WHY FEAR DEATH?
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 cubicles 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 kin 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 call Him
FEAR OF DEATH
DEATH OF BODY IS NOT THE DEATH OF SELF
This body (dehe) of ours is perishable and mixes with five element from which it was originated, What is indestructible or immortal (Amar) is our Soul (Atma). It changes its carriers but itself it remains in its original form. It can either carry another body after rebirth. We could get liberated through our righteous Karma, dharma, bhakti, humility, simplicity etc, but of course, without caring for fruits of our action. With righteous Karma, our soul dissolves into the (Super Soul) Param Atma. Therefore, we should not nurture any anxiety of death. Meaning death of body is not the death of Self or Soul. After death, there would a new beginning. Then why remain attached with this life? Let us welcome death, anytime and anywhere as we’re not born to stay here on this earth for indefinite period of time.
ANXIETY OF LOSING OUR WORLDLY POSSIONS
It should always be borne in mind that we had not brought anything while we were born and will not be taking anything while we depart from this earth. Even the temporary body cage we acquired is also not ours forever. We would be leaving this body one day when we die. We shall leave everything that we had earned in material form. We shall only take our good Karma; nothing tangible (Vastvik). When ‘I’ as a body is consumable (upabhogiy) in nature then why should be unduly be worried about this which is not ours for good.
THERE HAS TO BE A PLAUSIBLE REASON FOR DEATH OF LIVING BEINGS
It is a fact that the one who is born has to one day die. When and how is not in our hand. The reason for demise too is uncertain. It may be due to ageing, accidental death, due to some terminal illness, or self-inflicted death as suicide etc. But death leaves none. It may be mighty and powerful demon king Ravana or Alexander the great who had all the resources including medical help at his beck and call but could not escape death. Or it may be incarnates (Avtaras) of Gods such as Lord Rama or Lord Krishna. They also had to bid adieu to this planet when their time came. Ordinary humans and all the living things have to have their end one day, how, when and due to what reason is irrelevant.
IF DEATH HAS TO HAPPEN THEN WHY TO FEEL ANXIETY ABOUT IT
If all have to embrace death one day then question arises why we should fear death. Therefore, we should be prepared for death. It could happen anytime and anywhere. Therefore, no problem then, if the mightiest could not postpone death then how ordinary humans like can escape death?
We fear death or process of dying since we are deluded by the attraction of worldly possessions which we may have earned through our hard work or inherited from our parents or got through adopting corrupt means. This feeling takes birth in us after we consciously know the significance of worldly possessions in our life. We just forget that one day we have to die one day but the fear of which keeps haunting us. The time and reason of our death cannot be predicted before hand by anyone. In other words, the Damocles’ Sword of death always keeps haunting us.
EXPERIENCING LIFE’S UPS & DOWNS IN LIFE
In life, we encounter so many ups and downs. We lived our past, got good and bad experiences under the shadow of death anxiety just there for us. After experiencing all these, we depart from this earth after performing what is expected of us happily or grudgingly as circumstances permit. But in all these, we have not to forget God’s blessings. If we sincerely call Him, He will certainly come to our succour and we shall be delivered of the problems. After having fulfilled the purpose of our life, we should expect death without any fear of its happening since it has to happen one day. Truth of this has been mentioned in Bible. ‘for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. When we keep this truth in mind then we do not nurture death anxiety or hanatophobia. In fact, death anxiety is a fear of our own death or the process of dying with or without any physical and mental ailments troubling us.
PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE/IMPORTANCE OF PRESENT
We are living our present but our future remains uncertain. The present is the only period which is under our control hence we should utilize this time ‘now’ meaningfully. Bhagwad Gita mentions about present time: Some come to the spiritual life because of suffering, some in order to understand life; some come through a desire to achieve life’s purpose, and some come who are men and women of wisdom. Unwavering in devotion, always united with me, the man or woman of wisdom surpasses all the others’. All these could be transacted with certainity at the present period of time which is with us since we are the master of present.
MEDICAL SCIENCE HELPS PROLONG OF EXISTENCE FOR A SMALL PERIOD OF TIME
Although medical science has prolonged our lifespan for a limited period of time but there to uncertainity remains with fear of death lurking. Also, living under the shadow of death always not only spoils our present peace of mind. There are people with terminal diseases who prefer death to living the life full of ecruciating pain and suffering on support system. The hours of death could thus be delayed but the fear of death persists. For being fearless, we have to have inner peace and that peace cannot be acquired by artificicially enhancing the time period of our death. Since the deathless cannot be there for the one who has taken birth.
DEATH OF EVIL DOERS TO AVOID SPREAD OF EVIL FROM AMONGST THE HUMANS
It is paramount that evil should die lest its tentacles may engulf the mankind and ruin its growth and development. We humans are no one to put to death anyone since while doing so, we shall be breaking the natural law of births and deaths. Those who cross the limit of decency will have to face the consequences of their bad Karmic deeds. In Bible it has been very rightly said: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
OUR BODY IS PERISHABLE BUT OUR SOUL IS ETERNAL
It should always be borne in mind that body is the carrier of the soul which is immortal. We should, therefore, make concerted efforts to keep our inner self morally and ethically pure by our righteous Karma. Though we can treat the ailments of our body with medicines so as to have body strength to transact our day to day function but while doing so, we should never forget our inner potentials. These could be harnessed through meditation for self realization.
NURTURING OUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL FOR OUR TOTAL WELLNESS
We should, therefore, not fear death since what we lose is our perishable body (which is the carrier) with us and what remains with the SELF is eternal or immortal soul. Hence death should not nurture any death anxiety. For this, knowing our conscious self and what remains to be known lying within us cure us in its totality. It could be termed as self healing or self repairing (outside and inside of our body). Meditation is needed for repairing the inside of our body (Soul), our own self effort can work wonders to train our mind to work according to our commands since: ‘Calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and purity: these are the disciplines of the mind’. (Bhagwad Gita). The medicines could heal our body. Having done these, we can acquire a balance in life. By so doing, we can fructify all the functions of body, mind and soul without trauma or anxiety of death.
THOUGHTS ON OUR DEATH BED
When at death bed, we should remember God but bereft of any anxiety or fear of death stocking us. We should have soft feeling without any illwill or expectation or attachment whatsoever. Just clarity in everything is needed even at death bed or in the process of death. I have seen some deaths in my family; my parent’s death and two of my elder brothers. My father was calm and composed even at death bed (At 95 years!) since he was a disciplined soldier. My mother died due to old-age with calmness writ large. That is the death I want with the grace of Almighty God. This has been amply made clear in Bhagwad Gita: Remembering me at the time of death, close down the doors of the senses and place the mind in the heart. Then, while absorbed in meditation, focus all energy upwards to the head. Repeating in this state the divine name, the syllable Om that represents the changeless Brahman, you will go forth from the body and attain the supreme goal.
Conclusion: This life of ours has been a gift of our Creator, we should not even nurturing an idea of taking revenge but rather make an effort to refine such people so that they follow righteous path. For the ones with more power and more sinister like Demon King Ravana and Kamsa, Lord Vishnu had to take Avtars in Treta Yuga as Rama and Krishna in Duapar Yuga respectively to kill Kamsa. Besides Lord Vishnu took ten Avtars in other to exterminate the evil doers and establish the modicum of peace and tranquility in various Yugas.