Death, Living Enlightenment, Spirituality, Truth

When you face death you see that it is nothing but life!


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Death is a deep relaxation. It is the ultimate ‘letting go’. It is the dropping of the old and starting with the new. When your being recognizes that it cannot achieve what it wants to through this body it decides to move on. This ‘moving on’, this ‘passing over’ is what is called death.

When your brand new house becomes old after the passage of years, you either try to repair it or if that is too inconvenient and frustrating, you decide to sell the house and move into a new one. When you do this, do you feel that you are missing something?

No!

In the same way when you feel that you have not lived your life totally in the way you wanted to, you leave this body to take a new one. You want to restart. Your choice to start all over again is what is called death.

In the same way when you feel that you have not lived your life totally in the way you wanted to, you leave this body to take a new one. You want to restart. Your choice to start all over again is what is called death.

When you die, all that happens is that you rejuvenate your body and your mind. You take a fresh set of memories, a new place, a different set of relatives, a new life. In other words you take up a new birth hoping to fulfill all your incomplete desires. Whatever you left unaccomplished you come down to finish. This choice given to you by god to start all over again is death.

But without understanding this simple truth you waste your whole life by doing everything possible to resist death. Once you add meditation to your life, you start understanding your fears. Facing the fear demystifies death. It is as if all the fog, all the snow, all the ice has been removed and you are able to see the sparkling water of understanding flowing so clearly, so beautifully. You start looking death in the eye, face to face.

When you face death you see that it is nothing but life. Because every moment you die, the next moment you are born. Death and birth are just cycles. If you die you will be born and if you are born you will die. When this understanding happens you lose all fears. You start living your life. You start enjoying every breath that you take on planet earth.

When you are forty you are not what you were when you were ten or when you were twenty or when you were thirty. But you do not feel you died, though you are completely different. You are different physically, mentally, emotionally, and materially, yet you feel you are continuing the same life. Death is just like that, it is one more continuum.
Nothing dies and nothing discontinues. Everything continues in a manner that nature dictates. When you get the knowledge that you are never going to die, bliss blooms and you are in ecstasy. Your life is transformed from fear to fearlessness, from death to deathlessness.

The Bhagavad Gita, the profound truths delivered by Krishna to Arjuna, says that death is just like changing of one’s clothes. Just like how we change our shirt, we change our body. This changing of the body leads us to inner transformation. Death is the beginning of a new chapter of life.

There is a beautiful story in the great Indian epic, Mahabharata:

The prince Yudhishtra was asked by a yaksha, ‘What is the most mysterious thing on planet earth?’
Yudhishtra replied, ‘Every day so many lives are going to the abode of Yama, the lord of death, yet the people who stay here think they are going to live forever.’

We always think that it is someone else who will die, not us. Death is truly the mystery of all mysteries. There are only two things that are certain about death. One is that we will die at some point in time. The other is that it is uncertain when or how we will die. Everything that is born has to die. That is the nature of life.

A beautiful story from the life of enlightened master Buddha:

Once a woman came with her dead son to Buddha. She was mad with grief at the death of her only son. She cried to Buddha, ‘Master, please give me some medicine that will get my boy back to life.’
Buddha replied, ‘Get me a handful of mustard seed.’ The woman got up immediately and rushed to get a handful of mustard seed. Then Buddha added, ‘The mustard seed must be from a house where no one has lost a dear one – child, husband, parent, friend.’ The woman went from house to house. Out of pity for the desperately crying woman, people gave her mustard seed from their house. But when she asked whether they had lost a dear one, they had someone or the other who had died in the house. She went from house to house till sunset but found no house where a death had not happened. Slowly the truth started dawning on her – death is inevitable. She buried her son’s body and returned to Buddha. She fell at the feet of Buddha and asked him, ‘Master, please teach me the truth. What is death? What exists beyond death?’
She became Buddha’s disciple and followed Buddha for the rest of her life.

There is a beautiful saying, ‘Tomorrow or the next life, which comes first, we never know.’  Buddha says, ‘This existence is as fleeting as the autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like watching the movements of a dance.’

Religions that talk of only one life create a hurry, an anxiety, to take the maximum juice out of this life because you feel you cannot miss anything. The idea of only one birth gave rise to science, looking for maximum enjoyment.
All Eastern religions talk about many births. You come down again and again. You play the same drama of life. It is just the same setup, same relationships but at different times. You feel bored and fed up and wonder, ‘How many times do I have to play the same drama?’ You wish to get liberated and no more do you want to come back. You work towards moksha*, liberation. Your understanding about death changes your outlook of life.

The topic of rebirth is not popular because it cannot be proven by science. Of course, now Near Death Experience (NDE) has become a hot subject as many doctors and psychologists have recorded their experiences. There are many people who have recorded thousands of NDEs, almost all of which fall into a similar pattern. They all relive the events of their lives. Hypnotists have regressed people into their past lives. These too fall into a pattern. They are similar to what the rishis said over five thousand years ago about what happens when you die, which is recorded in the Kathopanishad.

source: Living Enlightenment

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