Chapter 14: The Great Death
The death which you know is a small death: only the body dies but the mind, the ego and everything else remains. And the greater the death the greater will be the birth of life. The new life will happen in the same proportion as your readiness to die. And if you are ready to die completely, you will know eternal life.
Jesus has said: You cannot achieve the divine until you lose yourself. The one who tries to save himself will be lost and the one who effaces himself will be saved. Many times Jesus has given the example of a seed: he has said that the seed sprouts only when it is dissolved in the earth. In the same way, when you are dissolved in the ultimate reality, eternal life will be born in you. And that life has no end because you have already lost that which could be destroyed. You yourself have let go of that which could have died; now only what cannot die remains. Only that which can never be lost by any means remains.
This is why the divine seems to be fearsome - but that fear is your own projection. And because these words are spoken by the Lord of Death, they are bound to be incomplete. If there were a Lord of Birth, he would define the divine as the embodiment of love.
Try to understand this: if there were a Lord of Birth he would say that the divine is the embodiment of love because the process of birth begins with love, the seed of birth begins with love. The beginning of life is from love; the first throbbing of life is born out of love. If there were a Lord of Love he also would know only half of the truth: he would say, “The divine is the embodiment of love, the abode of love.” If Nachiketa had asked this question of Brahma, who is known as the God of Creation, he would not have said that the divine is fearsome: then the divine would have been defined as love - but that statement would also have been incomplete.
The Lord of Death knows death. He has not experienced the first flicker of life, he has only experienced the end of life, the extinguishing of the earthen lamp. And whenever the Lord of Death has seen anyone dying he has seen him trembling with fear, which is quite natural. The Lord of Death has witnessed the death of millions and billions of people and he has seen everyone trembling with fear as they die. So his statement is meaningful, but incomplete.
The Lord of Death knows that to dissolve into the ultimate reality is the great death. He knows that in his presence people tremble with fear; they don’t want to die and they try to save themselves in every possible way. Man always wants to save himself at any cost. Even if he is a cripple, lame, blind, ill, a leper; he may be starving, lying in the street, having nothing - but still he wants to live, he is not willing to die. Nobody agrees to die even if everything has been lost and only breathing is left. In spite of pain, misery, suffering like in hell, no one is willing to die.