Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's been common in various religious books that anything that is born has to die, anything that has a beginning has an end. Death is inevitable. Infact, the only veritable fact in the universe is the certainity of death. Even science till now is numb on this one.
It is normal to see life as being born, working, living and then wear and tear and finally die. Every single cell undergoes this life cycle.
Death is mysterious. Its time and place are highly capricious. I believe it is more closer to the pessimist than the optimist. It is fanciful to think od death as a stranger, a person unknown, one who doesn't talk, doesn't listen but only observes and waits. He is always with you like a shadow. He grows on your weakness and wastes on your streangth. He becomes visible on hopelessness but recedes into oblivion under hope. He is a friend or a foe but there is no escaping from death. Life and death go side by side. It is apt to see life as nothing but a fight with death, delay it to the maximum. When one is young and powerful he can keep it far away than when he is old and weak. One must realise the fact that sooner or later death will be onto him. One may question then, Why death? Why there exist anything terrible like death?
The answer is simple. There are more people in line to try their small stint in this world and they can't wait forever. You have been bestowed a life, use it as you wish but remember that you are not eternal. When you perish someone else will be born to take your place, your son may be, to do what he wishes to do with his life. Humans are like animals, live and die, have sex and wander, but with an uncanny difference of intelligence. We must realise why are we superior and whats my purpose with this. Afterwards, life is nothing but a quest for that purpose.
It is interesting to have a look at what various religions have to say on death. Although I am a Hindu but actually I am an atheist or more specifically, an agnostic. I don't take things for granted. The reason for my dual religion is because under the religion of atheistism I am to respect and honor other's beliefs. My agnostic beliefs strictly restrict myself to pounce on others and convert them to my religion. So my inner non-believer respects the Hindu outside. I am to protect my beliefs only when I am confronted with a danger of encroachment.
Coming to the concept of Death under various religions, lets start with Hinduism. The basic concept in Hinduism is the existence of a Universal soul (called the Brahmand). Every soul on Earth tries to unite with that universal Soul but there is a condition. One must fulfill his deeds in this world to be free and liberated from mortality. Hence the presence of another concept called rebirth. The human body is considered only the carrier of a soul. Think of it like this. Suppose a good Hindu dies, his soul (that is now free from the body) has now two ways to go, if his good deeds are insufficient it has to reborn, find another body and complete its quota or if it has done its part then it is finally freed from all fetters, liberated we say, it finds peace in the Brahmand. It is a common humor in Hinduism that when one is very much frustrated and pissed off with his/her life, he/she sighs "I must've done some sins in my past life that now I am born with this". Lol.
So here we see death as a mean to free one's soul. Its inevitable since the fate of the soul is predetermined and one has to die to decide the next course of action for his soul.
Coming to Islam. Well, what more can I say about this beautiful religion. It emphasises on only one thing, "There is only one God". It states that after a man dies he meets the creator. He is then described all his deeds he did in his life. He is rewarded to stay in the garden of bliss(heaven) where all kinds of fruits are produced and water flows under the feet if his deeds are pleasing to God or he may be put in Hell where he will burn forever and will be given boiling water to drink if he fails to follow the path of God. Since one can assume that a person will feel the burn and pain in hell or feel pleasure in heaven, one can say that Death is a stage in life, not the end of life. A point after which you meet the creator. A transitional phase from your mortal and immortal life. The condition of the immortal life depends upon the deeds one carries out in his mortal life. Hence Death is inevitable because the God has to take account of a person's performance. God will take anyone's life or grant life to anyone anytime he wishes.
Now focussing on Christianity. Well nothing much to say because the religion is very much similar to Islam in view of Death. It also supports the presence of soul. The concept of death here is actually a mixture of concept from Hinduism and Islam. It states that everyperson has soul and the human body is but a barrier. The flesh and blood are like the iron rods of prison cell entrapping the free soul. The soul is freed by death. What happens to the soul next is the same that's in Islam.
For an agnostic, death simply means a way to maintain balance in nature. Your body organs retire over a period of time and then die, the heart becomes weak and finally when it can no more push blood throughout the body, it stops and stops with it other organs. The body then decays, decomposes into the earth, from where it came. One has to die or else some other superior creature than him will destroy him. Its all about balance, balance that is automatically acheived. One event forces the occurance of another and death is like many other, one such event. But the beatiful thing about an agnostic is the belief in science. I'll consider void this inevitabity off death once science declares the discovery of elixir of life.
I am not aware of the same in other religion because of my ignorance but I am sure death has an important part in every religion and is finely justified of its inevitability.
Why then fear of something that is bound to happen? Why not be brave enough to accept it with grace? Like death, old age is inevitable. The whitening of hair is very very normal thing. I don't understand why people get crazy when they see a single white hair. Why men and women, alike, would dye their hair black? Is it to console oneself that you are still young? Just by dyeing ! If that is so, I can only regard this as foolishness, foolishness to the utter extreme. Can you avoid old age just by coloring your hair? Can you avoid death?Some people will dye for fashion but still thats a lame excuse. An excuse to hide the natural and give it colors. An excuse to run away from truth.
You can go on and on about death but still you feel incomplete. Its such a beauty in itself.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Post a Comment