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Chapter 5: Dissolving the Five Afflictions

Not only that; if you are really blissful and the death knocks at the door, you will welcome it. You will embrace death, and therein you will transcend death. Let me repeat: death comes and knocks at your door, and if you are afraid and you hide somewhere in the corners, in the cupboards, and you cry and you want to live a little more, you are a victim. You will have to die many times. A coward dies a thousand and one times. But if you can open the door, welcome death as a friend, embrace death, therein you have transcended death. Now you are deathless. For the first time, now you attain to a life which is not misery, the life of which Jesus talks: life in abundance; the life of which Buddha talks: the life of ecstasy, of nirvana; the life about which Patanjali is talking: eternal, beyond time and space, beyond death.

Misery creates its own compensation. Once you are caught in the trap, the more you will cling to life, and the more you will become miserable. That is the second part: the more you cling to life, the more you will be miserable because clinging itself creates misery, clinging creates more frustrations. When you don’t cling to something, if it is lost you are not miserable. When you cling to a thing and it is lost, you go mad. The more you cling to life, the more and more you will find every day that you are becoming miserable. Anguish is being added to your being more and more. A moment comes when you are nothing but an anguish, a screaming anguish. And when this happens, you cling more. This is a vicious circle.

Just observe the whole phenomenon. Why are you clinging? You are clinging because you have not yet been able to live. The very clinging to life shows that you have not yet been alive, you have lived a dead life, you have not yet been able to enjoy the blessings of life, you have been insensitive, you have lived a closed life. You have not been able to touch the flowers, the sky, the birds. You have not been able to flow with the river of life; you are frozen. Because you are frozen and you cannot live, you are miserable. Because you are miserable you are afraid of death because if death comes right now and you have not lived life yet, you are finished.

There is an old story. In the days of the Upanishads there was a great king, Yayati. His death came. He was a hundred years old. When death came he started crying and weeping. Death said, “This doesn’t suit you, a great emperor, a brave man. What are you doing? Why are you crying and weeping like a child? Why are you trembling like a leaf in a strong wind? What has happened to you?” Yayati said, “You have come and I have not yet been able to live. Please give me a little more time so that I can live. I did many things, I fought in many wars. I accumulated much wealth, I have made a great kingdom. I have added much to my father’s wealth but I have not lived. In fact, there was no time to live, and you have come. No, this is unjust. You give me a little more time!” Death said, “But I have to take somebody. Okay, make an arrangement. If one of your sons is ready to die for you, I will take him.”

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