Why Do We Die?
The following passage was taken from Sri Chinmoy’s book entitled Death and Reincarnation:
Right now death is required; death is necessary for us. We cannot do anything for a long time at a stretch. We play for forty five minutes or an hour and then become tired and have to take rest. It is the same with our aspiration. Suppose we live on the earth for sixty or seventy years. Out of sixty or seventy years we may meditate for twenty days or thirty days and, even then, for only a few hours. An ordinary human being cannot aspire in his meditation for four hours, two hours, or even one hour at a stretch. How can he have the aspiration or reality or consciousness that will take him to the eternal Truth or undying Consciousness all at once? Right now death helps us in a sense; it allows us to take some rest. Then when we come back, we come back with new hope, new light, new aspiration. But if we had a conscious aspiration, a mounting flame burning within us all the time, then we would see that physical death could easily be conquered. A day will dawn when there will be no necessity for death. But right now we do not have that capacity; we are weak. Spiritual Masters, liberated souls, however, do have mastery over death, but they leave the body when the Divine wants them to.
An ordinary man who has shouldered the burden of a whole family for twenty, thirty or forty years will say, ‘I am tired. Now I need a rest.’ For him death really has meaning; the soul goes into the soul’s region and enjoys a short rest. But for a divine warrior, a seeker of the Ultimate Truth, death has no meaning. He wants to make his progress continuous, without halt. So he will try to live in constant aspiration, eternal aspiration. And with that eternal aspiration, he will try to conquer death so he can be an eternal outer manifestation of the Divine within him.
- Sri Chinmoy, Death and Reincarnation
Death is there because the being in the body is not yet developed enough to go on growing in the same body without the need of change and the body itself is not sufficiently conscious. If the mind and vital and the body itself were more conscious and plastic, death would not be necessary.
- Sri Aurobindo, From ‘A Practical Guide to Integral Yoga’.