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What does it really mean to know yourself? How does it feel to have no more questions about life – its meaning, its purpose, its glaring inequalities? What does it mean to reach, not just a roadblock, not a fuelling station, not a cul-de-sac, but the actual end of the journey? What does it mean – really mean – to be enlightened?

In an intimate encounter with Sadhguru one of the most profound mystics of our time, a group of listeners shared not just their curiosity, but their, but their confusions. It was a unique opportunity to sit face-to-face with a realized being, and the questions flowed thick and fast. In his inimitable style, precise and humorous, logical and compassionate, Sadhguru responded to some age-old questions about what it means to live the realm of the mystic – and why some get there and some don’t.

Death, by contrast, remains a more democratic destination. Unlike enlightenment, which seems often unfairly (as one questioner put it) to be the preserve of lucky few, death is the proverbial leveler – unambiguous and inexorable, not to mention invariably inconvienient, if not downright terrifying. Even those who claim to be unafraid would concede that they cannot be indifferent to the fact that they have no clue of what happens when the curtains drop. And drop they always do.

In the second part of this book, Sadhguru explores some of the primal fears about death. He offers no comforting sops or panaceas, but the piercing insight and matter-of-factness of one who knows. In the process, he touches upon several perennially fascinating areas of Eastern thought, including karma, Yoga and mukti or liberation.

These are not conversations with a pundit or philosopher. There are no scriptural references, no airy abstractions, no edicts, no beliefs, no pious obeisance to gods and holy books. There is instead the astringent wisdom of a man unfettered by sectarian affiliations – a man whose knowledge is anchored in the quiet certainty of personal experience.

The result is a book that seekers will cherish. A book that offers some very real answers to the questions that just won’t go away.

-Arundathi Subramaniam

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