​Mastery of the art of death

Like the pain of a nation in the repayment of its national debt,
One must undergo the suffering of death,

The angels of death catch and carry one,

When the final moment of death arrives.

The powerful persons cannot buy it off with money,

With his powerful weapons the heroes of the world cannot conquer it,

Nor can the cleverest lady in the world outwit it by a seductive trick,

Even the most learned scholar cannot postpone it with his eloquence.

In death, the unlucky cannot appeal,

Nor can a brave man here display his valor,

For, only the truly awakened know the secret of death.

When all of the soul leaves the body,

One is crushed as if between two rocky mountains –

All sight and sensory perceptions become dim.

When the priests and pundits and their prayers become useless,

The trusted and much-relied-upon doctor yields to his despair.

Now none can successfully communicate with the dying man,

Like a lump of coal in chilly ashes,

One approaches to the brink of death,

Without any hope for a reenergized soul.

Alas! When dying, some still keep a track of time and date;

Others cry, shout and groan;

Some continue to be obsessed with worldly goods and possessions;

While others are haunted by the thoughts that 

Their hard-earned wealth will be enjoyed by others that know 

Nothing of their blood, sweat and tears incurred to acquire the fortune.

However great one’s passion and love for others,

He can but depart and journey on to the next life alone.

His cherished friends, family and consort,

These are all forevermore forgotten and obsolete thereafter.

Knowing thus, the faithful patron,

Asks himself “what can be retained?”

“Must one sit idly and let all chances for enlightenment pass by?”

Knowing that all must be left behind,

One quickly realizes that all worldly love, passions

And attachments must all be futile in the end.

When that final and critical moment comes,

Only true enlightenment 

And the teaching concerning practiced/experienced truth helps.

14 thoughts on “​Mastery of the art of death

  1. In Buddhism, the art of dying is indeed pivotal. I learnt of how a high ranking monk in Tibet passed. He bathed self and sat in a meditation pose and left for the heavenly realm. I suppose his top most chakra was used for his soul or spirit to exit the body. I wonder how he will be reincarnated back and a new Rinpoche identified.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly, that’s the secret antidote. One must discover true life before he can die peacefully and pass into greater reality. Living fully is a prerequisite, you are perfectly right – in fact this is the undertone in this teaching.


  3. Sure. In elementary school there is a teacher that used to tell us that when a child is born one hand is usually enclosed as in a fist while the other one is usually open like that one of begging. What’s your interpretation of this mysticism?

    Liked by 1 person

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