Yes, Together We Can
by (Capt) Ravi K Mahajan
29. LIFE and DEATH
We come to this World with confirmed Return Ticket. Only Date & Time, nobody knows. If you live your life well, you need not be afraid of Death. Even Alexander, The Great left this world Empty Handed.
You started your life in your mother’s womb. It was a big chance, perhaps, 700 million to one, which you won, enabling you to find a place in her womb. She went through all sort of physical pain and discomfort, in bringing you to this world. But, in spite of all those physical discomforts, she was greatly satisfied and happy to give birth to you. Thus, you started your life as a Winner. So, why not continue with that winning spree. Always stand out to be a winner. You are unique, the original. There is no one like you in the entire universe. God made you what you are. So cherish the most valuable Gift of God to you, your LIFE. Get the best out of it, because there may be no second chance.
When you were born, you knew only one thing. That is crying. You came into this world, crying. You cried while others around you, rejoiced and smiled. When you were feeling hungry or in discomfort or anything you did not like, you expressed it only in one way. That is by Crying. But as you grew, the learning process started. Your Parents, Teachers, Friends, Society, Spouse taught you so many life skills, of which, you slowly became adept at. Some of these came naturally to you, for others, you had to make frantic efforts to learn.
In life, we have five major areas which take most of our attention. That is our Profession, Family, Society, Self and Money. Most important Life Skill is balancing these areas proportionally and skillfully, so that you get the most from Life. Giving too much importance to each, would make the other areas to suffer. That’s why, you should live a balanced life to get the best out of life.
For a Rewarding Life, well lived, following five principles are necessary:
CONTENTMENT, TRUTH, COMPASSION, SINCERITY AND FORGIVENESS.
These Five Principles are the essence and nectar of a satisfying and rewarding life full of vibrancy, hope, tranquility, joy and satisfaction.
We also must understand that there is no permanency in life. Often, when going is good, we think it will last forever. At that time, we never think that something can go wrong. We indulge in all sorts of physical pleasures, thinking that we are going to have them forever. We create an illusion that all such pleasures are permanent but CHANGE is the only CONSTANT in life, since everything keep changing. Every moment of life, we are aging which brings change, both in our body and mind, without us knowing or feeling, because change is very gradual. This change brings in change in our appearance, likes and dislikes, attitude, perception etc. which we must accept gracefully, with dignity and poise. Every spent moment in our life, brings us closer to our final destiny, death.
Unfortunately, because of our over indulgence and single minded pursuit of wealth, physical pleasures, material gains and in our Bid to own whatever we can, we become afraid of death, afraid of losing everything when we die. We forget that the day we are born, date of death is predestined. Only thing is, we do not know about it. We are all born to live and die. How we are going to die, is also not known to anyone. Everyone fears painful death. Who decides, when and how we are going to die? Is it God? But whatever our final destiny is, no one can change that.
Its very ironic that, while everybody would like to go to Heaven but no one wants to die. Thus, we experience Heaven or Hell here only, within our lives. Root cause of our hellish feeling of misery and dissatisfaction with life, is our misplaced Ego, Greed, Hatred, Jealousy, Envy and Ostentatious living. We take great pains trying to appear what we are not. We often try to create fake or false image, trying to impress others at the cost of our own wellbeing, dignity and happiness. We do not live our life, our way, but are more concerned how others would be impressed. In due course, we become paranoid with this lifestyle or impression it will create on others.
A very funny recent incidence comes to my mind. An acquaintance bought an expensive swanky car recently. There was no need for another car, since he already had a Honda city. Obviously, second car was to impress others. Next day, he put his photographs, begging for attention and appreciation, along with his latest grand acquisition on the face book for everyone to see and be impressed. I do not know how many congratulatory calls he received but I, simply, could not make myself to call him because I honestly felt, it was very cheap and unbecoming of him to do that. In fact, I felt pity for this appreciation and attention starved poor individual. God bless him.
Because of this sort of false living and façade created by us, living in so called style, we become a totally phony person. Whatever we do, we want others’ approval and appreciation, be it dressing, eating, behaviour. Then one-up-man-ship starts, where looking down everyone else, becomes a norm and even, necessity. Life becomes a self centered affair with total involvement in selfish pursuits. Understandably, we are afraid of death though, knowing fully well, that death is inevitable for any living being & a certainty.
Life without vision of mortality, is incomplete and flawed and thus creates miseries and fear in us. Wisdom counsels us to remember about death and always be prepared to face the certain eventuality of death. This thought shall always prevent us from wrong doings, cruelty towards fellow human beings and His other creations. Being always aware of the certainty called death, would always inspire us to leave a legacy, of which we can be proud of, a life well lived and when we die, we face death not with remorse but with confidence, joy and as a means to pave our way to a new wonderful life. For the right thinking and doing, death should be a peaceful acceptance, a welcome entry into the unknown, a joyful ‘so long’ to old friends, to the old world. There need not be any tragedy in it.
For living a Happy, Satisfying and Tension-Free Life, create an expression of divinity in your vision. Your Wealth, Prosperity and Power will not accompany you on your final journey. Only through your good deeds, how you have helped others, your kindness towards all His creations and legacy you leave through such acts, will go with you. When your focus is on such divine things, when you are alive, afflictions such as Greed, Lust, Anger, Violence etc will all make way for LOVE, PEACE, SERENITY and HARMONY in Mind and your living life will become Illuminated and filled with Bliss and Pleasure, you might never have experienced before.
Alexander, the Great, had conquered almost the whole world. Even for him, the day came when he was to die. While on his deathbed, he called his ministers and told them, when they bury him, his both hands should be kept above the ground in the air for everyone to see and realize that ‘even Alexander, the Great, left this world Empty Handed’.
Life must be lived in such a way that when one is on the deathbed, the feeling should be of utter satisfaction and joy, not of repentance or guilt. Given another chance, one would still live life the way one has lived. Mark Twain once said ‘Live your life in such a way, that even the undertaker cries at the funeral’ or a quote of Sri Sathya Sai Baba which says ‘People all around should weep at the loss but you should smile in peace’. At that time, you would not think of how much your bank balance is, or how big is the house you have lived or the car you have driven.
So Today is the day of realization for you. Not tomorrow. A Chinese saying goes like this ‘Best time to Plant a tree was twenty years ago. Second best is now’. So you are the best judge to live your life the way you want. Nobody else can decide that for you. You have to design your life. Do not live your life by default or flow with the flow. Change is the essence and little effort to change. Whatever you are now, your likes and dislikes, habits etc. have been acquired. Had you borne in a different household or in a different country, you would have been a different person.
The purpose of writing this book is not to make money. Not at all. Purpose is to make you think for yourself. It’s your life. Just to help you live the way you should. Purpose is to put forth before you a totally different perspective of life. Read various lessons of this book extremely carefully, think over them and instill whatever you think you must so that you are much happy, satisfied and joyful when you have lived it all, when you can only look back with pride or guilt. You are the uncrowned king of your life. Think and live. Do not let others to think for you. Take initiative now, take action now when you still can.
Moderation is the essence of life. While some people lead peaceful, fulfilling and meaningful life, others lead strife torn and unsatisfying life with miseries all around. Life need not be highly flamboyant or starkly austere. Middle road with balanced disposition, is best. When we create a facade about our Status, Power and Influence, and to live up to that cosmetic image, we give in to Greed, Jealousy, Envy, Corruption, Conceit and Compromise, which are all Negative factors.
Simply put, choice is ours. Either we choose to suffer with phony, fake & spurious lifestyle, which is our own creation and be perpetually unhappy and unsatisfied, or chose and adhere to the one that is genuine, with which we are more confident and comfortable. After achieving a comfortable level of financial security in life, one should strive to live a meaningful life, helping others in whatever way he can and look forward to a Finer, Humane, Creative path and cultivate a generous disposition, which also means to adopt a path of Forgive, Forget and move on in life. Life, then, will be meaningful, vibrant, full of hope and will never Stagnate.
What we call ‘Life’, is the space between birth and death. Ultimately, everyone dies, even the mortal Gods. Simply put, life is what one lives biologically, till we are breathing and blood circulation is taking place in our body through various organs to keep them alive. Wear and Tear, inevitably takes place in all the body parts and like every machine, parts get old, rusted and sometime they stop functioning or functioning disorders are there. With the birth, journey begins, with final destination, death. So fearing death, does not make sense.
The person who dies, does not know what happens after death. Theory of reincarnation or rebirth are all hypothesis only. No one, howsoever enlightened, can be sure. Sometimes, even the theory of soul, reincarnation, rebirth or other such related things and beliefs, do not make sense. Life and death is a natural process. Whosoever, is borne, will, one day die. When & How, Is not known to anyone. After the death which is inevitable to any living being, only remembrances are left. If at all, one must be concerned with that when one lives because that is one thing in your hand. To live a life of dignity, discipline, character, patience, happiness, Giving-sharing-helping type, is the essence, which makes life beautiful and worth living of which all those who had known us, can be proud of.
When the time comes, which would for everyone, to sum up our lives and all that we have achieved and done, we will find that what was most important was how we have affected lives of others for good or goodness generated through our kindness and compassion, while we lived and not our balance sheet of material assets. After the death, what is left is memory. Person’s good or bad deeds! Whether the person lived for himself only, for his worldly pleasures and monetary gains, which he has left behind? Whether he was rich or poor? None, has, at any time, carried with himself, whatever he accumulated or generated, except his deeds. Ultimately, it will be, how much happiness one has created in his fellow human beings and how many smiles he earned while he lived.
Some readers may find it crudely put, but life lived should be such that that the ‘whole town’ appear to have come for the funeral, because at the funeral, no one invites you. You come uninvited. This last invitation from the dead is responded by your heart not by your head. During the last journey, one is only a human being, good or ordinary. If one has spread happiness, joy, have been good to everyone, helped others, people would flock to bid adieu. Funeral is solemn occasion and a twenty one gun salute does mean nothing to the dead. What sort of life he has led is left to be seen.
We come to this world to serve a purpose. We can delight others, make them happy and joyful by our presence and actions and through such acts we worship our creator and at the end of it all, one fine day we crumble back to where we came from, this divine earth.
Life is sharing not monopolizing, whether it is happiness, wealth, possessions, love, anything. All these things grow fast when shared, but shrink when monopolized. Convert all those past negatives into future positives, to make your life genuinely tranquil, serene, cheerful and meaningful rather than full of guilt, regrets and resentments. Life is a big reward you have earned and you fully deserve it. Hence, you need to beautify it, leave this world better, happier and fragrant than how you found it and you have done your bit. So that when you leave, those left behind feel truly sad but proud that they had known you.
Essence of the whole Lesson is ‘Live your Life in such a way, that even undertaker cries at your funeral’. Mark Twain.
The True Worth of a Person is revealed when –
What he Thinks of others when he has Everything &
What others Think of him when he doesn’t have much.
Live Simply, Love Generously, Care deeply, Speak Kindly, and Trust Your Creator who Loves You.