Old age, sickness and Death- in order to get free from these three, Siddhartha went for asceticism. Did he actually get an idea of any path towards freedom? Let us keep the debate for another day. It can be definitely said that this body- which is not eternal and capricious, left him thinking. From mortality to perpetuity, the journey began in search of the “Sat” or eternal or absolute- the imperishable!
“Jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyuḥ”- (Bhagavad-gita: 02.27)
(One who is born would one day definitely face the contrary phenomenon.)
This is irrespective of how much noble and great we might be, death never spares a nanoscale germ to the supreme Vishnu or Brahma, the creators, the Lords of the Universe! No such squad goal is there with us to give company when everyone is driven towards the last journey of breath in its mysterious and complex course.
Baby Achilles was drowned by his mother Thetis in the water of Styx, holding his heel. This is to make him immortal… like an Iron Man. But, what to say! The area of the heel remained vulnerable to death as it was grasped by the lady. And in this heel, the later Greek and Roman drama and poetry, long after Homer’s Iliad, would stick the arrow and make Achilles die!
Again, remember the tale of Duryodhana? Before the war, Gandhari, the mother asked him to come undressed and delivered him the iron-like armour wishing “break a leg”. However, the guy kept the cover on his thighs because of his prestige in front of the mother. So, his death was in light of broken femur!
In various battle oriented stories and accounts of Karbala, the patrimonial love has a great part. Muhammad kissed the whole body of his grandson Imam Hussain, in his childhood. A prophecy was there that harming any human body influenced by the messenger’s affection is a pipe dream. So far so good. However, as the slayer Sinan ibn Anas failed to kill him after much effort, Hussain himself revealed that “My whole body would remain unscathed, except the neck. Security Not My Problem… !! The prophet hasn’t kissed there. Don’t be at the end of your rope. Sinan, apply the dagger on my neck. Then only you can kill me”.
“Tobu praan nityodhaara, haase surjo chandro taara, Basonto nikunje aase bichitra raage. … Aachhe dukkho, aachhe mrityu, birahodahano laage”: Song of Rabindranath Tagore Translation: Flows the ceaseless life–stream, beams the sun, the moon, the stars Spring arrives in the forest in varied hues… …There exists pain, exists death, the ache of separation burns one (Translated by Ratna De)
Which of these myths have come from where and influenced the others is also not our present concern. The thing to see here is the approach of those narratives- the affection towards own children presented through these legends. How much might be we are fond of and caring about our kiddies- unguent of the Midas touch of love on their body- would never make them immortal. They will not achieve the ability to exist forever, besides being alive in the best of both worlds. And, the mythologies have never let us forget these simple anomalies. Birth and death- both will be there. Death is inevitable.
WHAT IS DEATH? AND WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH?
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