What will be your first reaction at the time of an emergency?
One must always pay deep attention to one’s life, how it began and where it is heading towards. One should always remember that we have come all alone and when we leave, we shall again be all alone. One does not focus attention on these two aspects of life. This fact should be our constant object of meditation. Have we ever wondered about the nature of our relation with our so-called biological mother prior to our birth? What was our relation with our so-called blood relatives, before we attained this body? What is going to be our blood relation after our body is gone? Imagine, we have left our body and after we are gone, having been declared clinically dead if we were to contact our relatives without our body, will they ever want to connect with our bodiless form? Will they be pleased to accept us or will they be terrified to see us? One should ponder or contemplate over these matters with seriousness. These are vital questions that beg our heart-felt response. After we leave our body, relatives may weep over the dead-body for a few hours and then shall slowly start worrying about their next meal, is it not? Having eaten that meal, most would carry-on with their respective lives. The ones who were closely attached to us, may cry and weep perhaps, for a few days more and then get back to routine. This is the hard fact of life. This requires serious deliberation. Who worries over the dead ones for an entire lifetime? Thinking with focus on these aspects of life, shall slowly help dissolve the knots of attachment within our hearts. The greatest impediment to spiritual progress is this baseless assumption that the world is where one belongs; that the world is “mine”. This is what obscures the Lord’s attainment.
The farthest relative that man can have is that with neighbors. The next closest to us is our personal servant. The next nearest relation that we care about is our friends. Nearer than that is the relationship with parents. Nearer to us more than our parents is our spouse. Nearer than the spouse is the relationship we have with our body. All these relatives shall leave us, forsake us, for certain. The relatives nearer than the body is the mind and nearer than the mind is the soul, our true Self. The mind is connected very deeply with the Self, since time immemorial. The mind will always follow the Self, the soul. These two always travel together leaving the body and all else behind, post-death. If one were to have attachment with the so-called relatives which includes the body, the mind shall be disturbed and pained, since it realizes that it is the only one who is going with the soul, leaving all else behind. It becomes a matter of terrible fear for the mind. The mind also becomes disturbed because it does not know to what destination it is traveling along with the soul. The travel of the soul is made possible because the Lord provides the covering of the subtle body composed of the mind and the soul, the jeev (जीव), which travels to a pre-destined destination decided by the Karma of the being. This subtle body has all the senses ingrained within it in a subtle form. Neither the jeev nor the subtle senses of the jeev become cognizable, as it takes to its destination. Fear grips the subtle body, if attachment stays within the mind, the subtle senses shall witness frightful scenes as it travels to its next destination, since the mind is soaked in turmoil and fear due to the fact that now the relatives are left behind. Instead, if the individual practices and prepares the mind, by constantly contemplating and pondering on the uselessness of material relationships, the mind shall be redeemed of fear and is well prepared to undertake the journey along with the soul at the time of death. Above all there shall be no regret or sadness when one departs from the world. Instead joy shall be filled in the mind. If one is not attached and is carrying out a well outlined spiritual practice of enhancing one’s eternal relationship with the Lord as one continues to live, then at the time of death, the mind shall be specially empowered to directly enter the domain of the Lord with delightful experiences on its way. The scriptures proclaim that one attains that abode verily, of what has been practiced consciously, all of one’s life; and if one has contemplated the Lord and His abode, in line with the scriptures, one shall attain that very abode. It is worldly attachment that is the roadblock to be removed through such dedicated practice. By performing sustained spiritual practice, by engaging our gross senses and the mind, in the loving service of the Lord, our mind and senses get spiritualized and attachment to the world diminishes gradually and a new vigor to attain the Lord takes root in the heart. It is this intensity to attain the Lord that liberates the mind from the temporary and painful domain of earthly life and darts the mind directly to the abode of the Lord, at the time of Death. This is also the conclusion of the Bhagavad Gita.