Can we choose the way we die?

Hi All,

I am hoping some of you might be able to throw some light to this question that has been plaguing me this recent few weeks.

Few weeks ago, I heard a distressing news that an aquaintance of my family, a 80 year old lady died when the lift/elevator she had entered to go to her apartment crashed. That led me to wonder why she had to undergo such a horrific death and in turn I started wondering if there was a way we could choose the way we leave this world.

What are your thoughts/perspectives? Please share. Thank you.


Priceless question Dear Vidya,
Firstly I am sorry to know about the accident, and I too wish that she might have had a better death. Your love and concern for her will add up to her ease of going higher and finding more peace.

If you ask me, Death is a great Awakner, no matter how material a person is, this is one opportunity when he or she or the surviors question or experience the reality of life. That being said, I feel that the aptest word for death is Yama. Which also means time!
I feel that we are all competing with death all the time. The business of man’s busy-ness is nothing but attempts to defy death, by hoarding more time. The want to amass wealth, build a house or factories, progeny, writing books, in fact, everything is our unconscious attempts to continue living. But searching for eternity in this “Mrutyu Loka” is like searching for water in a desert. Even the whole ocean like mirage cannot wet a speck of sand!

Sat-Chit-Ananda is the nature of our Atman–our true self, we don’t have to make it eternal (Sat) it is already that and much more!

Death–a mystery which seems to be so dark and hopeless in fact is a great reliever when we are able to remember is consciously. I’ve mentioned Death as a gold mine in our PLRT practice in our book, (Why Me) But even great scholar have Abhinivesa… (Read sri Patanjali Maharishi’s Yoga Sutra for its complete meaning, as it just cannot be a one word.)

My Lakshmi–our beloved cow passed on last week while giving birth to Nandini and for a moment I had lost myself. But observing my mind I noticed that my knowledge and my own death experience that I was lucky to have lived in a regression came to my rescue. You can read about it here.

I had died tragically, my friend of that lifetime who had come to me for a session in this lifetime had also died in a similar storm later. He lost his faith in this lifetime and his body has suffered along with phobias of flying and etc, through a very famous investment advisor he forsook his career as he was unable to fly. But after the session and reliving that experience and resolving the past, he is now able to fly without any issues.
This was to show the impact of tragic experience on the soul’s journey. However, when I had died of drowning, I floated up and in the presence of my compassionate Master, I looked down upon that dead body as if it was a handkerchief had dropped and did not care of pick up. The bliss was immense.

We had chosen to work on my headaches due to Sinusitis. To start off with, she asked me to image a door and “I made one up”! :slightly_smiling_face: There was a lot of interference from my conscious mind. And it was commenting and creating doubts throughout, but I kept reminding myself to flow on and just acknowledge the comments and say that we can deal with it latter, i.e. “after the dots get connected”.

At the count of one I opened the door and cold water started to gush out of the door, waves of chill ran throughout my body, a lot of discomfort and at the same time, a part of my mind was commenting on the experience and was wondering if it all were true, and this part was in fact shocked at seeing the body react in this way. I seemed to have drowned in that water and moving ahead, I saw the dead body wearing white cloths floating in the midst of the vast sea/ocean. There was the dazzling sun light on the calm ocean and I was floating above and watching it all, immersed in the experience, just enjoying the great release and the freedom. Ai Suzuki was kind enough to allow me to enjoy this experience and gave me sometime, while she was sending her healing to me. She told me that she had seen a lot of water coming out of my left ear, even before I started speaking about this experience and she was healing me with her prayer and energy.

The strange thing about this experience was that I was absolutely at peace, no trace of sadness at having left the body, just enjoying the dazzling play of the morning sun rays on the calm waves of the sea….

Moving back to my childhood in that lifetime, I saw that I was in the same island that I have always recollected when I think of an island and Ai Suzuki and I latter realised that when ever I would draw something in my childhood, I was trying to draw this island. I had a lovely childhood here, saw myself as a small boy, ugly :slightly_smiling_face: but plump, not too dark skinned to be somewhere in Africa, nor fair skinned to be somewhere in Europe, may be it was somewhere in Asia… I enjoyed my time in the island, I just loved the sea, the sunshine and such. Moving ahead to the next most significant event in that lifetime, I had suddenly become so handsome, lean and such… but there seemed to have been a fight with my parents, we couldn’t figure out the cause, but they are the same parents, I have in this birth too. While integrating the experience, Ai Suzuki told me that the message she got very strongly for me was “To believe in yourself”, we will discuss latter on why I was shocked to hear this.

In that lifetime, I had married, had more than 3 children and I was a fisherman, who felt very rich, because of the island, the sea and the sunlight. No wonder why I feel that same when ever I am on the sea shore. Nature made me feel so rich and content, the sea provided everything that my family need. I was so peaceful and content, (I remember now that even yesterday I was telling my junior at work on how the happiness index of small islands is the highest when compared to any other countries and he in his naive way said, “yes! because they have no neighbours to trouble them”)


In my humble opinion, I am better off figuring out the purpose of my coming here; work towards fulfilling it being present in the moment, every moment, moment by moment; and, leave the “leaving this world” part to happen whenever it happens.

Also, one other thing that I practice is to consciously separate “What happened?” from the feelings, emotions and thoughts that occur when I hear such news or, when such incidents happen. Helps me to quickly recover balance and focus on what needs to be done in that moment without getting carried away by thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise as a result of such news or incidents.

Curious to see what others have to share about this.


My perception to this is We Never Die! Yes it would be painful for the relations to see the way the body is mutilated but the soul is eternal. Just because we attach ourselves to this body, we carry all the sufferings. Once we get to understand who we really are, we will be free from the sufferings related to the body. Death is only a change in ones dress so how does it matter if the dress is torn to pieces or not at all torn. When a soul has chosen to change the body, we just need to accept and send lots of love to the relative who has chosen to go this way.Yes it would be painful for the relations to see the way the body is mutilated but the soul is eternal. I have no proof but as a therapist and with experience I feel we have chosen how we will end this life even before taking this form so lets accept and keep spreading love.


Very interesting question!
I am reminded here of a story from Mahabharata. When Bhishma was on his bed of arrows, he asked Lord Krishna that he had gone through his past 100 lives and found no karma in those lives which could make him deserve the suffering he was going through. Lord told him that his vision was limited to 100 lives, but 105 lives back, Bhishma was a king fond of hunting. Once while in a jungle, a snake hissed at Bhishma and he cought the snake by its tail, swirled it around and threw it away. That snake fell on a thorny bush, got stuck on the bush over the thorns, suffered a lot and then died. Lord said now you are paying for it.
I think, what we go through in this life is totally dependent on what the soul planned before birth. In my limited knowledge, I think mode of death is a part of it. Our compassion and empathy with the person dying often makes us question the mode. What learning was involved in the death however can be understood by the soul which had decided to depart the way it happened. As it is said in spirituality, “there are no accidents in life, everything is planned”.


So perfectly said, @Kamal, there are no coincidences, everything is so meticulously planned by the laws of Karma.


Yes, mostly we were choosing the way of end, just before the time of reincarnation.


I thank all of you for your responses. My next question though would be - how do we know what mode we have chosen to leave this world in this life? What is the reason, at times, some of us choose to die most horrible death.? what is the purpose of it all?


Sweet or bitter death is death :slight_smile: Just like what difference does a nightmare and a sweet dream have? Both are illusory.

Death is waking up, a state of hyperawareness. I feel the we choose the way we want to end the life journey could be before we are born or on the unconscious plane with our everyday actions.
A person who drives at 150kmph speed in a busy city road knows the death he has already chosen :slight_smile:
Purpose of every human experience is to grow, to realise that we are not this meagre body and mind. Preparing for death as the Tibetans do is in my opinion the ideal way of accepting the only reality that exists in this “Mrityu Loka”



Thanks to all of you


Some things are in our control, some are not. That’s why the holy men say, ‘keep His Name at the tip of your tongue all the time’ and He will be with you through thick or thin and even at the time of our leaving. Just like when Dropdi called upon the Lord. He appeared and protected her.


To keep the name of god at all times in your tongue is for the very reason that at the climax of this drama of time and space you leave without any attachment that is in complete awareness. The final moment is crucial and even when the dying person knows that he can’t take any worldly possessions of this life with him, he is worried about all those only. And the way you die is the way you born. “Jaisi Mati waisee gati”. It is said that it takes at least 72 hrs for the subtle body to realise that the physical part of it is lost. And one who are more attached at the crucial moment of death may take even longer . This all because the hard disc of mind goes with you. The person who are attached to matter,prana passes through mooladhar that is lower self and the person who is fully unattached ,Prana passes through sahastrar.The tibetan book of living and dying best illustrates smooth departure.
The idol of Natraj is south facing depicting that north or upward is the passage for you.

The self realised saints leave the body voluntarily taking jeeva samadhi when they
think fit.

Death is the sweetest part of life, it relieves one from all physical sufferings, and above that gives a chance to transcend free, with the only condition that you go unattached.
In this way we can choose the way we die


Beautifully said sir

Hi Vidya. Firstly sorry to hear about your aunt, she is in a better and a peaceful place now.
My thought on this would be that after reading this sentence in one of the books “its just the physical body which is so dense and carries so much of pain within it, on the other side the soul is very light and pure without any pain, tension, etc.” Therefore once we die we are free from all the pain we carried in our physical body and feel so much lighter and free in a soul state.
We come with the due date, we die once we have learned the lessons in one lifetime, as all the lessons cant be learned and experience in one lifetime thats why we take birth multiple times. Again read it in one of the books, “We choose the date of our death and birth too”
Best dialogue i recently heard in a beautiful movie
“God understands our pain when we loose someone close to us, but he understands their pain too”

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