It has been said that all yoga is preparation for the moment of death. That in the instance that our final breath expires, the soul is confronted with the choice to move on into oneness or continue on with the world it knows. Yogi Bhajan referred to this time as “choosing the cold path”. He said the soul would confront two roads, one cold and unfamiliar, one warm and cozy. The cold path would lead the soul onwards and the warm familiar path would lead one back into the womb for rebirth. To escape the wheel of karma is the goal of each soul, and so the moment of death is incredibly important, as that is when the choice is made. The discipline of sadhana, cold showers, waking up before the dawn and keeping up in meditation…all of these practices train the mind to follow choice and intention rather than laziness and ease. We are literally training ourselves to take the difficult but ultimately more rewarding road.
In the moment of death, mantra can help a soul move into the blue ethers and escape the electromagnetic field of the earth. The difference between dying with a swear word on your lips and dying with “Waheguru” can make all of the difference. There are many stories from India of parables about this. One story that I love is that a very bad man, a thief and liar was killed by a man named Ram. In surprise he exclaimed “Ram!” (a name of God in addition to the man’s name) and was surprised to find himself elevated in a more powerful incarnation, such was the power of the vibration of the name.
Whether you believe the parables or not, Yogi Bhajan gave a mantra called the “Pran Sutra” which literally means the “Teaching of Life Force” and refers to teaching the life force what to do at the moment of death to train and focus the mind onto a higher vibration.
The Pran Sutra mantra is “Nanak too(n) lehanaa too(n) hai Guru amar too(n) veechaariaa Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur Jin sireeaa tinai savaariaa”. This mantra brings you through the energy of the first four Sikh gurus, ending at Guru Ram Das, Lord of Miracles and the Guru associated with the heart chakra. It focuses the consciousness of the reciter onto the energy of the heart, the energy of miracles, and entreats divine assistance with the passage of life.
The Pran Sutra is a tool given by Yogi Bhajan to prepare our soul to take the right steps in the moment after we pass. It is a beautiful gift that we can give to ourselves and a wonderful teaching to include in our life as well as our death.
Other mantras for death and dying:
Akal – This mantra, meaning deathless, is chanting for a soul after its death. It helps the soul leave the earth plane and safely transition to the world beyond.
Kirtan Sohila – Most Sikhs would choose this final prayer of the day as the final prayer of their life. It is a powerful and beautiful mantra that is used to close one’s human life with peace and grace.
Resources on the teachings of death as taught by Yogi Bhajan:
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