Chapter 2: Why I Have Come
This voice from within is the voice of the sea. It asks us, “Where is death?” Death is unknown; still we are afraid of death. This fear comes from the voice of the body, and there is a confusion between the two. The moment we identify ourselves with the voice of the body, our spirits begin to tremble over the fact that the body is bound to die. No matter how much we may try to disprove this or seek the help of science or devise a system of medicine or surround ourselves with eminent physicians and medicines, the body does not for a single moment confirm that “I will live.” The body does not have that feeling of deathlessness; it knows that daily it is dying.
The body knows that it is a bubble, but we know that we are not bubbles. The moment one identifies oneself with the bubble, all the tensions of one’s life begin. No sooner does that within us which is immortal identify itself with the wave when it comes into difficulties. This identification is ignorance; breaking away from this identification is knowledge. Nothing changes; everything remains the same as before. The body remains where it was; the soul also remains where it was. Only the illusion disappears. Then we know that when the body will die we have not to be afraid, because there is no need to be afraid. The body is bound to die. It is useful to be afraid when there is a possibility of being saved. But in a situation from which there is no possibility of being saved, it is useless to become afraid.
When a soldier marches forward to the battlefield, when he first leaves his house, he is filled with fear. On the battlefield too he is fearful. But when the bombs begin showering upon him he becomes fearless, because then all possibilities of being saved are destroyed. Such a person can even play cards amidst continuous shellfire. And he is an ordinary man; there is nothing special about him. But this is a unique situation. In this situation, fear of death is meaningless. Death is so imminent that there is no question of survival.
On the battlefield, there is some possibility of survival because some die while others survive, and so some fear remains. But on the field of death even that remote possibility is not there. At the moment of death the illusion that “I am the body” suddenly disappears. The fear of death disappears because there is no escape. Then the fact of the body dying becomes a certainty, a destiny. That is the fate of the body; there is no way of saving it.
The moment one realizes that death is the nature of the body, it suddenly becomes apparent that what is beyond the body was never born and so there is no question of its death. Thus, for the soul also, fear vanishes, because there is no reason to be afraid for that which cannot die. The fear arises due to the body and soul becoming identified with each other. It arises because the inner voice says, “I will not die,” and the outer voice says, “You will certainly die!” These voices become confused. We are not aware that these two different melodies intermingle, and we listen to them as if they were the melodies of the same instrument. That is the mistake.