You travel with your mind even after death

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The sage says, “O my mind full of ego and desires, remember the actions done by you.”

Why does he say this, and not just once but twice? Why? What need is there to remember this at the moment of samadhi or at the moment of death? The sage is just making a joke. He is just laughing at himself. At the gate of samadhi everything is passing away: the mind is evaporating, the body is passing away, the spirit is disappearing – everything is being absorbed. “O my mind, what happened to all that you were thinking about? I did this – I did that. Where are all those ideas that you were absorbed in, all those lines you were drawing on water? Gone!”

Remember, all that you have done is passing away – even you are passing away. Have a look back into the past, and remember with what pride and vanity you thought, “I have done this!” With what dreams you planned to do that! Remember all the footprints of your countless births and travels. No trace of them is seen today, and today you are also going to be nothing; no trace of you will remain. Today all the elements will be absorbed in themselves. Today your entire journey will be over.

Though the body perishes in death,
the mind continues its journey
and goes on collecting memories.

So have a retrospective look, just once, and understand how great an illusion you have been living in, what dreams you have been dreaming in your madness, what hardships you have undergone for them, and how, lost in anxiety, you have lived for the sake of these dreams. And when any of your dreams were not fulfilled, think of the anguish and frustration you passed through. And remember how overjoyed you became when a dream of yours was fulfilled. Today all dreams and all achievements have disappeared, and you too are about to pass away. Looking backwards, remember all these things once more.

Osho Speaking in Garde

In great jest and joking the sage thus addresses his own egoistic will, his vain mind. That is why, I tell you, this is not said at the time of death but at the time of samadhi, because only the body perishes at the time of death; the egoistic mind does not. You travel with your mind even after death. That mind is the current of your countless births. The body falls here, the mind travels on with you. Desires accompany you. Ego travels with you. The memory of past actions goes with you. The desire to accomplish those things you could not do goes with you. Your entire mind goes with you. Only the physical body dies. Mind leaves the body and catches hold of a new body – this mind that has already caught hold of countless bodies in the past and will go on doing so.

This is why those who know do not consider death to be real death – because nothing perishes in it, we merely change our clothes. Understand this well: the body is no more than clothes, no more than an outer covering. Ordinarily we think that the body is born first and then the mind is born in it. This is wrong. During the last two hundred years Western thinking and belief has spread the illusion that the body is created first, and that the mind is then born in it, as a by-product, an epiphenomenon, as simply one quality, one attribute of the body. It is similar to what the ancient Charvakas used to say – that if you separate the ingredients that are blended to make wine, and eat or drink them separately, there will be no intoxication. The intoxicant is a by-product of the contents being mixed together. It does not come from somewhere of its own accord, it has no separate existence. It is produced by mixing a number of things together. If the ingredients are separated it disappears. So the ancient Charvakas used to argue that the body is composed of five elements and mind is produced by the union of these five elements. Mind is a by-product.

In death, the body disintegrates
but the mind continues its journey.
The age of your body may be fifty years
but that of your mind can be five million.
The sum total of all the minds
born in all your births
is there in you even today.

Western science is at present also in a state of ignorance in this matter, believing that the mind comes after the body, as a shadow. But in the East, those who have searched deeply into this subject maintain that the mind is first and the body comes like a shadow after it. Let us understand it in this way: what comes first in your life, the action or the desire? First comes the desire in the mind, and then it is turned into action – the action follows. But if anyone sees it from outside, he will see the action first and will have to guess about the desire behind the action. Suppose anger arose within me and I slapped you: first came anger, first came the mind, then the hand was raised and the body performed the action. But you will see my hand and the act of slapping first. Even so, you will no doubt reason that I must first have become angry. The bodily action is seen first, and as a result you start guessing what is going on in my mind. But still those workings of my mind came first, and the action of the body follows.

When a child is born we also see the body first, but those who know deeply say it is the mind that comes first. That very mind causes the body to be conceived and born. That mind creates the outline, the form of this body. It is a sort of blueprint, it is an in-built program. When a person dies, his mind goes on its journey with a blueprint, and that blueprint maps itself into a new womb. And you will be surprised to know this: we commonly believe that a body is produced when a man and a woman make love, and then a soul enters the body, but on looking deeply into this phenomenon it becomes evident that when a soul desires to enter a womb, then both the man and the woman become eager for sexual activity. Again, it is the body that is seen first, and we have to guess about the mind. However, those who have looked deeply into this matter say that when a soul desirous of entering a womb begins to wander around you, then there arises a longing for sexual enjoyment. The mind is busy getting a body ready for itself. You might not have thought of this happening.

Whatever happens in our lives
is not accidental.
A subtle process of cause and effect
is working behind these happenings.
Though the body perishes in death,
the mind continues its journey
and goes on collecting memories.

When you lie down to sleep at night – when sleep begins to descend upon you and has almost caught you – bring your consciousness to the last thought in your mind, then go to sleep; and when you wake up in the morning and are ready to leave your bed, look back and find your first thought on waking. You will be very surprised by the result. The last thought of the night becomes the first one in the morning. In the same way, the last desire at the time of death becomes the first desire at the time of birth.

In death, the body disintegrates but the mind continues its journey. The age of your body may be fifty years but that of your mind can be five million. The sum total of all the minds born in all your births is there in you even today. Buddha has given a very significant name to this happening. He was the first to do so. He named it the storehouse of consciousness. Like a storehouse, your mind has stored all the memories of all your past births – so your mind is very old. And it is not that your mind is the storehouse of only human births: if you were born as animals or as trees, as is surely the case, the memories of all those births are also present within you.

People who have conducted profound inquiries into the process of the storehouse of consciousness say that if all of a sudden the feeling of love swells in the mind of any man on seeing a rose, the reason is that there is a memory deep within him of himself being a rose in the past, which is rekindled on feeling its resonance in a rose. It is not accidental if a person loves dogs very much. There are memories in his storehouse of consciousness which make him aware of his great kinship with dogs. Whatever happens in our lives is not accidental. A subtle process of cause and effect is working behind these happenings. Though the body perishes in death, the mind continues its journey and goes on collecting memories. This is why sometimes you see forms in your mind of which you would say, “They are not mine.” Sometimes you do certain things that cause you to feel strange and say, “This has been done in spite of me.” Suppose a person quarrels with somebody and bites him. Afterwards he thinks, “How strange that I could bite him! Am I a wild animal?” He is not today, but once he was; and a moment may come when his hidden memory becomes so active that he behaves exactly like an animal. All of us behave like animals on many occasions. That behavior does not descend from the sky, it comes from the store within our mind.

Our death is the death of our body only. Our mind full of ego and desires does not die then, so there would have been no opportunity for the sage to joke in this way if he were simply facing physical death. This sutra is said at the time of samadhi. There is one distinguishing feature of samadhi: its arrival can be announced beforehand. Death surprises, samadhi is invited. Death happens, samadhi is planned. Progressing step by step in meditation, man reaches to the state of samadhi.

Osho, The Heartbeat of the Absolute, Ch 18 (translation from Hindi)

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