I tried my level best to prove my sovereignty on the basis of wealth and power. I wished to be a master commanding others. I seemed successful to some extent. But reality proved otherwise.
In reality, I found that I was becoming a most dependant person and this often made me feel disgusted. The objects of my dependency misled me. I was misled to false vanity.
I believed in the existence of love in all relationships but in reality I found a tug-of-war of self interests. Though reality was death I never paid attention to it, as if it didn’t exist.
Moreover, I couldn’t understand the following riddle:
A saint was drowning in a pond while taking bath. He was shouting – “Save the world, it is drowning.” The people present there saved him. But they wondered what the saint was shouting about. When they couldn’t make out the meaning they asked him to explain what he was shouting. The saint just smiled at the questioners as if they were all ignorant of the fact.
I could gauge the depth of this saying only when I faced my own death on 20 August 1977 at the age of 32 years, about which I came to know four days earlier. Before I could pass out of the body I was arguing in my mind as if arguing with the invisible God for the extension of my life to support my family (Please see my article: Death – a great spiritual teacher, indeed!). God didn’t listen to my pleas and quietly the world disappeared for a few minutes. It was all calmness or just like I slipped into a deep sleep. From a gap of a few minutes (may be 3-4 minutes) I felt that the disappeared world appeared again to fulfill my wish to remain alive for my family’s sake. In fact, I had no physical pain but it was the attachment to the family which made me arguing with God. However, the outcome of this experience is that there is no death for me but to this body, and I am an immortal entity. Naturally, while leaving this body I shall feel the same what the saint was shouting while drowning.
It is really a challenge to leave this world or pass out of the body, patiently and happily.
The reason for not being able to leave the body happily is that we never pay attention to understand the real objective of taking up the physical body, hence the question to achieve that objective doesn’t arise. Rather, we remain indulged in fulfilling our endless desires till death cuts the chord of life.
It seems that an experience of death and survival makes one realize the immortality of the Self and opens the “Third Eye” of wisdom.
And that wisdom is to love and serve mankind in the real sense.
SP Sharma, India