319-Ma talks on various kinds of death, (by Atmananda )

Q-The other day I read in the newspaper that someone was found dead. He had left a letter to say that since the woman he loved had passed away, he had gone to join her, for he could not live without her. Can one by committing suicide really be united with a deceased person?

Ma-Never! One who commits suicide enters a deep darkness from which it is most difficult to be released, unless someone who wields great supernatural power takes pity and liberates him from it. In that condition of dense darkness one cannot meet anyone. Suicide is a most heinous crime. Man is born in order to reap the consequences of his actions of former births. To try and escape from this by suicide is extremely foolish, it only prolongs the agony indefinitely. No one who is in his senses can possibly take his life; at the moment of doing so a person is invariably disturbed in his reason. Suicide does not solve any problem, on the contrary it creates endless complications and prevents one from paying off one's karmic debts.

Q-What about murder?

Ma-Well, the murderer will no doubt have to suffer for his crime.

Q-And the murdered?

Ma-It is unfortunate indeed to be murdered. But it has to be borne in mind that this is due to some evil karma. It is an inauspicious death.

Q-What about sati?

Ma-That is a different matter altogether. A real sati has to be completely steady in mind and body. If entering the fire she suffers, she cannot be called a sati.
Once Ma related the story of one of Her ancestors. After circumambulating seven times around her husband's funeral pyre, she put one of her fingers into the flame of a candle to make sure whether she would be able to bear being burnt alive. The finger did not move. She then told her relatives that since one of her little toes had once inadvertently touched the pillow of her husband (which is considered a sin), that toe would in order to expiate this sin, feel the flame and therefore riggle, but nobody should be alarmed at this. She then entered her husband's pyre and at once her body became completely still, just like a corpse. She obviously did not feel any pain whatsoever, she was perfectly steady.

Ma then referred to a story of sati, which She had heard from Bholanathji. That particular woman did not even have the chance to leap into the fire. While doing pranam before entering her husband's pyre, life ebbed away from her and her dead body was consumed by the flames together with her husbands'.

After the terrible disaster at the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad in 1954, when hundreds were trampled to death, Ma was questioned as to the fate of the victims. According to the Shastras 'Apamrityu' (untimely death by accident) causes the departed to undergo a restless, ghostly existence. In some cases the deceased is tied to the place of the accident, unable to proceed to higher states of consciousness.

Ma-What the shastras declare, holds good in the ordinary course of events. In special cases it is different. On this occasion, just consider: The constellation of the Kumbha, the sacredness of the Triveni, the atmosphere created by a vast gathering of sadhus and sannyasis with their spirit of complete renunciation. Death occurred at that auspicious moment; this ought certainly to mean the opening out of a path to higher planes of consciousness. Just as there is such a thing as 'apamrityu', there are other possibilities as well.

Later Ma asked Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj about his opinion. He replied: "The condition of man after he leaves his physical body depends on his state of mind at the instant of death. On that auspicious day and when at the crucial moment everyone was deeply concentrated I cannot believe that this could have been a case of apamrityu. It is of course true that the time, place and manner of death are the result of one's past actions; but since it happened during the constellation of the Maha Kumbha, at the Triveni, in the holy month of Magh and in the presence of so many saints and sages, I feel as good as certain that there can have been no question of apamrityu. On the contrary, the departed must have had the rare good fortune of being raised up into higher states of existence."
Later again Dr. G. Kaviraj said: "I know of a similar occurence where, by some special Divine Grace the dying in their subtle bodies were severed from their physical just an instant before death took place and were lifted into higher states of consciousness. I have a strong feeling that here also, due to the intervention of some special Divine Mercy the dying were blessed with the capacity to ascend straight away into loftier states of being."