Accepting the Reality of Life

Life on earth is not permanent. We are all born and have a specific number of years to live and then we leave the earth. We cannot live permanently on earth or become immortals. Every single being on earth, the 8, 400,000 species of life forms are all born, they live and then die. We live in an illusion of permanency here. We all believe that others will die but we hope to live in good health. We live totally engrossed in our daily routines of family, friends, attachments, love, study, work, earn, enjoy, sleep and other things. We forget that we do not live forever and that time and life pass quickly and death comes. We live and die without learning the purpose of our existence on earth. We get entrapped in our desires and karma, birth after birth without realizing the reality of life, death and purpose of our lives here. We must tap into the Divine energy, knowledge and wisdom for help and guidance in right living on earth and to learn the reasons of our existence. There is a story about Buddha and a young mother whose child died which teaches us these truths:

A young woman got married and gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy. Her child was good natured and smiling and she loved him very much. He crawled and babbled and soon began to walk. The young woman spent all her spare time watching and adoring her child. One day he suddenly fell ill and died. The young woman was deeply grieved and wept inconsolably. She was not able to accept the death of her child and she roamed the streets of the village carrying the body of her dead child in her arms asking all and sundry for some medicine which could cure her son and bring him back to life. As she was walking, sobbing away on the street, Buddha passed by her begging for alms. Looking at his calm and serene face, she was sure that he had the antidote to death.

When Buddha saw the young woman with a dead child and in terrible grief, he understood her situation. He knew that she was not in a state to listen to reason or logic or even the truth. He knew he had to make her understand the truth but not in a direct way. He assured the young woman that he could bring back her dead son but she must get him half a cup of mustard seed. These mustard seeds should be collected from a house where no one had died before. So he warned the young woman to ask specifically if there was no death in that house and then collect the mustard seed. If she did, her child would live!

The young woman was filled with joy and hope. She was sure no one would refuse to give her half a cup of mustard seeds, especially for such a noble cause. She went to the first house in front of her and asked for mustard seeds. She remembered the warning of Buddha and asked if anyone one had died in that house. The answer was yes, their sister had died just a week back. In each house that she went, she heard about the death of near ones and their grief and sorrow. There was no house in the village where someone had not died and left others behind in grief and sorrow.

The truth finally dawned on her – that everyone has to suffer the loss of death of a near and dear one and that one too has to die eventually. No one can live forever. As this truth dawned on her, great detachment came over her. She understood what Buddha was trying to teach her. She lost attachment to the body of her dead son. She went and finished the final rites for her child. Then she sought Buddha and requested him to teach her the truth of life and how to go beyond death. The young woman became a nun; learnt and practiced the teachings of Buddha and finally attained Nirvana. It is a deathless state where there is no joy or sorrow. There is peace, light, beauty and bliss of God.

Our mind is preoccupied by daily affairs, work, family, fears and frustrations. It is rarely filled with light and love of God. Only when we rise beyond the body and reach out to Divinity, we can understand the true purpose of our lives and realise God. Then we rise above the impermanence of life. Regular practice of SitaRam Mantra and meditation will help us in this.

( As told by Omdasji Maharaj to his disciples)