If a child falls sick the parents pray to God to spare his life; they vow that the child will be dedicated to God if it survives. This means that they will withdraw their feeling of possession or ownership over their child. How does it matter then, if the child dies today? It is only for their own happiness that the parents want the child to survive the illness.
How unwise it is to ask for avoidance of the ultimately inevitable death, instead of praying for deliverance from the entire cycle of births and deaths! If death is a certainty for everyone, why should we not aspire that it should be auspicious? Death which is not followed by rebirth is the most auspicious death. In fact, to forget one’s real ‘self’, is equivalent to death. You should not therefore lose any opportunity to attain our objective while our mind, which is constantly fluctuating, is steady.
We are tormented by conflicting desires. Therefore it is necessary to kill the desire itself by constant utterance of nama. To remain in nama is to kill desire, which amounts to transcending death. The real way to avoid death is to belong to God. There is no fear of death when one realizes God, who is the destroyer of death. A realized soul is never afraid of death. To be merely alive is no life at all. One must have some objective or purpose in life, and that objective should be to remain in constant awareness of God. It should be considered a very fortunate day when one leaves this body while chanting nama.
In fact, we daily die and are reborn. If we sleep and do not wake up again, it is certainly death. Therefore, go to bed while chanting nama, so that you will wake up in His remembrance. However, to remember nama at bed time, you must have previous practice of it during working hours. Similarly, how can one remember nama at the time of death, unless one has been in the habit of constantly chanting it? Let us therefore, start the practice of nama-smarana right from today, this moment.
When Sant Tukaram says, ‘I have seen my death with my own eyes, it implies the experience of complete destruction of desire.
* * * * *