Sadhguru: You may check somebody’s breath and declare them dead, but they can still feel sensations. (Here Sadhguru is sharing all the secrets of death)

There’s a whole school of Udan in China, where you might have seen those movies, where they have mastery over where they can float around a little bit. 

There are yogic practices to activate this. If Vyana recedes, even when you’re alive, the body will begin to rot. Certain types of snake venoms can do this. This is the reason why in this culture, you have rituals running up to fourteen days. 

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Dr Rajasekaran: Sadhguru, you said about life. And that brings a big question about what doctors have about life. Now they say we have one trillion cells in our body.

And each of this cell is living by itself. And when you say a patient is no more, it’s just that the brain dies after two or three minutes, but a large part of his body is still alive. 

Sadhguru: That has changed now. Doctors are saying the brain lives for over ten hours. 

Dr Rajasekaran: So he is dead, but the brain is living. His skin, his muscles, his bones live for many hours. So, we have said, “He’s dead,” but a large part of his body is still alive.

Sadhguru: Now, you asked why if somebody is dead, still some of the cells are active. It has been recorded that up to ten hours there is a lot of activity. The brain goes into a certain level of activity and produces certain astonishing elements in the last ten hours after somebody is medically dead. 

As I said, dead bodies are given a shave up to ten, eleven days. Why is this so? 

What we’re calling life physically is a mechanism on many different levels. There is hardware, and there is software. You are the core of hardware – bones. The software is equally important. Otherwise, how would a cell know that a human cell is not a pig cell or a tree cell or something else? 

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How does it know? Because there is an entire software, memory – evolutionary memory, genetic memory, karmic memory. There are varieties of memories imposed on every cell in the system so that it never gets confused. 

If you eat dog food for three days, you will not become a dog, isn’t it? Because the memory is entrenched in this. So there is a whole software. The software package is more significant than the hardware – much more extensive. 

And it is energized by what we are considering as a life force. In yoga, we call this prana. It manifests itself in five basic dimensions. 

There are other forms to it, which gets too complicated. Five basic forms are called Prana Vayu, Samana Vayu, Apana Vayu, Udana Vayu and Vyana.

These have different functions – 

Prana Vayu– Prana is related to breathing, respiratory action and thought process. If the Prana Vayu depletes, your respiratory activity will go away. 

So immediately, the doctor checks and says, “He’s dead.” they’ll try to pump their chest; if he doesn’t come back, he’s dead. Respiration and your pulmonary action are very directly connected – once respiration stops, that process will naturally come to an end. 

So prana vayu is gone. It’s not like one after another they will go. They will go at the same time, but one goes means this is gone. 

If Samana Vayu goes – this is in charge of generating heat in the system – so once Samana Vayu starts receding, the body starts getting cold, and it also starts becoming stiff.

Once Apana vayu starts receding in a significant way, then the sensory aspect of it… 

We must understand this, you may check somebody’s breath and declare them dead, but they can still feel sensations. There have been many cases where people get terrified because a dead body moves a little bit. 

This has happened repeatedly, many times that when he’s been medically declared dead, there are twitchings in the body that occur in a very gentle way because the sensory activity is still on. 

Still, life is not entirely convinced that it’s finished. It is still making an effort of its own. When Udana Vayu goes away, then the buoyancy is gone. 

When I say buoyancy, see, you may weigh seventy or eighty or whatever number. Whatever your weight, you don’t – let’s say you’re pleased and alive right now – you don’t feel fifty kilograms on you, isn’t it? Hello?

It is there. If you stand on the scale, it is there. But when you walk, it is not there simply because this Udana creates a buoyancy – It makes you less available to gravity. 

There are yogic practices to activate this. There’s a whole school of udan in China where you might have seen those movies… Hollywood movies – what is that? Crouching Tiger or something, something. 

These are Udan schools, where they have mastery over Udana, where they can float around a little bit. 

Well, little exaggerated in the movies, but it becomes a lighter, more buoyant body. 

For a martial arts fighter, to be buoyant is essential. There have been many cases where confident ballet dancers and martial arts experts have shown what is physically not possible they have done by leaping up to heights, which all physicists believe is simply impossible. 

But they’ve gone beyond that level simply by creating more buoyancy. So udana is in charge of buoyancy. Once Udana starts receding, suddenly, their body becomes heavy. 

Always it was the same weight. Weight does not increase, but you can feel the weight much more simply because Udana is gone. This, doctors, may know – maybe doctors don’t do it, the people who work in the hospitals may know, carrying a live person and a dead person, there’s a big difference, simply because Udana is gone, there is no buoyancy. 

The fourth dimension is called Vyana. This is preservative in nature. If Vyana recedes, even when you’re alive, the body will begin to rot. 

Certain types of snake venoms can do this. If they bite you, you will not die. But parts of the body will start falling apart simply because vyana will recede, and it will start falling apart. 

So, once vyana recedes, the rotting process will begin. There are systems in yoga where we want all the seven to go reasonably together; within one-and-a-half hours, we want it to go. 

In normal death, depending upon a person’s age, how vibrant a particular body is, it may take a long time. When I say long time, up to fourteen hours, it may take. 

Vyana may take up to fourteen days to leave. This is the reason why in this culture, you have rituals running up to fourteen days. 

Because they feel the Vyana may be still there because when you bury a person, the Vyana may be still hovering there, so up to fourteen days, that is the reason why within one-and-a-half hours, in this culture, that was the rule. 

If somebody dies, within an hour-and-a-half, you must cremate them. But then mistakes happened. When they were still alive, somebody put them on the funeral pyre. 

So they stretched it to four hours. Within four hours, you must cremate. But today, there are issues – all kinds of problems about it. 

So people are waiting for one day, two days – daughter is in America, she has to come, she’ll come after three days, and they will wait. But the idea is for the one who is dead; we must understand this, you are… Do you?

You don’t diagnose people as finished; you declare them dead, right? There is a difference. So when you declare them dead, for you, they’re dead. 

As far as that person is concerned, in a way, all that’s happened is – he is disembodied, he’s lost his body. All his life, he lived thinking he is a body, never realizing the physical mass that we carry is an accumulation from this planet – he never realized that. 

When suddenly he slips off the body, he tends to hover around the body because he’s lost his discriminatory intelligence. 

Once you leave the body, the discriminatory intellect is not there, so this tends to hover around that body. 

So in this culture, we said the moment we are sure that somebody is dead for sure, you must immediately cremate them because it’s good for that dead, so they know the game is up. 

And it’s also suitable for the living. You will see if somebody very dear to you is dead, and their body is here, you keep on hallucinating, “Maybe they’re just sleeping, maybe they will sit up, perhaps some miracle will happen. 

Maybe something else will happen.” You know, this will go on unnecessarily. You will see people are crying, and powerful emotional drama is happening. 

But the moment you cremate them, you will see everybody becomes silent. Have you noticed this? Always. Because now everybody knows the game is up. 

It’s for the living and the dead. So about life leaving the system, it is so entrenched, it is not something poop it’ll go away like this. In stages, it goes away because it’s in stages it came in; it’s in stages it’ll go away.

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"When doubts haunt me when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. This book has the power to change your life, because it changed mine. 

Through this book, not only does Sadhguru explain what Karma is and how we can use its concepts to enhance our lives, he also tells us about the Sutras, a step-by-step guide to navigating our way in this challenging world. In the process, we get a deeper, richer understanding of life and the power to craft our destinies.

 Developed by Sadhguru over several years, this powerful practice serves to align the mind and the body with energies around and within, creating a world of limitless power and possibilities. Inner Engineering is your own software for joy and well-being.