‘Death and Dying’ is a subject I have read a lot about and studied extensively for the past 15 years or so. I have also spent time with friends and family as they have left this world.
We all know death is certain, something we will all face. But for most of us, it is the elephant in the room that hardly anyone wants to talk about or face head on.
To understand what a ‘good death’ is, first we need to understand what death actually is. Put simply, death is the end of the body. The body is not eternal; it starts to break down, and continues to do so until death (and after), no matter how healthy we may have been. Yes, we can delay the aging process, but 120 years is probably the absolute limit.
Even though the body breaks down, we, the living entities within these bodies, do not. The spirit soul residing in each body is eternal. Don’t we always feel 16-20 years old, no matter the age of the body? In the Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Lord, Krishna, explains:
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from childhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” Bhagavad-gita 2:13
Furthermore, He says:
“For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Prtha, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.” Bhagavad-gita 12.6-7
So, a ‘good death’ is 100% connected to how we live our lives. And how to live is all there in the most important commandment of Lord Jesus:
“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul and mind” Matthew 22:37
If we strive to do this, to love God, there’ll be no elephant in the room. We can have faith that He will look after us at the time of death. Placing our hands in the hands of the Lord, we need not fear. We need not be concerned where we will go; we will be protected by Him.
Singing, chanting and saying any of God’s many, many Names, awakens our love for God. Why? Because God is non-different from His Names. By becoming attached to God’s Names, we automatically develop our natural love for God.
“There is no difference between the Holy Name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the Holy Name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity, and eternity. The Holy Name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.” Padma Purana
“Blessed be the Name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. From the rising of the sun until the going down of the sun the Lord’s Name is to be praised.” Psalms 113:1-3
I have witnessed very many inspiring ‘good’ deaths in those who had faith in the Lord and the hearing and singing of His Holy Names. It was sad (in that I may never see that person again), but very uplifting to know they achieved the goal of life as promised by the Supreme Lord.
Thanks for reading,