When a yogi /spiritual master passes away, we often refer it to as their ‘mahasamadhi’
Mahasamadhi is a term used to describe the death of a fully realised Guru / yogi. Mahasamadhi is a yogi’s conscious decision to leave the body. This conscious decision to leave the body can be only attained by a yogi who has attained God Realisation.
For many, death is a frightening experience, but for a realised spiritual Master, death is a natural transition from the one plane of consciousness to another.
Sri Sarada Devi said something most significant about death.
“The difference between a spiritual man and an ordinary man is very simple. Easily you can know the difference between the two. An ordinary man cries and sheds bitter tears when death approaches him; whereas a spiritual man, if he is really spiritual, he will laugh and laugh when death approaches him, for to him death is fun, nothing else”.
Philosophy of death at Sri Chinmoy.org
Therefore, when the hour of God strikes – when their mission on earth is complete, a yogi is able to consciously withdraw his life-breath from his body. A yogi then enters his final resting place – the consciousness of nirvana / heaven.
However, when a spiritual master leaves the body, it does not mean that their mission is over. What it means is that now they work from a different plane of consciousness.
As mentioned here: The final poem in the last poetry book sold by Sri Chinmoy, offered these immortal lines.
“My physical death
Is not the end of my life –
I am an eternal journey.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Many of my fellow students of Sri Chinmoy, feel that the spirit of Sri Chinmoy is as visibly tangible now, as it was during his lifetime. If anything the meditative consciousness of Sri Chinmoy has been heightened by the atmosphere of veneration and dignified silence which has encouraged a profound peace to descend on our meeting place.
Quite often, students and well wishers would express their kind hopes that Sri Chinmoy would live to a 100 years. But, I remember on quite a few occasions Sri Chinmoy commenting that he really didn’t wish to live for such a long time!
Sri Chinmoy never worried about the future or made great plans as to what would happen after his death, Sri Chinmoy had the faith to leave everything in the hands of God.
In his later years, Sri Chinmoy was often in great physical pain, as his body slowly deteriorated. In this thoughtful essay, Tribute to Sri Chinmoy we can understand why Sri Chinmoy’s death was a natural progression.
Before Sri Aurobindo passed away in 1950, at the age of 78, he commented that he would be able to achieve more by leaving the body.