Oh death, where is thy sting?


To experience that there is no death

I was about seven years old when I heard – I wasn’t told – my favorite great aunt had died. Grownups always think children don’t understand anything or overhear what they are talking about. Well, that’s a misconception; children hear everything they are not ‘supposed’ to hear.

Hearing my parents whisper about Aunt Ritchie’s death with drawn faces and suffering looks while planning the funeral arrangements got me into an uncontrollable laughing fit. I thought this was the funniest thing I had ever heard and couldn’t understand the sad faces.

My parents were aghast and made sure I wasn’t going to be at the funeral. In fact I was prevented from attending any funerals and it wasn’t until the cremation of a sannyasin at the burning ghats that I showed up – and that was a celebration which I hugely enjoyed.

Early on at the ashram I had a profound experience that confirmed my sense that nobody ‘dies’ and disappears into some unknown nether-nether land. In deep relaxation during a De-Hypnotherapy group led by Santosh, we were prompted to explore something outside ourselves (I do not remember the details of the guidance).


I suddenly was aware of floating in space, moving with total abandon among a myriad of stars. I had no form, rather, it appeared ‘I’ was an energetic fluffy white cloud that constantly changed its form while speeding along – and then faced a huge wall suspended in space. Wanting to go on further, I looked for and a found a large door I was able to move through and found myself in an even vaster space than before, seeing a strong white light in the far distance. I knew with absolute certainty that this is where I belonged and hurled towards it in supreme ecstasy and boundless joy, in absolute freedom.

Suddenly Santosh’s voice came through, telling us to come back. I didn’t want to come back at all, I hesitated, sensing the exquisite pull of the white light but instantly understood it wasn’t possible to go there yet. Reluctantly I turned and headed back and reached the wall. There was no door in sight. I looked up and down, left to right almost in despair until I spied a tiny hatch I could manage to squeeze through – and with what sounded like a loud bang I felt myself snapping back into my physical body.

The sense and actual pain of imprisonment in the physical body was too much to bear and I cried wretchedly. Yet, what I had always sensed as a child, had become absolute: There is no death. The day I leave this body might be painful on the physical plane, but then, maybe not. Once the body shuts down, for sure there will be the experience of absolute freedom, the release of spirit on wings of light towards home or to the next adventure …

Osho jokes, “The worthy shepherd of the Mission Methodist Church, in a burst of passionate eloquence in denunciation of the world’s wickedness, declared, ‘Hell is full of cocktails, highballs, short skirts, and one-piece bathing suits!’

Voice from the gallery, ‘Oh, Death, where is thy sting!’”

The Secret, Ch 15

Bhagawati for Osho News

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