I am not referring to suicide or euthanasia, which are against scriptural injunctions. I am referring to the privileged position of Bhishmadeva of the Mahabharat fame. He was badly wounded in the Mahabharat war, but would not die till he decided to. He left his body only after the Pandavas were victorious in the war.
There have been many saints who have left their bodies by choice. Personally, I have witnessed this phenomenon in my mother’s case. She became quite ill but still had a desire to live. Every time I took her for medical examination, the doctors wondered how she could be alive. This went on till she decided one day that enough was enough, and within a few hours she left her body.
How does one achieve this privilege? In both these cases, they were linked to God. Of course, the extent of the link was much greater in the case of Bhishmadeva. If one is linked to God, not only does one get this unique facility but also can seek help from God in getting better from serious diseases as well. The proof of this is in prayers which are resorted to by practically everyone. And they work also if one is linked to God and sincerely prays. Didn't Arjuna's mental agony in the battlefield disappear by the mercy of Lord Krishna?
If that be the case, then what about the theory of "karmaphala"? The answer: Getting linked to God is the best "karmaphala" one can achieve. Once linked to God, one becomes like a prince of a kingdom, whom the king is bound to favour.
How does one achieve this important link? Worship, meditation, chanting, praying and studying scriptures will help. Not only does one gain control over one's health and death, but can also obtain other benefits as well. Once linked, one transcends fear too.
However, patience is required because one has to go against the laws of nature, whom only God can reverse. But everything is possible when we get God on our side. One need not suffer a long and painful death.