Question: When a person is sick and, medically speaking, there is no hope of recovery, is it good to tell the person he is going to die and to start helping him get ready for departure?

Sri Chinmoy: This is a very complicated question; each case has to be considered separately. Most people want to live; they do not want to die because they do not know what death is. They think that death is a tyrant who will torture them in every way and finally destroy them. When somebody’s karma is over and the Supreme wants that particular person to leave the body, if the person has vital hunger and unsatisfied desires — even though the soul does not have these desires — then the person wants to stay on earth. He does not want to obey the Will of the Supreme. So what should you do when a person has this kind of standard? If you tell him that God does not want him to stay on earth anymore, that he has had all the necessary experiences in this body, then he will misunderstand. He will say, “God does not want me to leave the body; it is you who want this.” He will think you are cruel and merciless. So if you know that it is the Will of the Supreme that this particular person should leave the world, the best thing is to silently speak to the soul of that particular person and try to inspire him to abide by the Will of God.

But if the person is very spiritual and a sincere seeker, then he himself will say to his relatives and dear ones: “Pray to God to take me away. I have finished my play here on earth. Read me spiritual books — the Scriptures, the Bible, the Gita. Let me hear only divine things, spiritual things, which will help me start out on my journey.” There are many, many people in India who, when they feel that their days are numbered, say: “The sooner He takes me, the better.” When my mother was dying, she read the Gita constantly during her last few days with the attitude, “Now I am going to the Eternal Father. Let me prepare myself.” A patient of that type receives greater joy in knowing and obeying the Will of the Supreme.