Don’t Wait ‘til Death to Come Alive!

“When mortality confronts you in a big way, that is when you become fully alive – unfortunate!”


Q: I had a near-death incident when I was saved from being hit by a car by seconds. In those few seconds, I experienced everything in extreme slow motion and in extraordinary detail. Why were those seconds experienced in that way, and can I experience life in that level of detail consciously?

Sadhguru: This happened – two old men met in a tiny little town in Indiana, in a local bar. Both of them were sitting grumpily at two different tables, drinking. Then one guy looked at the other and saw a birthmark on the other person’s temple. He looked at him and said, “Hey,  are you Joshua?” “Yeah, who are you?” “Don’t you know? I’m Mark. We were in the war together.” “Oh my God!” and they lit up suddenly. “In World War II, we were together. It’s been fifty years since then.”

So, they sat down at one table and started drinking, talking, eating. They had seen about forty minutes of action in World War II in Europe. Forty minutes of blitz. They talked about this forty minutes in so many vivid ways for over two hours. After they were done with all this talk, one guy asked the other, “What have you been doing since then?” He said, “Oh, I’ve just been a salesman.” Forty minutes of war, they spoke for two hours with great excitement. Forty years of life – “I’ve just been a salesman.” That is all that happened.

Practicing for the Grave

Unfortunately, for a whole lot of people, they come alive only when you threaten them with death – whether it is war, or a car crash. When mortality confronts you in a big way, that is when you become fully alive – unfortunate! When you truly, genuinely confront your mortal nature, you understand that your aliveness is the most important thing.

When I watch people, it looks like they are all practicing for the grave – what kind of pose, what kind of facial expressions they must have when they are in their grave. They do not understand they are mortal. They think they are going to be here forever, so they are practicing death when they are alive. But when you threaten them with death, they will become alive. Why do you think Krishna chose to give his teaching in a battlefield? Not in the quietness of an ashram, not in the beautiful jungles of India, not in the Himalayan cave, but on a treacherous battlefield – because without being threatened with mortality, most human beings do not have the intelligence to look at their life.

I think when these self-driving cars come, a lot of people may get realized! After some time, maybe you will learn to sleep on it, that is different, but initially, you do not know whether it is going to brake or not. You do not know whether it will stop in time or it will crash. I think in the first few months after self-driving cars become legal, there may be some realization on the planet! We must be ready for some enlightened people.

Coming Alive to Life

Do not wait for a car crash. You must know you may collapse and die right now. I am not wishing this on you. I will bless you with a long life. But it is possible. Every day so many people die like that. Sitting, standing, lying down – they die in all kinds of postures.

When you realize that you could die, suddenly you value life, becoming alive to it. I keep reminding people, in this life you cannot fail, everyone shall pass. You never saw anyone who was detained because they did not do life properly. Everyone passes. But most will pass without ever knowing what they passed through.

When you were about to crash, for a few moments you knew what you were passing through. The rest of the time, you do not know. Right now, your cerebral drama is overlapping upon everything. That means your silly creation is overlapping the magnificent creation that we are living in. When your silly creation broke, when you could not think or emote because of the sheer danger of the situation, suddenly it felt like you were truly alive. We are teaching you yoga, we are initiating you into so many processes just to help you distance yourself from your own drama, so that the cosmic drama comes into your perception. Without this, there is nothing to this life.

Editor’s Note: Isha Kriya is a free online guided meditation to help an individual get in touch with the source of his existence, to create life according to his own wish and vision. Daily practice of Isha Kriya brings health, dynamism, peace and wellbeing. It is a powerful tool to cope with the hectic pace of modern life. Try it out!