Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dying with dignity

My blogger friend Ravish had few days back asked in Indispire 

If you could plan your death, how would you plan it?

I chose not to write, as I had already written about it in the form of two short stories during my #AtoZChallenge. Moreover, I am not sure if I can actually explain how I feel about life and death now after having done some serious readings last month. But this post by another Blogger friend Matheikal, had prompted me to write certain thoughts in another blog post.

I always appreciate his honest views and this time too, I understood his point of view. There was a time when I would support Euthanasia like in Aruna Shanbaug's case. But now that I have contemplated a little more on the cycle of life and death, I am no more sure if death is an 'end'. If life is like a journey than I would like to go home one day. Home is where I belong. From where I emerged and started on this journey, Nothingness, that is the end I and we all should seek. How do we know that what looks like a 'death of dignity' is not leading to a lesser dignified another life, a different journey? How can we be certain that ending the suffering of other person or yourself, sets us on a better journey or a better rebirth and not a life with even greater suffering? Is not euthanasia then sounds like another route of escape from present sufferings? I am no more in support of Euthanasia, Capital punishment, Suicide anything that has to do with putting an end to a life except in the case of self-defence. I have stopped killing spiders too (not mosquitoes, when they bite me :P )

And now coming to my death. After reading Tibetan book of dying, I feel we should not run away from discussing deaths and according to the book, we should actually practice about our final moments so as not to be afraid of it when our 'time' comes. They say our mental state has lot to do in deciding about our after life than our physical conditions. Dignity in death for me is dying natural death. If something happens to my body that looks ugly to others, or to my mind that is unacceptable to others, then also I would not want to escape this life unnaturally, I would like to have enough will and courage to face that challenge too - that will be my dignity, my grace. Umm consider the painful sufferings like the process of pregnancy. A woman knows it is painful. A woman is scared of it. But still when time comes she is ready to take it up. Same applies to my sufferings. I have to accept it howsoever hard it is. When I didn't arrive unnaturally then I can't die like that too. My - birth and death - were never in the power of my 'this (Roohi as people know this body and mind :)' existence. For I am tired of life and death, both - existence as you can say. I am sure I wouldn't want another of it, if given a choice. So I would not take any such step that might lead me to another round of this crazy game. Call it a precautionary step or whatever but I am not willing to take any chance, I want a permanent solution and not temporary :D !!

I feel we exist to pay for our past good or bad karmas, to have another chance. We go through sufferings until we realize the ultimate aim is to be free from all 'maya', to be detached from the fruits of our 'karmas'. Does that mean we should give up all we have and go to himalayas? :) I don't think so but we can be in this world doing all deeds without really be attached to our existence. I love my family, friends, this world, I hate them at times too but I am trying hard not to let my hate cloud my feelings of respect towards life, towards anyone. At the same time, I have to make sure that I don't let any kind of grief , love and even my duties overpower me and make me blind towards the truth of impermanence of everything around.

I have this feeling that though for us Aruna's life was full of pains but may be Aruna is free now from again attaining any form and going through yet another different sets of sufferings. Maybe she's gone into that nothingness from which we all come just because she successfully endured the pains which seemed horrible to us!! What if, that was her chosen way of redemption from the cycle? What if our intervention in the form of Euthanasia would have hindered her path to ultimate freedom and put her in another cycle of a painful life? To me, Aruna died a dignified death and I respect the hospital staff that helped her in dying naturally.

I am no omniscient but that is what I feel these days. And what kind of death I would like for me, well, I have written two stories on that Loving-Kindness and D for..? Hope you have already read these :)

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