The Truth about Death
Patsy: You know the other day how you said you were going to die...?
Edina: Yeah, well I might not. I'm looking into it.
- From the television show Absolutely Fabulous
At some point in every person's life, they must come to grips with a universal principle - all living things inevitably will die. Even in the moment of our conception, we are already cloaked in the mantle of bodily death, and we know it.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj observes that we do not suffer merely because we cannot escape death. We suffer because we have an inherent impulse to love - and in the midst of our love, we know that whoever or whatever we love will nevertheless vanish.
As Avatar Adi Da writes:
"Death is a perfect insult."
Many people try to be numb to this suffering. In the rush of details that fill our life, we may find temporary distraction. In the beliefs that we hold, we look for consolation. But turning away from the reality of Love Itself, even through distraction or belief, is turning away from the only possibility of going beyond our mortal predicament.
Somehow, we must receive the "insult" and still grow in love.
There are times when the loss of a loved one brings us face to face with this starkness. Then our strategies of distraction and consolation no longer work. We feel again the raw fact that has always been our situation. Even the many small endings in our life (and the beginnings as well) remind us that no thing and no one will last, no matter how much we love them.
Whatever we believe about death (and what happens after death), its inescapable nature is not in debate. But knowing that death is a universal requirement does not end our predicament - it only pushes our need to understand what life is all about, what its purpose is, to the fore.
Wisdom About Death
Should Inform our Living
The mystery of what it is to be "dead", what part of us (if any) survives, whether reincarnation is true and how it works - these are universal human concerns. Such questions contain the seed of wisdom about human nature, our meaning and our purpose.
These questions can move us toward a critically important understanding, one that can and should be the foundation of our lives.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj brings comprehensive wisdom to these issues. Speaking from the fullness of spiritual awakening that He enjoys, He directly addresses the heart of human mortality. His wisdom guides us to a profoundly sober, but truly illumined understanding.
As He says:
"Love is a great knowledge in human intimacies, but it is a terrible knowledge, simultaneously. Love moves you beyond the usual insult of mortality, but it takes place in the context of mortality. At the same time that love relieves you, in some respects, of the insult of mortality, it also makes the suffering of mortality more profound.
"So, to love any one is a terrible "problem" - friend, intimate, child, mother, father. To love at all is to be confronted with the terrible nature of mortality."
Avatar Adi Da shows us, through His wisdom and compassionate regard, how to live life beyond this "problem", how to love and not be afraid of death. In His words, He has shown "the Way that transcends the mortality of the loved-one, the Way that transcends the terrible suffering inherent in mortal love."
How Can an Ordinary
Person "Face Death"?
On many occasions Avatar Adi Da addressed questions from His devotees about death and dying, and gave instruction on how to transcend the presumed end that death represents. One of Adi Da's devotees, a man in his late 60's, asked: "How can an ordinary aging person face death?" Adi Da answered:
"With great difficulty! In My opinion, death should not be faced. Death should be transcended, like everything else. When you become involved in your mind with death, making much of death and thinking about death, then you become more and more worried.
"You think that because you are sixty-seven, death is much more important than when you were twenty-five, or fifty even, and it is not true. You should be sensitive to the possibility of death even from your youth or your childhood.
"The knowledge of death, however it may come to you through life's experience, should become the wisdom of ego-transcending practice - because you understand that death is not any different from all the other limited conditions of existence."
Many people feel that transcending limited conditions means being somehow untouched or uninvolved. This is definitely not what Adi Da calls us to.
In the Prologue to His spiritual autobiography, The Knee Of Listening Adi Da expresses His Divinely transcendent understanding - a "Point of View" that is beyond any individual point of view, yet still accepts and embraces all the qualities of experience that we may know in death or in life.
The Heart of Understanding
Death is utterly acceptable to consciousness and life. There has been endless time of numberless deaths, but neither consciousness nor life has ceased to arise. The felt quality and cycle to death has not modified the fragility of flowers, even the flowers within the human body.
Therefore one's understanding of consciousness and life must be turned to That Utter, Inclusive Truth, That Clarity and Wisdom, That Power and Untouchable Gracefulness, That One and Only Reality this evidence suggests.
One must cease to live in a superficial and divided way, seeking and demanding consciousness and life in the present apparent form, avoiding and resisting what appears to be the end of consciousness and life in death.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Prologue to The Knee Of Listening
Near Death Experience
· Universe is Mind
· Mind Is More than the Brain
· Can We Prepare for Death?
Is Reincarnation True?
· The Ultimate Message Of Our Mortality
· Our Destiny Beyond Life or Death
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As powerful as Adi Da's open-eyed instruction about death is, it represents just one facet of what He offers. It could not be otherwise – He actually Is our own birthless and deathless Self-nature.
Avatar Adi Da offers us all an opportunity to live a way of life that is purposed toward true Freedom and Happiness. His complete teaching is an unprecedented description of the entire human structure, the cosmos and its laws, and what actions are needed for right living.
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