Chapter 13: Sweet Fruits
Thus the two great experiences of life, birth and death, we never experience. We take birth and we die, and if we are unable to experience these two great events of birth and death then how can we experience and what can we experience of the life that flows in between the two? One who is unable to know the beginning of life, one who is unable to know the end of life, how can he ever know the middle of life?
The stream that flows between birth and death is life. Neither we know the beginning nor the end; the middle is bound to remain unknown. There may be some hazy dim knowing - like something heard from a faraway distance, or like a dream that was seen. But we have no direct contact with life.
The meaning of jivanamukta is a person who has known death during life by waking up, by becoming conscious.
This word jivanamukta is wonderful. It has many different meanings. One meaning can be: one who is liberated during life. Another meaning can be: one who is liberated from life. The second meaning is deeper. Actually the first meaning is useful only after the second meaning is known. Only the one who is liberated from life can be liberated in life.
Who will be liberated from life?
Only he can be liberated from life who has known that the whole life is a process of death; one who has seen that that which we call life is only a long march towards death.
After birth we do not do anything else except die. We may be doing anything - the march towards death continues each moment. Evening comes after the morning and we have died for twelve more hours. Then morning will come again after this evening and we will have died for twelve more hours. Life goes on exhausting itself drop by drop; time goes on emptying itself away.
So what we call life is actually a long process of dying. After birth, whatsoever one may be doing, one is definitely doing one thing - that is dying, continuing to die. No sooner are you born than you have begun to die. In the very first breath taken by a child the arrangement for his last breath has been made. Now there is no way of avoiding death. One who is born will die sooner or later; the difference may be of time, but death is certain.
One who has seen life as a long process of death.I say has seen, not has understood. You can also understand, “So this is how it is?” - that you can also do. But by that you will not be a jivanamukta. No, one who sees, one who becomes a witness to it, is one who has seen that every moment he is dying.
One thing we never realize is that “I will die”; it is always the others who die. Secondly, even if we infer our death through the death of others, then too it is something that will happen in the future; for now it can be postponed. It is not happening now, today. Even a man lying on his death-bed does not think that his death is happening today, this moment. He too avoids, postpones - tomorrow. In avoiding we save ourselves. For us life is now and death is far away in time.