I acknowledge this graphic from the Net
As one changes new clothes for old
Self casts off old bodies
Metaphor, simile or analogy, what a comparison! This is what the Bhagavad Gita memorable.
Krishna explains the process of death so simply and so eloquently. All that happens is that we cast of this body and assume another. Why is it so painful?
When he was nearing the end of his life with cancer, doctors kept asking Bhagvan Ramana to consume pain killers to cope with what they knew would the terrible pain he would be going through. Ramana simply said: This body itself is not mine. It does not affect me. How can any pain to this body that is not mine affect me?
There have been very few in living memory such as Ramana. Ramana’s detachment and disengagement is the ultimate Fourth State of Awareness, Turiya or Samadhi, that Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita terms as surrender or renunciation. When one has the ability to disengage from the finite and mortal form of mind and body, fully connected with the energy space within and without, this body is no more than a covering that comes off, perhaps to be replaced.
Is this realisation difficult?
I don’t think so. All of us do know that we have a finite life. Yet, we do not wish to go and let go. We surround ourselves with multiple desires and needs. We need children, and when we have children we need grandchildren. When we have grand children we seek their children.
One house or one car or one of anything is never enough. We need more. The greed never ends. Millionaires and billionaires live with the mindset of poverty living in insecurity, where as the truly homeless renunciate is free. What an irony?
In Bhaja Govindam, Shankara says:
Body limp and head hairless
Face weak and mouth toothless
Old man needing a stick to move
Still unquenched with desires
I am yet to see someone saying he or she is ready to go. Even at deathbed there are desires and fears that makes one want to cling on to one’s breath as if it is in our control. This is what Yudhishtra talks about as the ultimate irony in one’s life in the Yaksha Prasna incident in Mahabharata, when questioned by the God of Death and Justice Yama: I see people seeing other people dying every day. Yet, they want to live on.
Buddha demonstrated this truth to Gotami when she sought his help to bring her dead child back to life: Bring me just a spoonful of mustard seeds from a home that has never experienced death.
It is not about bravery or courage. It is about sheer awareness. Death is about changing clothes. Be happy you will soon wear new clothes!