We have come to look upon life as a conflict with death – the intruding enemy, not the natural ending – in impotent quarrel with which we spend every stage of it.

When the time comes for youth to depart, we would hold it back by main force.

When the fervor of desire slackens, we would revive it with fresh fuel of our own devising.

When our sense organs weaken, we urge them to keep up their efforts.

Even when our grip has relaxed, we are reluctant to give up possession. We are not trained to recognize the inevitable as natural, and so cannot give up gracefully that which has to go – but needs must wait till it is snatched from us.

The truth comes as conqueror – only because we have lost the art of receiving it as guest.

The Four Stages of Life by Rabindranath Tagore

Author Commentary: The subject of life and death is often viewed in the context of light and dark. It is said that one of the greatest fears of human beings is the fear of dying. The great mystic Osho has written an entire book called “Let me teach you about death” (मैं मृत्यु सिखाता हूं) (a highly recommended read by me). The Bhagavad Gita has many references to life and death – the nature of the body, the mind, the spirit – what truly dies and what can never die and many such discussions.

So, despite all these spiritual teachings available to us – what is it about death that causes so much fear within us? Where does this fear come from? What can we do to overcome this fear?

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7 Responses to On Life and Death

  1. douglas says:

    Sometimes the pain of holding on,is greater than the fear of letting go. Surrender let nature take it’s coarse,we are so much more than our physical body.So continue to breathe deep and enjoy this moment right here right now, and always follow your heart,it will never lead you wrong. I love you all :”)

  2. Jalus says:

    The fear of death is completely natural and valuable to have because it is part of our “fight or flight” mechanism that has evolved over millions of years to help humans to be at the top of the food chain. /  Of course, everyone is tremendously afraid of pain and suffering; causing everyone to be afraid of death to some degree. / Here is my “spiritual” cost/benefit analysis of death:No survival —-> no loss & no gainSurvival ———> no loss & gain

    This means that death is a “win/win” situation. Either option is a winner.
    So, by this formula, I have no rational reason to fear death. / Namaste”

  3. amargi says:

    It seems to me that my own fear of death comes from my instinctual, natural, animal humanity–an inevitable concomitant of this physical vehicle, which I think I am. Until the intelligence (buddhi) awakens, I must live in this fear, with greater or lesser grace and understanding. When I understand that I am not this, not this, then the fear may go; or perhaps it will remain as long as I remain in this body. But when the intelligence awakens, surely I will realize that I am also not this fear.

    • AjmaniK says:

      A beautiful reply – your reference to “I am not this, not this” is very much in context of this discussion – when we truly know it, in the core of our being – our fear will perhaps disappear. Thank you for sharing, Namaste 🙂 

  4. Sonal says:

    Thank you for this post…it has come at a time where two of my best friends have lost a parent.  It has made me reflect and ask myself the same question…why am I scared of death.  I am searching within to answer this and your post puts things into perspective for me. Thank you!

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