Symbols of the world's religions

               

DEATH AND THE CRY OVER IT

C. B. Purdom

 
On 27 February 1926, after having had his bath and made inquiry after the mandali and his usual round of inspections, Baba was given the post at about twelve o'clock. A telegram from his father was found to convey the news of the sudden death of Baba's eldest brother, Jamshedji. Baba immediately sent for the mandali and when all had assembled the telegram was read to them.

Jamshedji had been a healthy, cheerful man of thirty-five, much liked, and all were greatly pained. Baba appeared unconcerned at the news. He showed not even the faintest sign of grief or emotion. On the contrary, when he 'spoke' on the subject he discussed it matter-of-factly and in the vein of occasional explanations and discourses. First of all, he remarked that in spite of his repeated advice to the contrary, Jamshedji persisted in going away from Meherabad, and now, he said, he is really gone!

Then the mandali were asked if they felt any grief, and all replying in the affirmative, Baba said their grief was hypocrisy and selfishness. At this someone said: 'But from a worldly point of view, everyone must feel it.'

'But why?' asked Baba. 'That is where the mistake is made. It is all false.' 'Was he not your brother? Is he not dead?' persisted another, to whom Baba replied, 'He was indeed my brother, but he is not dead. On the contrary, he is resting within myself.'

'But how,' asked a third member of the mandali, 'are we to know and appreciate that?'

'From believing those who know the secrets of life and death,' concluded Baba.

Answering many more such questions, Baba dwelt at length on 'Death and the Cry Over it', the gist of which is reproduced:

Death is common to all. It is a necessary step forward towards life. The soul changes into a new abode, and thus death means no more than changing your coat. Or it may be compared with sleep. The difference between death and sleep is that, after the first, one wakes up again in a new body, while in the latter one becomes conscious of the same body. Worldly people do not go into hysterics after one who goes to sleep at night, because they expect to see him awake again. Then why not exercise the same indifference when he sleeps the sleep of death, since he is bound to wake up again sooner or later in a new body? Thus the selfishness of not being able to satisfy their minds in the absence of the sight of their dear ones makes them weep, not so much the death itself.

After the death of a person, a cry is raised on all sides. 'My beloved father is dead.' 'The source of my life is gone.' 'The light of my eyes is dimmed.' 'Where is my sweetheart?' 'My supporter has disappeared.' But in spite of the grief and pain, the 'my and mine' remain uppermost rather than consideration of the welfare of the one who is passed away.

The sword of death has been swinging right and left since the beginnings of man's history. Every day I see hundreds and thousands of my brothers dying without feeling anything, and Jamshed's death is no exception to that. All admit that death is the unavoidable end, and though the fact is universally acknowledged and experienced, yet at the time of its happening people start crying. That is either madness or weakness of mind! But Jamshed is not dead. If he were really dead all should rejoice over it, since it means Real Life! Although you find me moving amongst you, playing with you and in fact doing all a supposed living man does, I am really dead!

I am living because I am dead! Die all of you in the real sense so that you may live ever after!

 

THE GOD-MAN, pp. 59-61
1971 © Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.

               

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