Aug 22, 2022

Book Review: Death by Sadhguru

 It is an irony that in my birthday month, a book on the topic of death knocks on my attention space. 

Having lost my mother at a young age, I have so many questions about this phenomenon called Death. At the same time, this is a topic that is avoided at home at all costs - no discussions, no questions asked, and most importantly, not even a mention of the word.

When I stumbled upon this title, I was excited to see that it was written by Sadhguru, whose writings and talks I adore and respect a lot. It has been such an intense and powerful read in the past couple of weeks. 

I had read his book on Karma last year and it helped me understand so many intricacies and demystified the topic with such clarity.

In this book on Death, he has covered in detail, various aspects right from what we mean by Death, to the different stages, quality, and types of death.

In the first chapter, Sadhguru emphasizes the meaning of death and how it is misinterpreted. As much as Life is natural, Death is a natural process as well. It is neither a taboo topic nor a calamity/tragedy nor something to be feared about. Mortality and our impermanence are something to be aware of in our daily existence. Once we accept our fragility, life starts to happen in beautiful ways.

He then goes on to explain the process of life leaving the physical body - the different stages and the sequence of Pancha Pranas leaving the body.

The second section on Preparing for a good death and Assistance for the dying and disembodied was so insightful and eye-opening. Most of my key takeaways were from these chapters. I was blown away by the explanation of various stages of life, especially the role of the Vanaprastha stage and how one consciously withdraws from worldly affairs in pursuit of spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

The different rituals followed during a death ceremony and their background reasons are well explained. The chapter on handling grief and mourning has some hard-hitting facts about death, which helps one to move on gracefully. The chapter on Ghosts clarifies a lot of myths and beliefs about disembodied beings.

Sadhguru's writing style makes the topic of Death and its related aspects so simple to understand, with his short anecdotes, relatable metaphors from today's lives, and powerful quotes.

A few favorite phrases:

"Hell and heaven do not exist as geographical places but as human experience."

"You grieve because someone who in many ways was a part of your life is gone. So one part of your life has become empty and you are not able to handle that emptiness."

"Once someone leaves their body, whether you like it or not, they have nothing to do with you anymore."

"The violence is not in the way the body breaks. The violence is in the way that the human being experiences it in that moment."

"Yesterday has a power of its own. If you do not liberate yourself from it, yesterday will rule your tomorrow."

If you want to know more about this topic, look no further. Pick up this book and read it with an open mind.

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