Suppose a person X had a severe accident, body almost completely destroyed. If we think of X only as a body, then he will surely die as the body cannot support further life. But we define death as soul leaving the body. Therefore it is soul that should initiate the process of death. Yet we see that deaths take place when the body cannot support further life. That is why, we have medical reasons like Heart Attack, Cancer, Accident, Old age etc. for almost every death on the planet. How is this fact (of soul leaving the body only in poor condition) explained in light of our well-established knowledge that it is departure of soul that causes death?

In other words; if a person is destined to die at a certain time, why there has to be a bodily cause (disease, accident, fall etc.) before to produce death as effect ?

Do we have something in any scripture related to this?

[EDIT: Removed the controversial part: "Soul not attached to body"]

  • 1
    The soul inhabits the body just as a body 'inhabits' clothing. They are quite related. So the question was flawed.
    – Senthil
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


It is said in the Bhagavad gita 2.22:

"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."

Pay attention to "giving up the old and useless ones".
So the Gita says that this is why the soul must leave the body, ie when the body becomes useless because of bodily damage or old age.
Of course all this happens because of karma of the soul.

The soul is attached to the body! It is not true that he is not attached to the body!


Jatin, that what you have said in your edited post "Therefore it is soul that should initiate the process of death" simply is not true! The soul does not initiate anything, for he is just a passive inhabitant of the body in this case. The soul is forced to leave the body in a certain moment because of his own karma, and this is called death.
Now, the question is why the soul at a given moment must leave the body? This is due to karma, or predestination. About that you can read in my two questions here:

Is the length of a man's life predetermined?

Can it happen that the length of a man's life somehow becomes reduced during a man's lifetime, and so one has to die before he was destined initially?

  • @brahmajijnasa: I appreciate you for giving me new insight into a verse that had echoed in our ears right from our childhood (and still I was missing this important part). Your answer is certainly convincing. But I doubt is it right to say that "soul is attached to body" ? Do we have any verse for that ?
    – Jatin
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 5:19
  • @Jatin I made an update of my answer, see above. To be able to realize that the soul is attached to the body you do not need any verse. Just make an experiment. Just put your hand in the fire and you will immediately realize that you are the soul who is attached to the body. Very simple :) Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 21:51
  • @ChinmaySarupria In this issue we are not dealing with that kind of attachment of the soul. We are dealing with death here, and not with cremation or burial. Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 22:07

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