17th August, 1948
10-15 a.m. Mr. Rappold, an American devotee opens his eyes from meditation in which he seems to have been deeply sunk and raises his voice:
Rappold. Bhagavan, what should a devotee do at the time of death?
Bhagavan. A devotee never dies, rather he is already dead. (Then he stops and waits for a competent translator. Devaraja Mudaliar enters. Bhagavan completes the answer.) What should a devotee do at the time of death? What can he do? Whatever a man thinks in his life-time, so he does in his last moment – the worldly man thinks of his worldly affairs and the devotee of devotion and spiritual matters. But a Jnani having no thoughts of any kind, remains the same. His thoughts, having died long ago, his body also died with them. Therefore for him there is no such thing as death.
Again, people fear death because they fear to lose their possessions. When they go to sleep they do not have such fear at all. Although sleep resembles death in leaving all possessions behind, it causes no fear in their hearts because of the knowledge that the next morning they will enter into their possessions once again. The Jnani, having no sense of possession, is entirely free from the fear of death. He remains the same after death as before it.