Until two days before my father’s passing, I held out the hope that he would recover from his illness. And so I kept his accounting business afloat for the last two months. One evening, about two weeks before his passing, I had made arrangements to meet two clients in the office. I was completely exhausted—caring for my father, working full-time, squeezing in several hours a week for the accounting clients, all while working on my doctoral studies.
When I arrived at the office, one lady, a successful taxi driver, talked non-stop. All I wanted was silence, and I kept wishing I had cancelled. Having spent one month by my father’s side in the hospital, the last thing I wanted to hear about was hospital stories, so I only half-listened to the taxi driver’s hospital story.
Then I heard her say, “I was in a coma for two months.” My empathy and curiosity came to the fore and I began paying closer attention.
She went on to say, “I had a brain tumor and required a sixteen-hour operation. I remember going into the operating room. At a certain point, I was rising up and I looked down and could see myself on the surgical table. I then went to the most beautiful place. It was all light, and there was beautiful music. Then I reached a certain place and they told me I had to go back. Next, I remember waking up and the doctor began explaining that I had been in a coma for two months.”
I could barely believe my ears! The story was a classic near-death experience. At that point, I felt a tremendous peace. My mind quieted, my heart opened. All was calm. Guru had begun preparing me through the taxi driver’s words—reassuring me that my father’s soul would go to this beautiful place as well!
What is death after all?
Death is a sleeping child.
And what is life?
Life is a child that is playing, singing and dancing at every moment before the Father.
Death is the sleeping child inside the heart of the Inner Pilot.
Sri Chinmoy 1