Questioner: After my grandmother died, I had an experience where she appeared before me, And later, I started wearing her clothes, and though I’m not a smoker, all I wanted to do was smoke. Is there anything to this?
Sadhguru: What you should do is, you stop relating to the dead. One thing that you need to understand is someone is your grandmother, your mother, your father, whoever they are to you, whatever they might have been to you, however dear they might have been to you, however close and intimate they might have been to you, the moment they shed their body, their general sense of mind, intellect and emotion – your business with them is finished. They left all those things here right? Yes? All those things they left here. All the things that you knew about them is finished. Some other sap is still on, but you never had any relationship with that sap. Your relationship is with the other aspects. All those aspects were shed when that person died.
So the only thing that you do when somebody dies is you cherish the beautiful moments that you had with them – that’s all. If there was something beautiful, you cherish that, otherwise just forget about them. Don’t try to work your guilt and your problems through the dead. It can just become very complicated, it can become very, very complicated.
“Leave the dead to the dead” – you know, somebody said this long time ago? You must leave the dead to the dead, you have no business with them. Unless you are in a certain level of mastery of your own whatever, you shouldn’t even look in that direction because you could just completely wrung around in your life by trying to do something silly. So there may be tendencies which may make people do certain things, but it doesn’t mean anything, just doesn’t mean anything. Someone who doesn’t have a body, doesn’t have any business with food or clothes or anything, isn’t it? Yes? Only if you have a body you must go towards food and clothes. Once you lost your body, what business do you have with food and clothes?
When so much emotion is mixed up, there’ll so many things which will happen within you and outside of you. There is no need to get… you are going there, just what is the work to do, do it, do your sadhana, be with the man who is still alive, stop trying to be with the dead. Just be with your grandfather who is still alive, do your best for him, because he will also die. I am not wishing him dead. He’ll also die, isn’t it? So when you are with him for a short while, just do your best. See how to enrich your life and his life for those few moments that you are there, rather than doing all kinds of fanciful things with your grandmother. Your grandmother’s business is over. So she has no business to come and look in her cupboard.
It is just that there is certain residual element in clothes that people have owned. See all these things were taken care of in India. People understood these things as a normal procedure – not realized beings – normal people. It is so much built into the culture, if a person dies, all the clothes which were in touch with that person’s body, and too much in touch with that person’s body, those kind of clothes are all burnt. They are never kept. Only clothes that that person occasionally wore, such things are given only to a blood relative, nobody else, to a daughter or a granddaughter or a son or somebody like this. And that also, first one year you should not wear it. Till the first anniversary, of the death anniversary happens, you should not wear those clothes.
Why these things are is, whatever when we are here, whatever we are in touch with, a certain amount of this energy is there in it. If you give it a certain kind of opportunity these clothes will start behaving funny. Your grandmother need not come, these clothes themselves will start acting funny. Because – see, there is something called as static, you are experiencing this, you touch your car door, it just goes ‘chuck’. Why is this? The car is not generating electricity, isn’t it? Why is this happening? Just in association with something it gets little charged. Similarly whatever is in close association with your body it will get a certain amount of that quality.
Do you know how occult is done? They want to cause harm to you, you know what they do, the first thing that they do is they will take your underwear or hair. If they can get a body part, yes, your hair or nails if they get, that is very good, that’s part of your body. If they can’t get it, the first thing they will do is, some clothing which is in contact with your body. First thing is your underwears will be missing – really. People take enormous care in India. They will always ensure that underwear is never put outside, because if one underwear goes, they will investigate in a big way, what happened. Because they don’t want somebody, some unfriendly person who has some enmity to you to take that.
Especially unwashed clothes, with lots of care it is handled in our homes. These days it’s all going away because we are just giving away to the dhobi or, you know, the washerman who takes it and all. Otherwise, traditionally in our homes it is so taken care of. It is all put in a closed basket, somebody who knows, inside the house, it must be washed, it should never be taken out. Because if they can take a body part, like hair or this thing, then that’s different, but just this clothing itself they can do things to you, because it carries a certain amount of your thing. So even when a person dies the same is true and that can crackle up a little bit. If a certain kind of energy is on, that aspect can crackle up.
There have been instances, I don’t know if I should go into this. Hmm? You are interested in spooky stories. There have been instances where, you know, somebody dies and like she is saying right now – actually things moving around, especially things that they intimately used, those things just moving around here and there by themselves, in the immediate few days after the person is dead. That person is not coming and moving anything. It is just that, that whatever your energy that was associated with that is sort of withdrawing. In the process of withdrawal, there will be a little bit of extra movement.
See, now your engine is on in the car standing there without any too much vibration. When you switch it off, when it’s just dying down, do you see, little extra shake in the car? Have you noticed it? These days cars are built in such a way that you don’t notice it much, but the older engines you see, when you switch it off – duk duk duk duk, it will go. It’s stopping, actually it should recede, but that’s not how it is. From one mode to another mode when it shifts, there will be a little extra reverberation. Similarly your engine is going off. Now, there will be little extra shake all over the place. That extra shake is mistaken to be ghosts walking all over the place. No. It is not about any ghost walking. It is just a certain withdrawal of energy that some things may happen, not necessarily every time. Lot of things are imagined by people, but it can happen, it does happen.
So for all these things to ensure that those things are cleaned up, if a person dies today, after three days we will do one kind of procedure, on the 11th day we’ll do another kind of procedure, on the 13th day we’ll do another kind of procedure, at the 40th day we’ll do another kind of procedure. All this is to ensure that no residue of that person remains. So that dead can be packed and sent, living can continue their life. If the living get involved with the dead, they will lose their life in so many ways.
All this spooky – spooky thing is sort of intriguing, but it can just consume your life in so many different ways, in many ways, in ways that you will not understand right now and in ways that need not be very pleasant. It can consume your life completely, your involvement with the dead. This does not mean there is somebody sitting there, who’s trying to suck your life out. No. Just involvement with the dead can just do that. Unless you’re sufficiently established and in a certain level of capability, you should not look in that direction, it’s not necessary.