Chapter 2: Seeing Life As It Is
My beloved ones, a few questions have been asked about last night’s talk.
One friend has asked:
One can die conscious, but how can one be born consciously?
Actually, death and birth are not two different phenomena - they are two ends of the same phenomenon; just like two sides of the same coin. If a man can have one side of a coin in his hand, the other side will be in his hand automatically. It’s not possible to have one side of a coin in my hand and then wonder how to get the other side - the other side becomes available automatically.
Death and birth are two sides of the same phenomenon. If death occurs in a conscious state, then birth inevitably takes place in a conscious state. If death occurs in an unconscious state, then birth happens in a state of unconsciousness too. If a person dies fully conscious at the time of his death, he will be filled with consciousness at the moment of his next birth also.
Since we all die in a state of unconsciousness and are born in a state of unconsciousness, we remember nothing of our past lives. However, the full memory of our past lives always remains present in some corner of our minds, and this memory can be revived if we so desire.
With birth we cannot do anything directly; whatsoever we can do is possible only in relation to death. Nothing can be done after death; whatsoever is to be done must be done before death. A person dying in an unconscious state cannot do anything until he is born again - there is no way; he will continue to remain unconscious. Hence, if you died before in an unconscious state, you will have to be born again in an unconscious state. Whatsoever is to be done must be done before death, because we have lots of opportunities before death, the opportunity of a whole lifetime. With this opportunity an effort can be made toward awakening. So, it will be a great mistake if someone keeps waiting until the moment of death to awaken. You can’t awaken at the time of death. The sadhana, the journey toward awakening, will have to begin long before death; a preparation will have to be made for it. Without preparation one is sure to remain unconscious in death. Although, in a way, this unconscious state is for your own good if you are not yet ready to be born in a conscious state.