Glory of Death - Chapter 5

While leaving the body a being experiences unbearable pain like that of the stings of millions of scorpions. All the sense-enjoyments experienced in one’s life become diseases and attack the body resulting in indescribable hardships for that being. The punishment of harboring addictions like that of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and breaking natural laws of eating, irregular sleeping etc. become diseases like T.B., Cancer, Diabetes, Blood-pressure, Kidney failure etc. and when at the time of death they stampede, the being becomes extremely agitated.
At the time of death mucous, gas and bile create a three-fold imbalance, which results in delirium. Despite the body becoming like tattered clothes and losing resistance power against diseases that attack it, the being does not wish to quit the body because of strong attachments and bodily identification (that I am the body). He tries to agitate against these diseases and death itself but he is forced into dying ultimately. Under circumstances like veins breaking open, vital force getting agitated Jarasandha and Kaalyavan intensely attacking the city, namely this body, the being becomes unconscious while giving up the body. This does not allow him to remember the Lord and meditate on His form and thus his own sins lead him to his downfall.
In order to ward off undergoing sorrow of bodily pain, the saints and scriptures have shown an easy path that right from the commencement of one’s life a person should learn to lead a life of self-control.
To the extent a man lives a life of self-control and enjoys as little as possible the worldly enjoyments by the senses and their objects, to that extent he can with ease give up his body at the time of death.
Just as a very ripe mango on a tree easily falls down with one gust of wind or just as a snake easily sheds its skin and does not even look back at it, with that same ease and self-control, a person can leave his body while remembering the Lord all the time.
When a person is dying, his relatives hire a Brahmin for chanting Mantra (Jap) so that he either does not die or delays death. This is a wrong belief. The body has to be given up at the fixed time. In order not to leave the body after being a victim of terrible diseases with unbearable pain, one should daily in his entire lifetime chant the Mrityunjaya Mantra (Jap) and lives a life of self-control. There is no such prayer in the Mrityunjaya Mantra that one should never die and extend one’s lifespan or postpone death itself. In the Mrityunjaya Mantra (Japa) it is prayed to Lord Shankar, who is the Lord of Death, as follows: -
ú ~²¢ÏæÜ¢U ²…æ}æãï ¨éxæ¢{è}æ ÐéçC}æì ±{üÝ}æì
©±æüMÜU}æì §± Ïæ¢{Ýæ„ì }æëy²æï: }æéÿæè² }ææ¢ ¥}æë„æ„ì J
O Tryambakeshwar Lord Shankar! We are worshipping you (yajamahe). Do enrich our life with fragrance and nourishment - meaning thereby may our life become more fragrant and that it matures with nourishment and may it ripen (i.e. mature and not become aged) and then "Urvarukam Iva" - meaning thereby, liberate us from death (mukshiya) like a water-melon.
In comparison to its weight a watermelon ripens on a very thin stem of a creeper. Human life too is like a very thin, delicate creeper or like thin, delicate cotton thread. When a watermelon ripens fully i.e. it becomes red and fragrant from within, its creeper without any difficulty, naturally releases it from its nipple. As long as the watermelon is raw, it clings to the creeper with its nipple, which is the source of its life’s maturity, nourishment and fragrance. In comparison to the weight of the watermelon the creeper is so thin and delicate that if one tries to pluck a raw watermelon the creeper gets torn and destroyed.
When the water-melon actually matures, its green skin color does not change, so outwardly one cannot infer if the water-melon has ripened, but when the creeper with great ease separates it from the nipple, we come to know that the watermelon has ripened and is well grown, fragrant and blood-red in colour from within.
In the same way while living a life of self-control our life truly becomes fragrant, mature-nourished i.e. grown-up (and not aged), very naturally devoid of any pain. Mrityunjaya Lord Kaaldeva will liberate our bodies from the noose of death. This is the underlying import of Mrityunjaya Mantra (jap).
Just as a ripe, fragrant watermelon is separated from the bondage of the creeper by itself, I too be liberated from the noose of death. Just as a watermelon creeper binds the fruit to itself and when the fruit ripens, it liberates it from bondage, Lord Shankar himself gives his devotees immortality and liberation from the bondage of death.