Thursday, November 05, 2015

This is the end

This is the end.

Beautiful friend.

This is the end.

My only friend the end.

Of everything that stands the end.

Of safety and surprise the end.

I’ll never look into your eyes again.

(Jim Morrison – The Doors)

People throughout the ages have been concocting stories of doom and death. Prophecies of apocalypse and destruction has been a salient part of scriptures also. Why are we so fascinated with these folklores of doom ? Why do we have a fixation on them ? One reason could be the mindset that we are all mortal beings. We see people falling to death, right, left and centre. All around us. So does this mean that death is the great equalizer ? Not at all. Death is just one chapter of this great book called life. We are all on different chapters, indicating the progress that we made in this life. In times to come, more chapters will be written and a final standing ovation, before we become a yogi (somebody who is united with God) That will be the end of this glorious book which we seem to be desperate to protect.

Inside our bodies, we have cells. These cells keep dividing and finally they become old and are no longer in a position to divide further. This is the end of the cell. Actually scientists and doctors have found that it’s an enzyme called telomerase whose production once stopped leads to the so called ‘cell-death’. We have tails for our cells called telomeres. These structures keep getting shorter with the passage of time, till a situation comes when telomeres are no longer present. When death happens to a person, his physical body leaves first. This is an instruction from the brain to all the cells to notify of the end. The senses then die one by one. Then the breathing stops. That is the end of the pranic body. Have you seen a person who loses different faculties of the body step by step. While he is dying, we say yeah he is becoming one with God. Finally the consciousness also leaves the body. When this happens, the individual is proclaimed dead.

When I say consciousness leaves the body, it simply means that our awareness gets de-focussed from our body. Consciousness is not necessarily within the body, as it can be non local. When we have lost our body and sense, a great sense of peace pervades us. In fact people who have undergone NDE (Near Death Experience) have experienced moments of bliss and also astral projections of our body, watching our dead body and people all around us. Similarly some people recollect their previous birth experience indicating that reincarnation is true. People have a fear of hell in the afterlife. They believe that it’s a place where people atone for their sins. Is that true ? I do not know. Hell according to me is the state of mind. If you are a living being, still depressed, then you are in hell, already.

In the Katha Upanishad, mention is made of person named Nachiketa, who asks the God of Death (Yama) to teach him the secret of Death. When Death asks him to ask of anything else, but this secret, he simply refuses. Yama doesn’t have an option, but to teach him the secret. There is another character – a sage called Shukracharya (teacher of Asuras) who has been taught the secret of Sanjivani (Bringing the dead back to life) by Lord Shiva. The best way to avoid Death is to not notice him when he comes knocking on your door. Pray to God. He will help you out with a solution. With technology our life span is getting extended, as we have more proactive means of identifying diseases before they become fatal. Also with augmented body parts, our life span will increase. But one thing is for sure. We cannot avoid death, as long as we carry this body with us. So welcome it with arms wide open because it’s the door to salvation.

Finally …


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