Death at the Door: Part 2

In part two of this Indian tale, Savitri learns Ramana's view that death is but a 'rumor.'

Deepak Chopra

This article, the second in a 12-part series, is reprinted with permission of IntentBlog.

Note: While writing a new book on the afterlife, (Life After Death: The Burden of Proof) I kept being drawn back to stories that I'd heard in India as a child. In these stories the abstract issues of death, immortality, and eternity acquire a human face as ordinary people confronted the mystery of death. I hoped that reader will be intrigued by a world where heroes battle darkness in order to emerge into the light.

In this case the hero is a woman named Savitri, and the enemy she must defeat is Yama, the lord of death. Yama shows up in her front yard one day, waiting to take away her husband the moment he returns from his work as a woodcutter. Will she succeed? What strategy can possibly turn Death away from his inexorable mission?

Part 2 (Begin at part 1 by clicking here)

As they wandered further up the mountain, Savitri became more and more anxious, but the monk Ramana paid no attention to her. After a while he left the deer path to follow a cut among some huge boulders and was lost from sight. Scrambling after him, Savitri spied a stream, and beside it sat Ramana. "You must be tired and thirsty," he said, pointing to the stream. He pulled out his reed flute, which was tucked into his saffron robe, and began to play.


"My music doesn't make you smile?" he asked, noticing the anxious look in Savitri's eyes. All she could think about was the lord of death awaiting her at home.

"We have so little time," she implored. "Teach me what you would teach."

"What if I could teach you the cure for dying?" asked Ramana.

Savitri was startled."I'm sure everyone dies."

"Then you believe in rumors. What if I told you that you've never been happy? Would you believe me?"

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Deepak Chopra
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