Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die

I read this slogan on a T-shirt in the hostel mess and that touched my heart immediately. It touched my heart and not the intellect as I had gone through two bad news in the recent past. First, suicide of one of my very close friend, who had called me up a week before he committed suicide and second, death of a close relative.
Being away from my home since last 8 years, I only get death news but never was part of any cremation process. Hence although I knew death is certain, I hardly had the realization about it.

The realization that death is certain has changed the whole perspective for me। Last week I had been to ICICI bank and a couple was demanding, very furiously, an apology letter from the bank manager. The statement I overheard was "You don't know with whom you are talking" and the first thought that came to my mind was that they are not going to carry the apology letter with them after they die. I kept smiling at the whole incidence and was watching the couple how they were reacting to the whole incidence. I don't know what exactly happened before I reached there but in any case the way apology was asked for, was a fun to watch. It reminded me of many knowledge points that I learned over my one year of The Art of Living life. Finally the couple asked the concerned person (who might have mis-behaved with them earlier or like that) to sign the letter and the couple left the bank. I thought for a moment, what they will they do with that letter? A photo frame put up in office or home, or in the Devghar at home. What will they do about it? Finally its just to satisfy their EGO, nothing else. I even thought that in case I am in similar situation and I ask for an apology letter, how am I going to react. The immediate answer was to tear it off, may be in front of the person itself. Now if I am going to tear it off then why ask for it. Well, the whole exercise is for that person to realize his/her mistake and not to satisfy my EGO. Tearing in front of the person, I will tell the person to understand the mistake and learn from it and forget about the whole episode. All said and done, its easy to write here, or may be, think while observing others, and difficult to be aware at the very moment when its required.

The other realization is more on the spiritual front. In spirituality, it is believed that you are immortal. Birth and death processes are just like changing clothes. You are not dying, its just that you have completed your part of the journey here and you are moving on to the next one. Its as good as we coming to this college, completing your karma/dharma here and then passing out. You feel bad or little sad while leaving but then the thought that you are moving on makes you happy. If the same analogy is applied to the death process, all the close ones will not feel that deep shock. It is true that the close ones are going to feel that void due the absence of their dear one, with whom they had been sharing their thoughts for so long, were partying, eating, etc. But then that person was to die, today or tomorrow. With this realization the sorrow will reduce and even the death can be celebrated.

To me birth is the start of life on this planet and death is end of it. If I am born, then death is certain. On my death, I would like people to celebrate than mourn, just as they celebrated my birth. People should have satsangs, sing, dance, and yes, definitely have Natural ICE cream on the 13th or 14th day to make me even more happy.

Life is a celebration, death can also be.

PS: In the first para I said that the slogan touched my heart and not the intellect because when some thing touches your intellect, you ask questions but when it touches your heart, you accept it from with in and wonder about its beauty.


  1. Sandy, it is good to hear that you were forced to go through the process of coming to terms with death. As you say, death is a sad process for those of us who are still here, and I know there has been shock and sadness for you to face the demise of loved ones. But you saw it as a life lesson and grew from it, that realization is what I'm happy to hear about.
    It is true that as your spirituality grows, death will be an event that takes on a new meaning, that of मिलन (piya-milan: meeting the Beloved). In my readings, I've noticed that awakened souls (such as Sufi saints) have expressed death as just that.
    Death is an unavoidable event, which we should prepare for by leading a good life. I suggest that we remember these two dohas from Kabir:

    कबिर सो धन सनचिये, जो आगेय को होए,
    सीस चड़ाए गाठरि, जात ना देखा कोये

    Kabir So Dhan Sanchiye, Jo Aage Ko Hoye
    Sees Charaye Gaathri, Jaat Na Dekhya Koye
    Kabir, save the wealth that 'remains' in the moment Ultimate.
    Departing with a crown of material wealth, none has crossed the Gate

    जब हम जग मे पग धरयो, सब हसे, हम रोये
    कबिर, अब ऐसि कर चलो, पाछे हसी ना होये

    Jab hum jag mein pag dharyo, sab hasee, hum roye,
    Kabir, ab aisee kar chalo, paachey hasee na hoye
    When I step foot in this world everyone laughed (out of joy), but I cried. Kabir, now do such deeds that there is no laughter when I depart.

  2. Thanks for insightful comments. The two dohas by Kabir are excellent and very appropriate. The last sentence probably asks us to do things in life that people will remember it.

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  4. Came to your blog from Chandru's. Very interesting reading about the concept of Death.....

    (Have seen you around during your M.Tech, but didnt know you were pursuing a doctorate now... best wishes to you)

  5. Hey,
    Chill Man..you made "beautiful life" so complicated... :-)
    Well..I did not understand most of the stuff you wrote..(it went tangent actually..:-) may be I am not that matured enough to understand them) but yeah
    I agree, we forget that we are immortals.Life is so uncertain that you cant imagine whats gonna happen in next fraction of a second, but still we live as if we gonna stay alive forever..
    What I believe is we should live each day as if its our last day on earth and think n act the same way.
    If you remember that proverb..when you are born you were crying and people around you were laughing..live life in such a way that when you leave this world situation will be vice-versa..
    These tears are the symbol of your goodness you did to these people which they remember when you die and which they gonna miss when you will not be around.
    So what you said you want people to make merry on your death is simply impractical..bcoz its possible only when some evil things comes to an end..like when Ravana died people celebrated his death..and hopefully you are not that bad. :-))
    Why to think of death..its the easiest thing on earth I tell you..
    I always think that I just dont want to live bcoz I am born..I want to leave my footprints on this earth before I die..so that after me people wud remember me (ofcourse for my good deeds.. :-)) that once I lived here and lived my life gracefully..!!!

  6. One correction in my last comment..
    "I agree, we forget that we are mortals"

  7. Hi Sandeep, Very nice thoughts expressed in this post. I would just say that, still, if we think about life , we find people changing roles over a period and finally depart........its like what scholars say, life is like a stage, every one plays its role.... You know there is a guy called Prahlad Singh Tipaniya.... you can find his videos on youtube (hope you'll understand his language), he was a teacher, then later he decided to play Kabir Bhajans, and rest is history.....thats how life goes.... Kabir has really narrated true experiences in life..... check out the song, "Ab to jaag musafir jaag"

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