Osho describes the moment Maharshi dies and adds: “There is nowhere to go. This is the only existence there is, this is the only dance there is – where can one go?”
It happened, Maharshi Raman was dying. On Thursday April 13th, a doctor brought Maharshi a palliative to relieve the congestion in the lungs, but he refused it. “It is not necessary, everything will come right within two days,” he said. And after two days he died.
At about sunset, Maharshi told the attendants to sit him up. They knew already that every movement, every touch, was painful, but he told them not to worry about that. He was suffering from cancer – he had a throat cancer, very painful. Even to drink water was impossible, to eat anything was impossible, to move his head was impossible. Even to say a few words was very difficult.
He sat with one of the attendants supporting his head. A doctor began to give him oxygen, but with a wave of his right hand he motioned him away.
Unexpectedly, a group of devotees sitting on the verandah outside the hall began singing ‘Arunachala-Siva’ – a bhajan that Maharshi liked very much. He liked that spot, Arunachala, very much; the hill he used to live upon – that hill is called ‘Arunachala’. And the bhajan was a praise, a praise for the hill.
On hearing it, Maharshi’s eyes opened and shone. He gave a brief smile of indescribable tenderness. From the outer edges of his eyes tears of bliss rolled down.
Somebody asked him, “Maharshi, are you really leaving us?”
It was hard for him to say, but still he uttered these few words: “They say that I am dying – but I am not going away. Where could I go? I am always here.”
One more breath, and no more. There was no struggle, no spasm, no other sign of death: only that the next breath did not come.
What he says is of immense significance – “Where could I go? I am always here.'” There is nowhere to go. This is the only existence there is, this is the only dance there is – where can one go? Life comes and goes, death comes and goes – but where can ONE go? You were there before life.
Osho, Zen, The Path of Paradox – Talks on Zen, Vol 2, Ch 6 (excerpt)