. Do not make this mistake. You have advantages now that will go away with age.

If you really want something and it costs more money than you have, you would probably find a way to come up with enough money over time. Well, if you can do that, you can do this practice. Give something else up if you have to. There is always something we do that we don’t really have to be doing. The only reason people don’t do this is because they don’t know what they are missing. Rather than repeating myself, I will send you to this web page to find out more. It opens in a new window.

I can assure you that if you are willing to take a chance that what I am telling you is true (it is) and put the time into it, you will never regret it.

Love,
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Fear of Death – Part 1

Are You Afraid of Death?

This is a question I have either been asked, or heard others ask, innumerable times. From person to person, answers to this question vary from yes, to no, to I don’t know, and other similar vagaries of uncertainty, denial or self-deceit. Mostly, we just don’t want to think about it. But then someone close to us dies, and there it is, glaringly conspicuous in its full glory without so much as a word, much less a question, and the mind goes to work to bury it asap. (The mind can be amazingly efficient with its burial processes.)

Those who contemplate this question sincerely will most likely sense a disquieting quiver of trepidation buried somewhere deep inside. This is fear. With very few exceptions, those who actually do bother to contemplate this question seriously, and are able to be honest with themselves, are aware of this sneaky little quiver that tells them that they are afraid of death.

Who Isn’t?

It has been said that even the sages experience this quiver of fear when the time of their death becomes known to them, but being sages, upon letting go of all attachment to the body, they quickly establish equilibrium, all fear abandoned. They know that this fear is coming from the body itself, that they are not bodies, and they know that what comes next is preferable to their current situation. They know this because they have already been there by means of a certain spiritual practice.

Most of those who have had after-death experiences—people who are said to have died for a short time and come back to tell about it—speak of a light that is filled with love, acceptance, family or other loved-ones welcoming them, other notable characters, even God or some “voice” giving them a choice to stay or go back. The scenarios vary, but they have one thing in common: They tell us that they no longer fear death, that there is nothing to fear.

In some after-death experiences, individuals have been “dead” considerably beyond what is medically accepted as an amount of time in which the body can be revived without permanent disability. There are people who have proven this generality to be just that, a generality that doesn’t apply to everyone.

What Is Death, Anyway?

Death takes place when the life force leaves the body. The life force leaves the body when you do.

What about breathing, heartbeat, brain activity, all those things that stop beeping on the monitors?

Through a certain spiritual practice, there are times that these bodily functions stop, sometimes for long periods of time, and you don’t die. So it stands to reason that not breathing and having no heartbeat are, by themselves, not necessarily indicative of death.

Love,
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Guru Gita – Part 3 of 4

Concerning the Importance of Guru, Discipleship, Practices and Actions

From another version.

9
Know for certain that the conscious Self and the Guru are truly one. For this reason, one who is wise will seek one’s Guru.

10
Because of the darkness of the mind, the secret knowledge of Truth is concealed, but by Her light and the Guru’s word, the Mother of all comes to be revealed.

11
O Parvati, because I love you I will make this known: Everyone’s misfortunes and errors can be washed away by serving the Guru’s feet with love. By this practice, one becomes one with God.

12
All sacred waters bestow no greater reward than this, so sprinkle the water of the Guru’s feet upon your head with your mind attached to the Guru’s feet.

13
The mire of impurities will be washed away and the knowledge of Truth will shine through. With the water of the Guru’s feet, one crosses the ocean of ignorance.

14
Ignorance and attachment can be overcome, the round of births and deaths ended, and wisdom gained, by drinking the water of the Guru’s feet.

15
Drink that water of holiness, eat the remains of the Guru’s plate, meditate on the Guru’s form, and repeat the Guru’s mantra.

16
Kashi [Varanasi] is where the Guru dwells, and Ganga [the Ganges river] flows at the Guru’s feet. The Guru is God, the Lord and protector of the universe.

17
All the holy rivers, holy trees, sacred and holy places, are all contained in the Guru’s feet. I bow down to that beautiful form of the Guru.

18
Meditate on the Guru’s form, always think of the Guru’s name, fulfill the Guru’s wishes and needs, and always think of Guru.

19
The Guru’s knowledge awakes in one on whom the Guru has bestowed grace, so keep the Guru in your heart.

20
Let go of thinking of your life as your own, along with thoughts of fame, status or money. Nothing should be in your mind but the thought of the Guru’s name.

21
For one who loves Guru with one-pointed devotion, Godhood comes with ease. This is the highest goal, so one should strive to feel worthy of the Guru’s love.

22
The Guru’s wisdom cannot be learned, even from gods of the higher lokas [worlds], but the Guru’s knowledge awakes in one who serves the Guru with pure love.

23
“Gu” is darkness, “Ru” is light. The Guru, whose light of knowledge dispels the dark, is God without a doubt.

24
“Gu” is unceasing change, all that appears to the eyes [all the senses][the Relative Realm]. “Ru” is God in which all is contained and yet remains ever the same [Parabrahman, the Absolute].

25
Even gods yearn to tarry at the Guru’s feet, their highest goal. Angels in heaven called gandharvas, worship the Guru’s feet with love.

26
The wise say that nothing compares to the Truth-Guru, so one should offer as gifts, everything the Guru could need or use.

27
Devotees should delight their Guru with their gifts, but more than this, one should offer one’s life.

28
Serve the Guru with all your heart, in speech and in action, and before the Guru stretch out upon the ground. Give all your love to the Truth-Guru.

29
One must release wife or husband and give all to the Truth-Guru—senses, body, and breath—with all your soul.

30
Bones and blood and flesh will turn to ashes one day, so without delay, surrender to the Truth-Guru.

31
The tree of samsara* sinks below, along with souls who cling to it, but all are saved by the Guru’s grace. To that Truth Guru, I surrender.

* Samsara – the cycles of birth, death and suffering.

32
The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. About this there is no doubt. God and Guru in fact are one. I surrender to that Guru.

33
Guru is the cause of the universe, the bridge to cross over change, and the source from which all knowledge comes. To Shiva the Guru I bow.

34
Ignorance blinds the eyes, but the Guru makes us to see again. With the Guru’s wisdom we are set free. Salutations I offer the Guru:

Salutations [prananams] to Guru:

35
You are my mother and father, my brother and sister, my wealth in this world of change. You are my God, my very Self. Salutations I offer You.

36
Because You are all this world appears to be, just as sun is the cause of light, all our joy is because of You. Salutations I offer You.

37
The mind can perceive this world, but You, the mind can never perceive. You are the witness behind all minds. Salutations I offer You.

38
By Your wisdom the Truth is known: the world and the Self are no longer two. The form of Truth is itself the Truth. Salutations I offer You.

♦ ♦ ♦

And on it goes, but I had to quit somewhere.

Regarding number 29:

“One must release wife or husband and give all to the Truth-Guru…”

Please keep in mind that these ancient mystical teachings are written in “final form”. In other words, they represent an ultimate ideal. In this shloka, this ideal might be better expressed to the Western mind as having a spouse’s genuine support of one’s spiritual endeavors or, even better, being on the path together. If you need to ease your heart, remember the source of this text: a conversation between Shiva (Parvati’s husband) and Parvati (Shiva’s wife), and review number 9…

“Know for certain that the conscious Self and the Guru are truly one…”

There are deeper meanings to this shloka of course, but I think this will do for now. Just keep looking for deeper teachings in what I’m sending you, what they mean and how they might apply to you in your current phase of sadhana. And remember, progress means change, so your understanding will change (increase) with time and practice.

Love,
Durga Ma
durgama.com