Friday, February 15, 2013
"Death Vs Death"
When we talk of death, we normally mean death of the physical body. As we are all aware, our body consists of a Sthula Sharir, or the physical body made of matter. In addition we have an Astral body also known as the Sukshma Sharir made up of “Prana” and the mind (manas). The third part is the Karan Sharir, or the Causal Body (as it is the cause of the other two), comprising of Intellect or Budhi and the Soul. When physical death takes place, it is the physical body and the prana which are affected, the other parts remain as they are. Thus our mind, intelligence and the Atma remain and we come back again in a new form based on our karmas and desires. (i shall refrain from elaborating about it in this blog as a lot has been written about it). There is another type of death…. true death as described by our sages. What is It? Perhaps the following story might explain it. There was a caged parrot which was very dear to its owner, who was a trader. The parrot was well trained and could talk quite a bit. The trader was going to another city for some work and, being kind hearted, he asked everyone if they wanted him to get anything for them…he asked his parrot too. The parrot just said, if you meet anyone of my kind, please give them my regards. The trader left and when he reached his destination, he found many parrots sitting on a tree. He called out to them and conveyed the message as requested by his parrot. Hearing the message, all the parrots flew off except an old one, who screamed …and dropped dead! The trader felt very sad as he thought, perhaps his parrot may have been related to this old one and he blamed himself for the old parrot’s death. When he came back, he told his parrot about what had happened. When the caged parrot heard the news, he asked the trader incredulously …”did he die”? The trader said ‘yes’. Hearing this…. he too died! The trader felt doubly sad and blamed himself again and cursed himself for having divulged the news of the demise of the old parrot. With a heavy heart he opened the door of the cage and took the parrot out. The parrot woke up and went and sat on a tree! The trader felt cheated and asked him why did you do this? The parrot replied that when the old parrot had died he had given a very strong message…that if you want to be free from your cage, you must “die”. Bulle Shah has said that this is a symbolic story…. a hint to all those who want to be “free”…go inside see the beautiful sights(part of spiritual evolution) and fly towards freedom. He has also said that one should ‘die while living”. Here the parrot symbolizes the atma which is trapped in the cage….like our atma is trapped inside our physical bodies. Let us explore this a little more. Those saints who can open their third eye, situated at the centre of the forehead, between the two eyes…..connect with themselves at will , leading to the merger of their consciousness with the Universal Conciousness. This is true death. “Saint Paul said, “I protest by our rejoicing which I have in Christ…..I die daily”. He could withdraw his life force and consciousness from the body into bliss (rejoicing) of Christ Consciousness. He could daily experience the state of conscious death when the soul does away with body consciousness and its physical and mental restlessness and activity, and the breath and heartbeat slow down to almost nothing or cease altogether. After mastering the breathless superconscious state , the soul can ascend and make contact with the Christ Consciousness and return again to the body….switching the life force on and off at will from external bodily senses and activity’ (Sri Paramhans Yogananda) Real Death, therefore, means not only extinction of the physical body, but also the dissolution of the two other bodies, namely the astral as well as the causal bodies. Hence death is applicable to these three bodies. Let us remember “Die before you die so that you don’t need to die again”!(Bulle Shah) ....mystical but so true! The best way to “Die while living’ is to internally connect with the Shabd/Aum, gifted to us by a Realized Guru…..and bask in the glory of the soothing divine music and the ever so beautiful and breathtaking vistas of the beyond….nay the inner self! Sources: My Guruji and “The Second Coming of Christ” by Sri Paramhans Yogananda.