When Do We Die?

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Death, Dying
Question: Twins are born together but they do not die together. But why? Often, I have seen people who struggle with death; they do not die that easily: they seem to prolong their stay here on earth; it is only at certain time, as if at the “right time”, the soul chooses to leave the body. Is there is an explanation for this?

Sage Yajnavalkya: “…the Jiva (=soul) who resides in one gross body does NOT leave off that body BEFORE getting hold of another one. If another body is not obtained, it will not leave the present one,. A king or a land-lord or any other person for that matter, does not leave his dilapidated house BEFORE constructing a new one. Similarly, before getting ready the new body, the Atma (=soul) does NOT leave the old one…

“As soon as the palace officials come to know the king’s desire for a new palace, they at once, even while the king is residing in the old palace, construct a new one and furnish it with all requirements like horses, elephants, etc….

“Several karmas of a person who is in the jaws of death, create well in advance the body to be assumed by him after death.”

Source: pgs. 200-201, The Philosophy of Sage Yajnavailkya [The Divine Life Society publication]

Note: Yajnavalkya was a legendary sage of Vedic India, who authored the Shatapatha Brahmana (including the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad), the Yoga Yajnavalkya and the Yajnavalkya Smṛti.

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