Friday, November 21, 2014

A deathly opinion in this ‘brief’ called Life

The feeling of being left alone by time and finally being dead is a ‘must-go’ end for everyone and we supposed humans don’t have the time to ponder on death. Live as if death wouldn't come onto us. This is what we mostly think when we are going about one’s life chores. Death will come to everyone and it will someday. This feeling rejuvenated just recently, when a colleague of mine lost one of his dear one. We, just as it was in the past, went to witness the funeral at the very crematorium here in Thimphu. This is the very first time I have ever been to a funeral.

The feeling of insecurity and the supposed gods/lords of death talks stirred a spine chilling effect on me as we walked towards the place where corpses are burned. There to my amazement, I saw nine corpses on fire and each big fire had people breaking down and a colleague Rinzin had watery eyes already. I felt uneasy and stepped back. We went to greet our friend and later sat down near the fire for which we had gathered.

The Crematorium (Thimphu) 
There while sitting Choney2 (there were two of them) told me simultaneously death is the ultimate equalizer and everyone irrespective of any discrimination must go through the same ordeal. So simple and realistic but yet very profound! I have known this inconvenient truth that death is inevitable and this was the very first time I have come so close to the actual death rituals. They further reiterated, “We must make a visit to the crematorium very often, just to remind ourselves that we don’t have time to think bad and be cruel to others”. “The ones who weep and think about you will remember you only for months and sometimes years at end. Then, even the one’s own kith and kin will forget as time gradually makes it course” reiterated Rinzin. I listened to them with a deep sense of acceptance that whatever they just said was profoundly true.  This remark made me revisit Sogyal Rimpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I am currently re-reading it.

Two Chony(ies) talked to me about how temporal and short a human life is. I have had undergone unlimited brawls and quarrels, thought sinister(ly) about people known and unknown, felt proud when my adversaries  were hurt and doomed, and you can think about all the emotional evil that I have had about people… my gosh! Did I have time for all this?
Years back, I wrote something on silence and while writing it, the word ‘brief’ matched so well with what I was trying to pin down and I earned pretty good criticisms from my write up. Now, at this point of time when I suddenly embarked on writing something down on death, this word ‘brief’ makes me uneasy and thinking about the word ‘brief’ stirs fear in me.

So the idea underpinning this update is to let ourselves be reminded that, there is no time to be bad… bad! I feel we do not have the time even to think bad about humans let alone animals in this ‘brief’ called life. Just as a smile makes a day, thinking positively and talking politely to others would make moments cherish-able in this ‘brief’ called life. If I haven’t stirred anything in you, please do make a visit to the crematorium just as I did because this is my only deathly opinion in this ‘brief’ called life. So, dear folks don’t be bad and if you have been one, just think of my tryst at the crematorium and be reminded that we must all undergo this ‘Death’ ordeal.  

Once again folks don’t be bad and I know you won’t be!


  1. wow that is good realization Sir

  2. Death is inevitable and unavoidable, everyone of us must face this one day or another. The death is definite but its time indefinite. So therefore, during our everyday stay in this nice nation-creation, we have to be good and do good to others. Life is a holy dream invariably haunted by the uncertainty of time. I am saddened by your post about the death of your colleague's dear ones, my heartfelt condolences to your colleague, it reminds us that we must be prepared. Hope all is well with sound in health. Regards from me. Do Great. Take Care la Lobzang Sir. :)

    1. I am doing great Ugyen and kadrinchey for the comment...

  3. So true, death is the only certain thing in our lives. But the time, place and how we might die, is so uncertain and these are the biggest deals here. Amongst the three above how we might die?, is the most fearsome question at least for me.
    In the affairs of our messy modern existence there innumerable brutal causes that might separate our minds and matters. Only solution in my opinion is mindful living, contemplation and if possible a serious dharma practice. This I believe might not just help put an end to fear of death but might even exempt us from this ordeal called "death". In that there is hope instead of despair. But having said everything, how i wish, if words were actions. Nice, thoughtful piece by the way!

    1. It's indeed a wise choice to seek solace in meditative living and I liked your words "If words were actions". Thank you!