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Home >> Seeker’s Solace  >> Modern troubled times of untimely death

Modern troubled times of untimely death

More than 100 people are estimated to die every minute in the world today. Many of these deaths are untimely, caused by disease or accident. Such deaths have led people to believe that the Grim Reaper can come any time. Death is a certainty, which has given rise to the phrase, ‘as sure as death’, but its exact time is something that cannot be known in advance.

The end can come any time. Shopkeepers say that one cannot tell when a customer or death will arrive. This uncertainty adds to people’s fear of death, and the sudden demise of a loved one causes greater grief as it produces a feeling of unexpected loss; sorrow and anguish so overwhelm individuals that for some time they are unable to comprehend a future without the departed soul.

The bereavement is greater if the victim is young. Many see it as a cruel turn of fate and even question or blame God for having snatched away from them a youthful life.

The death of children also leads some to ask what, if any, was the fault of that soul that it’s life’s journey was cut short so soon. Their despair is summed up by two of the most memorable lines of Shakespeare, whose character Gloucester says in King Lear: ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.’

Such reactions to death are the result of ignorance of one’s true, spiritual, identity and of the law of karma.

Death is not the end of everything. We are immortal souls, not bodies. It is the sentient soul that experiences all the joys and sorrows of life; the body is made of organic matter and is just the medium by which the soul expresses itself and receives external stimuli.

It is the soul that sees, hears, speaks, feels and tastes through the body. It is the spark of life that keeps the body alive and functioning. Once the soul departs, the body is declared dead and soon disposed of. The soul goes on to take another birth, embarking on a journey of new experiences.

We souls bear imprints of all that we go through in our lives and carry them with us from birth to birth. This is why certain places and people trigger peculiar reactions in us even though we may be seeing them for the first time. It is the result of past experiences that were buried in the unconscious mind coming to the surface.

The soul also contains a record of all actions–good or bad–it has ever performed, and encounters joy or sorrow as a result of those actions.

The good fortune that some people have in the form of a comfortable and happy life and the misfortune of those born into penury are not a matter of chance; they are the results of the past karma of those souls.

Human actions may not necessarily bear fruit within a lifetime, and one may get the reward or punishment for one’s deeds in later births.

The good fortune that some people have in the form of a comfortable and happy life and the misfortune of those born into penury are not a matter of chance; they are the results of the past karma of those souls.

When we wonder why some ‘innocent’ child had to die, we are forgetting that the soul in the body of the child had brought its karmic history with it and was reaping the fruits of its past actions. Similar is the case with the ‘good’ or ‘pious’ individuals who suffer some misfortune or meet with sudden death.

They may certainly have been charitable souls, but we cannot know what karmic burden they were carrying. Unlike man-made laws, the law of karma is inviolable, flawless and always just; nothing happens to anyone without a reason.

Even the manner of death is determined by our karma. Some people quickly die of a disease or in an accident while others suffer for years: they spend a small fortune on medical treatment, become a burden to those around them and live in constant pain to ultimately die a miserable death.

There are also some unfortunate souls whose circumstances turn so cruel as to make life unbearable, but death eludes them even as they yearn for it. Mass deaths, such as those that occur during natural disasters, also have a karmic trigger. Since such deaths occur together in one place they shock us, whereas more people may be dying every day all over the world because of accidents, smoking or other causes.

The only way we can ensure a happy life and a peaceful end for ourselves is by making sure that we do no wrong and never cause anyone sorrow. Our thoughts, words and actions are like seeds that will bear fruit in future. To enjoy sweet fruits we must plant the appropriate seeds.

In the Golden and Silver ages–the period of history that is now remembered as heaven, which is for most people a myth rather than a part of our past–souls were completely free of vices and so never committed a sin. As a result everyone lived a full life, and since they were all aware that they are immortal souls playing different roles through their bodies, death and rebirth were for them like casting off an old costume to put on a new one.

It was a renewal of sorts… a new beginning, and there was no sorrow associated with it. When a soul had lived for more than 100 years, it sensed that it was time to leave the old body and be born in a new one.

We can also make death such a natural and happy experience by completely giving up vices, which will enable us to have pure thoughts, feelings, speech and actions, which in turn will bring us favourable returns.

Dadi Janki


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