Each person has a presiding deity which looks after him. Here in the West you speak of guardian angels which guide and protect individuals. In the East we use the term ‘presiding deity’. Our Indian philosophy says that there are as many gods as there are human beings. Each person has a god of his own. This god is not separate from us, although it has its own existence. We feel that our individual deity is not something outside ourselves but part and parcel of our existence: just like our body, our mind and our heart. So we claim our deity as our own. Everything within us we feel is ours. If we are following the spiritual life, we know that inside the heart there is something called the soul. Just as we claim the other parts of our being, so also we claim our inner divinity, our soul.
The presiding deities undoubtedly are superior to us. They are kind and they are infinitely more divine than we are. But although these deities or angels have more power than we have and they protect us according to their capacity, they do not have infinite Power. Never! Only the Absolute Supreme, who is the Lord of the Universe, has infinite Power. When it is a matter of infinite Power, infinite Peace, infinite Light, we won’t get these qualities from these deities. We will get them only from our Self-realisation. In Self-realisation we achieve the Highest, the Absolute, as our very own.
“The Dance of the Cosmic Gods” by Sri Chinmoy
Ordinary people who are not aspiring, people who are absolutely wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, will feel death as a terrible, ruthless being, a dark and awful figure. Sometimes the death-force has many subordinates which come before the dying person, and people very often see tigers or unimaginably huge beings, and become frightened.
But sincere seekers see their spiritual Master or a luminous being, like an angel, taking them in a chariot. These seekers have worked hard on earth for many years and now Mother Earth consciously wants to offer them her blessingful and divine gratitude. Their Inner Pilot or their Guru takes them, but they see the benign Hand of God right in front of them, carrying them in His Golden Boat to the other Shore. Some people see their long-departed relatives at the actual time of death. Their dearest ones come, and it is just like somebody who knows the way taking them to a new world.
by Sri Chinmoy