Questioner: In your book, ‘Death – An Inside Story’, you mentioned that there is no use abusing a body through medical interventions, when doctors have left no hope. But, what I have been taught as a leader is to constantly struggle even when defeat is inevitable, without bothering about results. So, as a military man, are the principles of Karma Yoga not conflicting with what you have said while dealing with our dear ones?
Sadhguru: Sir, as a military officer, you’re dealing with young lives – ninety year old men are not in your force, so that’s a different affair. Young men, however badly they may be mauled in a battle, still many times they’re capable. Depending upon their grit and their constitution, they may bounce back. Of course, you have the famous story of Field Marshall Manekshaw, of how he recovered from the machine gun fire, and they had given up on him, and how he came back. So, there are any number of stories like that, because you are dealing with very fit, strong, determined young men – that is a different story.
We are talking about – trying to understand and come to terms, that we are mortal. This life is mortal in nature, you cannot just think that you’re going to live forever. A time comes where you must be ready to ease your way through. You must understand, you come at a certain time and you go at a certain time. We don’t want an untimely death, that is for everybody, nobody should have an untimely death. But when the time is up, we must be willing to go. If we’re not willing to go, we will definitely make it miserable for ourselves, or if our children or their children are not willing to let us go, that will also make it miserable.
So, it’s extremely important that we should have handled both life and death with a certain wisdom, understanding the context we are not here for good, that is fixed. Our time here is very limited, and how we use this time is important. Life’s quality is not going to be enhanced by simply stretching it by another few months, or a year or two, it’s not going to happen when in enormous pain, and you know, a nuisance for yourself and for everybody – it is not going to work like that.
If you are observant of the life forces within you, you will see when life is not wanting to revive itself. You don’t have to ask a doctor. If you just observe your own life forces, you will know when they are winding up. When they are winding up, you pump yourself with this, that and simply stretch it for a few weeks or months or whatever, is meaningless. This is coming from a fundamental sense of ignorance, which unfortunately has spread around the world. But in this country, always when people came to a certain sense that, you know, life is winding up, they would simply sit in one place and go on water diet and slowly go quietly, peacefully, not stuck up with so many tubes and needles – that’s not the way to go.
It’s very important that we live well, and we also die well. And not only die well, because death is the last act that we perform in our life, it’s important we die in style – it’s very, very important. I know, this may sound morbid to people. There’s nothing morbid about our mortality, that is the fundamental reality of our existence Only if we are conscious of this reality, will we plan and enact our life in as beautiful a manner as possible.