Why I Claim I Won't be Afraid of Death by Nalinaksha Mutsuddi SignUp
Why I Claim I Won't be Afraid of Death
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It is my ardent desire that I shouldn’t get frightened at the time of dying under any circumstances. It is not a normal desire. People don’t like to utter the word ‘death’ even. There is hardly anybody that don’t get frightened at the very thought of death. The Wellness Guru, Deepak Chopra – who is a physician also – testifies that fear is wrought large on the dying face of every patient he has seen. Exceptions are very few -- if at all -- there is any. Vipassana Guru S.N.Goenka says a practitioner of meditation passes away with calm consciousness without giving any indication of gripping fear. For me, till now, these are all speculations. It is to be proved at the actual time of death, which is yet to come. How to lend credibility to my desire? I strongly believe the following episodes will provide sufficient prop to my view.


In 1968 on 26th January I was hanging by a bush over steep slant of a snow covered slope in the dark night. I had to pass the night alone in the snow covered terrain. There was hardly any hope I could get out of the dangerous predicament. Terrifying realization gripped me that if I doze off a few seconds – out of sheer exhaustion -- it would tilt my balance crashing me down half a kilometer of free fall and leaving me dead or badly bruised or fractured. Even if survive the fall, I would be lying there unattended since other 3 members of the party won’t be able to reach me down there -- because of inaccessibility -- next morning.  They would take another day to retrace the path back home. And it would take another day for a rescue party to arrive. By that time my life would be snuffed out due to exposure to sheer cold.  All these dreadful thoughts flashed across my mind. It was a grim reality. Mentally, l accepted that -- in fact, I imagined -- I could be dead mass of cold cadaver by that time, and vultures would be hovering above to feast on my carcass. Yet, I did maintain my cool.


Next, I never believed in the mumbo-jumbo of supernatural power. But there was a time in my life, when I felt scared to the bones by terrifying supernatural power for a few hours. In 1976 I was to visit Kee Gompa, a renowned Mahayani Buddhist temple, 8 kilometer away from Kaza. My chest convulsed in fear conjuring up an unseen hand – first time in my life --trying to prevent me from visiting the Gompa, when 4 jeeps broke down, in quick succession, within a span about one hour. It was an out-and-out uncertainty. Yet, it happened. Instantly, I felt as if an invisible power bent upon to teach me a lesson for my non-belief. In that paralysing moment I wanted to defy that power, at the same time, prepared to meet any calamity every passing second.  Undaunted, I traversed the 16 kilometer distance – up and down -- on foot, in the rains of shivering September at 13000 ft, under the threat of approaching dark night.


Nothing happened.


Lastly, about a decade back, my wife woke me up at dead of night. Our 4 storied building was trembling – due to earthquake -- and all the people were out in the street, shouting and running helter-skelter. I could hear the rattling utensils in the kitchen, and saw the shaking window panes. I turned down her plea for rushing out of the building. I could be buried under debris while climbing down from the second floor, I said. So what, if the roof crashed over me in my bed? I didn’t step down out of panic, and continued sleeping.


I think this is enough to back me in facing death without fear. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to take any precaution to avoid death. Don’t you think it is desirable to face death calmly when the final moment arrives?

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