Hava Nagila!

Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid

Death – Part 1

Understanding death

Is it just a physical condition where parts of the body fail to function any more, when life ebbs out? Is it death of heart or brain? One is not dead and cannot be ‘disposed’ of until declared clinically dead by a medical Doctor. Death itself is an experience. Death is an interlude between birth and birth! It is a temporary cessation of the journey, the endless. So it is not an end. In every day sleep the body wakes up. The death also seems to be ‘sleep’ but here the Soul instead of the body is awakened. We say we had a sound sleep which in fact is a soundless sleep. Death is the sound sleep after which the body does not have to hear any sound! Death to me appears to be a door leading you to new realm of world! If it is not an end there must be continuity. It brings new life. It is the cause of change. It breaks the state of stagnation. Can we then say we are neither born nor do we die? It is in this context I always say Lord Siva is not a God of annihilation, destruction or death. HE is the cause, source of change, springs a new variety, spice. If there is anything that is constant it is the change. One can see this around him, in the nature, universe.  When you have moved on to ‘tomorrow’ death of yesterday has taken place! Every such tomorrow takes one nearer to death! Death is certainty just as birth is! The countdown starts for death right on birth!

Lord Buddha on death

This is a story which all of us must have heard. A woman comes to Lord Buddha seeking his help in getting her dead son back to life. Lord Buddha tries to explain about life and death but the woman in great grief is in no mood to hear all that. She wants her son back! So as to make her understand and for reality to sink in her, Lord Buddha asks her fetch sesame seed from anyone family which has not encountered death. She has not yet come back to Him!

Death and Earth

Death finally takes the body materials to the five elements back, more particularly to earth. When buried directly to the earth. When burnt the residues get settled in the earth and the ashes when immersed in the water get merged with the water and also with the earth under the water. The smoke of the burnt fire goes up in the air, get merged and also come back to earth as moisture, water.

Death and Maya

Death can surprise anyone, attack suddenly and without any inkling, rhyme or reason and warning. Or even prolong your struggle for death! My mother’s as well as mother-in-law’s quote is unforgettable and most apt. இன்னிக்கு செத்தா நாளைக்கு பத்து death today tenth tomorrow! This shows time flies off and also is the best healer. One can see that nothing stops on the death of anyone. Even the worst affected survivors have to carry on with life right from the very next moment! Life goes on, moves on; it has to. This act of ‘maya’, ways of world, is, in fact, a big help to the survivors. The beauty of nature is, there is ‘movement’ all the time, every second of it.

Death feared.

Every Creation of this Universe fears annihilation, death. With other creatures it may be fine. Can man not think, act differently? Why live thinking and fearing of death? What is it that we brought that we will carry? In any case death is sure to catch up! As Mark Twain said “death and taxes are certain”. In fact as you cross a certain age we even think of the way how we want to die! Most of us don’t think on death, after death or beyond death, leave alone conquering death. If at all we think on death it is about the attachments we have had, about wealth accumulated, wife, children, so on and so full over which you have absolutely no control after you depart! Mostly nothing happens as per your wish and will whether you write or don’t write a will! Nevertheless writing a will causes less trouble to your departed Soul and perhaps even to those the dead leaves behind! Otherwise the living would keep turning the dead around whether in the grave or otherwise! In fact this physical body has to die only once in each birth. But our fear kills us many times over even as the body is alive!

The wonder and stupidity

The wonder: In Mahabharata Lord Dharma asks Yudhishtra what is the most wonderful thing in the world. Yudhishtra says: We see death all around yet we believe in deathlessness of our own! Stupidity: What a stupidity? Have any of us really understood the problem of life, death and rebirth? Do the religious superstitions or scientific/rational superstitions help solve this? Can we think of us apart from the body? This body is of course a representative of the Universe in the sense of both being made of the five elements! There is an illusion and delusion that this Universe creates “that it is “permanent”. We all fall a prey to this delusion, ‘maya’. If you believe there is something beyond this body then it is the ‘Soul’ [Consciousness]. The Soul seems to have been caged in the body! Does one want to release it, free it from the bondage? Is not the very nature of Soul is ‘freedom’?  Yes, the Soul is the only permanent, unchangeable thing amongst all that we see ‘constantly changing’ and ‘free’ by its very nature.

Click here for next section – Death Part 2!

Other Sections:

Soul and Body | Creation

Death Part 1 | Death Part 2 | Death Part 3

Chitragupta, The Accountant

At the time of Death Part 1 | At the time of Death Part 2 | At the time of Death Part 3

After Death Part 1 | After Death Part 2

Ghost | Rebirth | Liberation

Author’s Note Part 1 | Author’s Note Part 2


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