O, People, observe your Lord, for the shock of the Hour is a tremendous thing. Quran 22:1

The process of death as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

A lack-of-body experience of Pirx, the Pilot

If you would abandon yourselves to me, you will not even feel the passage from this life to the next life. You will begin to live the life of Heaven from this earth. Our Lady of Medjugorie,1986. Words from Heaven, P.64.

The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings. He knows that he is going to die, and he has nothing left to hold on to: no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body. He doesn't think about his actions; they flow from the core of his being. He holds nothing back from life; therefore he is ready for death, as a man is ready for sleep after a good day's work. Tao Te Ching 50, quoted after Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.152.

The fear of death is born with man, though this is the only thing he knows is certain to happen to him. Attachment to material things makes man cling to life. When you chant the Name of the Divine, when you are one with the divine, you accept death. While you are attached to life and afraid of death, you die with that fear and that weight clinging to you. If you have attained liberation you are free from death (you accept inevitable). You die without fear and by remembering the Name of God, your soul leaves the body free of that fear and attachment. If you are reborn, your soul is still free from that fear. If you die in 'unity', you are free from rebirth, unless you will it. Teachings of Babaji, P.41.

Prayers for the Hour of Death.

Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race, because everyone has sinned. Romans 5:12

He grants life and death, and to Him you ultimately return. Quran 10:56

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.80.

...we must remember that in every soul, even that of the greatest sinner in the world, God dwells, and is substantially present. (...) By this He preserves them in being, and if He withdraws it they immediately perish and cease to be. St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, P.77

Everyone will taste death; you are now being tested through adversity, as well as prosperity, then you will be returned to us. Quran 21:35

Death is inevitable sooner or later. Then why not renounce your ego and "I-ness" this very moment and tread the path of "Bhakti". Thus you will die to live (eternally). Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 285.

Do they not realize that everyday on earth brings them closer to the end? Quran 21:44

He is the one who gave you life, then he puts you to death, then brings you back to life. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative. Quran 22:66

Then why not keep clear of sin, instead of running away from death? Thomas A Kempis, Immitation of Christ, I.23.1

See what happens to those who trust in themselves, the fate of those who are satisfied with their wealth - they are doomed to die like sheep, and Death will be their shepherd. Psalm 49:14-15

I am terrified and the terrors of death crush me. I am gripped by fear and trembling; I am overcome with horror. Psalm 55:4-5

The danger of death was all around me; the horrors of the grave closed in on me; I was filled with fear and anxiety. Then I called to the Lord, "I beg you, Lord, save me!" Psalm 116:3-4

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Psalm 116:3-4

Death holds terror for man because he has left God out of his life. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.209.

For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Psalm 49:18

Anyone who, at the end of life, quits his body remembering Me attains immediately to My nature, and there is no doubt of this. Gita 8:5

(...) Noone is responsible for anyone else's sins. To your Lord is your final return; then He will inform you of everything you did. He is fully aware of the innermost intentions. Quran 39:7

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.80-81.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, P.81.

Do they not realize that God, who created the heavens and the earth without getting tired, is able to resurrect the dead? Yes indeed, He is omnipotent. Quran 46:33

Always remember the approaching death. Abdicate attachment and arrogance. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1066.

Only when you meditate on the Lord every moment of your life, will you be able to remember Him at the time of death. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2098.

Chant Om Namaha Shivaya and you can defy death. Teachings of Babaji, P.2.

The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. Gospel of Thomas, 11.

Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death." Gospel of Thomas, 111.

The body is perishable, the Word is eternal. Teachings of Babaji, P.83.

Through the work of the Redeemer death ceases to be an ultimate evil; it becomes subject to the power of life. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, P.70.

The Resurrection is the revelation of life, which is affirmed as present beyond the boundary of death. (...) His Resurrection, His victory over death, embraces every man. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, P.72.

(...) Let us make way for grace; let us redeem the lost time, for perhaps we have but little left. Death follows us close; let us be prepared for it; for we die but once, and miscarriage there is irretrievable. I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses, there is no room for delay; our souls are at stake. (...). Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.44.

Death destroys nothing that is good. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 694.

Then I heard the words: As you are united with Me in life, so will you be united at the moment of death. (...) Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1552.

I died as mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was Man. Why should I fear? When I was less by dying? Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar with angels blest; but even from angelhood I must pass on: all except God doth perish. Rumi, LXI, P.103.

Yama, the Lord of Death, when the earnest, young yogi, Nachiketos, insisted that He explains to him the mystery of death, responded:

There is the path of joy and there is the path of pleasure. Both attract the soul. (...) You have pondered, Nachiketos, on pleasures, and you have rejected them. You have not accepted that chain of possessions wherewith men bind themselves and beneath which they sink. (...) There is the path of wisdom and the path of ignorance. (...) Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind. (...) What lies beyond life shines not to those who are childish, or careless, or deluded by wealth. "This is the only world: there is no other," they say, and thus go from death to death. Katha Upanishad, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.11.

In the morning hear the Way; in the evening, die content! Confucius, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.120.

Men are asleep and when they die they wake. (...) Die before you die. Hadith, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.322.

When you know God, there is no more sorrow. All those you loved and lost in death are within you again in the Eternal Life. You don't know whom to consider your "own" anymore, because everyone is yours. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.29.

If you live in the joy of God, you will not know what death is. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.32.

Our consciousness survives after death, but the ordinary man loses that feeling of continuity and so thinks he is dead. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.105.

Death is only an experience through which you are meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot die. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.106.

It was about four o'clock. Suddenly my breath disappeared. My limbs became rigid. I found myself watching the process of death. Breath and movement had left my body, yet I was conscious. This experience of death was wonderful. I saw my body and all nature as a cosmic motion picture created from God's light. Joyously I cried, "There is no death, Lord! This whole world is nothing but a movie!" Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.169.

He is a real king who feels God in all forms in creation. Death shall not frighten him, because he beholds it as a portal to the divine kingdom. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.169.

You have already lost so much time - death may take you away at any moment, and then you won't have time to know Him. You must realize Him before you go out of the body cage. Tell Him, "I want to feel your presence." Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.177.

I behold life and death like the rise and fall of waves on the sea. At birth a wave rises from the surface, and at death it sinks into sleep in the bosom of God. (...) I know I can never die; for whether I am sleeping in the ocean of Spirit or awake in a physical body, I am ever with Him. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.181.

Why should you think of yourself as a weak mortal? You are potentially a son of God. You do not have to acquire anything; you have only to know. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.185.

O Kabir, the soul is a particle of God; though it is in the body, it is never destroyed. Adi Granth, Kabir. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.24.

The actual death of the zaddik is called a hilulla, a time of joyous festivity, because he goes from this vale of sorrow to the tranquility of the next world. Rabii Yaakov Yosef, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.196.

(...) when we die we are alone; and unless we are supported by religious faith we are afraid. It is one of the functions of religion to enable us to conquer this fear. R.C. Zaehner, Evolution in Religion, P.117.

Pride, self-love, are the love of death, because these turn away from God, in whom is all Being: therefore they necessary turn to non-being, or death. Thomas Merton, Diaries, Vol.I, P.353.

When you die you release your energy and with that energy your whole life experience. Whatsoever you have been - sad, happy, loving, angry, passionate, compassionate - whatsoever you have been, that energy carries the vibration of your whole life. Whenever a saint is dying, just being near him is a great gift, just to be showered with his energy is a great inspiration. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.53

This, this is the essence of all sciences -
that you should know who you will be
when the Day of Reckoning arrives.

Rumi, Mathnawi III, 2652-2654, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.2.

Look at yourself, trembling, afraid of nonexistence:
know that nonexistence
is also afraid
that God might bring it into existence.
Everything, except love of the Most Beautiful,
is really agony. It's agony
to move towards death and not drink the water of life.

Rumi, Mathnawi I, 3684-3687, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.67.

So leave your complaints and self-pity and internalized death-energy.
Don't you realize how many fruits have already escaped out of sourness into sweetness?

Rumi, That Journeys are Good, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.128.

One conquers death by love - not by one's own heroic virtuousness, buy by sharing in that love with which Christ accepted death on the Cross. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.234.

The death wish is an incapacity for life. True acceptance of death in freedom and faith demands a mature and fruitful acceptance of life. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.235.

The story is told that one of the elders lay dying in Scete, and the brethren surrounded his bed, dressed him in the shroud, and began to weep. But he opened his eyes and laughed. He laughed another time and then a third time. When the brethren saw this, they asked him, saying: Tell us, Father, why you are laughing while we weep? he said to them: I laughed the first time because you fear death. I laughed the second time because you are not ready for death. And the third time I laughed because from labours I go to my rest. As soon he had said this, he closed his eyes in death. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.50. 

One important aspect of my daily practice is its concern with the idea of death. To my mind, there are two things that, in life, you can do about death. Either you can choose to ignore it, in which case you may have some success in making the idea of it go away for a limited period of time. or you can confront the prospect of your own death and try to analyze it and, in doing so, try to minimize some of the inevitable suffering that it causes. (...) as a Buddhist, I view death as a normal process of life, I accept it as a reality that will occur while I am in Samsara. Knowing that I cannot escape it, I see no point in worrying about it. I hold the view that death is rather like changing one's clothes when they are torn and old. It is not an end in itself. Yet death is unpredictable - you do not know when and how it will take place. So it is only sensible to take certain precautions before it actually happens. Freedom in Exile. The Autobiography of Dalai Lama. P.207.

(...) we should always bear in mind our ignorance of the time of our death, keeping ourselves from anger and recognizing that neither self-restraint nor the renunciation of all material things, nor fasting and vigils, are of any benefit if we are found guilty at the last judgment because we are the slaves of anger and hatred. St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.87.

A self-indulgent heart becomes a prison and chain for the soul when it leaves this life; whereas an assiduous heart is an open door. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.111.

Inexpressible is the soul's delight when in full assurance of salvation it leaves the body, stripping it off as though it were a garment. Because it is now attaining what it hopes for, it puts off the body painlessly, going in peace to meet the radiant and joyful angel that comes down for it, and traveling with him unimpeded through the air, totally unharmed by the evil spirits. Rising with joy, courage and thanksgiving, it comes in adoration before the Creator, and is allotted its place among those akin to it and equal to it in virtue, until the universal resurrection. St. Theognostos (VIII Century of the C.E. ?), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.373.

You should therefore prepare yourself to issue from this material world as though from some dark second maternal womb, and to enter that immaterial and radiant realm, joyfully glorifying our Benefactor who carries us through death towards the fulfillment of our hopes. St. Theognostos (VIII Century of the C.E. ?), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.374.

The dead hold a special place in the lives of the monks here and in other monasteries on the Mountain and throughout Orthodoxy. The graveyard is a special place of meditation. There are benches there to sit and meditate. There is also an open grave with a ladder. One can go down into the grave and sit on a little stool or lie on the bier. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.41.

Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts of our body is death. So beautiful appeared my death knowing who then I would kiss, I died a thousand times before I died. (...) I was born when all I once feared I could love. Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.7.

And what is death? It is the change in the living process of a particular body. Integration ends and disintegration sets in. () In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not, reality does not. And the life is never so alive as after death. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.12.


() Can there be renewal without death? Even the darkness of sleep is refreshing and rejuvenating. Without death we would have been bogged for ever in eternal senility. () When life and death are seen as essential to each other, as two aspects of one being, that is immortality. Too see the end in the beginning and beginning in the end is the intimation of eternity. Definitely, immortality is not continuity. Only the process of change continues. Nothing lasts. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.31.


Last modified: 2013/05/20

See the related subjects: Alertness, Destruction, Life, Maya, Purpose of Human Life, Reincarnation, Salvation, Sin
Tibetan Book of the Dead