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41 Death of a loved one.

“This individual soul is unbreakable and indivisible, it can’t be burnt, nor …………..

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Text 24.

One should not be mortified by death, because, really, the soul is eternal; it has always existed and
will always exist. Life is like an eternally flowing river; all that changes is the scenery and
personalities that are met on the way.

“The person who is not perturbed ……..

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Text 15.

“Life is difficult as there are problems at each step; but the worst problems are the ones we carry
within our selves.” Srila Guru Maharaj

How should one feel after the loss of a loved one? This is something that can happen anywhere. A
story is told: Once, a woman lost her child and was lamenting; she asked many people for help.
Finally, the recommendation was made that she goes to see Buddha. There, she asked him to help
her with her child that had died; that he will give new life to her child. Lord Buddha agreed to help
her with the condition that she brings him mustard seeds from houses where no one had ever died.
The woman then became hopeful and left to search from house to house for mustard seeds, but she
couldn't get any seeds because in all the houses where she had searched, someone had died. She then
returned to Buddha. He asked her for the seeds and she responded that she was not able to find them.
Buddha then explained to her how death is a natural process that everyone must undergo and that she
was not the only one that had to suffer the loss of a loved one.

When a loved one leaves, it is a very painful moment because one feels so secure with the people
that one associates with. One feels that they are going to live forever and suddenly they see that this
loved one is only a dead body which causes problems because the corpse must be cremated or
buried. This is a painful thing for the family of the dead person. In this moment, wisdom should
come to your heart and you should realize that the person never was a material body. He is a soul
that is no longer in this body and according to his karma, he will take another body. It is a moment
of reflection because when loved ones leave, they leave us a great lesson: that those that we love are
not their bodies. Their essence, their spirit, is now on the path towards the infinite. And the moment
of death is something very serious, we have to think that we must place ourselves at the disposal of
God because our life is very short.

In this way, we must advance on the spiritual path, making good use of this moment; we must do
something serious, using our intelligence, because each second is precious. We cannot assess the
value of a second. A second of life is worth more than anything on the earth because at the moment
of death one will not be able to get an additional second even if one has all the wealth of the earth.
Imagine then how valuable is the life that we have and how many marvellous things we can do with
it. The most fundamental thing then is the evolution of our consciousness, and for it, the loss of a
loved one should make us serious in making good use of our existence.

Arjuna himself was troubled by the separation of his Lord, because he realized that he completely
depended on His infinite mercy. In this way, we all depend on God, and we are always going to be
dependent on Him. If we become arrogant, thinking that everything is in our capacity, that
everything is in our ability; or even worse, if we treat others badly, murdering animals or deceiving
people, this will only bring a mountain of problems, which we will only stagnate our spiritual
growth. For this reason, when a loved one leaves us, it serves as a rung on the ladder enabling us to
grow spiritually. Step on this rung with firmness and devotion and surrender your life to the Lord.
He knows how to reciprocate with us. Ask for help in order to overcome this pain.
If it is ourselves who are going to die and leave loved ones behind, and if we have hope to meet them
again, then ensure that this re-encounter will have a spiritual consciousness, and not be another
material situation. It is important to desire to return to God, where we will be able to be with Him
and the eternally liberated souls, where there is neither separation nor affliction. In this way, our
spiritual master shows us that life and death are different rungs that God wants us to climb.
Happiness and affliction, wealth and poverty, all these are facets of a world where everyone is
equally dependent on mercy.

Many times when we have not experienced the loss of a loved one, we live in a superficial way. We
should not live like this. We should search out the essence, the sacred essence of everything.

Srila Guru Maharaj

Translated and interpreted by Erica Wolski & Gopananda dasa