Dear Sadhguru, the death of anyone or anything makes me so upset, even a pigeon on my balcony or a dog on the highway. Why do I feel this way? Can you make me realize what death is?
Mortality, the mortal nature of who you are, is the basis of all fear. If you were not mortal, there would be no fear in you because even if you were cut into pieces, you would still not die. But what is there to be afraid of? Death is a wonderful thing; it puts many things to an end. Right now, because of the way you are, you may think it is a terrible thing, but if you were to live for a thousand years, you would see death as a relief. If you are here for too long, people will wonder when you are going! So, death is a tremendous relief; it is just that it should not happen untimely. We do not want to fall dead when we are still able to create, contribute and make things happen.
If you want to fall dead at an appropriate time, you need to do sadhana so that you can determine when you will fall dead. Otherwise, even when you see a dead pigeon, it will remind you of your own mortality. What was flying yesterday is dead and dry today. Imagining that you could become like that one day could be scary for you because your identification with what you have gathered has become so compulsive. When I say your identification with what you have gathered – the very body that you carry is just a piece of earth. The soil that you have gathered and made into this body, as well as your identities, have become so strong that losing it looks like a terrible thing.
Suppose you are overweight and we helped you drop ten kilograms, would you feel terrible and cry about it? Definitely not, most people are ecstatic when they drop ten kilograms. Now suppose you dropped your whole fifty or sixty kilograms, what is the big deal? If you know life the way it is, and you are not lost in the heaps that you have gathered, shedding the body is not such a big thing.
The dead bodies of birds, insects, dogs and human beings is just soil being put back to soil. It is not some great drama; it is a natural process. What you picked up you have to return and recycle. You may attach much significance to your birth, life and death, but as far as Mother Earth is concerned, it is just recycling. It pops you out and pulls you back in. You may assume too many things about yourself, but what you have gathered you must return, it is a good habit. Whatever you take from anybody must be returned at some point. Death is a good habit; believe me.
~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva