“In order to be saved from the danger of spoiling the human form of life and being attached to unreal things, one must take warning of death at the age of fifty, if not earlier. The principle is that one should take it for granted that the death warning is already there, even prior to the attainment of fifty years of age, and thus at any stage of life one should prepare himself for a better next life. The system of the sanatana-dharma institution is so made that the follower is trained for the better next life without any chance that the human life will be spoiled.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.1.16 Purport)
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“The loss of life is tragic. Do you watch the nightly news? I can’t believe what is happening to our country. Hospitals overcrowding. Mass hysteria and panic. A person is fine today, and within less than a week they are gone.
“I have never witnessed anything like this. I am afraid to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t know where to turn. It seems others are not taking the issue seriously. They act as if nothing is happening. How can they be so cruel of heart? Where is the compassion?”
“I will stay home to stop the spread. They said fourteen days a month ago, but that has since been revised. Whatever the number, I will do my part. If I simply keep my distance from my fellow man, I will be able to contribute to a healthier society.
“Yes, I understand that disease will not go away by doing this, but what else are we supposed to do? Follow the recommendations of the doctors. The health experts know what they are doing. The last thing we need is to be careless and then get a host of people sick. They then spread the disease, and we are left with a terrible situation. Forced home confinement, for everyone from young children to the elderly, is the way to go, even if it lasts for years.”
“Are people serious with this? They act as if death has never occurred before. News flash: you are all going to die. Locking yourselves at home is not going to save any lives. If that was the way to go, then everyone should follow for every day of the year. Keep the cars off the streets. No more alcohol consumption. Forget the amusement parks and skydiving.
“I am not going to live a panicked life. Death was guaranteed ever since birth took place. A wise person understands this. It is one of the cruelties of the human experience. That day when you realize you will not get to stay here forever.
“Better to accept and move on. Don’t act carelessly, but why live in perpetual fear? There have been contagious respiratory illnesses carrying the potential for death since the beginning of time. If you think it is irresponsible to leave your home today, then that was also the case last year, five years ago, ten years into the past, and more. Wake up!”
“If I am forced to die, where will I go in the future? What was I doing here to begin with? I need answers. I refuse to sit down and ignore the issue. I will not bury my head in the sand, hoping the problem will go away.
“Now is the time for inquiring into these higher topics. I have a feeling that the existence will not cease upon death’s arrival. It seems more like a commencement than a conclusion. Getting ready to be launched somewhere else. I want to see if I can influence the direction of the travel.”
The entire Vedic culture has this last step as the starting position. The Sanskrit aphorism is athato brahma-jijnasa. This roughly translates to, “Now is the time for making an inquiry into the spiritual subject matter.” What exactly is Brahman and how does it relate to me? I could not make this inquiry in previous births, of which there were countless.
Of the 8,400,000 varieties of species, I have fortunately found the human form, which is the most auspicious. The reason is the potential to make the very inquiry just mentioned. Start at the planning phase. Save valuable time by avoiding the stages of grief, fear and capitulation.
The proper Sanskrit definition for the culture, which mistakenly gets the label of Hinduism due to the ignorance of outsiders, is sanatana-dharma. This is the eternal way of living that matches the essential characteristic of the individual.
From the higher level description descends specific rules and regulations within a systematic approach at reaching transcendence. For instance, one aspect of sanatana-dharma is the division of the life experience based on stages. These are known as ashramas, or spiritual institutions.
The idea is that man should never permanently settle for material comforts, be it at home or at the professional occupation. There should always be an eye on death, which is the forced exit from the temporarily inhabited body.
Consider the spiritual subject matter today and target the daily objectives and tasks to create a specific kind of consciousness. Not one that fears or welcomes death, but one that remains alert to the illusion of the surroundings and how there is a single force which represents reality.
He is known by many names in the generic sense, such as God, Ishvara, the Almighty, and the Supreme Lord. The idea is that if I am always conscious of Him, then I will be able to handle any situation. I will always be on the path of liberation, which means that death can take me at any time and I will be awarded the proper destination in the afterlife.
The existence continues, since spirit never dies. I am spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme. If I live in a way that I am always conscious of Him, then I have nothing to fear. I will remain steady in my adherence to the principles of dharma, knowing that the objective of every act is the pleasure of the all-attractive one, who is also known as Krishna.
Futility in this experience shown,
Where guarantee of death known.
Why then so much to fear?
This as much should be clear.
Preparing right way smart,
Since in human species to start.
Consciousness of Krishna maintaining,
And proper destination attaining.
Categories: the four
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