In Indian mythology we have heard about many great beings who for see death or had control over their deaths like Bhishma Pitamah from our ancient epic Mahabharat who can choose the time of his death. Barring epics and mythology the holy land of India had one great saint in real who happened to know about his death.
On 4 July 1902 Swami Vivekananda who is known for introducing Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world and raising interfaith awareness simultaneously, died. This day was just like any other day in which he took classes and had discussions with his followers in Belur Math. But at 7 pm he went to his room and asked everyone not to disturb him. After 9 pm when his disciples entered his room he was lying on his bed with beads of perspiration on his forehead. He cried like a baby and took few deep breaths and then a little blood came out of his nostrils. His head shook and fell off the pillow and his eyes became still. But after all this there was smile on his lips and as described by his disciples an unearthly glow was emitting from his smiling face. Medical science said that he had a heart attack or a blood vessel in his brain ruptured but his disciples believed that his vein ruptured as his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) got pierced when he attained Mahasamadhi.
What is Samadhi and Mahasamadhi
According to Shaiva tantra of Hinduism the divine feminine energy is located at the kundalini of every individual and when one perform kundalini yoga this divine energy awakens. The kundalini yoga has defined seven chakras.
One has to practice Kundalini Yoga to clear all these chakras. Once you reach and clear the topmost chakra SAHASRARA , where knowledge blooms like a lotus, one attains Samadhi in which one’s soul consciously leaves the body to roam around the world.
The concept of Mahasamadhi is even higher than Samadhi. In MAHASAMADHI one voluntarily leaves the body and unite with Paramatma, the ultimate GOD. According to Yoga scriptures when a Yogi attains Samadhi or MAHASAMADHI his soul passes out through SAHASRARA which causes the blood to flow out from nostrils.
Swami Vivekanand knew about the time of his death ?
The Prophecy: Swami Vivekanand had made a prophecy many before his death that he will not see his 40th birthday. When he died his age was 39 years and a few months.
The date: While in Egypt Swami Vivekananda had told a french operatic soprano Rosa Emma Calvet that he will die on 4th of July. Though he mentioned the date, he did not specify the year.
Conversation with Swami Abhedananda: Sometime around August 1896 Swami Vivekananda confided with his brother disciple Swami Abhedananda that he was only going to live 5-6 years more. On listening this Abhedananda got upset and protested to which he explained to him and said, “You do not understand. My soul is getting bigger and bigger everyday so much that the body can hardly contain it. Any day it may burst this cage of bone and flesh”. Although we haven’t heard of the concept of soul getting bigger but here he may have been referring about consciousness by mentioning soul.
Attained his purpose of life: Guru of Narendra (Swami Vivekananda), had told him that every soul has some purpose of its taking birth and he told him not to take MAHASAMADHI before completing his purpose. He believed that the purpose of his life is to propagate the teachings of Vedanta and Yoga. He often used to say to his disciples that he had achieved the purpose of his life.
All these facts clearly indicate that the great saint consciously took MAHASAMADHI after attaining the purpose of his life. But human mind is too tactical to accept this. Many people believe that it was just a natural human death. A renowned Bengali writer Sankar (Shankar) has mentiined in his book named ‘The Monk as Man’ that Swami Vivekanand suffered from 31 ailments including Insomnia, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, migraine, heart ailments etc. Many people attribute these physical ailments as the cause of his death but when it come to medical science they could not come to any specific conclusion. One doctor said that he had a heart attack while another said that he died due to rupture of vein in his brain and both refused to agree to each other’s claim. But the smile of contention that he had on his face when he died says something else.