Related Questions

What care for the dying loved one should we take during the final hours before death?


A family member or a close relative, who is old and is in the final hours before death, should be dealt with great love as we do with a child. Because old age and childhood are very similar. How much care do we take of a small one-one-and-a-half-year-old child! That’s how elders are to be taken care of in their last age. We don't get angry when a small six-twelve-month-old child vomits, kicks his hands and feet, or even as he kicks when a bottle of milk is in our hands and breaks it. There we realize that, “Nothing, he’s a child. He doesn't understand." Similarly, an elderly person in his last age, when acts stubborn like a small child and does not listen, we should not be upset with him at all. When they ask for the food they like, "What you are eating and eating, take care of your health!", saying so, we should not get angry at all. Rather, we should prepare with love and serve that which they like and is beneficial for their health.

Caring for the dying loved ones is important so that their internal state does not deteriorate during the last moments before dying. Therefore, we should keep doing things that don’t give rise to any pain, disgrace or hatred in them, rather keep them happy. Let's do such good service so that their end time gets improved, and resultantly their next life gets improved!

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan gives us the right understanding by describing exactly how the relatives behave at the time of the death of a relative.

Caring for Relatives During the Final Hours before Death


Questioner: If there is a relative who is approaching the end of his life, then how should the family members around him behave?

Dadashri: A person who is approaching the end of his life should be taken care of very well. Graciously do everything he says. Do everything such that he does not feel negativity. Everyone should keep him happy, and even if he says something off hand, you should accept it by saying, “You are right!” If he says, “Get me some milk,” then you should immediately do so. He may complain, “This is thin and watery, bring me another glass!” Then you should immediately warm up some more milk and serve it to him, saying, “This is nice.” But you should do and say whatever it takes to make him comfortable.

Questioner: So, there is no need to be concerned about what is right or wrong?

Dadashri: There is no such thing as right or wrong in this world. If he likes it, then that’s all that matters, carry on doing that. Conduct yourself in a way he finds agreeable. How do you behave with a small child? If a small child shatters a drinking glass, then would you scold him? If he is a two-year-old toddler, then would you scold him by saying, “Why did you break it?” Behave with him as you would with a small child.

People offer flowers after one has died. Oh, why offer flowers after one’s dead? Hey, offer flowers while he is alive! Because there is God inside, the Soul is seated inside! But flowers are never offered while one is alive, right? That’s called Dushamkaal! The consciousness of what is beneficial to me and in what lies my harm, that consciousness itself gets destroyed in a human being, that’s called Dushamkaal!

Although the body of the elderly people has become old, sick or has decayed by disease, but within them is seated the living God! Serving elders is equal to serving God. If we take care of them in their last age with love, without spoiling our feelings towards them, then tremendous blessings of theirs get showered on us. Serving the elders in their last days yields higher fruits than worshipping God and donating money throughout our life.

When the Last Moments’ Count Is on:

A person, whose is in his final hours before death, experiences many kinds of suffocation. Just looking at his agony or the state of helplessness while on the deathbed, melts our heart. What do the person's relatives do at that time? When the person’s last moments are being counted, people’s relatives huddle around, create chaos or start crying very loudly. Doing so increases that person's (one lying on deathbed) suffering. The person who took care of us, who stayed with us throughout our life, now in his last moments, we should take care of him. Instead of sitting next to him and going on crying, talk to him such that helps him remain in equanimity amidst pain, that keeps him strong; and create an atmosphere of peace.

When a Person Is in Coma:

When a person is in coma, although his body may seem inactive, but the Soul is present inside. The vibrations of the outer environment reach him. And if the person has attained Self-realization, and even when in coma, he is in the state of knowledge (Gnan-dasha), then the awareness that the body and the Soul are separate remains present even while in coma.

This is an incident describing the condition of a Self-realized person in coma. One lady, since years, remained engrossed in the Gnan and Bhakti of Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan. At an advanced age, she fell ill. When she was in the hospital's ICU, his son called Pujya Niruma there. The lady was sleeping in coma. Pujya Niruma had studied medical, so by seeing the body’s parameters on the monitor, she immediately realized that the lady didn't have much time left. The lady's daughter requested Pujya Niruma that, "Niruma, please get the Vidhi of Mummy done so that her next birth improves." Pujya Niruma placed the photograph of Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan and the present Tirthankar, Shri Simandhar Swami, on the lady's forehead and said, "Say, I am a Pure Soul." And suddenly, although the lady was in coma, she started saying loudly, non-stop, that, “I am Pure Soul, am Pure Soul...” and on the monitor, all the parameters of the body were seen normal. Then, Pujya Niruma asked that lady, "Where do you want to go?" So, the lady said, "To Simandhar Swami." A patient in coma is replying with her eyes closed, seeing this, the Doctor and the nurses of the hospital were all amazed and they started saying to everyone that, "A miracle has happened!" But then Niruma clarified that, “This is not a miracle. In the state of the Soul, this is how it is. The body is in coma but the Soul is not in coma.” Pujya Niruma then said to the lady's daughter, " In her ears, keep saying softly 'I am Pure Soul'." And she slowly thought of leaving the room. As Pujya Niruma reached the door, the lady in coma only, said, “Jai Satchitanand!” Then that lady’s Samadhi Maran happened.

If one has knowledge of the Soul (Self-Realization), then even death becomes a festival! Even when the body is unconscious, the Self (Soul) is in complete consciousness. The body has pain but the Self is not affected by the pain. At that time, if close relatives do vidhi and prayers that give strength to the person’s Soul, then it surely reaches that person.

By Understanding It as Karmic Accounts, Stay in Equanimity:

Many a times soon after the birth, a young child in the family gets a fatal illness. When we see a four-six months old tender baby taking its last breath in the hospital, we see child’s parents drowned in unbearable pain, then question arises that what wrong has this flower-like child done to anyone, that he had to suffer like this? However, if the principle of Karma is understood that whatever one is having to suffer is due to one's own karmas only, then there will be reconciliation within.

Be it a child, a young or an old person, at the time of death, we cannot bring about any change in anyone's karma. However, while he is suffering the fruits of karma, we can definitely pray for them so that the dying person and his family remain in equanimity.

Whether to Do Death-at-Will (Mercy-killing) or Not?


When a close relative is suffering from a disease, we are not able to see their pain, we are unable to bear it. At that time, such thoughts cross our mind that rather than them having to suffer so much, why not give an injection and give them permanent relief. However, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, in the following Q&A satsang, gives a strong warning against such 'mercy killing', and He says it is against humanity.

Questioner: If a person is in prolonged agonizing pain and we allow that to continue; it is said that if we engage in assisted suicide, then suffering the prolonged agonizing pain remains pending for the next life. That does not seem right. If he is in prolonged agonizing pain, then an end should be brought about, what is wrong with that?

Dadashri: No one has the right to do that whatsoever. We have a right to treat and take care of others, but we have no right whatsoever to kill them.

Questioner: But what is the benefit in us doing this?

Dadashri: But what is the benefit in killing them? If you kill a person who is in prolonged agonizing pain, then you will lose your birthright to be born as a human again. And that action is outside the principles of humanity, it goes against the principles of humanity.

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