Leaving the body consciously


I wanted to reply to my question abut leaving the body early. Siva thought I meant suicide, but I was referring to a passage in A. Y. where the Alma's husband was prophesied to die soon as Yogananda had mentioned this to his sister Alma, and her reply that since it was customary in that society for the women to die first, that she had expressed a desire to pass on before her husband died. Evidently she did will this to happen ; Is this acceptable? I didn't think so but wasn't sure.

—Tammy, USA


(Continuation of an earlier discussion.)

Dear Tammy,

Thank you for clarifying your question. Since the custom in India at that time was thought it to be a blessing for the wife to leave her body before the husband, Alma apparently felt guided by it.

For her, then, it was acceptable. Yogananda did not comment on this practice in the Autobiography of a Yogi as being bad (or good). Personally I felt joy when I read this passage as it seemed Alma was doing what she felt was right.

This doesn’t mean that we all need to follow this practice unless inwardly through attunement with God and guru, we feel (and are able) to do it.

Our culture and the spiritual teachings we are following through Yogananda do not seem to direct us to this practice. We are encouraged to concentrate on finding God in our lives, bringing Him into whatever we do. And through this attunement, He will direct us to fulfill our inner lives.

There are many paths to finding God. When we find the right one for us, we can appreciate other paths and bless them as we follow the one we’ve chose.

Joy to you, Seva