Life is meant for self-realization and ending the cycle of birth and death
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR DEATH?
After not feeling quite right for the past month, a woman went for a check-up and now her doctor just told her that she has a very fast-moving fatal blood cancer and has one month left to live. She had no idea. How does she feel? What will she do? Is she in shock, denial, and anger? Her mind is racing and overcome with fear and grief for herself and her family. Why me? This cannot be happening. Panic and lamentation set in as she loses all composure and realizes “I am not prepared for death; I am only 28 years old”.
Does anyone know what happens after death or how to prepare for the inevitable end awaiting each of us? No one knows the moment when death will appear.
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain.” BG. 2.27
“For the soul, there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” BG. 2.20
The Bhagavad Gita explains very clearly what the death experience entails. We all undergo this most important event, yet we are not taught what it is and how to prepare for it. With proper knowledge and preparation, I never have to undergo the pain, suffering, and fear accompanying the moment of death.
“As the embodied soul continually passes in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” BG. 2.13
When the body is no longer able to function due to accident, disease, old age, or some other factor, the living being within the body must leave immediately. Those who view the body and lament the death of the person they loved are misidentifying the dead body as that loved one. The person they love is an eternal being and can never die and has gone somewhere else.
Likewise, the person leaving the body suffers greatly because he is in the illusion that I am this body and I am dying. When I identify my body as myself, and I do not know I am an eternal living being, death is very fearful.
“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” BG.2.22
I always hear people say “he/she is in heaven now”. How would they know that? What is heaven? Where is heaven? What goes on in heaven? Is there a Christian heaven, a Muslim heaven, a Jewish heaven, and what about everybody else? Are there answers to these questions other than very vague ones?
In order to leave the body without lamentation and fear, I must become self-realized. And what is self-realization? It is understanding that I am an eternal living being, a spark of God, a child of God, away from my spiritual home, temporarily within a material body that is not me.
It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body. BG. 2.25
I am destined for rebirth in another material form unless I prepare to break free from the repeated cycle of birth and death. Liberation from this cycle is possible when I realize that I am the eternal servant of the Supreme Being and I engage in the process of Bhakti Yoga to receive perfect understanding, enlightenment, loving devotion, and reinstatement in my original eternal identity and relationship with the Supreme Lord.
If tomorrow i received notice that the following week I had to leave everything and move to a foreign country with no chance of return, would I prepare?
Moment by moment the life of my body is being reduced. My body is going to die. Will I be prepared to leave and never return, or will I be forced to take birth in another body? Life is meant for self-realization and ending the cycle of birth and death. All religions are ultimately aiming for the cessation of conditional bodily existence within the material dimension.
Bhakti Yoga is the shortcut to perfection, direct and practical, and everyone is qualified and invited to begin on the path of Bhakti Yoga.