Disclaimer: The post ahead deals with death, and if that is something that triggers strong emotions, and you are not comfortable with that, then please don’t read ahead.
Imagine, we (both you and me) have just learnt tomorrow is the last day on this planet earth, and we have only 24 hours to live. Shocking?
For a moment let us think about the impermanence of this life, and how we will go alone, and leave everything behind.
Yes, but now what can we do, so we can leave in peace?
Are you ready to die and not have any regrets?
How about we make a list of things that I need to finish before I depart.
- Have I taken care of doing what needs to be done for all financial documents, making sure we have nominees in all accounts, important documents for my family? Do my loved one’s know where they are?
- Are there people whom I hurt in my life, which I wish I did not. Can I ask for forgiveness from them, today?
- Are there people whom I need to forgive for they caused pain?
- Is there someone whom I haven’t spoken to in a long time, but I should have?
- At the time of leaving, whatever thought comes to my mind, I will be reborn in that form. Please divine mother be with me each and every moment, and so I think of you and don’t forget you. You promised you will come to take me when I die, so finally I will get to see you at that moment, and do hold my hand and take me away so I don’t feel scared.
- I am thankful to nature, for all the beautiful things she has done for us, and how you gave me breath for a full 1 day, and 86400 seconds in it.
- Are there any qualities and conditioning that I should leave, so that when I am reborn, I wouldn’t be born with those. Can I just for the last day, make sure I don’t get angry, speak mindfully, make sure I am kind, truthful, and live life in each moment.
- Now, let me do things that I should be doing today, with the remaining time.
Phew – we covered a lot. Wait, this was an imagination, so Woohoo…..:-) What did you feel?
What if we wake up every morning and think this is the last day of our life, and make sure we live our life with the right priorities, and to the fullest.
Oh, one exception- my homework is due next week, but since I am dying tomorrow, so let me not do it. No, no, no it doesn’t work like that… just get it done right now, as you want your teacher to think highly of you. That was my attempt of PJ.
Maranasati (meaning : mindfulness of death) is a Buddhist meditation on death, and you can read Gautam Buddha’s discourse on those in AN6.19, and AN6.20. The actual meditations and visualizations which came later on can be strong, as they focus on how we disintegrate and merge back in the soil.
You may ask – what about the fear of death? Swami ji has written a profound article on the same, which you can read here.
Further his most popular video till date is Mrityu – The Truth of Death, which will bring even more clarity.
Addendum: 2 sides of death and a thought
When I was 15, I lost my brother, who was 17.5 yrs at that time in just 4 days, to Hepatitis C (at that time we didn’t have cure). That event had a huge impact on me, and our family.
When I was 9, on my journey to Vaishno Devi, I became unconsciousness while walking and as I was about to fall in the gorge, my cousin dived and saved me. Now, I feel, the mother has some assignment for me in this world before I depart.
Recently, a “teacher” said to me – ” The time you have on earth is fixed, and no one can change that, but what you do with your time is in your hands. The quality of life you lead is in your hands”