[Advaita-l] Dying to live peacefully - part 1

Stephen Satzinger stevsatz at gmail.com
Wed Dec 27 00:04:59 EST 2017

Thank you, sir for this posting.

On Dec 24, 2017 10:42 PM, "kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Dying to Live Peacefully
> Krishna says that which is born has to die – Jatasya hi dhruvo mRityuH,
> and that which dies has to be reborn, dRivan jnama mRitasya ca. Hence
> Krishna says everything is conserved in Life. That which is born of food
> will go back to become food for others, while individual soul takes
> different bodies that are conducive for its transactions. People are afraid
> of death. Geeta starts with Arjuna crying for potential death of his loved
> ones in the war. Krishna says – you are crying where there is no reason for
> you to cry; and the wise men do not cry for those who are dead or for those
> who are going to die – gataasuunagataasuncha na anusochanti panditaaH. He
> justifies his statement by saying that nobody dies even though ‘every body’
> dies; for one is not the body. Death of the body is not the death of the
> individual soul.  One takes up another body, when the current body becomes
> no more useful for further transactions. Krishna says, it is like getting
> rid of old clothes for the new ones; hence the wise ones do not cry.
> Death, as we know, is complete separation of oneself from the body. People
> cry only because they intensely identify themselves with the physical body,
> and not even aware that they are different from the body. They are not
> aware of the life after death. ‘Birth is not the beginning of life, and
> death is not its end’, says Vedanta. It is a continuous flow of life. We
> have lived many lives in the past and probably will live forever taking
> different bodies, unless we transcend this beginning-less cycle of birth
> and death. People are afraid to die, since they cannot perceive what is
> going to happen when they die; the fear of the unknown. In addition,
> because of their attachments to the people and things, they do not want to
> leave the environment they are in.
> In fact, we die peacefully every night. When we go to deep sleep state, we
> die to everything that is known or unknown. As we go to deep sleep state –
> called laya – we, as though, dissolve everything, every relationship, every
> transaction, every expectation, every pain or pleasure, with no more
> attachment to the loved ones, no bank accounts, no dependence on wealth, no
> more an employee –employer relationships, no friends or enemies, no taxes
> to pay, no debts to worry about, no ahankaara or ego or mamakara or notion
> that this is mine;  we are neither professors or students facing
> examinations, etc, all are gone without any trace, sometimes even without
> any warning. No one is afraid to go to deep sleep state, as they are
> inherently aware that they know that they will be reborn again the next
> day; and many look forward to it. A mother holding on her new baby with all
> her love and care, leaves even that relationship, and sleeps peacefully
> without being a mother or without having a new baby to take care.  In the
> deep sleep state, we are free from the whole world and its problems.  In
> fact, there is no time and space even.  It is a homogeneous absence of
> everything known or unknown, or more correctly the absence of the awareness
> of everything, known and unknown.
> Factually, we die every moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet
> come. Last second is gone and the new second has yet to come. We can only
> live today or in the present. We worry about the dead past and the unknown
> future. We know that future is based on our past, modified by our present
> actions. Yet there are unknown elements that frighten us, factors that are
> beyond our control.  Death can come any time without any warning. We are
> not prepared to let go – let go of everything that we own, starting from
> this body. Many of us are not prepared to die peacefully. Hence fear of
> death is there for many since we do not know when and how it comes; and no
> one wants or is prepared to die. As per Vedanta, any being generally has
> six modifications; existence, birth, growth, old-age, disease and death.
> People are afraid of the last three stages; old-age, disease and death;
> where experiences are not pleasant. There are theories on how to age
> gracefully, since it is inevitable. It is natural that with age the body
> deteriorates, and physiological functions fail one by one, and for the
> many, it is painful. Death also involves a complete separation from the
> loved ones. Since it is inevitable, the question is only how to die
> peacefully, without suffering. For that we should understand the life and
> death, as it is an unavoidable continuous cycle. People spend enormous
> amount of time to look younger than what they are, since there is a belief
> that younger looking people are respected more than the older looking
> people.
> I saw recently interesting quote on the Facebook, posted by the followers
> of J. Krishnamurthy (JK). The quote says that if we understand the death,
> we transcend the death; in a way echoing Krishna’s statement that ‘wise
> ones do not cry for the death’ – na anusochanti panditaaH. We may not cry
> for the death of the loved ones, but what about our own death; are we
> afraid of facing the death? Some consider that talking about death is
> inauspicious, and they are sentimental about it. That is also due to a
> reflection of the fear of death. Death is considered as inauspicious event.
> One has to understand that the death is essential to live. If death is
> inevitable for those who are born, then it is even more important to
> understand death. Krishna says, if you understand it then you understand
> that you never die, even when the body dies.
>  ……..
> JK says: “Talking about death –You are afraid of losing the known, not of
> the unknown. To die to yesterday, to die to every minute, to all the things
> that you have gathered, is death.
> Death is going to strip you of everything - your family, your sons, your
> character, your ambitions.
> So why not strip yourself of all that now? When you do it, then you will
> know what death is”.
> Fundamental question then is how to strip yourself of everything while
> living?
> To be continued
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