That’s how you have to learn to die. The way of the leaf is the way of the sannyasin too. And your hold has to be tender; otherwise it will be difficult to let go. Your hold has to be almost not a hold at all. Your hold cannot be a clinging. Only those people cling who don’t understand this polar game of existence, and their clinging destroys all. They have to die, but their death becomes graceless. They have to die, as everybody else, but their death becomes agony.
The word agony comes from agon – agon means struggle. Agony means struggle. They die fighting. The whole fight is an exercise in futility: they are not going to win, but still they go on trying. Millions of people have tried and failed; still we are such fools, we go on repeating the same pattern. We still hope that “Maybe I am the exception, maybe I can manage somehow.”
Nobody has been able to manage, not because they have not tried enough, not because they have not tried strongly, but because it is not possible in the very nature of things. They have done all that can be done, nothing has been left undone, but death is bound to happen – in fact it has already happened in your very birth. To be born is one pole; the other pole is hidden in it.
One starts dying the moment one starts breathing. The first moment of birth is also the first moment of death. Yes, it takes seventy, eighty years to complete the process. Death does not come suddenly after eighty years; it grows, it grows every moment. It is growing now…. Life is one wing, death is another wing, and both wings are yours. And you are trying to fly with one wing? This is how you create misery for yourself, failure and frustration. Accept both.
Let your hold be tender, so tender that it can be dropped at any moment and there will be no struggle in dropping it, not even a moment’s delay – because even a moment’s delay is enough to miss the point, to miss the grace of it.
My work here consists of teaching you how to live and how to die, how to be joyous and how to be sad, how to enjoy your youth and how to enjoy your old age, how to enjoy your health and how to enjoy your illness. If I teach you only how to enjoy your health, your joy, your life, and the other part is neglected, then I am teaching you something which is going to create a division in you, a split in you.
I teach you the totality of existence. Don’t possess, don’t hold anything, don’t cling. Let things come and pass. Allow things to pass through you, and you remain always vulnerable, available. And then there is great beauty, great grace, great ecstasy. Your sadness will also bring a depth to you, as much as your joy. Your death will bring great gifts to you, as many as life itself. Then a man knows that this whole existence is his: nights and days, summers and winters, all are yours.
In remaining vulnerable, open, relaxed, you become a master. That’s a strange phenomenon, very paradoxical: in remaining surrendered to existence you become victorious. And these moments will be coming to you again and again. My whole effort is to bring more and more of such moments, such penetrating moments, for you. Don’t behave stupidly, don’t go on repeating old strategies, old patterns of your mind. Learn new ways of being.