Author Topic: Reflections on Death  (Read 4767 times)

Nagaraj

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Reflections on Death
« on: June 20, 2016, 01:49:53 PM »
I intend to post some articles that reflect on Death. I welcome others also to contribute if you find something worthy.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 01:51:43 PM »
Coping with Loss - by Daisaku Ikeda

The impermanence of life is an inescapable fact. Yet while it is one thing to know, in theory, that each moment of your life may be the last, it?s much harder to actually live and act, on a practical level, based on that belief. Most of us tend to imagine that there will always be another chance to meet and talk with our friends or relatives again, so it doesn?t matter if a few things go unsaid.

But whenever I meet someone, I try to extend myself to them to the utmost, for that may be our last encounter. I never leave room for regret, aiming to concentrate my whole being in each moment.

Buddhism identifies the pain of parting from one?s loved ones as one of life?s inevitable sufferings. It is certainly true that we cannot avoid experiencing the sadness of separation in this life.

Shakyamuni, the Buddha who lived in India over 2,000 years ago, lost his mother when he was just one week old. As he grew up, he always wondered, ?Why did my mother die? Where did she go? Where can I go to meet her? What is this thing ?death? that has robbed me of my mother? What, after all, is life??

His sorrow at the loss of his mother became a powerful driving force which enabled him to have deep compassion for others and to seek the truth of life.

One day he met a woman whose child had died; she was wandering about in a grief-stricken daze with the tiny body clutched to hers. ?Please give me some medicine to save my baby,? she begged Shakyamuni, her eyes red with tears.

He knew the child was past saving, but wanted somehow to encourage her. He told her to fetch some poppy seeds so he could make medicine, but only to collect poppy seeds from families which had never known bereavement.

The woman hurried off into town and called on every household. But although many had poppy seeds, there was not a single house in which there had never been a death. The distraught mother gradually came to realize that every family lived with the sadness of lost loved ones quietly concealed somewhere in their hearts. Through this experience she realized she was not alone in her feelings of grief.

Probably no words can heal the heart of a mother who has lost her child. Someone truly wise, on meeting a woman whose child has died, might simply sit down at her side, and stay there not saying a word. Even if no words are exchanged, the warm reverberations of concern from deep in that person?s life will be felt.

In the Buddhist view, the bonds that link people are not a matter of this lifetime alone. And because those who have died in a sense live on within us, our happiness is naturally shared with those who have passed away. So, the most important thing is for those of us who are alive at this moment to live with hope and strive to become happy.

By becoming happy ourselves, we can send invisible ?waves? of happiness to those who have passed away. But if we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by sorrow, the deceased will feel this sorrow too, as we are always together, inseparable.

When I met Sonia Gandhi, widow of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, not long after her husband?s tragic death, I said to her, ?The lives of those who have suffered the greatest tragedy shine with the greatest brilliance. Please change your destiny into a source of great value. If you are sad, your husband will grieve with you. And if you stand up with a smile, your husband will be happy too.?

A person who meets with a great tragedy will quite naturally be at a loss as to what to do with their life. I believe one has to decide whether to keep up one?s spirits and go on living with all one?s might or let oneself be broken by disappointment.

There are many examples where people who lost their mother or father early in life have gone on to achieve great things. My friend Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, a famous South African poet, once told me that the first poem he wrote was to his mother. He said, ?My mother?s death was a great shock to me, so great that I almost couldn?t recover from it. It took me a long time to get over it. But eventually I noticed something. Whatever strength I had was something my mother had given to me, left to me. My mother?s words were alive in me; my mother lived on inside me. When I recognized that, a poem to my mother welled up spontaneously from the depths of my heart.?

Through struggling to overcome the pain and sadness that accompanies death, we become more aware of the dignity of life and can come to share the sufferings of others as our own.

The Harvard University Library was donated by a woman who lost her son in the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Her son, Harry Elkins Widener, who died at the age of twenty-seven, was a graduate of Harvard who had a passion for reading and had collected many books. In fact, he had just completed a book-buying trip in London when he boarded the Titanic together with his mother and father.

Harry was a loving son to his mother, a gallant and heroic young man. Seeing his mother safely into the lifeboat, he stayed behind with his father on the sinking ship. The collection of over three thousand valuable books that he had already built up was left to Harvard University, but there was nowhere to put them. This prompted his mother to donate huge sums of money so that a library could be constructed. Out of this tragedy came a priceless gift to countless students.

Those who can overcome grief and continue to live with strength and courage deserve respect. I greatly admire someone who can overcome their personal suffering and go on to leave behind something of value for future generations.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

atmavichar100

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 02:24:58 PM »
Buddha's View On Life & Death

"Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death."

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"Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely."

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"On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him."

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"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 08:02:32 PM »
Gangaji ... Facing Death

https://youtu.be/sWIPoecz_A8
simply stop telling the story of the self and see who you are without it

Jewell

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 04:21:43 PM »

When I die


When I die,
when my coffin
is being taken out,
you must never think
i am missing this world.

Don't shed any tears,
don't lament or
feel sorry,
i'm not falling
into a monster's abyss.

When you see
my corpse is being carried,
don't cry for my leaving.
I'm not leaving;
i'm arriving at eternal love

When you leave me
in the grave,
don't say goodbye.
Remember, a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind.

You'll only see me
descending into a grave...

Now watch me rise!

How can there be an end,
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down?

It looks like the end,
it seems like a sunset,
but in reality it is a dawn;
When the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed.

Have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth,
not rise with a new life?
Why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human?

Have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty?
Why lament for a soul,
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well?

When for the last time
you close your mouth,
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place, no time.

Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi


atmavichar100

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 09:30:01 PM »
?If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief. Find wherefrom thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.?

(Bhagavan in 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi', Talk 80.)
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Nagaraj

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Re: Reflections on Death
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2016, 06:54:18 AM »
Death is the source of Wisdom. Yama, the Lord of Death is the Lord of Wisdom or Knowledge. In Kathopanishad, Nachiketsas asks the untouchable question of what is Death to Yama. Death is the source of inspiration for Bhagavan's Self Enquiry. One should deliberate on Birth and Death. The more one deliberates one gets used to it and becomes balanced with the Yathaartha (as a matter of fact)

I heard in one Hindi Satsang -

यथार्थ मे जीने का अभ्यास् करो ।
yathArtha me jIne kA abhyAs karo |

Practice living with the matter of fact.

I feel, Just as a Father gives away his daughter in marriage as Kanyadaanam, one has to give away ones near and dear ones to the Lord Yamadharma in such spirit!

Today we have mobiles, internet computers, we have 24 hours communications, but in the days of yore, i wonder if the father got to communicate or see his daughter after marriage had the daughter got married in a distant place! Once Daughter got married, that is more or less a death in itself!

We have to accept Death as a matter of fact of life!

Empathize ourselves by ourselves!  उद्धरॆत् आत्मना आत्मानं A man must elevate himself by his own self by wisdom

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« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 06:59:59 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta