The Death of a Yogi

This is a partial excerpt from the manuscript to Beautiful Tales of the All Attractive, Vol. 2 – the topic at hand does continue past the end of the excerpt.


Parīkṣit: Please explain how those yogīs actually discard the body.

Śuka: They sit with the heel pressing the rectum so their life-air[1] can rise through the six stations, conquering weariness.

The thoughtful use their intelligence to gradually draw out and raise their life-air from the navel to the heart, and then upwards to the chest and throat. Finally, they bring their life-air between their eyebrows and close all the seven bodily outlets completely. Existing for half a moment in this independent state, they set their sights upon Viṣṇu’s worriless position and give up their body by bursting out from the top of the head, towards that supreme destination.


Parīkṣit: Do they make it successfully all the way to the supreme destination?

Śuka: Not if they still have personal ambitions, O King. On the path to the supreme they might want to use their mind and sensual faculties to enjoy the multifaceted world as supernatural beings who have eight mystic powers.


Parīkṣit: How is this different than the paradisiac goal achieved by ritual and responsibility?

Śuka: Yogic masters who have cultivated knowledge, austerity, yoga, and meditation can attain material destinations without being limited to them. They continue to progress within and beyond these destinations in a purified, subtle body. Those who perform the rituals and responsibilities of karma cannot attain such perfection.


Parīkṣit: How do they continue moving towards the supreme destination?

Śuka: They reach the heavens, where the Sun presides, by traversing the path of space. Then they follow the Sun’s ray towards to Moon[2] and progress further on the path towards Brahmā. Finally, when they are completely pure, they move upwards into Hari’s circle of stars.[3]

[1] The life air is the medium transmitting consciousness to the physical realm. So “raising the life-air” amounts to raising the focus of consciousness.

[2] Suṣumṇa

[3] Śiśumāra


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