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What is death and what does it feel like?

The final moment

(A poem by Yogamaya 9)

When death knocks at your door and says “Hello! I am here!”
Your mind loses its sanity and your body trembles with fear,
Yet you cannot say to death:
“O Death! Please wait a second”
“Dear death, I’m not yet ready”
Death, the owner of your body, marks your end 
And his decision to take away your life is steady!
 
You can gaze at the clock all you want
But you cannot stop it from ticking away 
You can call your father, mother son or your aunt
But they can’t stop the night from becoming day
 
Each breath becomes hard
Each memory becomes soft 
Death is here sitting at the corner of your bed, waiting for you to close your eyes
While you lament thinking of the mistakes you committed and your innumerable lies.
Death laughs at your inability to move 
Your silly ego has absolutely nothing to prove 
Good and bad forces await your soul’s journey
There is no more use of kinsmen and money 
 
This is the time to focus on the light in your heart
Death, my friend, just like life, is a piece of art
Forgive yourself, thank yourself, know yourself and then death itself will die 
Put your past behind you, O Seeker! When you seek the Self, you will surely know the ‘I’

The essence of the poem

It is human nature to be afraid of the unknown. Death takes away everything from us – our pleasures, our pain, our kith and kin. We cannot eat, sleep, drink, talk or walk anymore. And that is a scary place for almost everyone. But death is also a golden opportunity to liberate us from the cycle of births and deaths (Samsara). Mind is very lucid at the time of death. We may not remember many things in our daily life. Suppose I ask you what did you have for dinner on Thursday, a fortnight ago, you may not remember it. But when death arrives, your memory expands and you start recollecting things from your entire lifetime, even your childhood and some even get glimpses of their past lives. As the consciousness separates itself from the mental functioning, there is more vivid reasoning and thinking than ever before. Death is the door to liberation. You can perform any penance or righteous deed while you’re alive and hope that this will liberate you, but at the time of death all you need is to be aware of death itself, be aware of your ego and be aware of your Supreme Self and surrender your ego to this Supreme Self. This will let you witness reality in no time. Instead of focusing on the luminous Self, those on deathbed are busy bidding farewell to their relatives or crying in agony and pain. They are ignorant and do not know that this will only cause more attachment and fear. This forces them to exit one body and enter another womb somewhere for another birth. Death of the ego is the only permanent solution to the ongoing problem of Karmic wheel.

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