Glory of Death - Chapter 10
 

10. DEATH - AN AUSPICIOUS OCCASION OF A GREAT RE-UNION:
Death is a pious event of a great re-union. A man celebrates many holy festivals during his lifetime. Amongst them the final pious festival is death. He who learns how to live properly knows how to die too. He who does not know how to live cannot die befittingly and ultimately dies dogs' and cats' death.
Man may obtain many worldly materialistic pleasures for sense gratification yet as long as there is fear of death in his mind, he can never experience bliss of life. Those who fear death die a premature death, i.e. he lives dying each moment. Those who know how to die while living and know how to live detachedly can die joyfully. If the fear of death disappears, man can experience joy, merriment, and zeal of living a full life. The sum total of our life is death. A man’s death becomes hallowed if while breathing his last, he chants the Lord’s name simultaneously.
…‹}æHæ|æ: ÐÚ¢ Ð風æ}æì ¥‹„ï ÝæÚ沇æ S}æéç„: J
Janmalabha Param Punsam Ante Narayana smritihi. (Bhagwat 2/1/6)
¥‹„ÜUæfï ™ }ææ}æï± S}æÚ‹}æéÜy±æ ÜUHï±Ú}æì J
²: Ðí²æç„ y²…‹Îï㢠¨ ²æç„ ÐÚ}ææ¢ xæç„}æì JJ
Antakale cha maameva smaran muktva kalevaram
Yah prayati tyajan deham sa yati paramam gatim.
(Gita Ch. 8/5-13)
(Meaning: - All the gates of the body closed, the mind confined within the heart, having fixed his life-energy in the head, engaged in firm yoga; uttering the one-syllable 'Om', Brahman, thinking of Me, he who departs, leaving the body, attains the Supreme Goal.)
The biggest gain of life is when at the time of death; both the last exhalation and the Lord’s name go together. Otherwise, if one does not chant the Lord’s name at the final moment, he leaves spiritually bankrupt. One can infer what kind of life one has lived by marking how gracefully he has died.
Death is as blissful and a pious occasion of the great re-union as the blissful and holy event of birth. If the Lord had not made arrangements for the incident of death, this world would have become a hellish gaol. If generations of one’s father, his father, his grandfather etc. had continued to live, not one corner of his big bungalow would have been spared or empty. In every nook and corner of the bungalow, there would be beds and in them aged people with weakened bodies would cough aloud while lying down and emitting phlegm from their mouths and since they would pass urine and stools in their beds, the gigantic bungalow would be converted to hell and not one corner would be empty to keep one’s T.V. or a radio set.
By the grace of God, His arrangement of death is very amazing and benign. Life is a flowing river wherein birth and death are its two shores. Hence the world remains sacred in the pious flow of the Ganges of life. The human psyche is not purified by water but by bathing in the pure water of Ganges of life.
Lord Krishna explains this to Yudhishtira -
¥æy}ææ ÝÎè ¨¢²}æ„æï² Ðê‡ææü
¨y²æ±ã¢ àæèH„Åæ: βæï=}æ: J
„~ææ±xææ㢠ÜUéL Ðæ¢ÇéÐé~æ
Ý ±æçÚ‡ææ àæéŠ{²ç„ ™æ‹„Úæy}ææ JJ
Atma nadi sanyamtoya purna
Satyavaham shilatataha dayormihi
Tatravagaham kuru panduputra
Na varina shudhyati chantaratmaa
“O son of Pandu, Yudhishtira ! You must bathe in the river of life (the soul) which is full of the water of self-control, which has the flow of truth, between the two precipices of pure character and which has waves of compassion”.
One’s psyche cannot be purified with water (H2O) only. A man swimming (living) in this holy river of life crosses this life and death. His death becomes hallowed. This is an extraordinary import of death.
He who overcomes the delusions of birth and death can understand the mystery of life. Or say, he who understands the mystery of life, can never be deluded by birth and death. Death has no form, it is merely a state. Life’s flow is incessant. Death is the middle time span of a few moments like a threshold between two separate rooms. Life can never be broken up. Life is incessant.
Death is a benefactor and the saints and scriptures have narrated many of its benefits. If you understand these benefits, your fear of death will vanish. After the fear of death vanishes, you will experience the bliss, zeal and exuberance of living a full life, which in turn enables you to celebrate the festival of the hallowed reunion with God at the time you give up your body. Hence do listen to and know some benefits of death.