What happens in a coma?

In topic

Physical Health / Yogic Physiology


My friend was in an accident and his heart stopped. He was brought back to life with a defibrillator and is now in a coma. What happens in the body and mind of such a person?


Duration: 10 min


Your browser does not support the audio element. /wp-content/uploads/What-happens-in-a-coma_PD.mp3


7 min read

What happens in a coma?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Questioner: My friend was in an accident and his heart stopped. He was brought back to life with a defibrillator and is now in a coma. What happens in the body and mind of such a person?

Sadhguru: Somebody who had an accident and vegetating – don’t think in terms of they died, and they were put back, that’s not true. It is just that it might have so happened that the life force is so shocked, it is more projected outward than inward, making a decision – to be, or not to be. It’s not a philosophical question, it’s a practical question whether the body is fit enough to be, or not to be.

So, if it chose to be, it is not because of medical workers – they might assist, they might assist, but it is the life which decides to stay, because body is still hospitable. Maybe the medical workers make the body little more hospitable than what it would have been without their help, very much possible. So, they did not die, they were in a condition of – to be, or not to be. They were more projected outward than inward. Even now, you’re partially outward projected, mostly inward projected. At that moment it might have been so that you were mostly outward projected, partially inward projected.

Even after they’re dead, not all of it is gone. If you do not know – we’ve been looking at this many times – up to 11 to 14 days, a dead body grows its fingernails, and its hair, and everything. Because life recedes slowly, it doesn’t just jump out. So, you cannot spiritually declare somebody dead, up to 14 days after the medical death. So, after doing this ‘to be, or not to be’ seesaw for some time, you said ‘be’, but the body is only hospitable enough to lie in the bed, not hospitable enough to get up and walk, or do whatever a man or a woman is expected to do.

I’m not speaking this in disregard, but I want you to look at it as a subject, not as an emotional thing, because then you will not look at it the right way. So, if you call this vegetation, there are two kinds of vegetation.

One is, just the body is gone, but still, everything in the mind is active – that can lead to a lot of suffering, because they can see, they can hear, they can smell, they can understand, but no ability to do anything. Talking is the last thing on their mind, they want to get up and walk. They’re not able to respond, body has become inert, but mind is still active.

There are other kinds of states where body is in a reasonably good condition, but mind has become inert, so body cannot act. Body is in good condition. If mind was active it would act, but mind has gone. The physical structure that is necessary to house the mind is gone. Something is broken, so mind is not finding accommodation. So, it cannot act, but the subtler aspects of the mind are still active. Only the mind that you decipher with, the mind with which you make judgment, the mind with which you’re able to distinguish, that is gone. But the other mind which simply rotates with unconscious memory, that is still there. If that is not there, the body cannot be alive.

So, if a person lies down in a place for a very long time without a discriminatory mind, he may slowly become aware of that unconscious rotation of memory that is happening within him, which is keeping everything going – it’s very much possible. I haven’t spent enough time with such people – once or twice when I saw, I felt there was something happening. They’re not supposed to have a mind, but there is a whole lot of activity happening. So, the unconscious nature of the mind might have come into a kind of awareness, because the conscious mind is, the distinguishable mind is gone, so the other part may become apparent, which normally most people are not conscious of. So, there may be no active suffering, but there may be some kind of a dazed state, which many human beings enjoy very much.

Why people want to drink, why they want to drug, why they want to remain in the bed after the sun has come up is, they like that. And why they want to meditate! They like that, you know, moving between conscious and unconscious, the borderline – they like to dance on that a little bit. So alcohol, drugs, sleep, lethargy, excessive eating, sexuality – all these things give you that little bit of being on the borderline of neither this, nor that.

So actually, if his mind is just, the discriminatory mind is just shut out, actually, he may be in a very good place. Just hanging out, no hassle, no work to do, no nothing, if you keep his body comfortable, if you make sure he is not getting bed sores, and this and that, actually, he may be in a very comfortable space.

The only one who suffer is, really suffers is, body has become a vegetable, mind is fully alert and active – now this one will suffer, unless he also comes to terms, and becomes very meditative within himself. If he arrives at such a thing, it can become a great place for him, spiritually. Because, now all these people’s problem is, now they’re all able to sit and meditate for hours, their only problem is their goddamn legs and their back. If they didn’t have this, they would sit like this [meditating] for days, isn’t it?

So, those problems have been removed for him – no sensation in the legs, no sensation in the back. If he arrives at it – which I believe they will – if I spend a little time with them, I would tell you whether they’ve arrived or not. If they arrive at it, it can be most productive, spiritually. No body, but an alert mind – wow! It’s a meditator’s dream. Body is the one that’s bothering you, isn’t it? Initial phases, mind is the torture, but once you deal with it, the only problem is [body]. This is the only thing. You didn’t have a body, an alert mind, pheww! It’s a very good thing.

But a lot of human beings may suffer that terribly, because their whole life has been always comparing themselves with somebody else. Somebody is walking, so they’ll suffer; somebody is talking, so they’ll suffer. They can’t walk, they can’t talk, they can’t do what somebody else is doing, so they’ll suffer. Even now, when everything is well, also people are suffering, because somebody has a million, which they don’t have, they’re suffering. Somebody has that, they don’t have, they’re suffering, isn’t it? So, that same pattern may continue with them. If they get out of that pattern, actually it can be a really fantastic place to be.

No body problems, mind is fully alert, we could initiate them. I’m not saying this with any disregard for their condition. Actually, it can work out very well for him. If nothing else can be done by the medical professionals, it could work out phenomenally well for them. Just lying down, constantly alert mind – it could do wonders.

I’m talking in this vein because – I am only looking at no matter what the hell happens to your life, you must know how to make it into an advantage, not into a disadvantage. Because what may happen to you is not 100% controlled by you, but what you make out of it is 100% yours, isn’t it? So, if such a thing happened, let’s make a capital out of that also.

Physical Health

More Wisdom

Show All>