Question: Can you explain to us why a person who is very ill may continue to live on for days and days, even when this phenomenon is unexplainable in medical terms?

Sri Chinmoy: Medical science does not have the last word on life and death. The doctor may say that somebody’s life will last only a few more seconds, but we see that days run into weeks, weeks run into months and still the person goes on struggling. Even though the soul withdraws and has no concern either for the world or the person who is suffering, the physical still wants to cling to the earth. It feels that if it can stay for even one minute more, then it will achieve something important. But this is not true. When the soul loses its concern, when it shows no interest in what is happening in the outer life, a human being can never have any higher or deeper experiences. But the soul is most compassionate: It allows the blind body to stay on earth for a few days or for a few months more. Even though the soul knows that the body’s prolonged stay on earth is not serving any purpose in expediting the person’s realisation, where the person has abundant attachment for this outer cloak, out of compassion the soul may stay in the human body for a short while just to please the unconscious human frame.

We all want to conquer death, but the soul knows what is best for us. The soul knows that if, at a ripe old age, one tries to linger and revitalise his life-energy, it will not help the individual. The soul has practically ended its journey for this incarnation. As regards the soul’s growth, we can rest assured that the soul will not get any benefit, for it has already gathered the quintessence of its life experiences.