Everything in Creation is tied to time, the day the time is complete that thing will disappear. In earlier times, when a person left the body, it was said “shareer poora ho gaya” (the time of body got complete), it was never said that the person died, or passed away. Death indicates that the time of the body is complete, and it is time for the soul to go beyond, not get stuck.
I’ll give you example of two people I have known.
One was a simple lady from a humble background, who served people all through her life, nursing the sick, feeding the poor, never collected anything for herself. One day having performed her daily chores and duties, lay on the diwan in her house and asked her daughter–in–law to bring her a white sheet. She also asked her to get some flowers and Gangajal, the daughter-in-law was bewildered. The lady told her not to worry and asked her to call her son. As the son came, she smiled at him and within seconds left the body. She knew her time had come, and left in peace — a healthy life and painless death.
The other was a UPSC chairperson. He used to decide who would get into civil services, a man with immense power at his disposal. When he retired, he started visiting ashrams of various organisations and learning various forms of practices. Every place he would go to, he would hang the picture of the leader of that organisation on his bedroom wall. In his end days he was extremely sick and in tremendous pain, I happened to visit him. He was lying on the bed and cursing under his breath. I asked him what happened. He said, “I feel like burning the pictures of all these gentlemen.” I asked him why. He said, “What use is their yog and sadhna, none of them can make me healthy, look how I am stuck to bed”. The man was in his nineties… I wondered that if even at 95 he wanted to prolong his life and if that is what his expectation was from the supposed spiritual masters then what was the learning from his life?
There is yet another anecdote narrated to me by my dear friend, her father in his nineties, once went to visit his friend in hospital who was admitted for diabetic treatment. The gentleman was 96, and as the friend narrates, “I asked him, ‘why are you sitting with a swollen face?’ He told, ‘the doctors want to give me insulin injections and I don’t want to take them.’ When I asked why, he told me, ‘then I’ll have to take them lifelong!’ I explained to him, how much life do you think is left?!”
So, for a life led in pursuit of physical desires, the end result is this — pain. And then birth in lower dimensions.
In many belief systems, death is considered inauspicious and the family of the deceased is expected not to participate in auspicious events and ceremonies. Here one needs to understand that death is not inauspicious, if it is going to a higher dimension. But if it is going to a lower dimension, then definitely it is inauspicious, you may check my video on Pataal Bhuvaneshvar. If one has led a good life, if he/she has performed good karma through the lifetime — then death is nothing to be sad about — it is simply a release from certain bondages. In kaliyug, the dimension we are in, there is no need for any rituals, souls that are here just need to do good karmas to get a release.
In fact, birth is not always a good a thing. Birth implies that a soul is being brought into this dark world, and the begetters of the soul are not equipped to lead the soul to light, to the upward direction. So then giving birth creates a karmic block for the progenitors. The soul has to be led towards reality, and if the parents themselves are stuck in the unreal, what path will they show.
The essence is to constantly do good karmas. Death is a transformation. Birth can be misfortune, death is not. Passing should be taken as a rejoiceful moment if karmas are good and there is no baggage which one is carrying. What one should avoid doing however is to put a garland around the picture of a deceased person, as that garland ties the soul.