Life, Death, Liberation


Life, Death, Liberation

Arun Koul
Who does not want to know the secret of death? But the more that one tries to find an answer, the more the questions that remain unanswered.

By normal understanding one needs to be living in order to die but to live, does one always have to come back from the dead? Is death forever and complete? Or is death just a separation between phases of existence of a soul? As many questions as there are souls!

Whatever death may be, it is inevitable. If today is life, tomorrow is death. It is this inevitability of death that teaches some of us to live well in the present. Anything that we may be doing in the present, small or big, interesting or mundane occupies us. But should it consume us?

Some people believe that death brings us to a point whereat we are judged for our acts. As much as they fear losing what they hold in the present, they dwell on their future after death. The prospect of such a future causes them to live a tempered and balanced life. But it has also made many of them gullible to the preaching of cultists. Is there a balance that one can strike, between living well in the present and preparing for the after? Living just for the day is one extreme but does it even make sense to live only in consideration of a future after death?

The Hindus believe that to die is nothing but for the soul to cast off the body to the elements, to take on a new one. Far from death being an end, they believe that life and death are part of a cycle and the soul when liberated from such a cycle rises unfettered to seek God.

Many poets, writers and warriors have philosophized about death. Their words soothe those who have been bereaved of the love and presence of their near and dear ones and also make them less fearful of their own death. It is not surprising that most of the uplifting poetry mirrors the Hindu point of view; that liberation of the soul is the eternal goal of living.

Death is a Dialogue

Death is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
"Dissolve,” says Death. The Spirit, “Sir,
I have another trust.”
Death doubts it, argues from the ground.
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence,
An overcoat of clay.

- Emily Dickinson

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