It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. I hope you all are faring well. Today’s topic as many of you can see already is one we all avoid and have created a taboo around its discussion, however the last three days I have been a firsthand witness to a devotee who left his body and barely a day after got news of another young lady who also passed on.
In this light I felt it is only naturally that I speak about the most dreaded topic; death and dying. Before I commence my dissertation on this matter at hand, I’ll like to say maybe just maybe once in a while we should all get to witness someone leave their body. Why? It puts everything in your life in perspective. I happened to be in the room where a senior devotee passed away recently and often times we get to read certain descriptions from the Bhagavatam about what happens at the time of death and sometimes some people brush it aside as exaggeration or just stuff that may not happen to us. I can tell you that many might be in for a shock when their time arrives.
In 2005, about 12 years ago, I lost my Spiritual Mentor to some terminal illness and I saw how his body transformed in the last few months, but I also saw how what was in his heart became more magnified. I need to say I have a lot of thoughts right now flying through my head so please bear with me if they do not seem to align or flow. I think right now, better than passing across some congruent thought pattern is my intense desire to pass across some real talk about life and death. One thing sure and certain is: we are all going to die, no one is making it out of here alive. I am sorry if this is too blunt but the earlier we know that it is sure to happen the better. The most striking part is that we have no clue when, where or how it will happen. Yet most of us live as if we have a contract signed with God as to how long we shall live, and go about life as if we were immortals.
So what is death? I guess you all already know. It is the physical termination of the physical body and the transmigration of the life force, soul or consciousness in that body to another (Bhagavad Gita 2:13). Now whether you believe in reincarnation or not that is another topic. (To know more about reincarnation, please click on the link). So what exactly happens at the time of death? At the time of death, one is enveloped by the sum total of his life’s thought process (Srimad Bhagavatam 3:30:18 purport). That is whatever we have given the most attention to in our lives becomes our primary thought at the time of death. If your life was spent chasing money, affluence, God, etc., at the time of death these thought become your primary thought. Why? Whatever we study for is what we recollect in an examination, and death is life’s final exam.
In life we all worry about many things which in real perspective are not worth worrying about. My spiritual mentor in his final days gives a two hour lecture on the subject; “Die before dying”, the summary of that lecture was to live every day truly as if it were our last. We hear this every time, some of us practice it maybe for a week or two then done. Truth be told everyday on this planet is actually our last, because we have no clue when that day is. Die before dying is putting first things first and seeing how these thigs affect us. An example of putting first things first is as follows; suppose today was your last day and all your family members were gathered around you, what would be the priority in your thoughts? Would it matter what dress you wore? Would it matter what someone else was wearing? Would it matter what race those who came to see you were? Would it matter what your bank statement was? Would it matter what car your friend’s drove in to come see you? Of course none of that would matter. The only thing that would matter would be to share as much love as possible, ask for forgiveness and focus our minds on the Lord’s pastimes as we prepare to make the transition. So if this right here is a simulation of what our last day could look like, now take a look at your current daily activities and ask yourself, am I truly living with the consciousness of one conscious of death or am I just going through life as if I were immortal? I have divided this topic into parts in other to be able to get everything I intend to say out properly. This is because if I cramp everything into one blog, so many things will just fly over our heads. I do not wish that for any one of you.
Usually when people hear those who are spiritual practitioners speak about death and the ephemeral nature of life, they often think we are fatalists and do not know how to “enjoy” life. They ask “Why worry so much about death? Why not worry about life and living now?” Well we do think about life and because we think about life we know is it temporary. We know that life is meant to prepare us for that transition, and that true living is having a life that reflects this mentality on a daily basis. We enjoy life with the consciousness of being the servant of God and as such we accept everything knowing fully well to whom they belong. To the degree something helps us remember that we are eternal souls in a temporary world, to that degree do we accept it.
Till next week, please do watch out for the part two of this series. Follow for more.
Ps. Photo credit not mine.