Chapter 16: Of Voluntary Death
Gautam Buddha died at the right time. But how many people can say that they are dying at the right time? It is never the right time. On all the graves you will find the inscription: “He died untimely.”
You will not find a single grave with the inscription, “This man died timely.” Nobody would like that; even the dead person would stand up and say, “This is not right. You are condemning me to say that I died at the right time. I am dying and you are making a laughing stock of me.” But truthfully, dying at the right time is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is part of a long series of events in your life.
To be sure, he who never lived at the right time could hardly die at the right time!
You are alive. It is difficult to say anything about your death, whether you will die at the right time or not. But are you alive at the right time? Or are you continually missing the train? You always reach the platform when the train is gone; you see the last compartment leaving the platform.
You are always either late, or too early, but never exactly at the right moment. The reason is that your mind either lives in the past.. Those who live in the past, in their memories, in all that dust that they have left behind on the road, they are always late. To be late becomes their routine, because they cannot be in the present, and to be at the right time means to be in the present.
Then there are people who are living in the future. They are always planning for the tomorrows, what they are going to do tomorrow. They are always ahead of time. They have already missed the right time.
This state of being in the past or in the future is so unconscious that almost everybody is divided into these two categories: the past-oriented and the future-oriented. It is very rare to find someone in the present, here, now.
Only a person who lives every now, without being hindered by past or present or future, who simply lives in this very moment, not with an effort because the moment is very small - a slight effort and you are no more in it.. Unless you live very relaxedly you cannot live in the now.
To live relaxedly, each moment of your life becomes so rich because you are totally there, every moment, with all your love, with all your intelligence, with all your being. Such a small moment becomes overflowing with your intelligence, with your love, with your very being. It becomes such a contentment.
The secret is known; it is an open secret. You know that you always get only one single moment at a time. You don’t get two moments or three moments. If you can live one moment totally, you know the whole secret of life, because always you have only one moment, and you know how to live it.
This kind of life is the only right life, and this kind of life can have a crescendo of a right death. Right death has to be earned by right living.