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Death; The only Certainty


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The Sprout of Doubt

It happened in the life of a great mystic, Eknath; A man used to come to him for years - must have been a man who had a great philosophical mind. He would ask Eknath again and again, 'I cannot believe that a man can be so innocent as you, so saintly, so holy. Sometimes great doubts arise in me - maybe you are holy only on the surface, maybe deep inside your mind you still desire things that we desire - you are still ambitious. Maybe your ambition is very subtle and we cannot see it...maybe deep down in your dreams you still commit sin. Help me to get rid of this doubt, because this has become a barrier between me and you'. Eknath would laugh and would never answer.

One day early in the morning the man came and said, 'I could not sleep all night. Now it's too much! - it's becoming a nightmare! Seeing you I see such beauty, such grace, that I cannot believe it is possible in a human body. Seeing you I believe God is, but the moment I go home doubt starts sprouting, 'How can it be? After all he is also made of body and mind. Maybe there is still some sexual desire hidden in his unconscious.'

That day Eknath did not laugh. On the contrary he looked very serious and sad. He said, 'Friend, today I have to impart something very essential, urgent, to you. Before I discuss your question I would like to say what I have to say to you, because I may forget. If I go on discussing with you I may not remember.'

The man said, 'What is it? What is that which is so urgent?'.

Eknath said, 'Just the other day by chance I looked at your left hand, and your life line is finished. Just a little fragment is left, seven days at the most. Today is Sunday - I don't think you will be able to survive until next Sunday. By next evening you will be gone. Now you can ask your question.'

The man stood up. He said, 'What question? I will come again.'

Eknath said, 'Wait! Why is there so much hurry? It's enough time - seven days.'

The man said, 'You say it is enough time - seven days? I can't waste it on stupid doubts! What am I to do with you? Whether you suffer from sexuality or sin, that is your business, I am going home!'. Eknath tried to hold him back but he escaped. He said, 'I have no time for philosophical matters any more!'.

He went home, he gathered his family, and he said, 'Only seven days are left and I am going to die. Tell all my friends and all my enemies to come - I would like to forgive and be forgiven. Only seven days are left, so what is the point of quarreling with people and fighting and competing? Finished, the game is finished!'.

He laid himself on the bed. He became so weak that he could not get up from the bed. He was fed on the bed and continuously he was chanting, 'Rama Rama Rama Rama', remembering God for the first time in his life. Every day he was asking, 'How many days are still left?'.

As the seventh day started coming closer and closer he became more and more oblivious of the world. He started looking at people indifferently, he started forgetting people, he stopped recognising his own wife and children!, his own father and mother!.

The seventh day came and he was crying and chanting the whole day, asking again and again, 'How far is the sunset? - because Eknath had said, 'The moment the sun sets you are finished!' Exactly at sunset I am going to die!'.

The sun was coming closer and closer to the western horizon. Just a few minutes more...and Eknath arrived. The whole family started crying and weeping. Eknath said, 'Wait, let me see the person!'.

Eknath went to him, and shook him. It was very difficult for the man to recognise even Eknath - and he used to call him his Guru. For at least twenty years he had been sitting in communion with him - and he could not recognise him!.

Eknath said, 'Can't you recognise me? I am Eknath, your master!'. Then a little recognition arose and he said, 'Yes, vaguely. I am in a very cloudy state. How far is the sun from the western horizon?'. Eknath said, 'Forget all this nonsense! I have come to ask you one question: in these seven days what was going on inside you? I have come to ask that question.'

The man said, 'I am dying and you are talking philosophy! Death was so close to me that I could only remember God. I don't remember even for single moment that sex was there, greed was there, enmity was there, anger was there. No, they had all disappeared'.

Eknath said, 'You are not going to die - get up! This was just an answer to your question. The day I became aware that death IS, since that day my inner being has changed. How does it matter whether death is to come in seven days or seventy years? Once you become aware that this life is going to slip out of your hands, it has already slipped! Then you have to prepare for the other shore, then you have to prepare for something beyond'.

O man! Come to the care of the Lord Supreme.

Why snooze in the sleep of worldly attachments?

When would you wake up from this dream?

You give sermons to all and sundry,

But yourself you don't heed a bit.

You are amassing wickedness around,

When gloating in the evil would you quit? (1)

Your present karma are virtually suspect,

You must cultivate Dharma within.

Meditate more and more on the Lord

Which obtains you freedom from sin. (2)

- Shabd Hazare, Ramkali X by Guru Gobind Singh

In my search for secret of life, I ended with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life has run out through my fingers.

- Noble laureate Albert SzentGyorgi


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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

that was so cool bhenji :yo:

I read this quote (ok so it's more like a paragraph) one time by Montaigne..on death..here it is--

There is no place on earth where death cannot find us--even if we constantly twist our heads in all directions as in a dubious and suspect land...If there were any way of sheltering from death's blows...But it is madness to think that you can succeed...Men come and they go and they trot and they dance, and never a word about death. All well and good. Yet when death does come to them, their wives, their children, their friends--catching them unaware and unprepared, then what storms of passion overhwhelm them, what cries, what fury, what despair...

To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it, let us have nothing more often in mind than death.

We do not know where death awaits us; so let us wait for it everywhere. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned to die has unlearned how to be a slave-Montaigne

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