Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Of life and death

(Teachings from Gita) When a man is nearing his end, he gets to whatever he'd been thinking of in those last moments. Thus, if you think of God then you'll be united with Him. If you were thinking of your house, you'll be born in your house. However, the form in which you'll be born will be decided by your deeds in this birth. For example, a man living in a house thinks its his house. The ants living in that house also think that its their house.

What does a man think of in his last moments? Mostly, you think of those things that you've spent most of your life thinking. Depending on your environment, education, interests etc., your mind may be impressed with certain things. It could be desire for a house, family or anything else. These thoughts which occupy your mind most of your life are also the ones that linger in your mind in your last moments because you've exercised them for so long. However, you can substitute these thoughts with some other with practice. If you want to escape this viscious cycle of life and death, then you must think of God and only God in those moments.

P.S.: This chapter in Gita which talks about death is the most difficult to grasp and hence the long gap in my posts on Gita.


Rock said...

Finally something on life - death - and reincarnation. Thanks for the post. Neatly explained, which is in sync with what I've heard. It's simple and precise.

>However, the form in which you'll be born will be decided by your deeds in this birth.

So Gita supports reincarnation.

>If you want to escape this viscious cycle of life and death, then you must think of God and only God in those moments.

So, if one cannot think of God in those last moments, somebody might be whispering a God's name in their ears and pouring 'Gangajal' in their mouth, so that the one who is ready for 'departure' can attain Moksha.

I made mockery when my Grandmom said, 'Narayana - Narayana' when a stray dog died in front of our house longtime back. Now I know why she said.

Smriti said...

Rock, sure enough when I was writing this post I remembered that you'd once asked about something on rebirth. I'm glad that you liked it.

Yes Gita definitely talks about rebirth. In fact it's all about how a man can free himself from the cycle of birth and death and attain moksha.

Peeyush said...

Dear Smriti

Thanks for this post. It's something which, according to me, spoke in volume about Gandhi who could say 'hey ram' as he breathed his last.

Sharing some small story which possibly exemplifies what you mentioned here. I had read this somewhere. There was a rishi who did all the tapasya to reach the highest level of wisdom etc. One day as he was walking in jungle, he spots a child deer in wounds. Assumingly its parents were hunted by other wild animals and he was lying there in shambles. So the rishi picks him up, treats his wounds and starts taking care of him. He starts developing affection in it and ends up thinking about the deer when breathing his last. He ends up becoming deer in his next cycle.

There are lot of preachings. Some would say, try imitate krishna's way of living. He was yogeshwar in true sense since he was part of this world, yet he was quite detached from it (not involved in it). Interesting and quite difficult stuff.

Since the above mentioned thing is not easy, other ways are preached. Detach yourself from world and attach to the God. Establishing faith in him/her would be the first step towards it.

All said, there is no single way to attain him. Everyone (eventually everyone, for he won't leave any of his creations behind :) ) finds god in their own way.

Shashwati said...

Very nice post!

Smriti said...

Peeyush, I think I too have heard this story.

Shashwati, thanks! Long time no see!

Shashwati said...

Funny though, I just watched "Ant Bully" and thought of your post! :-)

Prajakta said...

Hi Smriti..good post!

Its also true that If someone is thinking of God or taking God's name in the last moments, then it should be straight from heart, with a lot of"Bhakti".But normally any human being in his last stage of life would be in a bad condition and to think of God only at that time might not be possible because of the pains he goes through.
When Arjun raises this doubt, Krishna says "You take my name throughout your life, when you are in good condition and imbibe my name so much in your heart and I would take care of you in your last moments and you would automatically start thinking of me."

Smriti said...

Shashwati, you know what I was writing that sentence that the ants also think that it's their house, I could almost conjure up an animation where there was tussle between the human inmates and the ants in the house :).

Prajakta, as always you're so right.

All, I'm so glad that so many people liked this post and I must thank everybody as their elaboration on this topic has really added value. It makes up for a very nice discussion.

Renu Rastogi said...

This is the reason that our parents used to name their children as Ram ,krishna or any other name of god, like my father was krishna,my uncle were ram, rajendra, my husband is shiv, so that whenever someone feels he is dying, the first inclination is to call his children, and then he is taking the name of god.

Smriti said...

That's so true, Ma!And it's such a nice way to remember God, even otherwise.