How would you like your mortal remains disposed of, and how would you like to be remembered? Seekers discuss this through the concept of a ‘spiritual will'
When I Am Gone......The author drafts her own spiritual will
When you think of me, please pray that I adapt well to my new life, wherever or whatever it may be.
Some practical aspects which I would like taken care of, after my death, are:
• I would like all my functional organs to be donated as far as possible. Please contact the nearest hospital for expediting the process.
• Please try to ensure that the cremation is done in the most environment friendly manner. As wood is extremely scarce, an electric crematorium seems the most practical option now, but there could be more environment friendly options emerging in the time to come.
Since I do not personally believe in rituals, I request you to not indulge in any ritual for me. I will, however, not deny that I would like to be remembered fondly especially in the first few days after my death.
I would be happy if you would all jointly read some spiritual text and sing/ play some instruments together in these few days. From wherever I am, I will look at you and smile. If these few days set a pattern for more days of this nature, then I would consider it a bonus.
We Hindus have a practice of a thithi every year for remembering and praying for the departed soul. Here again, I would not want any rituals. If you, either jointly or individually, spend the day of my demise as I would have liked you to, that will be more than enough.
One thing you could do is reach out to somebody and try to make a difference to his/her life. Remember, money is also a means, but personal involvement is the best possible gift one can give.
Some "gyan" which I would like to reinforce: Swami Vivekanda succinctly summed up Vedanta as, "In a few simple words, Vedanta is the knowledge that I and my brother are one. My brother – the beggar, the cripple, the blind man and the criminal – and I are one. This is Vedanta – beholding the One in all."
If he were here today, he would have surely pointed out that we are doing a great disservice to our religion if we dont understand that people of all religions, caste, creed, race are one and the same.
Jesus, too, said in the Sermon on the Mount, "The kingdom of God is within you," which means God presence is in each of us.
I have no doubt that this tenet alone is sufficient for an entire lifetime. I hope you make a sincere attempt to apply this wisdom in your life.
Another principle to remember is to be vocal if you see injustice happening. Whether it is genocide or an individual being denied justice, the principle is the same. Travesty of justice can never happen if the collective will does not permit it. Never forget you are a part, however minuscule, of the collective.
Last but not the least, please read the below text to all our family and friends from my side:
• Please forgive me for all the lapses I may have committed, knowingly and unknowingly. By so doing, you will be freeing both of us from a burden which I may not be able to mitigate anymore.
This, I request you too. Please do forgive me if I have hurt you in any way. As I sign off, I remember the prayer.
Kara charana kritam vaak kaayajam
Shravana nayanajam vaa
Maanasam vaa aparaadham,
Vihitamavihitam vaa sarvametat
kshamasva Jaya Jaya karunaabdhee
Shree Mahaadeva Shambo
O Lord, please forgive the wrong actions I have done knowingly or unknowingly, either through my organs of action (hands, feet, speech) or through my organs of perception (ears, eyes) or by my mind. Glory unto Thee, Oh Lord, who is the ocean of compassion.
It is advised that we say this prayer every day before we retire for the day… I hope I am able to treat each nightfall for the rest of my life as the end of one chapter, and each day as a new beginning…with death being just a different kind of end.
Maybe then I will be able to die with the sign of faith that Iqbal applauded, when he wrote, "If you ask me about the sign of faith When death comes to him He should have a smile on his face."
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