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Janma Mrityu Vivechan

What Is Birth?  What Is Death? 

Birth And Death – Part 1

The world sees birth and death as two opposite things.  Birth, they say, is not death, and death is not birth.  In common parlance, birth is parallel to coming and death is parallel to going. Deep thought would, however, convince us that birth and death are essentially the same, that these two are two different names of the same activity.  Suppose I leave Point A and proceed to Point B.  It’s a motion from one point to another point.  Am I coming or going? The people who live near point A would say:  Satish is going.  The people who live near point B would say:  Satish is coming. We cannot deny that Come and Go are both correct. The activity is one, but the perception is two.  The truth is that coming is not possible without going, and going is also not possible without coming.  The same is the case with birth and death.  We are born after we have died.  We die after we are born.  Birth and death are two names for the same event seen from two different angles of vision.  The Bhagavad Gita tells us that we take off our old clothes and we wear new ones.   In the same way, we relinquish our old body and assume a new one.  It is our death as far as our old clothes are concerned.  It is our birth as far as our new clothes are concerned. Our bodies are our clothes. We change them from time to time.

 

The thought of one day dying reminds us of the fleeting nature of material pleasures and also of the need to live a righteous and spiritual life.   It is only when we lose the awareness that death is around the corner that we allow vices to overtake us.  History has some great examples of people who were deeply inspired by death, as follows:

Gautam Buddha:  When he saw people suffering from sickness, old age, and death, he relinquished his home, wife, and child to find an answer to the question of death.

Rishi Dayananda:  When he saw his sister and uncle dead, he left home to resolve the question of death.

Sant Kabeer:  He used to visit the cremation ground regularly because the thought of dying created in him a sense of detachment from the world.  

 

Birth And Death – Part 2

Birth does not mean that the Soul is created. Birth is the act by the Soul of entering a body after copulation by potential parents.  Such a birth is essential for the Soul to be manifest on the physical plain.  In being born, in entering a gross, physical body, the Soul seeks to achieve an important goal –Emancipation from Ignorance and all shackles it creates.  It is important to note, therefore, that before entering its gross body, the Soul existed somewhere else in a previous body, and when it exits its current body, it will continue to enter new bodies until it has achieved Emancipation.  As we have indicated already, the body it enters at the time of birth is a result of its past actions.