The Sunlit Path|Dec 2, 2005 3:48 PM| by:

Why Meet if Death is Inevitable?

Death is the ultimate mystery, the unanswered question which seems to deprive life of all its meaning.  And it appears that none can escape it.

The pain and the suffering becomes even more poignant and unbearable, when one has had a very beautiful and close relationship with someone, when there has been a deep inner contact, perhaps over a long period of time. Then suddenly Death intervenes, the tie is cut asunder in one stroke, there is a void which cannot be filled.

At such times, many questions naturally arise:

Question : Why at all do two individuals meet and come together on this wide earth? Why is there a feeling of such deep closeness and oneness spontaneously? What then is the meaning of Death coming in between and snatching away one of the persons? And finally what is life, why does it have to end in Death and what happens after Death?  

We give here excerpts from two letters of Sri Aurobindo which deal  with these questions very briefly but with deep yogic insight.           

Meeting in life and separation through death

“It is a very intricate and difficult question to tackle and it can hardly be answered in a few words. Moreover, it is impossible to give a general rule as to why there are these close inner contacts followed by a physical separation through death—in each case there is a difference and one would have to know the persons and be familiar with their soul history to tell what was behind their meeting and separation.

In a general way, a life is only one brief episode in a long history of spiritual evolution in which the soul follows the curve of the line set for the earth, passing through many lives to complete it. It is an evolution out of material inconscience to consciousness and towards the Divine Consciousness, from ignorance to Divine Knowledge, from darkness through half-light to Light, from death to Immortality, from suffering to the Divine Bliss. Suffering is due first to the Ignorance, secondly to the separation of the individual consciousness from the Divine Consciousness and Being, a separation created by the Ignorance—when that ceases, when one lives in the Divine and no more in one’s separated smaller self, then only suffering can altogether cease.

Each soul follows its own line and these lines meet, journey together for a space, then part to meet again perhaps hereafter—they meet once more to help each other on the journey in one way or another. As for the after-death period, the soul passes into other planes of existence, staying there for a while till it reaches its place of rest where it remains until it is ready for another terrestrial existence.

This is the general law, but for the connections of embodied souls, that is a matter of personal evolution of the two on which nothing general can be said, as it is intimate to the soul stories of the two and needs a personal knowledge. That is all I can say, but I don’t know that it will be of much help to her as these things are helpful usually only when one enters into the consciousness in which they become not mere ideas but realities. Then one grieves no longer because one has entered into the Truth and the Truth brings calm and peace.”

Life and the one thing important

“Each person follows in the world his own line of destiny which is determined by his own nature and actions—the meaning and necessity of what happens in a particular life cannot be understood except in the light of the whole course of many lives. But this can be seen by those who can get beyond the ordinary mind and feelings and see things as a whole, that even errors, misfortunes, calamities are steps in the journey,—the soul gathering experience as it passes through and beyond them until it is ripe for the transition which will carry it beyond these things to a higher consciousness and higher life.

When one comes to that line of crossing, one has to leave behind one the old mind and feelings. One looks then on those who are still fixed in the pleasures and sorrows of the ordinary world with sympathy and wherever it is possible with spiritual helpfulness, but no longer with attachment. One learns that they are being led through all their stumblings and trusts to the Universal Power that is watching and supporting their existence to do for them whatever for them is the best. But the one thing that is really important for us is to get into the greater Light and the Divine Union—to turn to the Divine alone, to put our trust there alone whether for ourselves or for others.”

Sri Aurobindo