Bereavement and Grieving
Baba always encouraged us to face the death of our loved ones, not with undiluted sadness, but with an alloy — a mixture of happiness and sadness. Sadness for our loss, but happiness for their gain.
—Kitty Davy, Love Alone Prevails, p. 312
The soul remains untouched and unscathed by the loss and the destruction of material things and possessions; and death is only a gateway to further life. Those who would play their part in the divine game shall remain unmoved by any bereavements or losses; and they shall also impart to others the spirit of cheerful resignation to the divine will.
—Meher Baba, February 1942, Lord Meher 8:2775.
Harjiwan Lal’s wife died March 6, 1954. Their daughter cabled Meher Baba:
Mother died today. Marriage also today. Whether marriage should take place.
Her mother had died that morning, and her daughter’s marriage ceremony had been set for that evening.
Baba cabled back:
Marriage should take place. My blessings. Baba
—Bal Natu, Glimpses of the God-Man Meher Baba, vol. 6, pp. 5-6
I am never sorry for anyone who dies. He who dies with my name on his lips, with me in his heart, never dies. I never worry about them, for theirs is no loss. If I am ever worried, it is for those that suffer through the death, which they might allow to alienate them from me. That would be their loss indeed. Why suffer unnecessarily? My dead live in me. That should make you happy. So why not rejoice in his happiness? Loving me as you do, knowing me for the one I am, you should be only happy to know Nozher [Dadachanji] is happy in me. Knowing this, any mourning you may do therefore must be for yourselves only, from selfish motives. You don’t know how fortunate they are who die with my name on their lips and in their hearts.
—Meher Baba, quoted in Bili Eaton, A Love So Amazing, p. 94
Death is common to all. It is a necessary step forward towards life. The soul changes into a new abode, and thus death means no more than changing your coat. Or it may be compared with sleep. The difference between death and sleep is that, after the first, one wakes up again in a new body, while in the latter one becomes conscious of the same body. Worldly people do not go into hysterics after one who goes to sleep at night, because they expect to see him awake again. Then why not exercise the same indifference when he sleeps the sleep of death, since he is bound to wake up again sooner or later in a new body?
—Meher Baba, quoted in C. B. Purdom, The God-Man
When Mehendarge received news that his brother had died, Meher Baba took him aside and told him:
“This life, body and death are all maya, and to weep over the death of someone is ignorance. Remember, maya does not mean this world and its affairs. The illusion that this world and everything in it is real — and of feeling happy or unhappy over certain conditions — is maya.
“See how maya charms and deceives humans and how it entwines itself around them. Daily thousands die. Recently in America many died due to floods. In the war in Abysinnia so many were killed. The earthquake in Quetta alone killed 30,000 people. But though these thousands and thousands perished, you did not feel upset for them — those thousands of men, women and children who were healthy and strong, who were expected to live a long life, and had various hopes, plans and ambitions. Compared to them, your brother was old, unfit and suffering much. And for him, your tears are useless. He is free from his suffering. You should be glad.”
—Meher Baba (1936, Mysore), Lord Meher: 6:1991-92
You eat food, and to keep yourselves healthy and fit, you pass out the residue as excrement. But do you ever shed tears for the waste you eliminate? Do you ever think about it, or feel regret over it? Not at all. Then, if someone dear dies, why do you weep for that discarded body, which is like food to the soul?
You preserve and protect your body to feed your soul. The body is the medium for the soul’s progress. When your excrement is eliminated, you eat fresh food. Similarly, with the disposal of the old body, you take a new body. So why worry and weep over that which is the law of nature and cannot be altered?
Sadgurus and the Avatar consider human death to be absolutely unimportant. They do not feel sad about anyone’s death. For them, the whole universe is a very, very small thing, a small point. The human body can be compared to the fibers on the outer shell of a coconut. Hundreds of such hairs fall off, but the coconut water remains safe inside. Similarly, thousands of human bodies may fall, but the soul is immortal. It never dies. It is always living and eternal.
—Meher Baba, 1927, Lord Meher 3: 994-95