Chapter 6: Life Is an Opportunity
These dishonest people have invented stories. It is said: One person was dying and he had a son named Narayana, one of the names for god, and he shouted aloud “Narayana” to call him. Hearing this, the god Narayana, who is in heaven, was tricked. He thought that he was being remembered. The dying man was calling his son, perhaps to advise the son in his last moments as to how to do black-marketing or how to keep double accounts! But due to the god Narayana’s misunderstanding the dying man went to heaven. He himself was surprised as to how he arrived there. But his utterance of the name of Narayana at the time of his death had managed the miracle. No, things cannot be managed so cheaply. And a Narayana who can be so easily deceived will also be only a bogus Narayana.
Deceptions don’t work in real life; it is another matter that you may console your mind with such ideas.
Death is the end of opportunity. Understand this meaning properly. Death is not yet another opportunity for doing something.
Death is the end of all opportunities; you won’t be able to do anything. There simply is no way of doing anything in death. Doing means life, so whatsoever is to be done has to be done during life.
In this sutra some beautiful words have been used.
One who has attained oneness with Brahman, the absolute reality, while living, will remain so even after leaving the body.
Only the one who has known his self during his lifetime will remain as Brahman, the ultimate one, when his body drops. Someone who has believed his whole life that he is the body will become unconscious while dying - he will go totally unconscious. Very few people die consciously. Death happens in a kind of sleep, in an unconscious state. You are not conscious while dying, otherwise you would be able to remember your previous death. Whatever happens in unconsciousness does not remain in the memory. That is why people do not know that they have been born many times and they have died many times, because whenever they died they were unconscious. And whosoever dies unconscious is born unconscious, because birth and death are two polarities of the same thing. A person dies here, this is one end of the phenomenon; then the same person enters a womb somewhere, that is the other end. Death and birth are two sides of the same coin.
One who dies unconscious is born unconscious. Therefore you do not even know that you had died earlier. You also do not know of your birth. This news of your birth is also given to you by others. If there is no one to tell you that you were born, you will have no remembrance of your own that you have been born. It is very interesting. That you were born is definite - you may have died before or not, but the fact that now you are born is definite. But you do not even have any memory of this. This too you have heard from your parents, from others.
The news of your own birth is a rumor to you, you do not have any proof of it. There is no memory of it in your consciousness. What might be the reason for it? You were born; birth is a big event, and you have no knowledge of this big event.