We have read many anecdotes of people who have had near death experiences and how their lives have changed because of their experiences. This could well apply to anyone who confronts one’s death as it adds a poignancy to life. We realise how vulnerable we are. We know we don’t have endless time in front of us. Therefore, we will seek to live by what is truly important for us instead of drifting and wasting our time in purposeless activities.
In fact, in the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna in the 13th chapter mentions this as a value. Thinking about the fact that life is going to end in death, as far as this lifetime is concerned, is a value to be kept in mind. Even the life you lead has limitations – Illness, old age, etc. Is this a pessimistic view of life? Definitely not. It is recognizing realities of human life – our limitations and vulnerabilities. This is not to make us insecure but make us recognize that all insecurities are limited and therefore it is important to seek a higher purpose in life, which is presented as moksha in the Gita. We are given enough chances.
This human life is such that all of us have confronted death of our near and dear ones by the time we become adults, more so in the pandemic times. Therefore, instead of just trying to deal with the grief or dismissing it by brushing it under the carpet it is important to recognise that if death is the end, what am I going to do with my life before I face death? As they say, ‘Life is a dangerous game. Nobody survives it.’
Confronting this fact will make us look at life more meaningfully, more deeply and more spiritually. That is what the human journey on earth is all about. We are not earthly beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings on an earthly journey to discover certain lessons that can be learnt on earth and then we can move forward in our spiritual growth.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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