Dying while Living
By means of Simran – the first step in Surat Shabd Yoga – the entire energy of the body (the soul currents) withdraws itself to the headquarters of the soul in the body, which is the eye centre; and then ascends upwards by means of the Sound Current that reverberates there.
When the soul is separated from the body, that state is called "Dying while Living."
Those who practise in accordance with the instructions of a Master, "die" every day. They are able to leave the body and go into the Astral Region (or regions above, depending upon the extent of their progress), and again return to the body at will.
One who practises Surat Shabd Yoga leaves his body in the same manner during his lifetime as one does at the time of one's death. The only difference is that the "Silver Cord" of life with the body is not broken. Therefore, a successful devotee has at his command the power to go to the Astral, the Causal, and even higher regions, and to come back at will.
The advantage of such practice is that a person is able to cross the Gate of Death without any inconvenience and without fear. In other words, he conquers death. The Saints have actual experience of this state, and whoever wishes can also do so. It is mentioned throughout the Scriptures in symbols, but these symbols should not be regarded as empty words.
All the Saints eulogize the uniqueness of this condition.
Oh Dadu ! One should die now. Everybody dies at the end of life's span.
It is also mentioned in the Koran that one should die before his death. This does not mean that one should commit suicide. (In fact, suicide is considered to be the greatest of sins). At the time of death everybody is helpless, and the soul is forced to leave the body (the result of which is intense agony).
Therefore, Guru Nanak and all the Saints say :
At death we are forced to leave the body, so why not practise that Yoga by which we can, with joy and free will, go to these regions beyond death during our lifetime.
This "Dying while Living" does not mean that one should be cremated or buried. The whole world is afraid of death, and everyone wishes to live. But the one who has practised concentration looks at life and death with the same frame of mind and achieves Life Everlasting by dying while living.
God has bestowed three different bodies on everyone – the physical, the astral and the causal – so that one may withdraw from the physical to the astral, from the astral to the causal, and from the causal to higher spiritual planes.
We should not be afraid of withdrawing from the physical body, because that is the ultimate end of all life in this world.
The Saints have described the method of going beyond the "Gate of Death". By this method the disciple actually goes up and then again comes back into the same body (during the lifetime of that body). Such a person enjoys the scenes in the higher planes and remembers them.
Plutarch has said:
At the moment of death the soul experiences the same impressions and passes through the same processes as experienced by those who are initiated into the Great Mysteries.
Our soul is not of this world and its home lies beyond. But so long as one is not able to die while living, one does not end the cycle of births and deaths.
One can be free from this predicament through the Grace of a Master, by completely surrendering oneself to Him, and thus banishing the ego and becoming a Gurumukh. Then alone does one know oneself. By this practice of Surat Shabd Yoga one attains God-Realization during one's lifetime and is also honoured in the Court of the Lord.