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Happy to go away – Swami Ranganathananda

An excerpt from an interview with Swami Ranganathananda. Swamiji was 96 during the interview.

Author - How does this make your feel? How do you feel when you see the body is breaking down?

Swami Ranganathananda - “Happy” came the unexpected answer.

Author - “Happy?”

Swami Ranganathananda - “Happy to go away.”

Unlike worldly elders, whose comments about age usually reveal anxiety about the approaching “end”, Swami Ranganathananda did not shy away from train of thought.

Swami Ranganathananda - “No fear…coming back again,” he added.

How do you prepare for going away? I asked next.

Swami Ranganathananda - “Mind is there already. No fear. Divine experience. I believe in rebirth. The Gita says you die and you are reborn again according to your karma. The next life goes on. Many lives continue. Then one day you may realize the highest. No more birth afterwards. You realize the Atman.”

Do you anticipate a next birth?

Swami Ranganathananda - If something is lacking here, then I can get a next life.

Do you think something is lacking for you in this life?

Swami Ranganathananda - Yes, not complete.

What is lacking?

Swami Ranganathananda - Spiritual realization – the highest spiritual realization.

Is it possible for you to reach the highest spiritual realization in this life?

Swami Ranganathananda - The body is not very strong now, so I have to surrender to the situation.

Surrendering means you are ready to depart?

Swami Ranganathananda - “I am ready,” responded the swami. “I have no fear of death. The Gita teaches, do not fear death.”

Source An interview with Swami Ranganathananda by Surya Green in Nectar of Nondual Truth #19; A Journal of Universal Religious and Philosphical Teaching

Swami Ranganathananda (December 15, 1908 – April 25, 2005) of Ramakrishna Mission – 13th president of Ramakrishna Mission