The Indian Epic, Mahabharata (one of the longest poems in the world) is the story of the lives of two families – the Pandavas and the Kauravas. It has many fascinating characters whose lives mirror ours in many ways, and describes their struggles and victories.There are many episodes in the Mahabharata which involve conversations between Kings (or Princes) and their advisors and teachers. Every conversation seems to carry an underlying message about life… and sometimes, about death.
Death is a vast subject which has an air of inevitability about it, and that is perhaps why we often do not talk about it. We have all experienced ‘physical’ death in some form – of either a parent, a spouse, a friend or a relative. We all have our own way of dealing with Death (or, in some cases, not dealing with it) depending upon our station in life at the moment that we encounter it. The Mahabharata makes two observations, about Death. The two (related) observations are…
“Even though we see people dying a physical death all around us, we ignore the fact that we are ever going die” – Mahabharata
“One of life’s greatest mystery is that we all know we are going to die some day, but we often behave like we are going to live forever” – Mahabharata
So, why do we often behave – towards our own selves and towards others – as if, we are destined to live forever? Is it because we are living in the past or the future, and not in the present? Or is it because we live on autopilot, even when we are living in the present? Is it because of a lack of… you name it. As we reflect deeply on these two seemingly interrelated mysteries about living and dying, we may discover some new truths about ourselves. We may even discover some hidden fears which are preventing us from experiencing the blessings of love, of grace, of peace.
Of course, physical death is only one aspect of death. Our physical body is only one of the five layers (the others being the mental, intellectual, energy layer, and the spiritual) that can be subject to death. In our lives unto this point in time, we have accumulated a lot of experiences and habits which tend to define us. Some of these may not be serving us well any more. How do we arrive at the discovery that some of these habits and thought processes may need to die in order for us to live better?
If you have read this far, I hope I have given you reason to pause, reflect, consider, and maybe, even change how you think about death. Regardless, I invite you to join me and the #SpiritChat community in a conversation about “Death and Discovery” on Sunday June 1st at 9amET (USA) / 2pm UK / 6:30pm India.
Namaste, and be well,
P.S. Join us next Sunday as our long-time friend, Meredith Bouvier (@merryb923) will co-host on the topic of “On Living Well”…
P.P.S. We also welcome your thoughts on this topic in the comments, if you are/were unable to join us in the chat on Sunday June 1st…
Q1. Take a moment to visualize the process of Discovery. What do you see/feel/hear? #SpiritChat
Q2. In the midst of Life and Discover, is it even necessary to discuss ‘Death’? Why? #SpiritChat
Q3. What is the opposite of death? Is it really Life? Or… #SpiritChat
Q4. What needs to ‘die’ within us, for us to ‘discover’ our Truth? Thoughts… #SpiritChat
Q5. The grief that may accompany death (of ego)… What are some ways to deal with it? #SpiritChat
Q6. “Death. The undiscovered country of no return.” Agree or disagree? Why or why not? #SpiritChat
Q7. What kind of courage does it take to die? To live? Or does it take more… #SpiritChat
Q8. What inner discoveries tend to hasten ‘Death’? What slows it down? #SpiritChat
Q9. For the path of Death and Discovery… What resources would you recommend? #SpiritChat
Final Q10. To those trying to discover Life, and the Art of Living, you would say… #SpiritChat
Here is the Full Transcript and the Storify Summary