“Make your role so worthy in life that people applaud even after the curtains fall.” They say this was Colonel MN Rai’s Whatsapp status a few weeks ago. This little statement shows the depth of his insight into life. Only a person who is willing to die can live life totally. What you call as “life” is just a brief happening. There is no guarantee that you will not die tomorrow. An intelligent being will live with the awareness that it could happen even today. Once you are constantly aware of this, you will come alive.
It does not take enormous intelligence and research, nor do you need education, to find out whether you will die or not. It is inbuilt in every human being the moment one is born. At least by the time you are four or five you know you can die. So, it is not that people are not aware, they are trying to close their eyes to it. It is good to look at it with openness. This is something that needs to be brought into a person’s life early enough, not after death has happened. Because this is not something that you handle at that moment, all of a sudden. When someone has just lost a very dear one, if you now try to preach, you will hurt them even more.
On a certain day, a woman who was the mother of three young boys lost her husband and was grief-stricken. Naturally, after this she clung on to the three children as her life. But the eldest boy also died after a year, and soon after, the second one also passed away. Now she clung on to her only child for dear life, but this boy also died soon after. Unable to bear this, she took the little boy’s body and went to Gautama the Buddha. She said, “You and all your spirituality. Whatever you are talking doesn’t mean anything unless you bring this boy to life. My husband died, I somehow bore that. My first boy died and then the second one too, I still held on. Now the last one is also gone. If you are real, prove it now by bringing this boy to life.”
Gautama looked at the woman and knew that in this state of inflamed emotion, whatever he could say or do would not get across. So he said, “I will bring your boy back to life. Go and get me a few sesame seeds from a house that has never known death.” Carrying the boy’s body, the woman went from house to house, looking for one that had never known death. After going through the entire town, she realized there wasn’t a single home like this. Then she stopped, did what she had to do with the body, came back and sat in front of Gautama. She remained with him right through her life.
Death is not a surprise. You must remind yourself and introduce this fact into your children’s lives very early. It is not necessary that it needs to happen in your family; it is happening to somebody or the other every day. Just remind your children, “Death is not a calamity; it is a natural process of life.” You can talk to them about your own death; it is very good for them to know that their parents will die someday. Then, instead of dying after 25 years, if you die tomorrow, they will still be able to handle their lives. Even if you disappear tomorrow morning, they must be able to live a sensible and balanced life. If you do not acquaint them with death, they will not be able to do it.
This does not mean that you will not miss your departed loved ones, or that you will be devoid of normal human emotions. Of course, you will feel the loss, but it need not destroy you. Everything that occurs in your life can enrich you, if only you handle it with a certain sense of awareness. When you have paid such a huge price of losing someone dear to you, should you not benefit from it? It is an enormous possibility for you to mature and grow beyond your limitations. You must benefit from it. If you are aware, you will benefit from it immensely.