Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. After my father died, I still have several of his clothes. But I know in some traditions you are not supposed to keep the clothes of the deceased. How should this be handled?
Sadhguru: When you were born …. you were not born in one day. Though you have a fixed birthday, it took 9-9.5 months for you to be born. Similarly, when you die, you don’t die in one day. You die slowly.
When you die, you don’t die in one day. You die slowly
If somebody is medically declared dead, he still doesn’t die fully. I think we’ve spoken about this. The five pranas, they start withdrawing slowly – step by step.
The physical life energy, which generally is referred to as ‘Pran’, or ‘Prana’, has 5 basic manifestations. There are 10, but that will complicate. 5 basic manifestations. These are called – samana, prana, udhana, apana and vyana. Let’s say, if a doctor is observing, and they declare a person at a particular moment, that he is dead now. In the next 21-24 minutes, samana will start exiting. That means – samana is incharge of maintaining temperature in the body. First thing that starts happening is body starts cooling down. The traditional way of checking whether somebody is dead or alive is – they will feel the nose. The nose is gone cold, that’s how they concluded that he is dead. They won’t check the eyeballs and other things. They would just check the nose. If the nose has become cold, that means he is dead. So, samana exits at that time.
Somewhere between 48-64 minutes, prana exits. After that, between 6-12 hours, udhana exits. Till udhana exits, there are tantrik processes with which you could revive the body. But once udhana exits, there is a micro-micro chance, but that is an impractical chance. Except that, it is impossible to revive the body, once udhana has exited.
It [vyana] can continue to exit upto 11-14 days, if it is a normal death
The next thing is apana – somewhere between 8-18 hours, this exits. The vyana, which is the preservative nature of prana, will start exiting from beyond that. It can continue to exit upto 11-14 days, if it is a normal death.
It happened one day that Shankaran Pillai was rummaging through the closet. And after some time, wife came and asked, what are you doing? He said – no nothing, not doing anything, nothing. Wife said – what are you saying nothing, nothing. I have been watching you. Last half an hour, you’ve been reading our marriage certificate. What’s the matter? Shankaran Pillai said – I have been looking for the expiry date.
So, though there maybe an expiry date for one’s death. One does not die in a day. It’s a slow process. In fact it’s happening right now, slowly. By doing yoga, you maybe putting up hurdles in the way of death, but not stoppers. Yes! Daily yoga you are doing, putting up some hurdles and slowing it down. But no stopper.
The yogis, when they die, they will set fire to the hut in which they are living
So, today, you know, that from your old clothing we can take your DNA. After you’re gone, after 100 years later, we can clone you. Yes? Yes or no? You know? So who you are, at least the physicality of who you are, can be picked up from your clothes, and we can remake you. At least someone who looks just like you. We can create the body. So, you are still there, all over the place. The yogis, when they die, they will set fire to the hut in which they are living. By themselves. There is a way to do it. I won’t tell you. I don’t want you to set fire to the cottages. So, they always set fire to the hut in which they are living. Because they don’t want even a single molecule of DNA to hang around and live. Because in some way, your physical body is still hanging around. If they can recreate your body from that, obviously it’s hanging around, isn’t it?
So, everything that I have touched, you want to burn. Everything has to be cleared up. It’s because of this – this is one main reason why people want to keep their physical possessions so minimum, on a spiritual path. If you enter a sanyasi’s room, you will see, there will be 3 pairs of clothes, neatly folded and kept. Just 1, this thing, to drink water. 1 plate to eat food. And just 1 single sheet to sleep upon. And that’s it. No 1 extra item. Because he does not want to touch too many things in the world. He wants to keep it to most minimal. Because he knows, if he spreads his body all over the place, gathering it and going will be very difficult. That is why he does not form physical relationships of any kind. Because he understands that if he leaves his body all over, when the time to gather comes, it’s going to be extremely difficult. People who are off your body are unwilling to come with you when you want to go. They won’t come. They’ll all say – I love you, but they won’t come.
When someone dies, depending upon who he is, accordingly these things must be handled
So, when someone dies, depending upon who he is, accordingly these things must be handled. In today’s world, when people have gathered enough clothing for 3 lifetimes, enough footwear for 10 lifetimes – burning all that would be sheer waste. And anyway, their way of existence, and the way they exit is such that invariably they have to find root in this Earth once again. No point burning all that. At least those things which are very closely, intimately involved with the body, like their underclothes and other things must be burnt. They must be burnt. Because otherwise that being will not go easy. He will not know, he does not have the discretion to understand whether he should be here or there. He can not make any decision. There is no decision making capability, because there is no discretion. Once the body is gone, the discretionary mind is gone. So, there is no decision. Only by tendency. If there are too many things here which belong to the body, it just hangs around. Particularly in the first few days.
So, in one’s home – if there are lots of used clothes, which is a problem with the Western world again. Because of the type of clothing, and the structure of the society. The things are such – you may be wearing a jacket for 6 months, and it may not be washed. Yes! You use it, and you hang it there. Because it’s a cold country, and maybe you don’t sweat so much. Use it, and put it there. Such a thing is not possible in India. If you use something, it has to be washed now. The nature of the clothing, the atmosphere, and the social structures are such – but that is changing again, there also. Most people are wearing clothes made in China. Not anymore made in India. So, the type of clothing they are using – naturally they use it and hang it. They don’t use it and wash it. All these things were taken care of. Every aspect was handled. But we are losing it in a big way. Because these clothes are repeatedly used and hung there – you can actually experiment. Well, today the dogs are there. If you bring a police dog. If you put a 1000 jackets here, and ask him to point out which is Jim’s jacket? He will just go and point out. Yes! Not God, just a Dog!
Either you must give it away across the fifty states, so that the old man does not remain confused as to where to go. Or just burn it up
So, obviously, who you are is hanging there in the jacket in many ways, isn’t it? That even a dog can see it. So, once it is like this, when a person is departed, and his body is still hanging around in many forms – it becomes habitation for various kinds of forces. Not only for that person’s energies hanging around. For various other kinds of forces. Unoccupied body – your jacket is, in a way. Which is not a good way to leave it.
So, either they immediately wash it. In India if there are expensive clothes, they will wash all the clothes. Within the first 10 days, or 11 days, they’ll wash all the clothes and distribute it to many places. Never to one place. You don’t take all your clothes and give it to one family. You make sure the jacket goes here, trousers go there, that goes there, this goes there. So that it gets too spread out to make any significance. Significant presence is not there. Otherwise, all the things which are intimately with the body, just burn it. One of these things must be done. Either you must give it away across the fifty states, so that the old man does not remain confused as to where to go. Or just burn it up.