The first question:
How can we prepare ourselves for death?
Don’t accumulate anything whatever: power, money, prestige, virtue, knowledge, even the so-called spiritual experiences. Don’t accumulate. If you don’t accumulate you are ready to die any moment, because you have nothing to lose. The fear of death is not really fear of death; the fear of death comes out of the accumulations of life. Then you have too much to lose. You cling to it. That is the meaning of Jesus’ saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit.
I don’t mean become a beggar, and I don’t mean renounce the world. I mean be in the world, but don’t be of the world. Don’t accumulate inside, be poor in spirit. Never possess anything – and then you are ready to die. Possessiveness is the problem, not life itself. The more you possess, the more you are afraid to lose. If you don’t possess anything, if your purity, if your spirit is uncontaminated by anything, if you are simply there alone, you can disappear any moment; whenever death knocks on the door it will find you ready. You are not losing anything. By going with death you are not a loser. You may be moving into a new experience.
And when I say don’t accumulate, I mean it as an absolute imperative. I’m not saying don’t accumulate things of this world and go on accumulating virtue, knowledge, and so-called spiritual experiences, visions – no. I am talking in absolute terms: don’t accumulate. There are people, particularly in the East, who teach renunciation. They say, “Don’t accumulate anything in this world because it will be taken away from you when death comes.” These people seem to be basically more greedy than the ordinary worldly people. Their logic is: don’t accumulate in this world because death will take it away, so accumulate something that death cannot take away from you – accumulate virtue, punya; accumulate character, morality, knowledge; accumulate experiences, spiritual experiences, experiences of kundalini, meditation, this and that; accumulate something that death cannot take away from you.
But if you accumulate, with that accumulation comes fear. Each accumulation brings fear in it’s own proportion…then you are afraid. Don’t accumulate and fear disappears. I don’t teach you renunciation in the old sense; my sannyas is an absolutely new concept. It teaches you to be in the world and yet to be not of it. Then you are always ready.