The Way One Should Die
Death is not liberation and liberation is not death. Death
is just death; the body stops activity because that which made it active
has escaped. Does it escape into liberation by having become nothing
or does it escape into this limbo of this other existence from which
you must return is the only criterion to be applied to ‘how we die.’
If you are going to the limbo way, the dark way, that from here, I am
not going to just exit into an immortality in which I am nothing, and
everything that is having me is nothing, and into that infinite Nothingness
I merge myself. If it is not that, then we have this fright, this terrible
fear of death. What will happen to me after I die because your heart
tells you, you have done nothing to ensure what you are going to do
after you are dead.
You may be a rich man. You may be a philosopher. You may
be a poet. You may be the greatest artist in the world. When we die,
we all die the same death. So spirituality says, “It is not in life
that you are going to be different – these are superficial differences
– it is in death you are going to be different. If you live your life
as you should live it, in whatever station of life your earlier destiny
may have put you, you will die in such a way that you do not return
again to this existence. But the others are all going to come back.”
So you see, the true difference of a spiritual existence
is not in the way we live life here on earth, but in the way we die,
ultimately, here. And as Babuji Maharaj always said, “It is one of the
greatest tragedies and one of the greatest mysteries, that man learns
everything by experience. You learn to operate a computer by operating
a computer. A child learns to walk by falling and getting up, falling
and getting up – ultimately it does not fall any more. But we have died
so many millions of times, and yet we have not learned to die correctly.”
This is the tragedy of death. The tragedy of death is not that we die,
but that we never learn to die in the right way. See, it is like a man
who opens the door, closes it, opens the door, closes it. And he is
always inside. Or like one of these nice brass doors, polished, in big
hotels, four sections, rotating and children use it as a roundabout.
They just go round and round and round and round. They do not go anywhere,
just stay there.
So we are using life and death like one of these roundabouts.
Eternally we are going round and round. In fact, somebody has called
it the eternal return. Now whose fault is it? We always want to blame
God. We want to blame destiny. We want to blame everything except ourselves.
So spiritual science says, “Live in such a way that this death
is your last, no more coming back here.” Then life has been
properly lived and death has proved a door into eternity. Now the function
of death is precisely to lead you out of this life into the higher life.
But even that has to be learned, you see, and somebody has to teach
us how to do it. Now, that is what we learn in meditation.