Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
– Lao Tzu
Process Of Death
Your death is the ultimate declaration of your existence, how you have lived. If you fall in a coma, that means you lived in unconsciousness, you have not lived at all. You have been postponing: tomorrow, always tomorrow….
It depends on you, not on the process of death. It depends on you to prepare. Death is a great celebration if you prepare. But unprepared, you have to become unconscious. And it is good of existence that it makes you unconscious, completely unconscious before death, because death is a great surgery. Your being is taken away from the body, from the mind, from the heart, and finally from that individual self. This is the greatest surgery. Anesthesia is needed; existence provides it.
It happened in 1915, the king of Varanasi had to be operated on to remove his appendix, but the king refused to take any anesthesia, local or otherwise. And he was a man of tremendous power, not only the king. The best doctors of the world were attending him, but he said, ”You have to do the surgery without anesthesia. Don’t be worried –you need not put me in unconsciousness just for a small removal. I can die consciously, which is the ultimate in surgery; your surgery is just a small game.” There was trouble. Doctors could not do the operation, it was against their training. But they knew the man; he will not change his mind, he has never done that in his whole life. And the appendix is such a thing… it was in its last stage, it could explode any moment; and then there would be no possibility of saving the king –and the man was worth saving.
There was not time enough for doctors to decide what to do. There was no question either, because that man is not going to take anything that makes him unconscious. So finally, reluctantly, unwillingly, they operated on the man. Great surgeons were there; their hands were shaking for the first time. They had done much surgery but they had never done surgery on a man who was lying there fully conscious, with open eyes, looking at the doctors and once in awhile looking at his stomach, which was being cut. This was a strange experience!
The surgery was done, the appendix was removed, and there was no trouble from the king’s side. Not even a sign of pain showed on his face or in his eyes. This is the only surgery in the whole of history which has been done without any unconsciousness. The doctors were certainly amazed. After the surgery was over they asked the king, ”What is the secret? –because this has never happened before and we don’t think it is going to happen again.”
He said, ”There is no secret. I have lived my life consciously –so consciously that there is no problem. I can die, too, consciously. And this was a small thing, trivial.”
So remember, it is not the terror of death, it is not the process of death. Don’t dump your responsibility on death! Accept the phenomenon that one becomes unconscious because one has lived unconsciously, and that is the ultimate outcome of one’s whole life.
Anything experienced can be transcended; anything suppressed can never be transcended.