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How Many Of Us Have A Plan For Death?

How many of us have a plan for death? - the one thing that is absolutely certain? The only thing unknown about our death are the time and the cause.

We generally recognize the value of planning for the future, although none of us knows what the future has in store for us. While we plan for things that may or may not happen, how many of us have a plan for death, the one thing that is absolutely certain? The only things unknown about our death are the time and the cause. None of us wants to die soon, but having a plan doesn’t hurt.

A neurotic obsession with death is a form of illness. It is debilitating and may need clinical intervention. But a positive approach to the phenomenon of death is not only healthy and strengthening but also spiritually beneficial.

Spiritual texts and teachers provide much needed guidance in this matter. Swami Vivekananda encouraged his students to think of death always. His glowing words come to mind: Look here – we shall all die [sooner or later]. Bear this in mind always, and then the spirit within will wake up. Then only, meanness will vanish from you, practicality in work will come, you will get new vigor in mind and body, and those who come in contact with you will also feel that they have really got something uplifting from you.

In the beginning, this practice of thinking of death won’t be fun. Swamiji knew that:
At first, the heart will break down, and despondency and gloomy thoughts will occupy your mind. But persist, let days pass like that— and then? Then you will see that new strength has come into the heart, that the constant thought of death is giving you a new life and is making you more and more thoughtful by bringing every moment before your mind’s eye the truth of the saying, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!’ Wait! Let days, months, and years pass, and you will feel that the spirit within is waking up with the strength of a lion, that the little power within has transformed itself into a mighty power. Think of death always, and you will realize the truth of every word I say. (CW, 5. 329–30)

It is easier to face a foe if we have done our homework.

The more we practice being free from anxiety, of relishing moments of aloneness, and of seeing death not as an end but a continuation of our existence in another form, the more we shall discover that we are all interconnected and that death doesn’t mean the end.

Sourceexcerpts from Vedanta Kesari editorial of April 2020