The Saints have solved the mystery of death. They leave the human body every day and travel into the higher spiritual regions. In their company we learn the means by which we too, can triumph over death.
A person, whose soul has traversed the upper realms before death has overtaken him, can alone understand what it is to die while living. Intellect is helpless to comprehend this phenomenon.
Plutarch describes the state at the time of death as follows:
One of the benefits of the teachings of the Saints is that a disciple crosses the gate of death in a state of happiness and thus conquers it. This is the experience of all disciples who have been blessed with the grace of the Master. It is not merely talk or a fable taken from some book of Holy Scriptures.
If one learns the art of dying while living, he can forever end the cycle of birth and rebirth. He loses all fear of death, for everyday he crosses its gate. Therefore Saints eulogize the state of dying while living and teach the method of attaining it.
What exactly is "dying while living"? The headquarters of the soul in the body is at the eye centre, and from there the entire body receives its energy currents. In the practice of dying while living, there is no need to stop breathing. Simply collect your full attention at the eye centre by doing simran (repetition), thus depriving the senses of their motive energy. The body will then appear as a corpse. In other words, the gross senses should cease to function and the fine currents get awakened, so that the soul can rise to the subtle regions and behold their glory.
By simran, all the active energy in the body is concentrated at the eye centre; by contemplation it is fixed there; and by means of the Sound Current it ascends to higher regions. When consciousness separates from the body, it is known as dying while living. The disciple leaves his body in the same way that the soul leaves it at the time of death. The difference is only this - that his connection with the physical body is not completely broken. There is a silver cord, referred to in the Bible (Eccles. 12:6), by means of which one can leave the body and return to it at will, and be at all times connected with the body. In this manner he gets an insight into death, while living. He travels in the astral, the causal and the higher regions, and becomes fully familiar with them.
A person, who dies while living, lives forever. One who looks upon worldly life and death with the same attitude becomes free from death. This dying while living has nothing to do with being cremated or buried. It is a state or condition in which the Master bestows eternal life on his disciples.