Glory of Death - Chapter 9
 

9. 'BIRTH' AND 'DEATH' ARE BOTH VERY ILLUSORY TERMS:
Both the words, 'birth' and 'death' are incorrect. Life is true. Birth is illusory (mithya) - death is illusory - life is truth. Birth and death are unreal. Life is reality. Birth and death are misguiding terms.
Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal,
“Dust thou art, to dust returneth.
Was not spoken of the soul.
When we see the sun rising in India, at that the very moment the Americans in America there say that the sun is setting down. But in reality the sun has never risen nor has it ever set. The sun exists since time immemorial. Both the words 'sunrise' and 'sunset' are misguiding words. In reality only the sun does ever exist.
In the same way when a being leaves his body, we say it is death and when he enters another body, we say he is born.
In reality a being is never born nor does it die. In reality he changes bodies only.
When a being in one body fulfills all his past obligations with his relatives, based on his past actions (karmas) during his life time, the being immediately gives up that body and we call it death. Later on in order to settle all his obligatory accounts with other beings, it takes up another body - incarnates - manifests - appears again, which we call birth. But in reality a being never dies nor is destroyed and is never reborn or is produced anew. That very being keeps giving up past bodies and based on his past accumulated actions (karmas) takes up new bodies one after another. Ignorantly we get deluded that this being is born or it dies.
When Zorastra the great spiritual leader of the Parsis was born he was laughing. Ordinarily as soon as a baby is born, it starts crying but Zorastra laughed so people asked him, “Why did you laugh as soon as you were born?” In reply Zoroastra said, “When I left my previous body I was laughing at the time of death.” People further enquired, “Why did you laugh when you were leaving your previous body?” Zoroastra replied, “At the time of death while leaving my previous body, sleeping on a bed, I was surrounded by relatives who were whispering, "See, this poor fellow is about to die. Alas! this poor chap is dying, etc." I heard them lamenting thus which made me laugh and conclude how ignorant all these people were. I was not dying - I was merely changing my body (clothes), whereas those fools were sympathizing with me that I was dying. Hence I laughed at their ignorance and foolish thinking while leaving my previous body and while laughing thus I immediately entered a new body - wore a new body. Even in the new body I was laughing and you saw me laughing in this birth of mine.”
No one goes very far from this world.
Everyone meets here wearing new clothes (bodies).
When a man was sleeping on the ground, people said he was dead.
In fact poor fellow was on a journey and today he reached his abode.