In Chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna addresses an important question posed by Arjuna: How are You (the indestructible) to be realized at the time of death by those of steadfast mind? (Gita 8-2.2) In response, Shri Krishna gives a reply over several paragraphs. At first, Krishna says,
He who departs from the body, thinking of Me alone even at the time of death, attains My state. There is no doubt about it (Gita 8-5).
The Atman cannot be cut, burnt, suffer any decay or be dried out. The five forces of nature which are capable of destroying physical elements by their combined actions have no influence on the Atman. That is why it is referred to as nitya or permanent or unchangeable.
The subject of life and death is often viewed in the context of light and dark. It is said that one of the greatest fears of human beings is the fear of dying. The great mystic Osho has written an entire book called “Let me teach you about death” (a highly recommended read by me). The Bhagavad Gita has many references to life and death – the nature of the body, the mind, the spirit – what truly dies and what can never die and many such discussions.