DEATH – A STARK REALITY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
During the life time of an individual, a person cultivates attachment with his/her close relatives or friends or the ones who come in contact with him/her besides fondness for worldly possessions. The attachment is partly due to impact these things have on us during our lifetime and partly because we are swayed by hunger for ‘more’ as demonstrative posturing. We should never forget that much of attachment towards sense objects become a burden ultimately.
In Bhagwad Gita, it has been mentioned that as our body continuously passes from one body to another it is termed as death. The physical change in the body doesn’t affect the soul. Wise men do not get bemused by such a change.
Death, in fact is not the end of life, it is the beginning of a new life and this cycle of births and deaths goes on; if the theory of incarnation is taken into consideration. Having a common bond of love and affection between love ones, we tend to feel concerned when we have a death in the household or we feel pained if somebody meets his/her unfortunate end accidently. That is the reality of death we have to live with.
Shiva spent time in the cremation ground seeing the ultimate truth of life; body to end, knowing fully well that leaving the body inert was not the end of life owing to immortality of soul (Atma). Real thing happens at the cremation ground/grave yard. It also goes to show that both the body and possessions earned by any method and attachments are left here only. Therefore, we have to remember that death is imminent, now or any other times, then why ASPIRE AND CONSPIRE FOR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS through ulterior means.
In Psalm 23.4, it has been mentioned: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort.
While transacting any action which has got ethical or moralistic values attached or any action that we transact, we should never forget the truth of death vis-a-vis ramifications of our karma – good or bad one and also, we should never fear death since our Creator is there to take us in His bosom.
A person is dead when he/she stops the biological functions and mixes in the elements from which he / she originated. The organism which once born lives a life from birth, passes through different stages of life; till such time there is energy in that organism in the form of soul; which is life giving spirit. Thus, death of an organism is due to biological ageing or may be due to natural disaster or man-made accidents or on other times due to self destruction of body termed as suicide – which I consider as a weakness of person concerned. When a person is dead, it means the body is clinically dead; when consciousness ceases to exist – dysfunction of the vital organs of the body.
We have not to forget the certainty of death. Sometimes, there is a dire ‘need of death’ for a particular individual suffering from terminal nature of ailment then why prolong his/her sufferings still further which could be stopped if that individual is gifted quick clinical ‘death’ which anyhow will be there soon. We have to be compassionate even while awarding death in such cases.
SIGNIFICANCE OF DEATH
So whoever desires to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord. (Holy Quran – 18:110)
Right Karmic Deeds. While living, we should act according to the norms dear to the society as a whole. The individual should do such karmic acts which are creditable for individual besides not discredit him/her; with the realization that every Karma of his/her are being assiduously noted by Omnipotent and Omniscient God, therefore, he/she has to distance himself/herself from negativism, realizing that he/she cannot escape the consequence of his/her karma. It is thus counted what we do in this life.
Reality of Death should Never be Forgotten. If we make it a point to visit a cremation ground or graveyard or a burial ground, and see for ourselves how the dead body is consigned to flames or the body is buried deep inside the earth and left to decompose. This makes us realize the futility of having egocentric life during lifetime and having worldly possessions through greed or deception, There are two options for us, either we can seek survival by any means or seek limitless satiety through self realization – just having the eternal thinking that our body is bound to be destroyed but our soul is eternal.
Thoughts on death while living. While going through the different epitaphs on the graves of different people, we may get suitable lessons.. Here we can learn from the epitaphs that those buried there were so powerful while they were living but are now dead just inert, actionless. Truth has been written on these.
The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth.
Henry David Thoreau.
Attitude towards life. Nobody can escape death. It is imminent. Highs and lows cannot escape this reality. Having this aspect in view, one should always do his/her karma in conformity with natural laws. Humans should behave with their fellow beings with respect considering him/her related with common Creator.
While living a pious life, one should always remain committed to not to encroach upon others rights. Leading a moralistic life is the need of the hour. Nature of life we live counts. One should always remember that death is an existential phenomenon and while one is alive, one should exist with grace, helping those who need our help, leading a life of piety and be compassionate with the fellow beings and when dying, one should die with grace!
After death Philosophy. In Hindu philosophy, we get our next birth according to our past karmic deeds or misdeeds. With good karmic credit, we get birth commensurate with that. Self realized individuals get moksh – liberation from births and deaths.
THE REALITY OF DEATH
Those who know that man is mortal, tries to remain within the confines of his/her rights and duties. He never forgets that when he was born, he had not brought anything and when he will depart from this earth, he will not be able to take away anything at all. We will have to have our appointment with death, now or sometimes afterwards. If we remember the imminence of death then we shall not do bad karma.
We take much care to our body as if it were our property for good. I shall compare this body with a vehicle which runs on fuel. As long as fuel is there, this vehicle functions and when it is exhausted, this vehicle becomes useless. This body of ours lasts till our soul is there in it. When it is not there in the body, this body is just like a vehicle without fuel’s energy.
A person who knows this truth will not commit any sin because that person knows fully well that doing sin is another type of death only besides being a spiritual death. During our lifetime, if we achieve something, we consider it as our achievement. This feeling goes deeper into our psyche and makes us egotistic. The person with ego is neither here nor there. He remains glued to himself only, just gloating over what he has attained in life.
Kindly go through a poem:
After our earthy sojourn,
We mortals traverse to a world unknown,
Where to – guesswork abounds,
Some think, few are welcomed to enchanting Heaven,
And the others to burning ‘ghats’ of hell are thrown,
Depending solely on earthy deeds or misdeeds,
Ledger of which are assiduously maintained and screened.
Death is inevitable, then why gets afraid?
Death is a stark-reality, then why get sad?
When parting with our kins so dear, finally,
During life too, we experience death in small ways routinely,
The one who has seen the dawn of the day,
Will surely see the dusk of the day.
A mistaken sense of pride,
Egged on by mistaken sense of permanence of life,
Spurs us to cling to this life so tight,
That sometimes, we forget the imminence of our end.
Which is so near but seemingly so far away from sight.
Earthy inning is quite alluring,
Parting with worldly possessions so paining,
Yet, in life, we ought to adopt righteous course,
Why fear, accept the change of garb with courage and without remorse,
A life filled with inner freedom is helpful,
Engrave this idea, eternal sleep is sacred and peaceful
Welcome the eternal sleep when it comes naturally with
For this end is not the end of cycle of life and earth,
But a continuity of a play played by earthlings,
And supervised from His Heavenly abode by Supreme-being;
the one and the only one by whatever name you mention him.