Question: What happens when we die? What does the person who dies experience?
Avatar Adi Da tells us that death is not an ending, but is a living process and a very profound transformation. He has also described death as a “benign psycho-physical process.” You will not know exactly what will follow your own death, but you can know about the process in general.
As the body is breaking down, the person is experiencing a lot of chaos and confusion with strange sounds and sensations, feeling feverish then cold. The Tibetan Book of the Dead describes in detail how someone may experience great water falls, earthquakes, fires, and wind which corresponds to this period of disintegration of the physical.
When someone dies, they may experience floating out of their body and still be aware of what is going on around them. But they may not realize that they have died. Things are similar, but not quite the same as in life. This is especially the case when there has been a sudden unexpected death. After death someone may have experiences similar to ones that people who have had near death experiences report. Adi Da says that we can learn from near death experiences, but that they do not describe the full reality of the death process, both because the person does not complete the process as in death and because what is reported is complicated by personal and cultural influences, rather than being a revelation of reality, itself. In any case, one is likely to feel they are going down a tunnel and into a bright white light. He says going down the tunnel and seeing the light is just the first step.
In his book, Easy Death, he says “attention will eventually gravitate from the Brilliant White Field back into lesser planes and visions. You will see other individuals. Helpful people will appear, and you will move into another condition quite naturally and easily.” These transitions are not all pleasurable. He says circumstances may arise that justify fear, sorrow, anger and desires, but the secret is to understand these visions as formed by your own mind. In spite of any desire to stay in the White Light, you will automatically drop back into planes of manifested existence leading to a rebirth either in this realm or in another vibratory plane of existence.
Again in Easy Death Adi Da says “Death is not a permanent event or effect. Death is simply a transition to further experience. … The death process is simply another form of participation in the Mystery and Universal Unity of existence.”