I am Dying! Why is there death?
I am dying---
are you sad?
Why is God doing this to me?—of all people
Come on, Really!!!
After all, I am a good person----not perfect mind you--but compared to those really bad people harming and killing others, and ruining the environment I am a good person.
I deserve a little credit, you know?
And why are so many bad people doing so well??....and I condemned
Listen: I help others in need, give in charity.
I have been a vegetarian for 20 years---and only organic, locally produced food, and I ride a bike to work, and for God’s sake I have been recycling since before it was cool and encouraged.
And I exercise regularly, I am—or thought I was—in really good shape. I am very conscious of my impact on the planet and my relationship to others……….. I was happy---and good---and peaceful and didn’t get into trouble, but now this cancer.
The doc said its terminal.
This just can’t be---I am doin’ every thing--better than right.
I just can’t believe it is happening to me
I still have so many plans I want to complete. If only I could have a little more time to finish them----so many people would have benefitted
Not fair or good
God is really making a big mistake!! That is for sure!
No, this is not my personal story--- yet---
though it could be, or yours,
though if we are advanced in our Krishna consciousness
we will be able to meet our death much better than the above account!
We will all have to face our death---or the death of the body---
either today or tomorrow. And it may come without notice,
at the worst possible time---from the material perspective.
Someone has wisely said that in order to really live our life, we have to deal with the fact of death. Not that we are scared to death about death or that we have a phobia about it and try to not ever think of it (like my Mom). Still, we need to be educated about it and the nature of the world and our place in it. Our guru Shrila Prabhupada said that one of the facilities of the human life (which many are not using today) is metaphysical or spiritual inquiry---to ask such questions as: Who am I? Is there a God, and if so what is my relationship to Him/Her/It? Why is there suffering and pain? Why is their evil if God is all good? What is the purpose of life….and death, etc?
To understand life and death from the Vedic perspective requires we also know the nature of karma or the law of cause and effect which govern the Universe.
When we identify our self as this body we immediately have problems.
What are they?
And then desires set up by nature to fulfill them.
Thus we are not peaceful in physical existence as we struggle with these desires of bodily maintenance, like eating, drinking, sleeping, mating and defending.
Then beyond the gross body we have the needs of our subtle body, with its psychological, emotional sense of self ruled by the false ego. This part of us wants us to be rich, beautiful, famous, or righteous or any number of variations----all to extend our sense of self.
We think we have to be someone due to forgetfulness that we already are someone----an eternal soul, part of, and servant of Krishna. Everything we are searching for, like lasting relationships, love, happiness and knowledge, we already have in our spiritual identity and relationship to God..
Due to these desires and the fear of our possible demise (our life seems to be always threatened) we have an exploitive mentality or attitude of survival of the fittest in order to maintain our false conception of self. This is what perpetuates our stay in the material world, birth after birth (as we sow, so shall we reap) as we have to kill other creatures to live. Because we have to kill by the nature of our life in the world, we therefore have to experience death of the body which was sustained by the death (even inadvertently) of others..
Being ignorant of our true lasting spiritual nature, our false ego considers the self as a product of matter. Thus our “I” is defined materially by what our “my” calls its’ own--possessions, wife, husband, son or daughter, relatives, car, house, city, state, country, religion, gender, race, nationality, political party, universe etc.
And everywhere, the Gita says in the 17 chapter, we are what we have faith in. Where our faith is, our attachments are. Where our attachments are is where our consciousness is, and where our consciousness is at death will determine our next birth.
Material desire, attachments, and consciousness is the problem, while spiritual desire, attachments, and consciousness is the solution. It is simple to explain, yet difficult to practice. At the same time compared to other processes mentioned in the Vedas, like the injunctions of karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, or the 8 fold yoga system, it is very easy.
The traditional Buddhists would say agree that material consciousness is the problem (which causes pain through attachment), though their solution is to end identity. For them Nirvana means to blow out, or end the self. Impersonal Vedantists’ solution to material consciousness is to merge the small self into the big Self (Brahman) which is another way to end the self, though in a Spiritual eternal substance.
Gaudiya (Chaitanya) Vedantists or Gaudiya Vaishnava’s solution to this ultimate problem of life, is to revive our eternal loving nature and service attitude through associating with Krishna by chanting his name, or engaging in any of the other major process of devotional service ( nine methods of bhakti-yoga) in the association and guidance of pure devotees.
Our goal is not to become nothing, or to become one with God. Our goal is to obtain our dormant love of Krishna or Prema, and to engage in his service eternally. We don’t have to aspire for “mukti” or liberation from birth and death separately because it is said the when we practice Bhakti, mukti stands with folded hands to serve us. Everything which could be obtained by performing any other recommendations given in the Vedas, will be obtained as a by-product of Bhakti. So if we don’t want to die and want to become deathless, then that purpose will be served by serving and loving Krishna.