Question: What should be the attitude of the dear ones when somebody close is dying?

Sri Chinmoy: We are all like passengers on a single train. The destination has come for one particular passenger. He has to get off at this stop, but we still have to go on and cover more distance. Now we have to know that this hour of death has been sanctioned by the Supreme. Without the approval or tolerance of the Supreme, no human being can die. So if we have faith in the Supreme, if we have love and devotion for the Supreme, we will feel that the Supreme is infinitely more compassionate than any human being, infinitely more compassionate than we who want to keep our dear ones. Even if the dying person is our son, or our mother or father, we have to know that he is infinitely dearer to the Supreme than he is to us. The Supreme is our Father and our Mother. If one member of the family goes to the father and mother, the other members of the same family will never feel sad. If we have taken to the spiritual life and want to have real joy, we must know that we can have this only by surrendering our life to the Will of the Supreme. Now we may not know what the Will of the Supreme is, but we do know what surrender is.

If the Supreme wants to take somebody away from our life, we must accept this. "Let Thy Will be done." If this is our attitude, then we will have the greatest joy. And this joy does the greatest service to the one who is going to depart. When we totally surrender to the Supreme, this surrender becomes additional strength and power for the departing soul that is suffering here in bondage. So if we really surrender our will to the Will of the Supreme, then this surrender will verily bring peace, an abiding peace, to the soul that is about to leave the earth-scene.

Those who have started meditating and concentrating are getting glimpses of their past incarnations. If we believe we had a past and we know we have a present, then we can also feel that we will have a future. Knowing this, we have to be always conscious of this truth: that there is no death. In the Bhagavad Gita it is said, "As a man discards his old clothes and puts on new ones, so does the soul discard this physical body and take on a new body." When we know that the person who is going to die is just leaving aside this old body before accepting a new one, and if the person who is dying also has the same knowledge, how can there be any fear?

We do not know what death actually is; that is why we want to stay here on earth as long as possible. But real death is not the dissolution of the physical body. Real death, spiritual death, is something else.