“Life upon earth is a field of growth, a great opportunity to progress, an opportunity that even the gods covet. Birth, death, rebirth, and all our struggle and pain help us in this development, which for the most part takes place unconsciously (for the surface mind).”
” It is not Justice but Love and Grace that sustain this world, and it is Love and not Justice that will save it.”
To fully understand the mystery of death and rebirth we need to understand the mystery of life. In his awakened consciousness man innately aspires for terrestrial perfection, searches after true love and unmixed bliss. He hopes to bring infinity down in finite terms. Is it vain chimera or a deeper possibility for which the whole adventure of space and time stands justified?
As in life so also in death, our own state determines the experiences we go through. Just as departing in a state of luminous joy and peace opens us to the higher worlds of light so also departing in a state of depression or pessimism projects us straight into the worlds of gloom and darkness.
A concluding part of the Chapter III “The Shroud of Death” of the book, containing 3 large quotes from various sources and author’s commentary to each of them.
“Of all fears the most subtle and the most tenacious is the fear of death. It is deeply rooted in the subconscient and it is not easy to dislodge. How can one overcome this fear? Several methods can be used for this purpose. But first of all, a few fundamental notions are needed to help us in our endeavour. The first and most important point is to know that life is one and immortal. Only the forms are countless, fleeting and brittle.”
Nothing hurts our human sensibilities and belief in a just and fair world as the death of a young one. It is very difficult to accept an untimely death, with the sudden shattering of all hopes and dreams. Did a cruel god devise all this just to inflict pain? Is there a contrary power that mars the all-loving Creator’s Work? Is it some ghost of a bygone karma?
“… most religions believe in a period of transit when the soul is crossing the threshold of this material world and moving on to other realms. Soon after departure, the soul has a difficult passage where it continues to experience earthly attachments making its transit painful. Therefore it is important not to remember the departed with pain and especially not to create an atmosphere of sorrow in the surroundings. Even forgetting the person and being indifferent would be better than grief.”
As in other matters, we see here too that the best of human beings is not necessarily the most qualified or literally educated, but one who has lived life a little less selfishly, a little more nobly. After we have scraped through the various tests of life, we face the grand finale by the sternest of examiners, Death!
Death serves as a grim reminder of the imperfection and impermanence of life, so that we may realise our deficiencies and do not get locked forever in a fixed and rigid and ignorant mould. It is a movement forward, the last stage of our growth in a single lifetime, the transit from greater to lesser ignorance. As Ignorance vanishes, death too shall vanish, having served its purpose.
Paul Brunton was a British author and journalist who came to India with the view of recording his independent findings about the acclaimed yogis. Reproduced below is an extract of a strange and authentic phenomenon that defies traditional scientific logic.
“By its very nature life cannot perish but rise again and again till it has discovered at last God, Freedom, Light, Immortality. The soul that has once taken the upward curve cannot rest and returns again and again till it arrives. The path shines once again and the soul lifts up its head once again towards the sun. And above all we must remember the greatest truth of Grace that guards us in our passage through the Unseen and the Unknown.”
For all our knowledge of life, death continues to remain a mystery. Just as we know something about the processes of life rather than about the life-principle itself, so also we know a little about the process of death. Phenomenon of death extends beyond the mere visible dissolution of physical forms, being applicable to forms of thought, of ideas, of philosophies, sciences, arts, of great civilisations…
“… truth is a personal quest where books and thoughts are only guide-posts and lighthouses in our never ceasing journey. The goal of our quest is outside all our present maps with only God within as our Guide and God without and around us as our sole authentic reference point.”