Save The Best For The Last



Vanisha Uppal

First time I saw death in my family I was 23 years old. Inmy childhood, grandmother made a story that seeing a dead body is a sin. Guess what I believed her too. How stupid of me. She told me “whenever you see something like this on the road or somewhere just close your eyes”.  When my grandfather diedthen it was unavoidable. Watching cricket match on T.V. was my grandfather’s favourite past time. That night he was watching India and Pakistan match alone in the T.V. room. Around 2 a.m. suddenly I heard a lot of noise. Hurriedly I got up and saw panic around me. Grandfather was surrounded by neighbours and family. He was quietly sitting with closed eyes but in tremendous pain. Before anybody could understand the situation and got him to the doctor, he was dead. He had a heart attack. I was standing at a little distance watching him. It put me through a great shock, I thought, this is impossible. Close family members were already there, they were crying but soon they got occupied in some or the other activity like informing distant relatives, arranging food and being particularly concerned about getting the rituals done in this or that order. I thought “what is this?  Are you kidding me?” Nobody was as shocked as I was.

In that state of shock, I looked for a lonely corner at home. I wanted to be alone with my internal turmoil. Many questions arose. Grandfather was here, where is he now? His whole existence, his body, his voice, his presence, his being, his personality? All was gone, evaporated in a minute. How is this possible? How can anyone disappear like this and we can’t do anything about it? I wanted to know, where is he now?

We know how to make big buildings, airports, rockets, aeroplanes and with so much knowledge – yet nobody knows where he is? He must be somewhere!  What are we all doing here in this world? Are we living on the surface, playing with papers, which we call money? Is this what we call life? I felt that we know nothing about life. Why are we running so much after money, if it cannot buy life and true knowledge of life and after life? Suddenly money looked to me like a piece of paper, nothing more than that.

These questions were there in my mind ever since that day. I had no idea where this would lead me in the future.  I was in this state of mind for many years. Grandfather used to come in my dreams, as if he was alive and I asked him; “Why are you hiding yourself for so long from us, where have you been all these years?”

Eight years later, a strange thing happened. God gave a sharp and hard turn to my life. Maybe I asked for it – this is His way of answering questions.  It was painful, but eventually, everything becomes an experience and now I want to share it.

At the time of my pregnancy, I was walking quietly in the corridor of my building. My due date was over. I was very anxious about the process. Two days later I was taken to hospital, where my husband was working. Government Hospital, maternity ward was a living hell. I was shocked by what I saw. Many women were in the same big room, in different degrees of pain. Suddenly I heard a terrible voice from a woman. It was coming from a smaller room, where babies were born. My husband was terrified and tried to console me, “you will be able to tolerate once you are in it”. This line was not so consoling, I was very frightened yet what could I do.

I got a bed in the big hall with many other women. The whole night I was watching others crying and howling in pain. Doctor residents were yelling back to them all around me. I thought that young doctors had no idea what a woman goes through, or, maybe they were used to all these things. This getting “used to” is a very a strange saying. One looses the sensitivity and concern when one is used to something happening everyday. The moment we ourselves are in a secure environment, it does not take long to get ‘used to it’.

I was thinking; would the doctors behave in the same way with me in my labour pain? In such stressful condition, nothing happened with me that night. Some women were moved to a small room to deliver the babies, and new ones arrived in the big hall with me.  I was the only one left from the night batch. By noon doctors decided to induce my baby artificially. The medicine soon showed its effect. That was the beginning of my pain. By now I wanted to get it over and done with.

Soon I realised how bad it could be. Gradually it became intolerable. But I discovered something new in myself. My own reaction towards pain; I became quiet – no complain, no crying, no discomfort on my face. It was the same what I saw on my grandfather’s face before dying.  I never thought I would behave in such a way. I was so much inside myself that I could not hear any noises around me, nor could I feel any one’s presence in the room. It was just me. As if I knew that from this point, things were beyond human control.

I was chanting with every breath. As the pain was building up more and more, my intensity increased. I did not leave chanting for a second. After 5 hours of intense labour pain, a doctor whispered in my ear and asked, “Do you want epidural,” I said “yes”. They took me to the Operation Theatre. After getting epidural, I felt like cool breeze had passed over me. Each cell of my body relaxed. 15 minutes later the doctor decided that I needed urgent operation. They took me back to OT. Epidural made body pain free but I was conscious about my surroundings. Doctor made a cut in my lower abdomen and the baby came out. I had no courage to open my eyes to watch my flesh stained in blood. I heard my baby’s voice and a doctor said “what a healthy baby”.

Suddenly I shouted: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”. I was suffocating. To think about this, still suffocates me. I was thrashing my limbs. In restlessness, I removed the oxygen mask so that I could get fresh air but I was unable to breathe. After much struggle – I don’t know how and when – I got into a deep, dark tunnel, which had no light, not even a sign of light. Hitting to the walls of it, helplessly I was rolling down deep into it. The tunnel had no end, I was crying and screaming:  “I want to go back, take me back.” No one felt pity for me. I felt that the tunnel would never end. How to describe the pain, it was incomparable to any other pain. It looked to me as many years had passed, and there was no hope of getting out of it.

All of sudden everything settled. I was no more in panic.  Which place was it, no darkness, no light?  More like blank but still calm. I don’t know how everything was changing, like cut, copy, paste. It was as a movie which flashed in fast forward mode and it was about my life. Some parts were very strange, few events and people were unidentified. I could not recognize all that ever happened in my life. I was not able to comment and question. I was silently watching the movie.

After the movie finished I heard a firm and clear male voice. He asked me “Do you regret anything” I spontaneously said “yes once I broke the heart of a boy. I should not have done that”. “Anything else”, I said “no”. The questions and answers were so direct and straight. No thinking, no confusion, even no explanation. Only truth as I had no choice.

A long silence after that. I could not utter a word, could not open my mouth without permission. I felt many years has passed again but this time I was not restless. I was calm and peaceful. Suddenly the deep silence was broken and I heard the same voice again, “Do you want to go back?” A vision appeared. I was lying on a bed in the hospital with a few people around me. I felt no attachment to my family and for the one lying on the bed, me. I did not feel any desire and longing at that point of time. From there it all looked so meaningless. I said “No”. I was at peace. But He said “You have to go back”.

I had no choice. I saw another vision of myself working in my kitchen towards the end of the ninth month pregnancy. After pondering over it for 10 years, now I feel that it was a glimpse of me being present in that moment. The importance of an ordinary moment. How important it is to be relaxed while working. Even a single moment counts and has much value. God gave me many clues in that experience. How wonderfully He was projecting the whole scenario, it was amazing. He presented everything according to my understanding and gave hints for my future level of consciousness. What a masterpiece! It needs lots of contemplation to explore the hidden truth behind these events. Many small details are still unexplored. Just like work done by Lord Krishna in Bhagavat Gita.

Finally I experienced something which I call return gift from God before leaving His home.  I saw splendour of light everywhere. There was no sun yet such strong light. I was sure it was thousands of suns shining together, in unlimited space and brightness. I can never forget what I saw. Nobody will ask for anything more after seeing that.  Everyone deserve to see and be there. At that point suddenly I realised I was not in my body, still I was present, seeing and experiencing it all. Where was my body? Where were my eyes? How did I see everything? How do I remember all this? I still don’t know. This lasted for a very short time.  I thought, I will not leave this place!

Why did God ask for my opinion when my decision did not matter anyway? Why did he want to send me back? These questions still bother me but I feel there is something good in it. Now I feel there are many higher levels as I have experienced later with the grace of my Master and God.

Next moment I found myself on the bed in ICU ward of the hospital, full of wires and tubes all over my body, unable to move and talk. I was very weak, lost 15 units of blood. Irrespective and unaware of my external condition I wanted to tell to the whole world that I had a talk with God and I had been there. Listen to me, talk to me, I am here now.

It was midnight. A resident doctor was on duty. I did my best to tell him about my visit but could only manage to say very little. He was not interested and went back to his seat. Next day I was moved to a private ward. I told my husband the whole story. No one believed me at that point of time. He also did not pay much attention to it. I understood it would not be easy to convey this message to others. I got myself engrossed in bringing up my child, Vrinda.

Many new reflections arose: Accumulation of wealth, land and money – where does it leads us? Are we fearful and insecure?  Does fear have any substance?

Is saving a bad thing to do? Are we saving for our children, to maintain a good life style, or, for our old age?

Maybe we should stop and ponder upon these questions?  Yes we are fearful and insecure of an unseen future. An accident might happen someday and then I should have good money in my account to pay my bills!

Imagine you are in the best hospital but no one visits you. Even if they do, they are not much bothered because of the way you priorotise them in your life. Our children and spouses have probably not been our first priority for our own reasons.  It is a manipulation to justify your own action which is not done so consciously. But why do we expect a different treatment from others?

Are we saving money for a better life style? There are multimillionaires. Are they happy? Money in itself cannot improve the quality of our inner condition. The most of joyful things in life have least money transactions involved.

Are we saving for our children?  Will not own efforts rather than easy money bring more good to them? How much money is needed to support them? I think the answers are clear.

That leaves us with old age. What is the reasonable amount of money required for old age. Eat simple food, exercise daily and do some mediation to stay happy. And most important of all; give unconditional love to your family. God will take care of rest.

Accumulation of too much money leads to restlessness if not used for a good cause. And the restlessness is naturally transferred to our children unknowingly and unconsciously.

How often do you think about the only certainty happening in your life – death? Is it possible to prepare ourselves for it? We are preparing ourselves for all kinds of uncertainties, but death we ignore.

At the time of death, there is a transition of our soul from this world to where? No one knows. Our inner condition when we leave this body, will that condition still be a part of us? Some subtle indications are there.

Do you know how long you would be travelling in that breathless and total dark state? How suffocating it would be? You have no idea. If you think transition is going to be easy then sorry dear, you are wrong. It might looks easy to others but one who goes through it, can give up anything to make it easy.

Let’s do a small experiment. Stand under the showerwhile bathing. Hold your breath and close your eyes. Don’t take your head out of it. Stay as long as possible.  What do you feel? Chant any Vedic mantra or try to remember what all you have read so far in the books and Vedas. Think of any Gods and Gurus. Hold it, keep holding your breath……..not so soon……hold…..little more…….10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2……….2……….  Where are the thoughts now, which trouble us all the time? Can you think of any material desire? Then how they all appear in our daily life and make us forget the purpose of life?

Life is an inner travel. What we realize of inner peace we bring with us wherever we are in the physical existence and beyond the physical?

The secret is, the death will be same as we lived our daily lives.  “Silence in activity” is the key. Each moment is important.

The purpose is to live a natural simple life in awareness, established in inner silence. This improves everything.

Later when I met Master and heard his experience “I am not there, only an unlimited space and the experience”, I understood immediately. He says we all have the potential to live in that element together with activity.

Master has potential to go there any time if he wants and much more beyond that he has mentioned in his spiritual efforts at website and he has potential to take us there with the same ease. We need to put efforts and practise and he helps us in all possible way.

The picture and message is clear: Invest in yourself today.

Vanisha Uppal






Vanisha Uppal

Vanisha Uppal is a creative writer, a dancer, and above all a deeply spiritual motivator. She maintains a blog of her thoughts:

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Vijaya Srivastava says:

    Absolutely mesmerizing.

  2. Avatar Vanisha says:

    Hello everyone, I am vanisha.
Hope my articles brings some attention and awareness to the elements of life which includes our precious children, spritually, water and death.
    I have written new articles “How to say” ” How did I quit ritiuals” at