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Slowly Towards Cremation

Date: Sat, 01 Aug 2009 05:22:21 -0000 To: From: "Giriish " Subject: Slowly Towards Cremation Baba "Tumi phuleri buke madhu d'ha'lile, ka'nt'a'te gola'p phot'a'le..." (PS 3346) Purport: Baba, while hiding behind the scenes You go on doing all the things-- You are the Doer of everything. Keeping Yourself invisible, You manage all the works. Baba, You have filled the hearts of the flowers with nectar. From the thorns, You make the roses blossom. In the cold winter season You provide the soothing warmth of a fire. In the burning heat of summer Your touch is like the refreshing, coolness of sandalwood. Baba according to Your desire, You go on doing all the work. Sometimes You make me cry*, sometimes You make me laugh & smile. All kinds of things You do. Sometimes with the attraction of Your love You pull me close. Sometimes after looking towards You, even then You do not give any response. Just You overlook the situation. And other times without my awareness, You attract me with Your divine attraction and love. Baba You are everywhere. You are hiding in the heat of the fire. And at the same time You are in the water vapor that floats in the sky. O' the peacock of my mind, You go on making the play of shadow and effulgence. Baba You go on doing everything secretly and invisibly; & indeed You are doing everything; it is Your grace... *Cry= As everybody knows, there are various causes of crying. When people are very, very happy then they cry. And also when sadhakas are in a deep state of devotional longing feeling the pain of separation, then in that case also they cry. In the above song both the conditions apply.
Namaskar, Retirement...30-year mortgages...401K...lifetime benefits...etc, etc. All these plans and programs in today's materialistic society - where people think and plan many decades into the future - point to the idea that people basically think that they will be on this earth forever. Oh sure, they may say, "One day I am going to die", but they do not really believe it. Not in their heart of hearts. Proof being that their entire life outlook, structure, and planning demonstrate that they feel they will remain on this earth forever - or at least for so long that they need not think about death. Most aim for material wealth and comfort, name and fame, and all sorts of temporary gains - thinking they will bask in those things up to eternity. And they say that when I retire (at the age of 65 or so) then life will be glorious: I will have x amount of money and lots of free time. People begin planning for this so-called golden era of their lives when they are merely 25 years old, or even younger. Their life revolves around the false notion that they have come here to remain on this earth - as if this place is their eternal abode. They do not think that one day they will leave. Nor do they contemplate that their death could come as early as today or tomorrow. However, as we know, this type of mentality is hogwash and runs totally contrary to our spiritual ideal and Baba's guidelines. Plus it invites, at minimum, two serious deficiencies in the practical sphere.

There are two main character flaws which manifest when one thinks of this world as their final abode. 1. People fail to utilise their life to do truly good works that will enhance their progress, i.e. increase their proximity to Parama Purusa. They do not engage in a life of sadhana and service. Instead they spend their time frolicking hither and thither on this earth, from one movie theater to the next, from one swimming pool party to the next. 2. When the time inevitably comes to confront death, either their own or their companion's, they are totally shocked, if not depressed and gloomy. They utterly lack the psychic stability to deal with this basic fact of life. So many people on this earth get trapped in this way and they suffer for it.

So what is it that we should do? Baba's guideline is that we must always remember the fact that this world is jagat, i.e. mobile. Nothing on this earth is fixed. This earth is samsara: everything is moving - moving towards expiration or death. That is why Guru's teaching is to remember that death can come at any time. Nothing is sure. Our place on this earth is not fixed - at any moment we may leave this world.

Grhiitvaeva keshes'u mrtyurn'a' dharma'caret

Baba says, "That is, during dharma'caran, i.e. dharmic pursuits [following yama and niyama, service, svadhyaya etc] one should think that the god of death has already started pulling one’s hair – that one’s death is imminent. And accordingly one should work sincerely and vigorously; one will have to do a great many noble deeds within a short period." (Subhasita Samgraha, part 11)
When one understands that death is near, inevitable and can show up on our doorstep at any time, then one will naturally attend to the most important endeavors first, like trying to please Parama Purusa, and not just wasting one's time in worldly pleasures. We should move ahead with this idea in mind. Here again is Baba's teaching about how we should view everything in this world, including our own life.

Baba says, "Then, Smara nityamanityata'm. Nityam means “always” – “Remember always the transitory nature of things.” [Anityata'm means “the ephemeral”, “the transitory”.]... A thing which was born will die one day...That which comes within the scope of the spatial, temporal and personal factors will alone be born and die." (SS-21)

All this demands a basic shift in outlook. Instead of thinking that we have come here for a long, long time. We should think that we are here on loan only. This body has been given to us for a limited time - an extremely short time. In that case one will rush to do great things immediately and understand one's true nature. Tragically, most forget that this body has been given to us on loan. They think this body will last forever on this earth. When sunk in such unawareness, one becomes lethargic and lax about life. A person will eat, drink and be merry or not merry, whittling away one's time. They will forget that their current energy and strength will not last. After the age of 39, the body begins to decay. One will lose muscle power, hearing, eyesight and the list goes on and on. Plus any moment, one may be scooped away from this earth without a moment's notice. Because this body has been given to us on loan. And only Parama Purusa knows for how long - we do not. As sadhakas, by His grace, we must always be aware of two things: 1) Our final abode is elsewhere, 2) Our body will not last long. In that case, we will maximally utilise our body for attaining salvation, not worldly pleasures. It is just like if one is using a rental car. In that case, one knows that they have the car for a limited period so they will carefully & efficiently attend to their duties, whereas if one thinks that the car they have will be theirs forever, then they will take all sorts of side excursions, instead of moving directly towards their real destination.
So the only approach then is to always remember that Parama Purusa alone is our eternal Bandhu - none other. Only He remains with us up to eternity. Everything else is short-lived and transitory. If we remember this fact each and every day, it will have a great effect on our all round development and spiritual growth. Then our spiritual duties will be given maximal importance and we will progress quickly towards the Goal, i.e. Baba.
Yet again, though, it is one of life's puzzles that the large majority of people regularly forget about their own mortality. As sadhakas we must not fall prey to this foolhardy approach. Here is a unique passage from one of Baba's books. One time a devayoni yaksa asked Yudhisthira, 'What is the most surprising thing about human beings?'. And the wise Yudhisthira correctly replied, 'People think that they have come to live in this world forever. Even when carrying the corpse of their dead friend to the cremation ground, they cannot believe then death will one day come to them as well.' (Ref: AV-29 (H)) So even in the face of death itself, people do not acknowledge that they too will one day pass. Due to their ignorance then, when they do pray to God - as much of the world does pray, even atheists - then they invariably ask for the wrong things. They pray for worldly gifts, foolishly thinking that will give them lasting happiness. They ask God for new cars, a job promotion, their daughter's marriage etc. Again, all this happens because in the inner most corner of their mind, people do not realise that this world is fleeting. If they really understood how this world is transitory, then one not ask for worldly joys, but would seek something lasting from Parama Purusa - like He Himself.
By Baba's grace He has blessed us with the right outlook in life. As Ananda Margiis, we understand that we are here for a short while so we are vigilant to properly utilise all our time on this earth for self-realisation and service to humanity. Then we will certainly reach our Goal and at the same time we will not be worried or scared about death.
Smaran'a nitya anityata'm
Baba says, "You should remember always that you have come here for a short span. You won’t remain in this world for a long period. You may remain here say for ninety or hundred years or say for one hundred and fifty years. Some saints like Traelaunga Sva'mii lived here for three hundred and fifty years. He lived in Varanasi in India and died in this twentieth century. But you are to live under certain limitations – limitations of time, space and person." "So you should always remember that you have come here for a very short span. It is just like a waiting room of a railway station. You remain there for a short period and when the train comes, you leave the waiting room. This world is just like that waiting room. You are to remain here for a very short span." "You should always remember this fact – “I have come here for a short span and I won’t remain here for a very long period. My home is elsewhere. I am just like a tourist.” You should always remember this fact. And as a universal tourist, you, while leaving for your permanent home, won’t require a passport." (AV-12) Namaskar, Giriish
Those interested in further reading on this topic may like to reference this below link:
The moment we are born we are slowly moving towards the cremation ground. We are totally unsure when death is going to happen. But the Cosmic Operative Principle knows, and Baba surely knows. In fact, in the early days Baba would often say things like, "I did not give initiation to that person because he is going to die in the next year - he will not have time to practice." Other times Baba has said, "That gentleman is 40 years old, he will die when he is 52, hence there is no room in his life to practice sadhana so I did not give him initiation." Baba has also commented, "This person is young, just 18 years old, and I initiated him because he will be on this earth more than 80 years. So he has proper time to do sadhana and live a spiritual life." Indeed at the beginning Baba would not initiate people who were over 40, and then as He created more and more acaryas, He become more relaxed on this rule, allowing most everyone to be initiated. But here, for our understanding, we should never forget that He knows when we are going to leave this earth. From the time we are born, our time of death is known to Him. And each and every second and minute that goes by we are moving closer to death. Due to avidya maya most forget this truth, but we should be aware of it each and every waking and sleeping moment.

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