Deathlessness — a lesson through Kumbh, an Indian festival.
What is death?
Why does man fear death so much?
In spite of all their powers and glory, why do even gods run after ambrosia of immortality?
Death is the thought of loss.
Death is the fear of not existing any longer.
Man is in a strange situation. On one hand, everything he identifies with is perishable. His body, his thoughts, his feelings, his world, his relationships, his identities are all ephemeral. The world means change, and time is always threatening to ruthlessly change and destroy everything he bases his life on. On the other hand, this same destructible man, a puppet of time, has an inexorable love for deathlessness, changelessness, timelessness.
What does one make of this dissonance? If one looks at his life truly, what does one see? A series of movements. Acts, hopes, desires that are failing to find a climax, and are therefore continuing ad-infinitum.
Man’s eyes are endlessly searching for something.
He is trying to find that through action, knowledge, possessions, relationships, pleasures, experiences, feelings, through everything at his disposal.
That’s what the human condition is.
To live on, man keeps bearing this condition, even glorifying it.
What does man really want? What did the gods and demons want despite owning the grandeurs of life? Let’s rather see what all ways man tries to satiate his want. We have already done a lot. Have our ways succeeded? If not, then an altogether new kind of exploration is needed in an altogether new dimension. What is that dimension?
The Kumbh legend gives us a clue. The mythical ocean is the mind, the Bhavsagar. Its churning is needed. That’s simple to say, but what one initially gets upon churning is accumulated poison: Old tendencies, suppressed desires, the haunting residues of the past that one has been carrying forward in evolution.
Poison is stuff that is basically worthless and harmful, but is still preserved within, due to ignorance and attachment. This churning of the mind is essentially self-observation through an honest and dispassionate seeing of one’s…