eMedinewS Editorial

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Types of death

With the death of Bhagwan Sai Baba, a curiosity has arisen in the minds of the people about the different types of deaths.

As per Jainism, there are three types of Saints. Firstly, the Sadhu or the Saint; secondly, the Siddha ones and thirdly, the Arihant ones. Sadhu and saints can be equated to Rishis in Hinduism. These are the people who attain balance between loss and gain. The Siddha saints can be equated to Maharishis in Hinduism and these are the people who have attained unusual Siddhi powers. In Jainism, there is another category ‘Arihant’ and these are the people who are beyond Kaam, Krodh, Ahankar or, in other words, are the people who have attained Moksha or inner happiness.

As far as death is concerned, it can be of many types. There is a term called Santhara in Jainism, which indicates ichha mrityu and is usually adopted by Rishi Munis when they decide their date of leaving the body. One such classical example was Acharya Vinoba Bhave who declared that he would leave his body after ten days on the date of Amavasya and it happened.

The second mode of death is routine death that we see in day to day life. The third mode of death is ‘Nirvana’ and is used for Siddha people who attain Samadhi or leave the physical body and their followers keep them alive through their teachings and work. It is presumed that they have only left the physical body and have not died. This is what happened to Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Swami Chinmayananda.

Many people including Acharya Rajnish were called Bhagwan during their lifetime. The question always comes whether they were born as Bhagwan or not. The answer comes in two terms described in Jainism. Firstly, Avtaravad which is defined as descent of God to manhood and the second term is Uttaravad which is ascent of man to Godhood. Whether a particular saint belongs to Avataravad or Uttaravad is decided by the collective consciousness of the society and/or of their followers. The terms used for Maharishi and Siddha people when they depart from this universe are Brahmleen Nirvan Samadhi etc. and not death.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief