Question: Good morning, Guru. Because I love life so much and I am having such a good time, I find myself very frightened by the fact that at one point in my existence I will be passing from this life on to another life. I was hoping you could give me some advice about how not to be afraid of death.Sri Chinmoy: If I understand you correctly, you are happy with what you have and what you are, and you are afraid that you will lose your happiness when you have to leave this world and pass beyond the curtain of Eternity. But if you look at death in a different way — which is not the way of mental hallucination but the way of psychic realisation — if you look at death on the strength of your heart's oneness with the divine existence that you have and you are, then you will not be afraid of death.
Death is not something that stops our journey, no. Death is only a passage. I live in Queens. When I go to Manhattan, I pass through a tunnel. I am not afraid of the tunnel because I know that Manhattan is at the other end. Death is like that; it is a passage that we go through.
You can also think of death in another way, which is most significant and, at the same time, much more reassuring. In your house you have quite a few rooms. One room you use as your living room, another as your office and another as your bedroom. During the course of the day you do many things. For a few hours you work in your office, for a few hours you are in your living room and for a few hours you are in your bedroom sleeping. You cannot do any one thing for twenty-four hours a day. You cannot work for twenty-four hours a day because your body needs rest. Again, you cannot sleep for twenty-four hours a day. So you divide your time.
Each room has a significant role to play in your life. You are not afraid of any of these rooms. When you go to sleep, you do not say, "O my God, I have no idea if I will ever wake up tomorrow!" No, when you are tired you go to your bedroom, and the next morning, when your body is refreshed, you wake up. Similarly, in your existence-house you have one room called death and one room called life. When you become tired and want to take rest, you will go to your other room, which is called death. You have to feel that both rooms belong to you and are part and parcel of your existence.
Right now you feel that when you enter into your sleeping room, all the happiness that you are presently enjoying will be destroyed. But that is not the case. If you pray and meditate, you will realise that death is only a temporary rest. We believe in reincarnation. When you enter into your bedroom at night to go to sleep, you come back after six or seven hours. In the same way, when you enter into the other world, you also come back to the world of earth-life after a few years. An ordinary human being will reincarnate after six or seven years, or sometimes eleven or twelve. If someone is really advanced, he may remain in the other world for thirty, forty or one hundred years; it depends upon the Will of the Supreme. Very advanced souls take a longer rest because when they return to earth they again have to work very hard.
Ordinary human beings, although they suffer here on earth, are attracted to this planet. They act like a camel. The camel eats cactus thorns which make its mouth bleed, but still it continues eating the thorns. Unlike you, most human beings on earth have the feeling that they are suffering more than they are enjoying life. Then they take a solemn oath that they are not going to come back. But after they enter into the soul's world, they are deeply tempted to come back to earth, and very soon they do so.
Death should not frighten us; it is not our enemy. We go through death in order to come back to life with renewed energy. Death is an unfamiliar passage, so it frightens us. But we have nothing to fear from death. It is only a temporary rest.