top of page

Art of Positive Dying and Rebirth

Art of Positive Dying and Rebirth

Human being is expert in playing mental games. Right from early childhood, we keep on playing variety of games on continuous basis. Every pursuit is taken like a challenge, a win-lose situation. As the age advances, we go on playing more and more complex games. These games are not just ‘intellectual manoeuvres’ like that of the game of chess. The are full of emotional dramas. It is said that ‘we think that is why we are’. I would

like to say ‘We play games, that is the way we know that we exist’. If we stop playing games, we feel insecure. Our very existence as we know it gets threatened. Playing games makes us in the midst of ‘activity’ and therefore ‘existence’ – or so we think.

These games can be benign or harmful. I am not using the word ‘game’ in a derisive manner. It just signifies that

1 We must win in the process

2 There has to be some excitement

3 There are more than one player

4 There has to be some emotional produce out of the play.

This is not bad by itself.

The world was created in a play or ‘leela’ of the Supreme Creator. Playing games is the very essence of learning the lessons of life and enjoying our existence in this birth.

The problem starts when we get so much absorbed in the game that we tend to ‘forget’ that after all it is only a game and a small projection of our life. We start thinking that it is our whole life itself. We tend to lose our independent ‘soul awareness’ and take the game situation as the sole reality- our whole existence.

This is the cause of our anxiety and tension-filled life.

In order to get us out of this self-made set of illusory snares, we need to find some radical solutions.

The conventional wisdom has advised us believe that this world is a Maya – Illusion – false. This samsara is the cause of our misery. We need to abandon the desire of this samsara and get free. However, this solution does not work. This is like killing the patient is we are not able to cure him. The knot of samsara is not released. It is only cut. This gives the scope for new knots being formed again and again.

Instead of quitting the game, we need to play it from different perspective. This will help us to release the knot as well as prevent the new knots getting formed. And here we are helped by the ‘Art of Positive Dying and Rebirth’.

Dying implies total abandonment of our existing possessions – including intangible assets of our emotional network with situations, people and incidences and getting into different world altogether. Generally the dying process is feared upon by the human being. It is the most dreadful eventuality of our life. Instead of decently and gently getting into the car of life transition, we are literally ‘dragged’ inside it in a very rude and crude manner by the hand of ‘Yama’ the lord of death.

Positive dying implies getting into the car voluntarily, decently, gentlemanly and ‘in style’. We do not have to be ‘dragged’ inside. We step in a Royal Way. We do not consider death as something sorrowful, miserable, painful etc. We consider death as our life transforming experience. This is the art of positive dying.

Rebirth implies getting born again to start afresh our life games. We ‘reset’ the ‘score card’ of our life to ‘zero’. This give us chance to chalk our fresh strategies, gather new resources to win the game.

Now here come an important point. I am not talking here of ‘once in a lifetime’ experience of death. In that sense we die only once – or rather we get a ‘chance’ to die only once in our lifetime. Our token of life is wasted when we use it just for once in the slotting machine of our games. We do not get a second chance.

I am talking here of applying this ‘positive dying’ technique to our everyday living experience. Let us see how to apply this technique of ‘positive dying’. I need to stress that we are not killing our desire to play games. Playing games is essential to life. We are only taking out the ‘anxiety’ from the process of playing games and make it truly an enjoyable activity. This we do by applying a ‘fuse’ in our ‘emotional circuitry’ and increasing our ‘attentive responsive’ behaviour when this fuse ‘blows out’. The purpose of fuse is cut off the power supply when the voltage increases beyond the capacity of the wires to sustain. The advantage of electrical fuse is that it ‘cuts off’ the power supply and avoids the possibility of the wires getting burned out. In the similar fashion, we apply this ‘fuse’ technique to our emotional circuitry. In the process of any of our life activity, if we start getting anxious about any possible outcome of our action, our fuse should blow off. It means that it gives us an indicator that the ‘voltage’ of our emotional charge is increasing to a dangerous level. With the aid of our ‘attentive responsive’ behaviour, we take a ‘hard look’ at our life situation and decide to apply the next process sequence of ‘positive dying’. We give up all our ‘emotional’ expectations from the game. We do NOT give up our intellectual expectations. We still continue to play game. We still continue to play the game to win. However, the emotional ‘high voltage’ is now reduced with the application of the technique of ‘positive dying’.

How this is exactly done ? In the first place we should be watchful about our inner emotional activities. Any first signs of anxiety over any matter is a red signal for us to get into the mode of ‘positive dying’. When we get this red signal, we put into action our second army of soldiers. The purpose of these soldiers is to ‘shoot at sight’ any enemy movement. What is this enemy movement ? It is the ‘emotional hook-up’ in our mind for the ‘winning’ post of the game. We get obsessively ‘hooked’ to the winning post. This creates the anxiety. We feel that if we do not achieve the desired result out of our activity, we suffer a very heavy loss causing pain. The probability of this eventuality is the cause of our anxiety. Note that the source of anxiety is in the ‘probability’ of our losing the game and NOT in the actual incidence of the losing.

When we put into action our second level of defence, we do the act of ‘positive dying’. Instead of indulging the mental acrobat of ‘probability’ calculations, we actually imagine that the ‘worst’ case scenario – that is we losing the game- has actually happened. It is no more a probability. This is the process of dying. We die in this particular game. We voluntarily die. We positively die. We are not dragged into the car but we get in ourselves, very gently, decently and gentlemanly. We imagine that we have lost the game, though all this while we should continue playing it intellectually to the best of our capabilities, but without any emotional drama. This is because we have now decided to ‘die’ in this game. It effectively means that after having stopped the mental activity of ‘probability calculation’ of our losing the game, we ‘reset’ our emotional contents in the game. We become like a clean slate emotionally. This is NOT taken as a sad thing – like the one we do when we die form this life at a final stage.

Our technique is that of ‘positive dying’ and not ‘traumatic negative dyeing’. We do not feel sad when we do the act of ‘resetting’ our emotional drama in the game.

To put it different way, when we start feeling anxious over any activity, we get alert and ‘empty’ out our negative emotions. Take an example of catching a next connecting flight. If you are coming from New York to Mumbai via Paris after changing the aircraft and the flight at Paris. If your plane gets delayed at New York putting you at the risk of losing on the connecting flight from Paris. This is a bothersome and annoying situation. It is surely a cause of anxiety. There is very little you can do to influence the positive outcome. It is beyond your capacity to do anything. But you still do the best thing available to you. You start getting anxious. You start getting worried. This is certainly in your hand – to worry. And you do it to the best of your ability. You start worrying. In our newly learned technique, we immediately get alerted the moment we are getting anxious about this eventuality. Then we apply the technique of ‘positive dyeing’. We still continue to wait for the aircraft at New York. However, we mentally decide that even if the worst scenario happens, we can do nothing about it to prevent it from happening. Therefore, we decide to ‘stop worrying’ and ‘stop getting anxious’ about it. We do the art of positive dyeing in this game.

What is the rebirth ? We reset the our score card to zero and start enjoying the game with full zeal and enthusiasm. This is the process of rebirth. In our above example of air journey, after having decided to accept the likely eventuality of missing the flight, we start giving attention to our surroundings, the interesting events happening around us, we start enjoying our waiting period at the airport. We find out some interesting and enjoying thing to do while we are waiting. This may even give us some bright idea about some brilliant solution to our problems. When we are in our best of the moods, the solutions to our problems appear more effortlessly. Even if this does not happen, we still enjoy our every moment in this ‘waiting period’. This is the rebirth.

We need to apply this technique of the ‘art of positive dying and rebirth’ in all of our life situations which start giving us the ‘anxiety’. Actually we need to apply this technique every day, several times every day. We are continuously ‘dyeing’ and ‘re-birthing’. In Sri Anand Yoga we consciously apply this principle to our daily life through its philosophy and practice.


bottom of page