From womb to tomb: A real drama of hu­man ex­is­tence

Business Bhutan - - Opinion - AMRITH BDR SUBBA

A man, fed up with his rou­tine life, de­cides to go on a long re­li­gious re­treat. His spir­i­tual Mas­ter teaches him that hu­man de­sires and at­tach­ments are the main causes of suf­fer­ing in the world and that he should learn to de­tach him­self from the lux­ury and com­fort of the ma­te­ri­al­is­tic world in or­der to dis­cover more about him­self and achieve in­ner hap­pi­ness. He is taught that life it­self is one big il­lu­sion and ev­ery­thing he sees around him is noth­ing more than a dream. But de­spite all the ef­forts of his men­tor to con­vince him that noth­ing is per­ma­nent in this world, he badly misses his wife and par­ents at home and re­quests if he could be re­lieved to go to see them at least once. His Guru fi­nally con­sents to his re­quest but of­fers to ac­com­pany him.

At home, his wife and par­ents are ex­tremely happy to see him af­ter a long time and ev­ery­body cel­e­brates his ar­rival with great fun and laugh­ter. But as his wife rushes to the kitchen to get him some­thing to eat, he faints. Shocked and con­fused, ev­ery­body in the fam­ily breaks down and cries at the top of their lungs, des­per­ately call­ing out his name. His Guru urges ev­ery­body to stop cry­ing. He tells them that he has the power to res­ur­rect him if ev­ery­body co­op­er­ates. He takes out a tiny bead of herbal drug from his bag and tells them that who­ever eats it will die but the dead man will come back to life. He asks them if any­body is will­ing to make the sac­ri­fice. The par­ents look at each other and try to con­sole them­selves that death is part of life and they should move on with­out their son. His wife silently thinks that she is still young enough to re­marry and en­joy the rest of her life rather than dy­ing for her hus­band. At last, ev­ery­body re­fuses to take the drug when of­fered. The Guru is left with no op­tion but to take the drug him­self in or­der to save his dis­ci­ple. As he col­lapses and goes numb, the dead man re­gains con­scious­ness and re­turns to life. His par­ents and wife em­brace him with great love and af­fec­tion and treats him with de­li­cious meal. It is at this point of time that his Guru gets up from the floor and de­clares that no­body had been dead. He clar­i­fies that it was only a drama to test how much he is loved at home. He turns to his dis­ci­ple and says “I hope you now might have un­der­stood how much your par­ents and wife love you. This is also an­other new wis­dom for you. The world is full of hyp­ocrites.”

We know that death is in­evitable, but we al­ways find rea­sons to move on with life as though we are im­mor­tals. In the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness and com­fort in the ma­te­ri­al­is­tic world, we tend to for­get that we have been in this world just as guests. There is noth­ing on this planet which ac­tu­ally be­longs to us. It is just an il­lu­sion that we think we own so much in life. The sad re­al­ity is that when we die, we have to go to our graves just as emp­ty­handed as we had come when we were born. There is ab­so­lutely no mean­ing in ac­cu­mu­lat­ing wealth or in­dulging in worldly af­fairs since noth­ing is go­ing to last for­ever. Even our chil­dren do not be­long to us, be­cause they are just in­de­pen­dent be­ings born with their own fu­ture. We have only been cho­sen by Na­ture to give birth to them and bring them up un­til they are ready to face the world on their own. Sim­i­larly, our par­ents also do not be­long to us be­cause no mat­ter how much truly we tend to love them, time does not keep us to­gether for­ever. When the bless­ings that bind us to­gether end, we must go our own ways. On the deathbed, noth­ing mat­ters to us: not even the love of our par­ents and that of our chil­dren be­cause no mat­ter how much they claim to love us, they can never sac­ri­fice their lives for us if they ever have to. With time, ev­ery­body in the fam­ily will learn to move on with­out us and the world may not even re­mem­ber our names as days pass by. This is the sad­dest re­al­ity of hu­man ex­is­tence. Hence, it is im­por­tant to de­tach our­selves from the ma­te­ri­al­is­tic world and learn how to be con­tent with what we have. Let us al­ways be good hu­man be­ings so that we can be re­mem­bered at least for some­time af­ter we are gone.

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