Most people fear death and many of their decisions are tainted by this fear. What is death? We are told that Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions. In other words, we are told that we are the body, a popular belief. The Truth is, we are not the body. The body is a vessel that contains the Soul/ Atma that enables us to experience life on Earth to gain wisdom, to attain the highest level of consciousness (i.e. God Consciousness). The death, is the death of the body/vessel that like all things on this Earth, degrades over time, as the body is temporary. You cannot die. What is this ‘You’? You are the Soul or the Atma which cannot die. You reside in the body until the time comes for the body to die. You are then reincarnated in another body till you gain wisdom and achieve Moksha (freedom from the cycle of birth and death).
That being the case, why are people so afraid of death? The first is the belief, that they are the body. So that with death they will cease to exist. The second is the fear of pain, which people believe will accompany the death experience. The other reason is attachment and desire (fearing separation from their loved ones and property). All these reasons are due to belief systems that reside within the mind. These beliefs exist because of ignorance. The Truth is found beyond the mind. As long as one has the belief that you are the body, or mind, you will suffer. The consequence of this ignorance are fear and confusion. The Truth is, you are part of God. The whole of the foundation of life is based on God.
“The Lord is the unseen foundation on which your life is built. He is the source, sustenance and strength. Without His will, no leaf can turn, no blade of grass can quiver. What firmer foundation can you desire than this? Once you know that the Lord, the Omnipotent Power, is the mainspring of your life, there will be no fear any more. When you suspect the strength of the foundation of a house, you are afraid to enter it; when you suspect the skill of the manufacturer, you are nervous to ride in the car. Bhishma and other Bhakthas (devotees) as well as Sankara (Adi Sankara) and other Jnanis (sages), knew that the Lord is the Aadhaara (foundation), and so they had no fear at all. But that faith has not taken root in man today and so, this has become an age of Fear and Anxiety, of Ashanti (no peace).”
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Sanatana Sarathi magazine May 1995