September 30, 2015
Death is an integral part of our life. In this article I have tried to explain how we can contain the fear of death, the origin of God with a different view, the purpose of life and where to find it and how we can achieve a dignified exit to reunite with the God.
Every one of us has to pass through the fear of dying one day or other. It is not only reserved for the convicts who receive the death penalty. We have many questions and possible explanations. Question is whether we will be able to meet our end comfortably in a dignified way welcoming it or rather fearfully trying to run away from it. If we can welcome it comfortably what is it that takes us to actually sail through the fear, is need to be known.
Mother Teresa’s divine call came when she saw the people dying on the streets of Kolkata. To give them a dignified exit from this world she sacrificed her everything and became a saint. She made her service a worship. Our ex-President Dr Kalam died while doing his passionate work, being with and teaching students. Those great souls do not needed any preparations to exit. Their lifestyle was their prayers and preparations. They were always ready. As St Augustine said he was ready to die even at the ground, while playing.
Fear of death bothers more to those people who lead a regretful life, not those who lead a fruitful life. I personally witnessed this truth being with a few elders during their final days.
Can we become like a Mother Teresa or a Dr Kalam within our domain? Can we welcome our final moment being ready ever, any time? Talking about death is considered pessimism and bad omen; but the fact is death is an integral part of our life.
If we can decorate our birthday celebrations, wedding day and many more other occasions in life, can’t we beautify our room in which we may take our last breath? We may not die there in the same place because no one knows when and where we are called back. Still the room where we sleep and rest during our old age being sick and unable to move, may be beautified with enough natural things. Let the fresh air freely flow brushing away the odors of medicines, daylight freely enter to destroy the bacteria and the stars and moon be clearly visible in the night. When we look outside, flowers butterflies and birds be visible to see the beautiful creation of God. We can install a music system to play the hymns, devotional songs and let there be enough portraits of God, saints and the loved ones. Whatever may be the way we lived our life, but surely we turn toward spirituality at the end because our soul do not allow us to get away from the Almighty.
I have often witnessed aged and helpless people placed at the corner of the house and left alone inside a dark room with no sufficient light and air inside. I have witnessed their lifeless eyes staring at the celling of the room lying on the bed. Those eyes silently conveying the message that they need company and life inside the room. I have seen their faces brightening up when a visitor comes to see them and the pain when they go. I have seen those dry eyes full of emotions caring for us even when they are personally disabled.
How to lead a life to die prepared? We had a wonderful example in front of us, the Apple founder Steve Jobs. As he said every challenge in life including the first meeting with his would-be wife he met with only one mindset, he may not get a second chance. What example he set we all know. Just a sense of may not be getting the second chance in life again. A sense that death may embrace him anytime and this moment should be lived fruitfully. This clearly indicates that having the sense of death at the corner of the mind is neither a wrong thing nor a bad omen.Instaed it may do wonders in our life. May be when we forget this fact and live as immortals, we fall and fail in life.
All living things die and decay and go back to the point of origin; from the gigantic stars to simple bacterias.The work of creation and destruction (change of form) is a non-ending process. It is like the two parallel rail tracks on which life runs like a train. As the famous law of the physics and chemistry says "Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed". It just changes its form. In this direction if we take our thoughts little further, the death belongs to the body only, the soul continues to live beyond death in a different form (Like it is in the form of human body now) which we do not know. We fall and fail when we suppress the voice of soul. Those listen chose constructive ways and those neglects try to destroy and on the process get destroyed and fall. The best example we had in Dr APJ Kalam’s and Yakub Memon's death. Both brilliant minds but their end reflected their choice in life.
Death in any form unites us with the Almighty after the purpose of life is served. How we know that our purpose of life is served? From where the purpose of life comes? One fine day I asked this question to one of my mentor when we met at marine drive sea shore in Mumbai. I was struggling to establish myself those days and used to find peace at the sea shore. He told me that if and when I come and sit at the sea shore when I become old, if I have lead my life meaningfully, a joy of fulfillment/abundant will automatically cover my heart thinking about the struggles and the victories I had in my life; my responsibility toward my fellow citizens in the society and the entire mankind. And that happiness cannot be artificially created and felt. This is the proof that I lived my life the way it should have been.
The purpose in life comes from our immediate suroundings. Not everything is perfect there. We need to pick up things which are imperfect and set things right.If something is wrong where we are born or where we go, when we meet a wrong person or whatever we feel imperfect ,we are being there to set things right. God has a purpose behind us, being there. Let us Understand and accept it instead of complaining. A helping hand for the needy (to orphans), a little concern (old aged and helpless), some guidance (to illiterates) and some sacrifice (to needy) or a combination of all these toward the less fortunate around us. From here we need to pick up our purpose in life. That is why we are born and sent to a particular environment or we enter a particular situation. We feel our presence there is accidental when we see things blindly, but when we open our wisdom we can see the hidden purpose of God.
We say every now and then that life is very short. How short is it, in fact? I am very much fascinated by the full moon and love nature very much. When interacting with a group of students during one such full moon day at the sea shore we started calculating the number of full moon days we really can enjoy in our lifetime. And that figure turned out to be just 240 full moon days after all the calculations we made! So short our life span is!
What is death in fact then? Is it the end? Surely NO, not only all religious teachings; but also the law of the nature and science says this. It signals the beginning of another form of energy like every destination in life signals the beginning of one more leg of journey. Like the transition stages in life; infancy to childhood, youth, adults and aged. Adulthood signals the end of youth in us but at the same time we welcome the beginning of adulthood as more responsible and matured individuals. Only the role we perform changes. Likewise we change our role after death and continue to live thereafter also.
Fear of death may be originating because we don’t know what role we suppose to play, where and how after we exit from this life. When we cross each day here in this world we are getting closer to a new beginning. This journey of life may be treated as the process of purification in which an “innocent child” becomes a ‘matured child” at the end of the process,passing through various stages of life and enters the divinity again completing a full circle.
Sometimes we doubt and question the presence of God; it is because this world seems to be very cruel. As we all know that nothing in this world is simply existing. There is a manufacturer behind it. There is an action and reaction or a cause and effect. There is a reason behind everything .All things we see are commanded somewhere. It is not chaotic, from the universe to a simple household (family structure) .If we can take this assumption a little ahead it is very clear that there must be someone behind this huge unbelievable creation. He is God.
Then a question may arise; from where God came! One of the explanation I read is we are programmed to believe that there must be a cause to exist something. Let us imagine that something just exists without any cause. That is the origin of God. He simply exists without any cause behind him since God is beyond any cause and our imagination. Like this many things in this universe may be existing without any cause, just because we do not know about it yet, we can’t deny this assumption either (Try to imagine our existence without our parents!!Amoeba multiplies without sexual reproduction).
One of the famous quote explains death as “Life is pleasant, Death is peaceful; it is the transition that’s troublesome”. This transition is in our hand .We either make it a painful ride or a joyful journey depends on what we chose in life. A joyful journey choosing constructive ways in life makes us worthy to embrace that deep sleep (death) without much fear and rise again united with the Almighty.
When we don’t even enter a bus train or plane without a clear sense of our intended destination, wetake life for granted and enjoy life without any purpose and goal. Weshould have a clear cut destination in life too, throughgoals set for us and toward society. We keep praising the great souls but somehow do not get enough motivated to be like them within our limits.
If our passing over should be peaceful and remembered, our journey toward it should be joyful and purposeful. There is no point regretting at the end when we have a chance now and make amendments. Try to meet anaged person who lead the life of a criminal, all powerful and hear his comments about life. Only such people can understand and tell us what they have lost on the way.
Not only should we, the human beings but also all other species, every creation that breathes and is alive, has the right to exit in a dignified manner. It is our responsibility as most intelligent species to ensure this right to all other living creatures around us.
Nothing ends really, there is no end and hence there is no death but transition. Where there is an end, there is a new beginning, there is resurrection. We die to rise and live again with God.
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