Chanting Akal: what to do when a loved one commits suicide

Nine of Swords: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Shadowscapes Tarot

Nine of Swords: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes Tarot

It has been a year since my friend Alun took his life and I spent the days afterwards chanting akal for him… although I don’t know who it helped and comforted more, me or him. I’d come across suicide before, but never so close to home, and chanting akal somehow helped me bridge that huge chasm that seemed to gape between us after his passing. I promised back in January a post on suicide. In honour of Alun, here it is.

“By committing suicide, the natural biorhythm has been interrupted. After death the soul enters the Subtle Body, which at that time has no connection to the Pranic Body, which means that the breath cannot be completed. The concept is that a certain amount of energy, or number of breaths is given to complete the soul’s journey in this life. (That is one reason the yogi practices certain habits to slow the breath and to preserve it for vitality in life.) If all the breaths are not used, the soul cannot leave the magnetic field of the earth. The energy is still entangled in the earthly plane. Some choose to end their life in order to end pain; some out of depression. To aid such souls in transition, loved ones or sangat can do some of the practices and prayers that help the soul to move on. These practices include 31 minutes of chanting Akal; reading Sukhmani Sahib for 40 days in a row; other spiritual traditions have their own prayers and technologies that address this issue and the unique grief associated with it.

“We all know that death is inevitable. Yet none of us knows when we are to die. And we cannot control life. But we can practice our approach to death and use that experience in our life.

Chanting Akaal

“Chanting ‘Akaal’ for the soul for three to 17 days after the death can help it cross the electromagnetic field as well. Akaal means ‘that which never dies’. With this mantra, we encourage the soul to go on to its True Home, releasing any attachment to the Earth. It can be used by anyone, of any tradition, to effectively create an aura that guides the soul to their highest frequency of existence. Yogi Bhajan has suggested that we chant Akal several times. preferably for 11 minutes. For the best results, he recommends that at least five people chant Akal for 31 minutes a day for 17 days, starting on the day of death. When this is not possible or appropriate, it is also effective to chant Akal one time. The effectiveness is in the structure of the mantra, the one-pointedness of those who chant it, and the love and compassion with which it is done. Any number of people can do the chant, including only one.”

From KRI International Teacher Training Manual Level 2 • Life Cycles & Lifestyles 2007, p42

Sat nam x

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