Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Death the only Surety of Life

Strength is followed by illness; youth must yield to old age; life gives way to death, we do not live life on years but in hope.

Standing by the side, leaning against the brick wall in cremation ground in Lanjuphakha in Thimphu, Bhutan, praying and watching how the fire engulfed Angay (grandma), 75 years old, who finally surrendered to death after a prolong illness on 11th May 2012.

What is this life? Many around didn’t care only few relatives were with teary eyes but most others were cracking jokes, lofty laughs, without a thought that death is there for every one of us, to one of the man, it was a special date teasing and talking to some beautiful ladies around. I don’t know whether it’s good to think about it or to forget until we experience ourselves.

Angay was wrapped in thin cloth and put onto the heaps of firewood ready to be burnt, priests were performing puja for Angay’s and other six’s quick liberation from the world of suffering. 

As I have read in Bardo Thoedrol “Liberation by Hearing” and ”Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” we can only be liberated if we understand everything as the creation of our mind based on the fruition of our karmic deeds, while roaming in this intermediate state.

Fire was finally lit and flames took upon it, smokes rising high and Angay gradually disappearing from our sight. I just thought “Angay’s existence would just be a story now. 
Will she now understand and realize that every apparitions that she may encounter till her 49 days as the creation of her own mind? Will she realize and follow that light that shall bring her the swift liberation?

Now she feels no heat, and her body idly lying on the aggressive flames, she does not have sense of love, no attachments, no to care, no shyness nor proud of her body, that was loved, cared, protected and nourished for years.

Neither her husband guarded her nor her sons were present to protect her from the hands of death, neither those sophisticated advanced technology ever helped nor the brightest heads of doctors were of any help.  Now she was fed to the fire, naked on the flames leaving everything behind, her husband, sons, daughters and grand children, beautiful house and lands.

I stood aside, as the fire fed on Angay, I prayed “O! the daughter of noble family, finally death has come to you and you are going now, understand that, whatever apparitions you encounter on your way, is just the creation of your own mind, recognize the illumination of your mind and follow it, so you’ll be liberated”. Donot cling to this earthly matters, your sons and daughter shall take care of them. Donot look back to your decaying body and cry for it, it not going to help you…. Recognize and understand all you encounter are drama of your own mind”.

The fire turned aggressive, fleshes burnt and bones to ashes, smoke rose high above as if taking Angay to the heaven up. Panic stricken, “this time is briefly borrowed, and we’ll fly away one day” I cried. Looking back, I saw her grandson just 5 to 6 years old, who turned toward me and asked “Uncle Angay nga tse besa lok hong ya?” (Uncle will grandma come back to us again?)

At first I was dump like a dog, but  I couldn’t answer him wrong, so shaking my head to tell him “No, now she is gone forever” I said “Pray and tell Angay safe journey”.

Having said I walked home, but that little child still not believing me remained watching the last burning fire……...