Profound Death Quotes – Is Death the Final Reality, the End of Everything?

Words of Wisdom || Profound Death Quotes

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“ Death is not a call to annihilation, but it is the extinction of the lamp because the dawn has come. ” — Rabindranath Tagore

Welcome to the Spiritual Bee’s collection of Profound Death Quotes.

In the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, the story is told how King Yudhishthira, when asked by Dharma to tell what is the most wonderful thing in the world, replied that it was the persistent belief of mankind in their own deathlessness, in spite of witnessing death everywhere around them in almost every moment of their lives.

“The day, man will find that he never really dies; that his Soul persists beyond death; he will have no more fear of death.”
– Swami Vivekananda

And, in fact, this is the most stupendous wonder in human life. In spite of all arguments to the contrary, in spite of the inability of reason to penetrate this veil of mystery, man is thoroughly persuaded that he cannot die.

There is something inside of him that refuses to accept death as the inevitable annihilation, as the end game of everything; which compels him to cling to life, to laugh, to play, to love, to build and to hoard right in death’s face.

This something is the Atman, the Soul, the true self of man, which lies beyond the perishable sheathing of gross matter i.e. the body. Because the Atman is not made from matter, it does not obey the laws of matter. It is the free, eternal and unchangeable element in man. Beyond all conditions, subject to neither birth nor death and ever-existing, is this soul of man – the Atman.

“When death is so certain it is better to die for a good cause.”
– Shriram Sharma Acharya

It is this free Atman that is percolating through the layers of thought and matter, and in spite of witnessing death everywhere, is ever asserting its unshackled existence and continuity beyond the portals of death. It is this deathlessness, this bliss, this peace, this divinity in humanity, that shines out and makes itself felt in spite of the thickest layers of ignorance.

The Atman alone is the real man, the fearless one, the deathless one – the ultimate free, eternal and unchangeable Reality.

The above text has been taken from an article written by Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) for the New York Morning Advertiser, titled Is the Soul Immortal? A section of that text is presented here with slight modifications, for the purpose of enhancing readability and understanding.

Death Quotes and Sayings by Topic

Presented below is a beautiful collection of death quotes that have been organized under the following subheadings:

  1. Death is Not the Final Reality, for the Soul is Eternal
  2. The Dead are as Much Here With Us, as the Living
  3. The True Meaning of Living is Outliving

I hope that these quotes about death offer you a deeper perspective on life, and fill your mind with peace, strength and hope.

Death is Not the Final Reality, for the Soul is Eternal

Life and death are only different names for the same fact, the two sides of the one coin. Both are Maya (an illusion) – the inexplicable state of striving at one time to live, and a moment later to die.

Beyond this lies the true nature, the Atman (Soul) that is never born, which never dies, never changes and never goes or comes. Without birth or death, eternal, ever-existing, free, unchangeable and beyond all conditions is this Soul of man – the real Self of man.
A quote on death by one of India’s greatest and most beloved spiritual teachers – Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902). His life and teachings have served as a source of inspiration to millions of people around the world.

The soul of man is a part of the eternal cosmic energy that exists, i.e. a part of God. It is beyond life and death. You were never born, and you will never die. Then what is this birth and death that we see? These belong to the body, because the soul is omnipresent and eternal.
A quote on death from the book “Speeches and Writings of Swami Vivekananda”.

Nature, body and mind go to death, not we. We neither go nor come. The man “Vivekananda” is in nature, is born and dies; but the Self (soul) we see as “Vivekananda” is never born and never dies. It is the eternal and unchangeable Reality.
A quote about death from the book “Inspired Talks” by Swami Vivekananda.

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The human soul is eternal and immortal, perfect and infinite. Every soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere but whose center is located in a body, and death means only a change of center from one body to another. The soul thus goes on evolving in its journey from birth to birth and death to death.
A quote on death from the book “Speeches and Writings of Swami Vivekananda”.

All beings exist in an invisible state and then come to a state of visibility. Change occurs only on the surface, for the self-existent glory remains unchanged; changing form does not affect the self-existent Reality. (Atman) Soul or the Self, dwells in all that is perishable, yet it remains imperishable.
A beautiful Sanskrit quote from the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Rama. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the world’s best known books on spirituality, and was the prime source of inspiration for Mahatma Gandhi.

The Self (Soul) is the constant-witness consciousness. Through all months, seasons and years, through all divisions of time, the past, present and future the consciousness remains one and self luminous. It neither rises nor sets.
The ultimate self is free from sin, free from old age, free from death and grief, free from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing and imagines nothing.

A beautiful and profound description of the soul in the Upanishads (dating to ~800 BC); as translated and explained by S. Radhakrishnan (1888-1975) in his book “The Principal Upanishads”.

Our self, as a form of God’s joy, is deathless. For his joy is amritham, eternal bliss. We know that the life of a soul, which is finite in its expression and infinite in its principle, must go through the portals of death in its journey to realise the infinite.
A profound quote on death from the book Sadhana – The Realization of Life by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. His breathtaking literary works, which can be freely downloaded from our website, provide a glimpse into the mystical and spiritual traditions of India.

The Dead are as Much Here With Us as the Living

Man must conquer this illusion and know that the dead are here beside us and with us, as much as ever. It is their absence and separation that are a myth.
Swami Vivekananda musing on the death of his beloved friend Mr. Goodwin – as recorded by Sister Nivedita in her book Wanderings with Swami Vivekananda published in 1913.

I believe that when someone crosses over, regardless of how we choose to define them (negative or positive), they are met by other friends, relatives and energies, who help them understand the life and lessons they learned, the experiences and feelings that they shared with others.
John Edward internationally acclaimed psychic medium, and author of several critically acclaimed New York Times best sellers, including “Crossing Over” and “After Life: Answers from the Other Side”.

We do not necessarily leave this side of life and end up in the glory of heaven as angles of infinite light. When we leave this side of life we pick up life on the other side with pretty much the same issues and attitudes to work through.

Our quest for spiritual perfection is an ongoing process both here and in the hereafter. What we leave unfinished here, we will finish there. So it really does serve us to live in a way that honors the gift of life we have been given.
Dannion Brinkley, recounting his near death experience in his book “Secrets of the Light”.

Life on the plane of the spirit is the only life, life on any other plane is mere death; the whole of this life can be only described as a gymnasium. We must go beyond it to enjoy real life.
A quote on death from the book “Speeches and Writings of Swami Vivekananda”.

The True Meaning of Living is Outliving

There are men whose idea of life is static, who long for its continuation after death only because of their wish for permanence and not perfection; they love to imagine that the things to which they are accustomed will persist for ever.

They completely identify themselves in their minds with their fixed surroundings and with whatever they have gathered, and to have to leave these is death for them. They forget that the true meaning of living is outliving, it is ever growing out of itself.
Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941).

The tragedy of human life consists in our vain attempts to stretch the limits of things which can never become unlimited; to reach the infinite by absurdly adding to the rungs of the ladder of the finite.
Rabindranath Tagore.

Men of childish intellect and ignorant persons, run after desires, which are external, and enter the trap of far-reaching death, but the wise, understanding immortality, never seek for the eternal in this life of finite things.
A quote on death from the book “Speeches and Writings of Swami Vivekananda”.

He alone lives whose life is in the whole universe (dedicated in the service of others), and the more we concentrate our lives on little limited things as bodies, we are going towards death. That moment alone we have lived when our lives were lived for others; and all those minutes which we concentrated upon this little life was death, simply death, and that is why the fear of death comes.
Swami Vivekananda.

Life as a whole never takes death seriously. It laughs, dances and plays, it builds, hoards and loves in death’s face. Only when we detach one individual fact of death do we see its blankness and become dismayed. We lose sight of the wholeness of a life of which death is part. It is like looking at a piece of cloth through a microscope. It appears like a net; we gaze at the big holes and shiver in imagination.

But the truth is that death is not the ultimate reality. It looks black, as the sky looks blue; but it does not blacken existence, just as the sky does not leave its stain upon the wings of the bird.
A quote on death from the book Sadhana – The Realisation of Life by Rabindranath Tagore.

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I hope that these death quotes, soothe your worries, and fill your mind with everlasting peace, strength and hope. I invite you to explore more such quotes from the outstanding Words of Wisdom collection.

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