My beloved ones, a friend has asked:
Why should we think of death at all? We have life, let us live it. Let us live in the present. Why do we need to let the thought of death come in?
He has asked the right thing. But his very asking, “Why bring in the idea of death?” or “Let’s just live and not even think of death” shows in itself that even he cannot escape thinking about death. Death is such an enormous fact it cannot be ignored; although throughout our lives we try not to think of death – not because death is not worth thinking about, but because the very thought of it is terrifying. The very idea that “I will die” sends chills up our spines. Of course, it will shake you up while dying; but even before that, if this idea takes hold of your mind, it will shake you to your very roots.
Man has always tried to forget about death, he has tried not to think about it. We have managed our entire system of life in such a way that death should not become visible. All man’s efforts and plans toward falsifying death seem to be succeeding, but they never are successful – because death is there. How will you escape from it? Where will you escape? Even running away from it, you are ultimately going to run into it. No matter where you escape, no matter which direction you take, eventually you are going to end up there. Every day it approaches nearer – whether you think about it or not, whether you escape from it or not. One can never run away from a fact.
It is not that death is something which will happen in the future, so why think about it now? This too is a misapprehension. Death will not happen in the future – death is already happening every moment. Although it will come to its completion in the future, it is actually taking place every moment. We are dying this very moment. If we sit here for an hour, we will be dead one hour. It may take seventy years for us to die completely, nevertheless this one hour will be a part of it. During this one hour we will be dying too. It is not that after seventy years one dies all of a sudden; death never occurs instantaneously. It is not a sudden event; it is a growth that begins with birth.
In fact, birth constitutes one end of death, and death constitutes the other end. This journey begins with birth. What we call the birthday is actually the first day of death. It will take time, but the journey will continue.