Death and transience

Whatever we see around is just like a sand-wall having a very short life. It crumbles as soon as water dries up. It is said, “World is a mere dream and a juggler’s play.” This magic show, with no reality, lasts only for a while.

Sant Kirpal Singh

From a lecture by Sant Kirpal Singh, Sawan Ashram, Delhi:

Matter is changing. The body and the world, which are composed of matter, are also changing. If two things are undergoing a relative change, that is not perceptible. Many a time, I have tried to explain this phenomenon through an example. Suppose a boat is sailing in a river with the speed of the water-current. The occupant of the boat is at rest. But, one who is standing outside, can clearly apprehend that the boat as well as the river are flowing with the same speed.

In other words, an awakened soul, out of sheer compassion, draws our attention towards our sad plight. But, caught up in the mighty maze of matter, we pay no heed to his clarion calls. We have taken the physical mould as something real and think that we have to live permanently in this world. All great souls, however, tell us that the world is unreal while the soul is real – something eternal, unchangeable and permanent.

There is an allusion in the epic Mahabharata that a question was once asked of King Yudhishtra by Yaksha, “What is the most amazing thing in the world?” The King replied, “Every day we see the people dying around us. Near and dear ones carry the dead body to the cremation ground or burial places. They even lit the funeral pyre with their own hands. And yet men think they will never die.” It is, indeed, quite strange and ironical. Learned or illiterate, rich or poor, high or low – all suffer from the same delusion.

What do the Saints teach us? Learn how to transcend the “tabernacle of flesh” and you would be able to perceive everything in a proper perspective. Then you can clearly apprehend the ever-changing panorama of life and will realize the truth of scriptural precepts – the world is impermanent and the soul is eternal. All great souls, who came to this world of ours from time to time, endeavoured to draw our attention to these truths. Whether they expressed themselves through the Vedic mantras in Sanskrit or spoke in Persian or Arabic, but the essence of their teachings was the same – the world is not a permanent dwelling place for us.