Yayati had one hundred sons, thousands of wives. He asked, he called his sons. The older ones wouldn’t listen. They had themselves become cunning and they were in the same trap. One, the eldest, was seventy. He said, “But I have also not lived. What about me? At least you have lived a hundred years, I have lived only seventy. I should be given a little more of a chance.” The youngest, who was just sixteen or seventeen, came, touched his father’s feet, and said, “I am ready.” Even death felt compassion for this boy. Death knew that he was innocent, not versed in the ways of the world, did not know what he was doing. Death whispered in the ear of the boy, “What are you doing? You fool! Look at your father. At the age of a hundred he is not ready to die, and you are just seventeen! You have not even touched life.” The boy said, “The life is finished! Because my father at the age of a hundred feels still that he has not been able to live, so what is the point? Even if I live a hundred years, it is going to be the same. So it is better to let him live my life. If he cannot live in a hundred years, then the whole thing is pointless.”
The son died and the father lived a hundred years more. Again death knocked and again he started crying and weeping. He said, “I completely forgot. I was again increasing wealth, expanding the kingdom, and the hundred years have gone as if in a dream. You are again here and I have not lived.” And this continued.
The death came again and again and she would take one of the sons. Yayati lived for one thousand years more.
A beautiful story, but the same happened again. One thousand years passed and death came. Yayati was trembling and weeping and crying. Death said, “But now it is too much. You have lived one thousand years and you again say that you have not been able to live.” Yayati said, “How can one live in the here and now? I always postpone: tomorrow and tomorrow. And tomorrow? – suddenly you are there.”
Postponing life is the only sin that I can call sin. Don’t postpone. If you want to live, live here and now. Forget the past, forget the future; this is the only moment, this is the only existential moment – live it. Once lost it cannot be recovered, you cannot reclaim it.
If you start living in the present, you will not think of the future and you will not cling to life. When you live, you have known life, you are satisfied, satiated. Your whole being feels blessed. There is no need for any compensation. There is no need for death to come after a hundred years and see you trembling and weeping and crying. If death comes right now you will be ready: you have lived, you have enjoyed, you have celebrated. A single moment of really being alive is enough, and one thousand years of an unreal life are not enough. One thousand or one million years of an unlived life are not worth a single moment; and I tell you, a single moment of lived experience is an eternity unto itself. It is beyond time; you touch the very soul of life. And then there is no death, no worry, no clinging. You can leave life any moment and you know that nothing is left. You have enjoyed it to the very full, to the very brink. You are overflowing with it, you are ready.
A man who is ready to die in a deep celebrating mood is the man who has really lived. Clinging to life shows that you have not been able to live. Embracing death as part of life shows that you have lived well. You are contented. Now listen to Patanjali’s sutra. It is one of the most profound, and very, very significant for you.
Flowing through life is the fear of death, the clinging to life, and it is dominant in all, even the learned.