Are You Prepared for Death?  

Picture this. You have not been feeling well for the past month, and you decide to go for a check-up. Your doctor tells you that you have a fast-moving fatal blood cancer, and you only have a month to live. How would you feel? Would you be in shock or denial, or angry? ​At any time, any one of us could get bad news from a doctor, telling us that we have only a short time to live.  

Most likely your mind would be racing as you’re overcome with fear and grief, for yourself, for your family, and for everything you stand to lose. “Why me?” you might ask. “This cannot be happening.” Panic and lamentation would set in as you lose all composure and realize, “I am not prepared for death.”  

Do any of us know what happens after death or how to prepare for the inevitable end that awaits us?  

For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain.  

Bhagavad-Gita 2:20 

Nowhere else will you find such a clear explanation of death as in the yoga scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. While death is a reality, we will all face, we are not taught what it actually is and how to prepare for it. However, with proper knowledge and preparation, we can avoid the pain, suffering, and fear that usually accompanies the moment of death.  

As the embodied soul continually passes in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.  

Bhagavad-Gita 2:13

When the body is no longer able to function, due to an accident, disease, old age, or some other factor, the embodied soul must leave. Those who see a dead body and grieve the death of the person they loved are misidentifying the dead body as the person who has left. But the person they loved is an eternal being and can never die. They continue to exist after they leave the body. 

The person leaving the body also suffers greatly due to the illusion that they are dying. But it is only their body that is dying. If we identify our body as ourselves, and we do not know that we are an eternal living being, death is a very fearful experience.  

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. 

Bhagavad-Gita 2:22  

In order to leave the body without grief and fear, we must become self-realized. And what is self-realization? It is understanding that we are an eternal living being, a spark of God, a child of God, away from our spiritual home, and temporarily within a material body. The body is not our true identity.  

It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body. 

Bhagavad-Gita 2:25  

We are destined for rebirth in another material body unless we learn how to break free from the cycle of repeated birth and death. Liberation from this cycle is possible when we realize we are eternally connected to the Supreme Soul, in a loving relationship with Him.  

If you were told that in one week you will have to leave everything behind and move to a foreign country, with no chance of return, would you prepare?  


Moment by moment, the lifespan of your body is being reduced. Your body is going to die. Are you prepared to leave and to face what comes next? According to the yoga teachings, this life is meant for self-realization and for ending the cycle of birth and death. The practice of bhakti yoga offers a direct and practical path to self-realization – a path that is available to everyone.  


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About Author: 

Sahadeva Das is an initiated disciple of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa who comes in a long line of bona fide yoga spiritual masters. Sahadeva Das considers it his great fortune in life to have heard and learned from a self-realized soul and is humbly attempting to pass on what he has received.