My Brother Died in Front of Me, Is This Karma?


My brother is no more. Recently, he was drowned in front of me when we were boating. We were in different boats but why my brother? He was very down to earth. Why did this happen and right in front of me? Is it due to my sins as I cursed one idiot and his family to die? Did that return me back?

—Smriti, Nepal


Dear Friend,

Losing your brother that way is very sad and I feel for you. You mustn’t, however, blame yourself. The strands of karma are too thin to see clearly until one is enlightened. What is important now is, “What can I do about this?”

For starters, you should continue to send your love and affection to the soul of your brother. Wherever he may be he is not likely to be able to help himself spiritually (only highly advanced souls can do that when they are in the astral world — for most this is a place of rest and relative dreaminess or unconsciousness). Pray for him each day. Hold his presence (not just his memory) in your heart.

But as you retain his presence do not do so with attachment. We cannot help our grief. You simply have to go through that and of course, for an entire lifetime, you may feel some grief some of the time! But you can accept what you cannot change and, instead, sent to him blessings of comfort and calm joy.

You will meet again in new forms. Life goes on and life cannot die. The body can die but our soul is eternal.

Vow, however, to never curse another person again. Surely this lesson can be learned. I am not saying your cursing is the cause of your brother’s death as you watched but I am saying that your knowledge that to curse others is wrong is true and correct. At least this much you can say, you learned from your brother’s death. Vow then, to practice blessing all, even those who might curse you!

Again, I am sorry to hear of your loss. It is a very great tragedy but you must find ways to bring from this the best in yourself. Your effort to live a more God-centered life, service to God in others, and daily prayer and meditation is the best consequence to come from this tragedy. If your brother’s death gives to you the gift to live for God more fully, with compassion and kindness, energy and joy, then his death will have merited very good karma for you. So, honor his death by your own commitment to goodness and to God.

May the Light of Divine comfort and joy enter your heart!
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA/